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  1. 1. Do you currently own a cutting machine?

    • Yes
    • No, but I want to in the next 12 months
    • No, I have no plans to buy one
    • I'm undecided at the moment


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On 23/06/2021 at 00:51, aardvark said:

... I’ve started re-reading this thread from the beginning for snippets...

 

You are a man of great resolve! The others have given great advice, so I hope it works well for you.

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As well as adding the X in the centre, drawing the horizontal and vertical lines separately, and making them a different colour will give you a much sharper corner. The machine will cut each line independently rather than trying to to turn a 90 degree corner, rounding the edge in the process.

Make all the horizontals one colour, and all the verticals another. I tend to use a third colour for scores for folding or details, so the machine knows to cut lighter, make less passes etc.

 

Jo

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On a single sheet is it possible to get the machine to cut some lines twice but not all?

 

I am getting ready to cut the down waiting room for Brent (timber construction), it will consist of a 20thou inner sheet (with oversized window openings), 10 thou layer for the window detail, 20thou wall (with the planks scribed on) and another 10 thou for the framing.) 

Ideally I would like to single cut the plank detail on the 20thou layer, while double cutting the windows / doors / outline.  I know I could do it as two "prints" but I am a little worried about alignment. (I also thought about using Evergreen sheet for the planked version, however I previously found when using embossed brick that the blade catches on the raised detail and causes errors).

 

 

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I find 20 thou takes 4 or 5 cuts and still need snapping out.

 

10 thou with 4 pass.

 

I did try two layers and ended up with registration out.

 

The answer is somewhere in the last 100 pages, but direct link to post no longer works. Hopefully someone will post it up.

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15 minutes ago, The Fatadder said:

On a single sheet is it possible to get the machine to cut some lines twice but not all

Hi Rich,

Yes, if you do the lines different colours (like in the window cutting comment I posted a few posts previous) and set cut by colour.

By using different settings, or creating different presets, you can make each cut a different style. Say for argument's sake single cut on the red lines, then choose a different setting to give you a double cut on blue lines.

 

Jo

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1 minute ago, Steadfast said:

Hi Rich,

Yes, if you do the lines different colours (like in the window cutting comment I posted a few posts previous) and set cut by colour.

By using different settings, or creating different presets, you can make each cut a different style. Say for argument's sake single cut on the red lines, then choose a different setting to give you a double cut on blue lines.

 

Jo

Thanks, I didn’t realise it could do that.  Will have to do some editing to the CAD and have a go

 

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Here's a sample of the multi coloured art work. And if you're wondering, it's an AAR multi socket. I draw my artwork in Illustrator, but there should be a way in whatever software you use.

Untitled.jpg.006280fa6dcb21e4e6268fa4dd8d1b41.jpg

Green lines are cut first, then the red. both a full cuts. Yellow is a score line to help break away the material (like mentioned inside windows further up) so is a shallower cut. Blue is cut finally, to allow the 'fret' to be removed from the rest of the sheet. The layers, once cut, stack up to form a 3D item.

 

Jo

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Hi,

I hope I can remember all this advice that is being shared - I bought myself a Curio Cutter almost 2 years ago and haven't unpacked it yet!

I have been trying to teach myself Inkscape and am using the exercise to develop a set of drawings for the platform buildings at Singleton, West Sussex,  for my embryonic layout,  to then translate across to the cutter.

I have copies of the original drawings from The Network Rail Archive,  and whilst they show the style of building,  they don't represent what was actually built!

Best wishes

Richard

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 25/06/2021 at 11:22, JCL said:

 

You are a man of great resolve! The others have given great advice, so I hope it works well for you.

 

Yes - there is a lot of great advice through the years.  I can't thank you enough for starting the thread.  Thanks also to @MikeTricefor the Inkscape threads.

 

On the topic of great advice, this seems useful: Silhouette CAMEO 4 Cut Settings: How to Find The Best Settings for ANY Material (said the man who still doesn't actually own a cutter).

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I had a problem with my Cameo 4 auto blade end cap and thought it worth sharing the experience. 

 

I was going to cut a part in plastic sheet but first decided to check my design on cheap card (Cornflake box). My cutting mat is not as sticky as it had been so I taped the ends of the card but not the sides. Part way through cutting, the side nearest the mat edge popped up mid cut. The edge of the card lined up perfectly with the end cap. Cue cogging noises. I threw 6 and started again but the blade was no longer cutting properly.

 

A quick examination showed the removable end cap thread was broken.

 

S001.jpg.5e89d365b1863fc115739ac16a69e364.jpg

 

Closer inspection showed the cap surround was also split.

 

S002.jpg.3dd1d15c720cac3db2361e736806d2ad.jpg

 

Whilst ordering a replacement blade, I noticed on a certain auction site packs of 4 replacement caps <link> at £4 a pack plus £2 p & p. I decided to get a pack more in hope than expectation.

 

When it arrived I found each part was a combination of the removable cap and the outer surround. It is far more robust than the original.

 

S003.jpg.aacda3d5b047c2626aa7cb07594ea08d.jpg

 

I had removed the original surround by carefully prising it out. It was held in by 3 clips.

 

S004.jpg.11b6a6e8228dbf873d275f30a4177df2.jpg

 

The new cap fitted without any problem having made sure its 3 tangential slots lined up with the 3 retaining clips. I tested it by manually setting/resetting the blade depth. All fine.

 

S005.jpg.b6353e7c2a1f9f74d44bf715cbce0ffd.jpg

 

I gave it a whizz on the Kellog special and all was well.

 

I also cut the plastic part out without any problem or loss of accuracy.

 

I think this end cap will last. It was certainly a lot cheaper than a whole new blade. 

 

Not being able to unscrew the end cap could cause problems cleaning dust out of the blade - I would have you use a vacuum cleaner. It would also be a challenge to remove it from the cutter since the removable end cap allows access to the three retaining clips. I suspect it would have to be trepanned.

    

I noticed on the web page for the part there is (or was) a small photo...

 

s-l500.jpg.c096a0555d80aad493be5784fa103219.jpg

 

It would appear my experience is not unique. 

 

The Cameo 4 has more grunt than the previous cutters. It appears the cap on the auto blade 4 is not up to handling this increased stress.

 

Ian.

Edited by Ian Major
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've just fired up InkScape for the first time, following @MikeTrice's Using Inkscape to produce cutting files tutorial, and was immediately struck how the current version (1.1) doesn't have an obvious mechanism to accurately control the location of an object (e.g. rectangle), without needing to open the XML editor.  I can change the rectangles width, height and corner radii easily enough, but not it's X and Y co-ordinates.  Judging from the screen shots earlier in this thread, it used to have such a feature.

 

That got me wondering whether InkScape, which is basically a drawing program, is the right tool in 2021 for the task of creating 2D CAD drawings for input into Silhouette Studio.  A quick search suggested LibreCAD as a free (open-source) 2D CAD program that (according to Wikipedia) "uses the AutoCAD DXF file format internally for import and save files".

 

Does anyone have experience with LibreCAD (or any other free 2D CAD program) for this purpose?

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Inkscape never pretends to be CAD rather a graphics program. Having said that I have used it to produce both accurate 2D drawings and etching artwork. @chris p bacon also uses it for etching artwork. At the end of the day use whichever piece of software suits you that can be imported into Silhouette Studio.

 

In Inkscape the x,y location of an object does not appear when you first draw the object but rather when you select it, then the x,y coordinate appears in the toolbar.

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30 minutes ago, MikeTrice said:

@chris p bacon also uses it for etching artwork.

 

I do, but I have to work around it a little with the etchers. I find Inkscape a really useful program (Helped by Mike Trice's tutorial )  but there are others out there that would no doubt work well with Silhouette.

I now find that my Silhouette is used to create parts to check whether an etch will fit together, a sheet of plastic is much cheaper than a test etch!

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18 hours ago, MikeTrice said:

In Inkscape the x,y location of an object does not appear when you first draw the object but rather when you select it, then the x,y coordinate appears in the toolbar.

 

Hmmm - I have no idea why I didn't see that before. but I do now.  Many thanks for your patient response.

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On 26/06/2021 at 21:28, Steadfast said:

As well as adding the X in the centre, drawing the horizontal and vertical lines separately, and making them a different colour will give you a much sharper corner. The machine will cut each line independently rather than trying to to turn a 90 degree corner, rounding the edge in the process.

Make all the horizontals one colour, and all the verticals another. I tend to use a third colour for scores for folding or details, so the machine knows to cut lighter, make less passes etc.

 

Jo

 

Hi Jo,   

 

I also recognise this problem of not quite finished corners.  Are you saying if I choose different colours for lines (horizontals and verticals as you describe) the machine will just know to cut them separately regardless of colour etc ?

 

Andy

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6 minutes ago, wagonbasher said:

 

Hi Jo,   

 

I also recognise this problem of not quite finished corners.  Are you saying if I choose different colours for lines (horizontals and verticals as you describe) the machine will just know to cut them separately regardless of colour etc ?

 

Andy

No need to answer the above, I have found yours and others previous quotes on the topic and I can see the functionality in my own silhouette sofware.

 

thank you anyway

 

Andy

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Must admit I always cut each of my windows out as a single continuous cut, with no issues, on my original Portrait. 

 

10 thou plasticard, 3 passes, downforce 33 and blade 10.

 

 

FB_IMG_1627192595993.jpg

FB_IMG_1627192602404.jpg

Edited by CloggyDog
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12 minutes ago, CloggyDog said:

Must admit I always cut each of my windows out as a single continuous cut, with no issues, on my original Portrait. 

 

10 thou plasticard, 3 passes, downforce 33 and blade 10.

 

 

FB_IMG_1627192595993.jpg

FB_IMG_1627192602404.jpg

 

Ok, But your prototype does have rounded corners...  At least I hope it does

 

Andy  :)

 

 

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4 minutes ago, wagonbasher said:

 

Ok, But your prototype does have rounded corners...  At least I hope it does

 

Andy  :)

 

 

That prototype does, but I've done square corners successfully too. 

 

Ymmv, of course. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm edging into purchasing a cutter, and decided to invest some time to dispel my confusion around the various Silhouette blades.  Here's what I found:

 

Type A: older, smaller body, fits older machines, fits newer machines with an adaptor

  • Autoblade (P2, C3)
  • Ratchet – black (all?) – aka Fabric (same blade, just different colour)
  • Premium (all?)
  • Deep-cut (P2, C3, Curio)
  • Kraft 2mm (P2, C3, Curio)
  • Stippling (Curio)
  • Embossing - fine and wide (Curio)

Type B: larger body, auto-detect, newer machines

  • Autoblade (P3, C4s1)
  • Manual 1mm – light purple (P3, C4s1) – aka Premium and/or Ratchet
  • Manual 2mm – dark purple (P3, C4s1) – aka Deep -cut
  • Kraft 2mm – light orange (P3, C4s1)

Type C: larger body, auto-detect, newer machines

  • Kraft 3mm – dark orange (C4s2)
  • Rotary (C4s2)

 

So, specific learnings:

  • If you want to make use of the higher pressure provided by the Cameo 4 slot 2, you have to use the Kraft 3mm blade, which, as @Ian Major identified above, is wide and doesn't turn easily.
  • As far as I can tell, there is no difference between the Autoblade and the Manual 1mm blade, excepting the obvious.  A quick survey shows that the Autoblade is cheaper, which I was not expecting.
  • I guess that the Kraft 2mm is similar to the Kraft 3mm in construction, and that the Manual 2mm is similar to the Manual 1mm, thereby explaining the different between the two 2mm blades.
  • I guess that once upon a time the Premium blade was better than the standard, but that all blades are now "premium".
  • People ignore the Rotary blade as being for fabric. It has a small cutting wheel, rather than a blade, but might be the thing for low-grade cardboard or material with a surface grain as it is less likely to be caught by the imperfections???

Key: P2 = Portrait 2, P3 = Portrait 3, C3 = Cameo 3, C4s1 = Cameo 4 slot 1, C4s2 = Cameo 4 slot 2.

 

And yes, I know about the CB09 blades.  Other comments and corrections are welcome.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I use DXF files to go from Illustrator (and before that Inkscape) to Silhouette Studio and have never had a problem.

I'm always a touch sceptical of the these articles telling you about "problems" and include affiliate links so they make a bit when you purchase the "solution".

 

The only issue is Studio doesn't always size the imported file correctly, but adding a box of known dimensions around your design and resizing in Studio if needed solves it in about 30 seconds.

 

Jo

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