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SCAL vs MTC

I've only ever used MTC with my KNK machines.  I used to own a Silhouette and used their designer edition and liked it well enough, but never got as deep into it as I did on MTC.  That being said, what are the big differences?  I'm considering buying the $59 version of SCAL, but have read where people say it's not as good, but they are never specific as to why.  If MTC is no longer going to be supported/updated, then it's time to move on to software that does have support.  I use the wireframe feature of MTC often, does SCAL offer the same thing?  Perhaps I'm asking in the wrong place.  Just trying to get a feel for SCAL.  Guess I need to buy it and just work with it.

Thanks :)

Comments

  • Di-liteDi-lite Member Posts: 3,026
    Questions you should ask yourself - do you need it for your current machines or does MTC perform well enough.  Getting new software to run your cutting machines is a big decision.  I prefer what I am familiar with and what works for me.  On my silhouette cameo I use MTC direct on the KNK Force I export from MTC and import into C3.  Personally I would only change my software if the new cutting machine required it.  I use Serif Draw to design in initially and then move over to MTC or vice versa.  Scal has had reviews in both realms (as has MTC) of very good to very bad.  It's a matter of taste.
    Have fun, Di, ID 14610
    UK, Cameo, Serif Draw, Win10.
    Link to My Craft Bazaar | Link to Skool | Force Bazaar - Archimedes
    Feel free to use anything in these links.
  • JacksonistaJacksonista Member Posts: 150
    Thanks Di-Lite!  I know that many have added to the 'wishlist', and of course that doesn't appear to be happening any time soon.  So, I was looking for some of these suggestions to possibly be available in SCAL.  For me it's worth the $59 to give it a whirl and try something new.  Of course, I love MTC, but there are some things I wish had been updated by now.

    Thanks again

  • MeFlickMeFlick Member Posts: 8,955
    edited January 28
    To find out the specifics on what is or isn't in SCAL, you should probably ask on the SCAL forum as those who use it regularly can probably better answer and are more likely to be there then here.  However, from my experience, their forum usually has less activity then this one does even now.  

    Since you have KNK machines, there are several KNK Facebook groups including the one for the Force where you might find regular SCAL users.  I believe the Force one has had some discussions on what is the difference between the basic SCAL and the Pro version.  Plus, Sandy has now written a user Manual for SCAL and I believe she has "sections" related to the Pro version additional features. I think you can find it on her website, Iloveknk.com.  ScrappyDew also developed a paid for learn SCAL classroom lessons.

    I have had SCAL since its beginnings and have kept it updated, it is the regular version.  I have never felt the need to update it yet to the Pro version.  I still prefer MTC over SCAL.  SCAL does do somethings MTC doesn't and MTC some things SCAL doesn't.

    You can download the trial version of SCAL and give it a whirl for 15 days so you can see for yourself if you wish to make the purchase and add it to your arsenal.

    edited to correct SCAL trail is only for 15 days.
    Post edited by MeFlick on
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    Cutting with 18" Silver Bullet and a KNK Force (the rest are collecting dust!)
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 6,936
    I've started a comparison list between MTC and SCAL but it's not ready for final publication yet.  The two programs have a lot of similarities but it still takes some time to adjust to SCAL (or to any other vector program when you're accustomed to another).  

    Because I was recently asked this same question on a Yahoo group, I'll copy/paste the response I provided there. The list below only refers to the regular version of SCAL and is based on my experience and opinion only.  

    Note that I enjoy having both programs at my disposal. Thus, I'm not abandoning MTC nor suggesting that any MTC owner should. I'm simply answering the question. 

    SCAL Cons:

    You can’t have two projects open at the same time. You can open a new instance of SCAL, but not copy/paste between the two projects.  However, you can have more than one page in a project, just like with MTC.

    You cannot permanently install OPF fonts… you have to open an OPF font each time you want to use it and convert that text to path before saving the file.

    You cannot import a raster PDF… only vector PDF’s.

    Exporting as a raster doesn’t include options, like it does in MTC. Thus  you cannot put a water mark or shadowing or transparent background on the raster image.

    SCAL doesn’t have short cut keys for equal spacing (not a big deal unless you’re a rhinestone designer).

    You cannot easily fill a shape with a raster image like you can in MTC.  It’s possible, but not using an easy Join and Break method.

    There’s no thumbnail viewer for seeing SCUT files in Windows Explorer, like there is for MTC files.

    No customizable Auto save feature… however, when SCAL crashes it will reopen the last file at some auto-saved point. You just can’t choose how frequently files are saved.

    There’s no 3d simulation for the cupcake/tumbler wrapper feature, like there is in MTC.

    The pixel tracing feature isn’t quite as good as MTC’s.  It has a lot of the same capability, but I get slightly better tracing in MTC. 

    The SCAL forum doesn't have the same "community participation" as the MTC forum.

     

    SCAL Pros:

    SCAL has a true Mac version and complete metric functionality (as an option).

    You can customize the grid (spacing of lines), including showing or hiding it.

    Customizable Library allows you to create your own subfolders and even import entire folders of SVG files at once.

    You can save both files and fonts to a Favorites folder for quick access. 

    You can change the font used after adding the text to the virtual mat.

    There is a Line Fill function for engraving or coloring in projects. You can also have multiple crossing lines (hatch fill feature). 

    For most cutters, there are existing presets for about 20 materials plus the ability to add your own (in MTC, only the Zing allows you to add presets).

    SCAL has a stroke function so that you can add colored borders to your shapes (with your choice of thickness)… nice for PNC projects.  Of course, you can use the Shadow funtion in MTC to do the same... just takes more steps.

    You can drag layers up and down on the Layers Panel with your mouse and actually move layers into folders. 

    There are lots of interesting design features, including Knockout, Wave, Canned, Bulge, Barrel Distortion, and Text Crawl.

    There is a Bridge function for easily stenciling designs.

    The marquee zoom feature makes is very easy to zoom in on a particular area of the screen. 

    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Air
    Need help with your KNK? Visit this link: http://knkusa.com/contact/
    KNK / MTC Videos: http://bit.ly/1kmAcoO
    Latest KNK / MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • leslie6111leslie6111 Member Posts: 2,307
    edited January 28
    @SandyMcC, also add to your list that SCAL has that gradient texture capability that cannot be reproduced in MTC even when using nested duplicate color. It also has some prestored textures available. I just wish you can move the textures between the programs in svg format. Also the svg's in scal save some of the page information so that you can do wiziwig type of cutting in the force's software with svg's made in SCAL but not MTC. On the con side the node editing tools in scal are cumbersome and so I still primarily use MTC. And yes if you ask a question in the SCAL forum it goes nowhere. I haven't corresponded to a greater group of people than in the MTC forum. I feel we had a real community going.
  • SharonS_579SharonS_579 Member Posts: 164
    Add that MTC has a gallery of saved projects that users can share with each other - in SCAL you have to buy projects.  With SCAL, you can change the font of text, in MTC, you have to create a new text box to use a different font.
    Sharon Greenwood, Indiana
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 6,936
    Add that MTC has a gallery of saved projects that users can share with each other - in SCAL you have to buy projects.  With SCAL, you can change the font of text, in MTC, you have to create a new text box to use a different font.
    At SCAL's forum you can find several thousand free SVG files shared by SCAL owners.  It's not as handy as the MTC Gallery nor has as many files.
    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Air
    Need help with your KNK? Visit this link: http://knkusa.com/contact/
    KNK / MTC Videos: http://bit.ly/1kmAcoO
    Latest KNK / MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • Crazy_Mr_ZingCrazy_Mr_Zing Member Posts: 2,544
    edited January 28
    I would suggest if your determined to give scal a go download the demo and choose similar project you done before and try doing it in scal
    It may take you longer and you may have to stray off and learn how to do certain thing as mtc and scal are quite different is some ways
    Try and stick with it until you project complete what at first seem a strange way often is not so after you do it a few times

    I tried out scal demos a few times and there some function the mtc doesn't have that i have found really great just as mtc has functions that scal doesn't have

    I stick mtc mainly because I familiar and I'm unmotivated to pay for or  learn a new program when mtc works just fine for me
    I Use Zing Air, Make The Cut - Pop Card Studio, WinXP- Win7 -Win10
    Paper Modellers I Revere Marc Hagan-Guirey ----- Yoshinobu Miyamoto ----- Peter Dahmen
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  • JacksonistaJacksonista Member Posts: 150
    Thank you all so much!  I'm going to download the trial version of SCAL.  Can't see spending $199 on the pro version.  I so love MTC I wish wish wish Andy could give it the attention we want him to.  :neutral:  Alas, it would be nice if another programmer could step in and work on MTC.  It is a much-loved program and I'm so comfortable using it.  
    -Jacksonista
  • sandyjsandyj Member Posts: 817
    You don't need the pro version, that is geared more towards businesses with big vinyl cutters. 
    Just MY opinion, your milage will vary. Like "Andy" but with an "S"
  • MichelleMyBelleMichelleMyBelle Member Posts: 4,632
    edited February 5
    Exporting as a raster doesn’t include options, like it does in MTC. Thus  you cannot put a water mark or shadowing or transparent background on the raster image.

    You can Export a raster image with shadowing, apply shadowing to SVG layers for raster  export, with transparent background. All features that were requested by me several updates ago.  :)



     
    Post edited by MichelleMyBelle on
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