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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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7 hours ago, aardvark said:

drawn as 4 lines, not a single rectangle

I have been advised that wherever there is a right angle, or indeed any angle between straight lines, to use separate lines, but if there is a curvature between the lines, to do it as a single line. Still haven’t got around to using the cutter I bought 3 years ago, during which time there has been a couple of house moves and the building of a log cabin, and now I have another move impending!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok, like wow 😲.

 

You might recall that I'm using a simple rectangle as a test cut, drawn from four separate lines, with horizontal lines coloured differently from vertical lines.

 

I've just discovered that the so-called Smart Cuts are different, both in number and location, depending on whether I rotate and/or flip my design.  So if you don't like where SS is placing the Smart Cuts, just try rotating your design!

 

So totally unexpected. This software never ceases to amaze, and I don't mean that in a good way.

 

Edit:

My best guess at the moment is that rotating and flipping changes the direction in which lines are cut in No Sort mode.  By default, without sorting, lines are cut left-to-right and top-to-bottom.  If you rotate 90° clockwise, then was-horizontal but now-vertical lines are still cut top-to-bottom, but was-vertical but now horizontal lines are cut right-to-left!

 

Edited by aardvark
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Has anyone tried cutting without a mat?

 

I had hopes of doing so to cut the 317mm side of my loco shed from 1.5mm screenboard, which is longer than the standard 12" mat permits. Alas, it would seem that matless cutting only works with the autoblade, although I have yet to find anywhere that explicitly makes that statement.

 

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I didn't expect that.

 

After much trial (and error), I had figured out how to cut Ace 1.5mm Screenboard. This involves 11 cut configurations with slowly increasing blade depth and then force.  As before, it might be possible to do the cut with less, but I have a combination that works.

 

So, I set up my designs for a number of parts, then moved through the first 6 configurations without major problem.  I loaded the 7th configuration, pressed Send, and was then called for dinner. On returning, I found the Cameo still doing it's thing, but the cutting mat on the floor.  The media itself looked fine with no signs of errant cuts.  I mention this event in case someone has seen this before, or someone sees this in the future.

 

I'll finish the cutting by hand.

 

Despite the setback, I do feel I have an approach that is better than letting the Cameo do what it thinks is best.  Here's the layout in No Sort mode:

 

1863136629_EngineShed-nosort.png.f46da915a2fe8dc2bc2aeb7150ba6fb0.png

 

... and with the default Minimize Roller Movement sort.

 

1017091799_EngineShed-sort.png.6aae86dd10b3db899462e031c2b67966.png

 

I leave you to draw your own conclusion.

 

Edited by aardvark
proofreading seems not to be my superpower
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There is definitely a learning curve with using the Silhouette, something which not appeal to everyone.  And there are times when it doesn't do much for me either.

 

Take the following:

 

1207945356_EngineShed-end-weird.png.cc7ba22a8bd5ced12c23d1c64a01bcda.png

 

For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why there were so many Smart Cuts on the blue lines.  After a fair bit of head scratching and checked that the lines hadn't been rotated or mirrored, I deleted and redrew them all.

 

695764557_EngineShed-end-fixed.png.e7d5044987680147cf139d24232daec0.png

 

Fixed.  I still have no idea what happened there.

 

On happier news, it occurred to me that it is possible to control where the Smart Cuts get placed when using No Sort mode.  Take this design, with an inappropriately placed Smart Cut.

 

2042110400_ControllableSmartCuts-before.png.3480604fa019990dfa953d2b249db33b.png

 

The machine cuts the back-most line first, working it's way forward.  So, you can add a short line in an out-of-the-way place, make sure it's the correct colour and orientation as the problematic Smart Cut, send it to the back, and problem fixed.

 

1756457701_ControllableSmartCuts-after.png.01330147f88a69e0b9cb1453ade6fe0b.png

 

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On 05/07/2022 at 14:25, aardvark said:

The tricks are:

  • drawn as 4 lines, not a single rectangle
  • Smart Cuts enabled
  • Cut Order Setting set to No Sort (Advanced Setting)
  • horizontal and vertical lines cut separately by colour: horizontal lines in one colour, vertical lines in another
  • All cuts with speed=1, passes=1
    • force=1 with blade depth=1,2,3,4,5
    • blade=5 with force=5,10,15,20,25,25,30,30

It's highly likely that it can be done with less cuts. I was interested in proving whether it could be done at all, so took things slowly.

 

Well blow me down and other expressions of surprise.

 

Just now, I cut 20thou plasticard with a C4 and a 3mm Kraft blade in just 2 cuts:

  • Smart Cuts enabled
  • Cut Order Setting set to No Sort (Advanced Setting)
  • horizontal lines in one colour, vertical lines in another, etc
  • blade depth = 5,6 with speed=1, passes=1, force=1

It's easy when you (finally) know how 🙃

 

One thing to be aware of is just how much higher the force is with carriage #2.  For carriage #1, the max force is 210gf, or about 6.4gf/step. With carriage #2, the max force is 5,000gf, or 152gf/step.  So force=1 for carriage #2 is similar to force=23 for carriage #1.

 

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On 03/08/2022 at 17:00, Stubby47 said:

If you draw a rectangle, can you simply recolour the vertical lines?

 

If you draw the rectangle using the rectangle tool: no.  If you draw the rectangle using four lines: yes.

 

Sadly, there's no way to convert a drawn rectangle into four lines. At least not with the free version of Silhouette Studio.

 

Edited by aardvark
Clarified that I was talking about Silhouette Studio.
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It depends on what you use as your drawing tool. It is possible to break a square in Inkscape but it's a convoluted process where you have to change the object to a path. Frustratingly sometimes you have to go through the procedure several times before the line actually changes colour 

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  • 1 month later...

Beware of the latest version of SS v4.5.152: it's "lost" quite a few (but not all) of my custom settings.

 

Not happy Jan. 😡

 

Here's the support request I've just sent them. Should here back in a week or two ...

 

Quote

I am very very very *very* unhappy with Silhouette Studio right now.

 

SS has just ungraded to v4.5.152 from v4.4.945, and most of my custom materials have disappeared, although 3 only remain. Reopening a design that I had cut only last night now says "One or more Material or Action settings used by this document could not be found".

 

Several things no longer function they way they used to be, including custom media sizes, which now defult to "A4 Auto Sheet Feeder", something which I didn't previously have, don't now have, and most likely will never have.

 

Where were they stored, and how can I get them back?

 

Of course, I can't just install v4.4.945, since it insists that I have a newer version installed. I'll have to delete the newer version, which I suspect will delete the remaining custom materials, and I'll have to create them all from scratch.

 

Did I tell you how unhappy I am right now?

 

Not quite a lucid as I might like to have been, but I'm just a touch upset at the moment.

 

I'm a little bit proud of myself that I didn't swear. At least not in print.

 

Edited by aardvark
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22 hours ago, aardvark said:

Beware of the latest version of SS v4.5.152: it's "lost" quite a few (but not all) of my custom settings. 

 

I made that mistake a few weeks back in updating the newer laptop and lost the custom materials I'd set up, plus 'pause' no longer works when cutting. As I'm running a Portrait 1 with manual blade, so need to change the blade depth between my score and cut runs, it's a right pita. 

 

I think/hope the old laptop is still running the older version while I await Silhouette's response to my query. 

 

Drew up and cut sides for BR electric Classes 81/82/83 for a friend yesterday, who's chopping up Bachmann 85s - a 30 thou inner + 20 thou outer with grilles scored in and windows cut out. Even 5 passes at max 10 blade/max 33 force won't cut right through 20 thou (never mind 30 thou!)

 

Here's the 20 thou outer being cut - I had to manually pause as soon as I saw it'd finished the score run and adjust the blade. 

IMG_20220923_222133.jpg

Edited by CloggyDog
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On 23/09/2022 at 17:49, aardvark said:

Beware of the latest version of SS v4.5.152: it's "lost" quite a few (but not all) of my custom settings.

 

Not happy Jan. 😡

 

Here's the support request I've just sent them. Should here back in a week or two ...

 

 

Not quite a lucid as I might like to have been, but I'm just a touch upset at the moment.

 

I'm a little bit proud of myself that I didn't swear. At least not in print.

 

 

After Silhouette providing me with a solution for something other than the problem that I was reporting, they've now given me useful directions, which were to uninstall v4.5.152 and re-install the "legacy" version 4.4.945.  This has restored the missing custom material settings.

 

So my blood pressure is back to normal levels, and have exported my settings to a CSV file.

 

Not sure that I'll risk "upgrading" again.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 03/08/2022 at 14:56, aardvark said:

I cut 20thou plasticard with a C4 and a 3mm Kraft blade in just 2 cuts:

  • Smart Cuts enabled
  • Cut Order Setting set to No Sort (Advanced Setting)
  • horizontal lines in one colour, vertical lines in another, etc
  • blade depth = 5,6 with speed=1, passes=1, force=1

 

 

An update regarding cutting of 20- and 40-thou plasticard with a Cameo 4 and a 3mm Kraft blade.

 

I recently cut the framing for OO-scale engine shed doors in 20-thou. This is the most intricate design I've tried in 20-thou to date. Here's what one door looked like on my screen, after the normal jiggery-pokery to reduce the number of "Smart" cuts.  Interesting, the software didn't deem it necessary to include a "Smart" cut for the purple diagonal at the top of the design, presumedly as it was close enough to the pink ones which were cut before it.

 

1460049038_Enginesheddoors.png.0048b2cf04ac707ef56878e8043ccfa2.png

 

I'm being more patient/conservative with cut parameters these days, and used 6 passes overall with a blade depth of 1,2,3,4,5 with force=1, then 6 with force=2, all with speed=1 and passes=1.  This cuts through, although the corners have to be released with a scalpel. Here's the result.

 

P1170202.JPG.6e76605248f1b6d7fb592aa570e9652e.JPG

 

Inspired by that success, I tried cutting the same design in 40-thou. Regrettably I didn't record the settings, but it was a similar approach, with blade depth 1-12, then increasing the force in steps of 3 until the machine mis-cut, possibly somewhere around force=20, when I aborted the process. I think 20 is too much force, and will try multiple passes at an intermediate force next time.

 

P1170203.JPG.8a192efd41003ab2c2b56a4cdab47b88.JPG

 

The awful cut on the left is what happens when you forget to reset the blade depth from 6 to 1, but the cut on the right correctly started at 1, and was completed by hand.  Here's the result, with the 40-thou on the right.

 

P1170205.JPG.11edf4b03af0da54eb9902d2e83588f9.JPG

 

Up close, the 40-thou is rougher than the 20-thou, probably due to my hand-cutting, but is probably fine at Normal Viewing Distances.

 

Here's the assembled doors using 2x20-thou frames and 2x10-thou planking - each scribed on one side.

 

P1170207.JPG.f009ffbc43c4201c2697aa2363748a9b.JPG

 

Edited by aardvark
proofreading seems not to be my superpower
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I bought a secondhand Cameo 1 recently.

Finally got round to using it yesterday,

and am reasonably happy with the result.

 

I made the mistake of using the wrong mat, which meant the card

didn't peel easily from the mat, but my main problem is that

the finished cut piece is larger that the design it was cut from.

It looks right on the screen, fits on the page ok,

but when it cut, the top of the piece was off the top of the card.

 

Any thoughts/suggestions welcome

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6 minutes ago, rab said:

 

It looks right on the screen, fits on the page ok,

but when it cut, the top of the piece was off the top of the card.

 

Any thoughts/suggestions welcome

 

Is it wrong scale altogether? or just that the start point is too far up the page? If its the latter, you won't be the first person not to realise there are two media loading buttons, one for 'with mat' and the other 'without', if you use the without mat load button, then it starts further up the sheet!

 

Jon

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2 hours ago, jonhall said:

 

Is it wrong scale altogether? or just that the start point is too far up the page? If its the latter, you won't be the first person not to realise there are two media loading buttons, one for 'with mat' and the other 'without', if you use the without mat load button, then it starts further up the sheet!

 

Jon

It is wrong scale.

 

The bottom lh corner of the cut is about where it shows on the screen.

It has enlarged upwards and to the right from that point. 

 

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3 hours ago, rab said:

I bought a secondhand Cameo 1 recently.

Finally got round to using it yesterday,

and am reasonably happy with the result.

 

I made the mistake of using the wrong mat, which meant the card

didn't peel easily from the mat, but my main problem is that

the finished cut piece is larger that the design it was cut from.

It looks right on the screen, fits on the page ok,

but when it cut, the top of the piece was off the top of the card.

 

Any thoughts/suggestions welcome

 

 

In Silhouette there is a measuring tool, did you use that?  Before I start my designs, I make sure that they are the right width and height.

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2 hours ago, jonhall said:

and are you designing the cut in the supplied software, or importing it from elsewhere?

 

Jon

It's an imported dxf file from AutoCAD

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When I produce a drawing in CAD, I draw a box around the work of known dimensions on a different layer and when I import it into the Silhouette software, I make sure that the box is of the correct dimensions and then turn the layer off, before cutting.

 

I got caught out when I 1st started out.

 

 

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Had another play this evening; at least I managed to get all the outline on the page.

I assume that's because I used the load mat option instead of the load media option.

I've measured the  finished piece and it's roughly 2 1/2 times bigger than it should be.

I think it may me a metric-inch conversion problem (1 in = 2.54 cm).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been using a KNK Zing plotter cutter for about 9 years now, mostly for N gauge buildings, according to reviews I read before buying it's faster than the Silhouette and will cut thicker material - but cost quite a bit more. Cutting mat is 15" square.

The software that came with it I found very easy to use and also easy to import and export from/to jpg and other image formats, for example I can scan etched brass doors and windows into  photo editing software, export it to the cutter software (keeping the size exact) and position where required as many times as required.

I can get two 6 house terraces (or 4 low relief) on an A4 sheet which the Zing will cut in about 5minutes or less - unlike the hour or so by hand.

Imges, the Zing, the silhouette is what is typical  sent to the Zing, some cut parts for 4 house terraces plus etched doors and windows (Peedie models)  4th image front row from the Zing, back row Kits, (Metcalf and Peedie), the dormers and bay windows on the RH end are cast white metal from Scale link


 

zing.jpg

6terpc.jpg

modl2.jpg

xmpl.jpg

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