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Plotter Cutter Tests - On Members Workbenches. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Mon Sep 30th, 2013 11:54 pm
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paul_l
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Hi Mike

I tend to use the blue blade all the time - too lazy to change it I suppose.
As the majority of what I cut is cardboard box stock, with the printed paper stuck to it, Scalescene etc, or 160 / 300 gsm card that I have printed onto.
Grey board can be cut, but needs a new blade, max pressure and multiple cuts, plus the card needs taping to the cutting mat. But I have had several cuts spolit by the mat slipping. It also make a mess of the cutting mat - grey board fluff on the mat.
I had better results, sticking paper to both sides of the greyboard, making several single cuts, but increasing the depth of cut and pressure after each cut.

If using the Print and cut feature, decide which way you intend to load the paper - landscape or portrait. Then carry out the calibration setup for that mode and record your settings. The values appear different between the two modes. I now use landscape only.

Paul



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 Posted: Tue Oct 1st, 2013 12:26 pm
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katwigan
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Hi, it seems a number of people are still moving forward with various brands  involved. I'm still more than satisfied with the Silhouette Cameo unit. The price of blades was mentioned early on in the thread for these as being around $60 I have to query that because I'm paying between $13 ~ $16 Aus. for OEM Blades. My only concern with the m/c is the thickness limitation on 'good' card of about 0.025" ( Sorry Dinosaur here, about 0.6mm )
 I have routinely been using Avery Self Adhesive Label Paper either to produce window frames or wall panelling using CAD based DXF Files drawn external to the Silhouette program then imported or  Printing complete sections of wall complete with inbuilt 'Registration Marks' onto the label paper, sticking it onto 400gsm card (about 0.021" I think ) and then cutting out the window openings following lines drawn by the onboard  limited but adequate  (so far ) CAD facility.
A couple of examples
 

The building is a model of Coops Clothing Factory from my Wigan Wallgate  model. The windows consist mainly of 2 layers of label paper and the walls have been developed from some "Gimping" (read Photoshopping ) of a couple of photos of the original building ( err no I haven't glued the l/h side wall on quite so misaligned.) That particular wall has 12 vertical rows of windows a bit short on the 23 of the original. The walls are 2 layers of 400gsm with label paper stuck to the outside .
Several more layers to go in some areas to build up the 3D effect
Kevan


 

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 Posted: Tue Oct 1st, 2013 08:10 pm
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paul_l
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Wow

Paul



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 Posted: Sun Oct 6th, 2013 06:32 am
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GreenBR
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That is looking very good well done!!

Stephen



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 Posted: Tue Dec 10th, 2013 07:54 pm
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Dorsetmike
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Just in case anybody else wants to cut parts to build terrace houses, herewith some jpg images to inport to MTC or maybe other cutter software. I cut preprinted brick or stone card, or card with A4 label printed with required texture. For anything requiring more detailed surfaces like patterened brick or ornate lintels or window and door surrounds I cut plain card, print the complete wall with whatever lintels/patterns etc  to label and cut that by hand. For normal straight lintels and cills I use either thin strips of paper or plastic either white, cement or stone coloured. Any of these can be used for low relief or full buildings

As is these are scaled for N gauge, they are similar in appearance to Metcalfe ones, but not identical, idea being they could be used to give some variations and cheaper than kits. For N gauge a bit of juggling should get 4 of the main building parts on an A4 sheet, and probably extend to 6 house terraces, (to fit 4 on an A4 sheet, I do a diagonal flip with alternate ones so the gable ends fit (see 3rd image).

For 4mm obviously you won't get 4 on A4, probably manage 2, you could do the gable end walls separate, or shorten to 2 or 3 houses and join together for longer terraces, maybe doing a copy/paste of the left hand end doorway and window, enlarging the door opening  for a ginnel between houses. For roofs I use Slaters plastic tile card as the roof is normally the most visible part on a layout.

I have recently started using etched windows and doors, so now edit the window and door openings to accept the etches. Other enhancements include the use of cast white metal or resin bay windows dormers and porches, chimney stacks from square or rectangular plastic tube with brick or stone label wrapped round, pots either plastic tube or Scalelink cast white metal.



Use for front, also for rear if no extension is used.


This one is best for  a rearwall where kitchen extensions are to be fitted, can also be used as a front wall for a bit of variety



alternate rear extensions,



This I posted previously, but just to show what can be done with parts from the plotter cutter






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 Posted: Wed Dec 11th, 2013 02:53 pm
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wahiba
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Still thinking about a Cameo. Often watch channel 36 on Freeview in the mornings for a few minutes; presenters are pretty good, topic is a bit repetetive though.
They often have Cameo demos at the weekend so if interested worth looking out for. I watched one and while it was mainly pretty cards the presenter did mention that model railway enthuisasts were also using the system for modelling so model railways are on their radar.

David



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 Posted: Thu Dec 12th, 2013 01:48 am
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Ben Alder
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There's an interesting thread running on the Cameo cutter over on RMweb ATM. Details here-

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/79025-a-guide-to-using-the-silhouette-cameo-cutter/

I think this is going to be a game changer if you are an old fashioned modeller at heart- all things being well, there just might be an HR heritage train appearing on the Far North Line sometime in the near future.....

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 Posted: Sun Jan 12th, 2014 04:51 pm
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wahiba
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Brother enters the scanner cutter market

On the craft channel this weekend, freeview 36, they have been plugging a new machine from Brother. Called the Scan n Cut it is obviously designed to work in a stand alone mode. From a model making point of view the ability to scan an image and then cut it out is the obvious feature. It does not seem to be able to connect to a computer and plot/cut from .dxf files so in that respect is unlike the Cameo.

Worth a look though. It might be what you are after.

Usually manage 10 minutes of the channel, a bit more if the lass with the midlands accent is on. However watched a bit longer for the demo of this machine.

David



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 Posted: Wed Sep 24th, 2014 11:31 pm
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pinpres
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Hi Everyone,

It's some time now since a number of members tried out the KNK Zing machine and I was wondering if the longer-term verdict was still good?

I'm considering buying one shortly and would like confirmation that I will be able to cut out small window frames with, say, several panes (each pane measuring around 4mm x 3mm). Will the internal corners be sharp or rounded? (I'll be using vector files)

I realise that material thickness and type will make a difference, and I have been looking at vinyl, thick paper or styrene. What's your experience, please?

Michael

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 Posted: Thu Sep 25th, 2014 03:05 am
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paul_l
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Hi Michael

Before you buy, have a look at the Pazzels Inspiration Vue. It is getting good revues in the crafting community. Software is not as good as Make the Cut, but a plugin for the Vue to use Make the Cut is in development. The mat loading system is supposed to be a lot more accurate than the KnK Zing. The Zing Air is also available (wireless).

The learning curve and setup took a while, but once mastered the results are good. (I'm still at the grasshopper stage :roll:)

I have yet to spend /devote the effort to learning the software properly, but when I get it right, its worth the effort, and you just keep feeding it card to get multiple copies. I make my slates with the Zing, takes around 20 min to cut an A4 sheets worth, but thats quicker than I can stick them onto the buildings.

Not cheap, and for modeling use only, mine would have struggled to justify itself, but we have had a few 18ths, 21sts and 50th birthdays in the family, and the boss was impressed at the custom cards / labels etc that I've made for her :pathead

Print n Cut mode can still be a little hit and miss, but I put that down more to my lack of knowledge / skill of the software & hardware than the Zings capabilities.

Only problem with using re-cycled cardstock is the thickness and density varies, so the blade cut depth and pressure and speed often needs tweaking to suit.
So the lesson is probably, once you find a cardstock you like stick with it, and document thew settings for future use - a bit like data backups, theory sounds good but will I ever get round to doing it.

HTH

Paul



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 Posted: Thu Sep 25th, 2014 03:09 am
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Dorsetmike
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The terrace house images I posted above have window openings about 6x10mm, I have cut smaller but cutting the smaller inner panes usually tears the thin dividing pieces of frame so I usually use etched brass frames  as the very thin frames around individual panes are much stronger in brass than card, an alternative is to draw the frames onto the glazing material using fine line paint markers, this gives an effect very much like the printed Metcalfe windows except you can do them in different colours. You can also draw curtains with ink marker.

Another advantage of using etched frames or frames drawn on the glazing is that they will be mounted "inside" whereas cutting them as part of the wall they will appear flush not recessed. The same goes for doors, printed, etched or plastic need to be fixed from the "inside". Compare the look of a Metcalfe or Scalescenes kit against some of the cheaper "all in one printed" with no separate doors or windows etc.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 25th, 2014 03:11 am
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paul_l
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Ooops

Forgot to say

I have cut grey board & recycled carboard up to 1mm without issue.
2mm Greyboard needs several passes, increasing deth of cut and pressure between each pass - not overly successful but did work.
Adhesive labels cut realy well, with very fine detail and sharp corners once the blade offset is set correctly - see earlier posts.
I have cut tin foil.
I have not used vinyl but is supposed to cut really easily.
Just starting to try embossing.

Paul



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 Posted: Thu Sep 25th, 2014 03:05 pm
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Dorsetmike
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I've cut mounting board 2.2mm thick (dense heavy card), as Paul says make more passes etc, I can't say I've had any problems with it though, however it's a bit overkill on N gauge models, I usually only use it as a strengthener, especially good for floors  and for roof supports.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 25th, 2014 06:42 pm
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Brookwood
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Hi Michael


I’ve been using the Zing for some time now and have to report that it has now become part of the family. It is easy to use once you have done a few projects and I would recommend playing with it before you attempt any particular project to familiarise yourself with its workings. I know cutting out squares and circles of cardboard sounds boring and you really do want to get onto the complicated stuff, but believe me, there is nothing more frustrating in not being able to get the machine to do what you want because you don’t know how it works and what pressure, speed and depth of cut to use in different materials.


It is a little bit more complicated if you are using an Autocad program to do your drawings as things have to be converted to files that MTC will read. I convert with Inkscape and use PDF files in MTC.


I have been digressing recently into 1/12 scale models but I’ve found that if I can draw it on the computer then I can cut it out. I recently cut some large letters in a strange font out of some 1.5mm thick leather for a project my partner was making. It was ridiculously easy.


There is an article in October issue of Railway Modeller about Computer aided cutting with a different machine.


The only comment I would really make is that I went for the Zing because of its power and the thickness of material it will cut. I was impressed with a video of it cutting 1.5mm balsa wood. Fibre board of that thickness is a bit variable but it still manages. Lots of these machines are designed for cutting vinyl hence limited width but limitless length where thickness of material is not important.


Neat and incredibly complex cuts are easy in thin material, but it would be better to keep to simple shapes in the thicker 1mm plus card. I cut some 4mm x 3mm staircase treads with very sharp corners in 1.2mm cheap fibre card. (see the bottom of page 4 of this thread).


Ultimately whatever you choose is personal and I am very happy with my choice, it does everything I hoped it would.
Best of luck.


Regards


Chris

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 Posted: Thu Sep 25th, 2014 11:03 pm
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pinpres
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Thanks everybody - I'll be buying a Zing in a couple of weeks and I'll let you all know how I go on.

Michael

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