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Plotter Cutters - Materials & Tools. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
 Posted: Fri May 15th, 2020 01:34 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 14th, 2013
Location: Keighley, United Kingdom
Posts: 285

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I have a sohouette 3 and must admit to not having used it for a while. However I do plan to do so.

I have only used it with thin card, and it does not always cut that too well. It also struggles a bit with acetate. I have tried it with vinyl and that came out great.

I coughed up for the designer version as I prepare my drawings on a CAD programme first and then save as a dxf file. Biggest nuisance for me is that the software does not seperate out the layers which makes it tricky to colour in.

To get around this I use Drawplus 8 from Serif which accepts dxf and seperates the layers so colouring and filling is straight forward. Serif do not do Drawplus any more and the replacement called Affinity does not accept dxf files. the free programme, GNU accepts dxf but like the Cameo software does not seperate the dxf layers.

Once I have the drawing read on Drawplus I then export if for the Cameo. I have tried various methods but .svg seems to work best. However it is important that the colour for the line to be cut is exclusive to that line as the Cameo software picks the lines to use by colour.

Biggest problem I have found is drawing shrinks a bit in the transfer. Fortunately it is not too difficult to return it to the right size as the ratio is always the same. It is a while since I used it so will have to relearn all this.

Once in the Cameo software all that one needs to do is to print out the drawing with the alignment marks. Generally I have found it plots pretty accurately around the printed parts.

Basically these machines are drawing plotters that have found another life. Before large inkjet printers they wer used for producing drawing from CAD programmes.

Using the alignment mark around a print out requires the mark to have a white background. However, if you just want seam lines I have produced bodies whereby the lines are plotted, a pen in place of the cutter, and finally the cut.

Once you crack it these machine are good for a production line. Being more into the technology than accurate realisation of existing stock I designed the railcars and trams to fit around card rather than the other way.

Currently I am working on converting a downloaded tram card model into a model that can be cut on the cameo. Not as easy I say.

I believe it is also possible to print onto vinyl but have not tried that.

freelance model railways and tramways
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