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Weird Cut Lines with MTC and ECraft

Howdy All!

I am desperate for assistance with this issue I am having cutting on my ecraft. First of all, 3 days of struggles with the stupid machine just to get everything lined up to do PNC was enough to send anyone over the cliff! But now that it is finally solved and actually cutting something useful (for the first time in its 5 year life) I have started getting these odd cuts showing up in my project. It will print fine 10 - 15 times...then the weirdness happens. Other times it happens after 2 or 3 cuts.  Sometimes turning machine off and on helps. Sometimes closing mtc and re-opening helps. Sometimes deleting the cut layer and re-pasting it helps. But I can't figure out how to actually solve the problem. Here's a photo of the issue:



Now the weird thing is this:

Sometimes those cut lines are the last thing it cuts. Sometimes, they are cut in the beginning. Sometimes they are on the right and sometimes they are on the left. And once it was kind enough to cut on the right, on the left and once in the middle for good measure!

Nothing is changing in the cut file. I just keep cutting and it starts happening randomly. (Of course then I sometimes change the file if I remove and re-paste the cut layer.) But the point is - the cut file is fine. I purchased it from svgcuts.com so it's a professional file. There is nothing I can see on the actual file to cause this.

If you have any idea what the issue might be or how to solve it (short of tossing the machine) I'd greatly appreciate your input.

Thanks so much,
Julie

ETA: Since it's been over 24 hours with my post sitting here as a draft and still not approved and posted into the forum, I've had more opportunity to photograph the errors. Here's a shot of cuts in the center and right side.


Comments

  • Crazy_Mr_ZingCrazy_Mr_Zing Member Posts: 2,486
    I that odd
    That looks like a pillow box pattern is it ?
    I know nothing about the ecraft cutter
    MTC the cut is fully registered?
    You don't have any other cutting software open
    You could try flattening the paths
    I Use Zing Air, Make The Cut - Pop Card Studio, WinXP- Win7 -Win10
    Paper Modellers I Revere Marc Hagan-Guirey ----- Yoshinobu Miyamoto ----- Peter Dahmen
    Gallery ID #26944 ----- Link to My Cloud Have a Look your Welcome to Make Use of the Files
  • Crazy_Mr_ZingCrazy_Mr_Zing Member Posts: 2,486
    edited March 30
    Just to eliminate there is not an issue with the file your using

    I created a pillow box file on templatemaker.nl

    Maybe just leave the print and Cut part for now and see if you can get your machine cutting correctly first

    Test Pillow Box.mtc
    I Use Zing Air, Make The Cut - Pop Card Studio, WinXP- Win7 -Win10
    Paper Modellers I Revere Marc Hagan-Guirey ----- Yoshinobu Miyamoto ----- Peter Dahmen
    Gallery ID #26944 ----- Link to My Cloud Have a Look your Welcome to Make Use of the Files
  • leslie6111leslie6111 Member Posts: 2,253
    I could never get my ecraft to work with MTC.  It is no longer supported from the manufacturer. It also only does pnc with the hinge method. When my zing was in the shop - my ecraft was so frustrating to use - I ended up selling it for the postage to someone who wanted to cut construction paper. Now I have the zing as a back up cutter and use the knk force. I think it is time if you could afford it to buy a better cuter.
     
  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 9,188
    @mizjewels - sorry to hear of your troubles. I was not aware the posts were being moderated, so that's rather unusual. Are you sure you didn't just forget to click Post Comment? The posts haven't been moderated since inception, that I am aware of.

    Your troubles are indicative of the reason that the unpopularity of the ecraft cutters, and why they are not being sold anymore as I understand it. I think Leslie pretty much summed it up...time to purchase a better cutter, or start saving for one. =)
  • MeFlickMeFlick Member Posts: 8,932
    Bryan noted in a pm to the OP and a few of us who had replied on another thread (which he then edited) regarding the post not posting and  appearing to need "approved": 

    " Your discussion was put into a Spam queue automatically by the forum software (Vanilla).  It usually catches spammers, but occasionally catches valid posts. . ."
    Go Vols!
    image
    Cutting with 18" Silver Bullet and a KNK Force (the rest are collecting dust!)
  • mizjewelsmizjewels Member Posts: 7
    MTC the cut is fully registered?
    You don't have any other cutting software open
    You could try flattening the paths
    Yes MTC is registered. I don't have any other cutting software on this pc, and I've already tried the various MTC offerings to smooth and minimize the path.

    Just to eliminate there is not an issue with the file your using

    I created a pillow box file on templatemaker.nl

    Maybe just leave the print and Cut part for now and see if you can get your machine cutting correctly first

    Test Pillow Box.mtc

    Thank you so much for that! I like it better than mine as you have the little finger tab in there. Yours cuts fine also. However the issues comes up when I'm cutting a lot of them in succession.  I'd love to send you my file and see if you can find anything wrong with it. I just don't know if I'm allowed to do that with a purchased svg used in a MTC file. Let me know...

    I could never get my ecraft to work with MTC.  It is no longer supported from the manufacturer. It also only does pnc with the hinge method. When my zing was in the shop - my ecraft was so frustrating to use - I ended up selling it for the postage to someone who wanted to cut construction paper. Now I have the zing as a back up cutter and use the knk force. I think it is time if you could afford it to buy a better cuter.
     

    Hi Leslie - Well my ecraft is working fine with MTC, and it's also doing PNC without any hinge, as evidenced by my pile of completed pillow boxes below. I bought this to use in my classroom which I never really got to do before health issues made it necessary to stop teaching. It really has never been used, up until this need for it. So I don't think I'd be willing to spend hundreds more $ on a different machine to be used only occasionally. I'd prefer to stick with what I've got. Should this become something I have to do more often - then I'd be willing to discuss a new machine with my employer (since what I'm using it for is for them).


    I really appreciate you guys jumping in to offer assistance and advice. I'm wondering if I would have been better served cutting this with tabs so I wouldn't have to use a mat with it. I am starting to think the mat is the issue. Do you think it's possible, as the mat is rolling around in there, the cardstock raises and lowers? If so, that might explain the cuts - they could be happening as the mat is moving and at the same time the cutting head is moving, and if the cardstock pops up a little, perhaps it's getting sliced in the process?  But that would mean, the blade is out even when the cutter is not actively cutting. Does anyone know if that's the case with the ecraft- is the blade always poking out when it's in use? If it's just sitting there (on but not being used) and I run my finger over the blade area, it is not protruding. I was using restickable adhesive on the mat as well as painter's taping the cardstock to try to prevent shifting and movement - but I guess anything is possible.

    It's a mystery to me, and certainly seems random. I've love to share the file and see if anyone sees anything I've missed. Please let me know if I can do so. I originally posted this a few days ago - so by the time it showed up today - I've already completed my task and have finished the PNC for all the pieces I need. The ecraft did pull through and perform its function, just likely with a bigger scrap pile than most other machines...

    Happy Cutting!
    Julie
  • Crazy_Mr_ZingCrazy_Mr_Zing Member Posts: 2,486
    edited March 31
    Not sure actually looking at the file would show up much
    as you at times have got this file to cut successfully means this probable not solely a file issue if at all
    I'm guessing this might be more about the ecraft be able to process the data it was given. the amount of date it was given or the speed the data was sent
    Ecraft cutters appear to have a history of misbehaviour
    Curved line can often contain a huge number of nodes and segments

    It could be the card lifting i guess but I'd expect partial cuts or scratches rather the cuts all the way though . But I don't know much about the ecraft?

    You could compare the file I sent with yours
    on your file select all the cut/fold like click on the wrench the select view path detail
    this is the page details for my file
    This might give a indication of the difference in the amount of date the ecraft had to process cutting you file compared to the file I sent




    I'm think one way of overcoming this may have been to cut each box as a separate process but having never used a ecraft not sure how that would fit with your print and cut method

    The File I send you was created on http://www.templatemaker.nl/  which is a free webpage with many options for creating custom sized packaging templates

    It quite easy to use
    click the more options link under the item you wish to create
    enter the measurements required
    choose the file format
    if you choose SVG chek the general use option if importing to MTC
    select the download chek box
    click on create
    save the file then import to mtc
    I Use Zing Air, Make The Cut - Pop Card Studio, WinXP- Win7 -Win10
    Paper Modellers I Revere Marc Hagan-Guirey ----- Yoshinobu Miyamoto ----- Peter Dahmen
    Gallery ID #26944 ----- Link to My Cloud Have a Look your Welcome to Make Use of the Files
  • leslie6111leslie6111 Member Posts: 2,253
    You did ask rhetorically if it was time to get another cutter - for which I agree since most new cutters on the market can run rings around the ecraft. Other cutters use a laser or optical drive to lie up what you see on the screen and what you cut - the hinge method doesn't mean a physical hinge it is in reference in how you have to figure out how the cutter is cutting the shape manually. Any way, the ecraft can cut large shapes like your pillow box but would fail miserably on any sort of intricate cutting. Any it doesn't emboss at all. The penning ability is also limited to the pen that comes in the ecraft. It really is a personal choice and how much you like to make things with a cutter.
  • mizjewelsmizjewels Member Posts: 7

    You could compare the file I sent with yours
    on your file select all the cut/fold like click on the wrench the select view path detail
    this is the page details for my file
    This might give a indication of the different in the amount of date the ecraft had to process cutting you file compare you the file is sent




    Here is the info from my file - which appears to have less gobbledygook than yours does (I think).






    I'm think one way of overcoming this may have been to cut each box as a separate process but having never used a ecraft not sure how that would fit with your print and cut method

    Do you mean I should only try cutting one pillowbox at a time? That might be less stressful on the machine?


    The File I send you was created on http://www.templatemaker.nl/  which is a free webpage with many options for creating custom sized packaging templates

    It quite easy to use
    click the more options link under the item you wish to create
    enter the measurements required
    choose the file format
    if you choose SVG chek the general use option if importing to MTC
    select the download chek box
    click on create
    save the file then import to mtc

    Holy cow what a find that site is!!! Thanks so much for the link and instructions! :)

    Julie
  • Crazy_Mr_ZingCrazy_Mr_Zing Member Posts: 2,486
    That is interesting you file does appear to have less of nodes segment etc than mine
    But yours appears to be made of bezier curves and mine of all lines
    Beyond my knowledge is processing bezier curves if more difficult hat processing many lines segments

    Flatten paths is often suggested for files that have cutting problems
    I never really put much thought into why

    If you where to select all the lines on your file click the wrench and the flatten paths I think? that would convert all the beziers in to line segments
    Not sure if that would be of benefit or not
     
    Yes I was meaning you could try only try cutting one pillowbox at a time?

    I Use Zing Air, Make The Cut - Pop Card Studio, WinXP- Win7 -Win10
    Paper Modellers I Revere Marc Hagan-Guirey ----- Yoshinobu Miyamoto ----- Peter Dahmen
    Gallery ID #26944 ----- Link to My Cloud Have a Look your Welcome to Make Use of the Files
  • juliefesjuliefes Member Posts: 4,784
    My ecraft is sitting idle because I could never get it to consistently cut in the same place. 
  • Di-liteDi-lite Member Posts: 2,930
    My ecraft ended up as a paper weight and I passed it on - never did crack it - it didn't do what it said on the box!!
    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.
  • Chubby_NinjaChubby_Ninja Member Posts: 18
    You may also be better off learning how to use a vector design app like Inkscape, you can make very efficient shapes with very little nodes, much neater designs and cleaner cuts. I personally use Illustrator but I suggest Inkscape because its free and easy to use. You can then make custom designs to suit your needs. You can export your own designs to SVG and import them into MTC.

    Personally, from what I have seen of some purchased designs, they are poorly designed, messy, not always well laid out, nor optimised and efficient. As an example, an arc should have no more than 2 or 3 nodes any more than that is just bad design. The less info a cutter has to interpret the better the cuts.

    It would be interesting to see which software creates the most efficient design.

    https://inkscape.org/en/


  • BobkatBobkat Member Posts: 787
    Are you using the continuous paper feed or feeding them in individually?  I know people had trouble with the continuous feed but can remember if it was the feed or cut.  
  • mizjewelsmizjewels Member Posts: 7
    juliefes said:
    My ecraft is sitting idle because I could never get it to consistently cut in the same place.

    Yes I can see how one could have that frustration. I am doing pretty well right now actually. Of course I am using a placemat as a cutting mat - which I shouldn't "have to" - but it's working. I think if I had a cricut mat with lines on it, it would be even easier. I'm doing another PNC right now with a business card holder using the mat I made for the pillow boxes and only needed 2 test cuts to line up the biz card holder for PNC.

    Here's what I'm finding - in case there's anyone who still has an ecraft and should find they need to use it ....

    I prepped the placemat as instructed by Purple Paper Paradise. I drew a line up one inch from the front edge. This line lines up with channel the cutter head runs on when inserting from the front (no I haven't done tray cutting). The 2nd line one inch further back is the line I use to line up the paper. It's put on the line and nudged up tight to the left of the mat. Mat is inserted from the front and nudged up tight to the left side when entering machine. (Cutter head is sitting all the way to left).

    On the MTC mat, I have to give one inch along the bottom and one inch along the left. So if I was placing a square, the bottom left corner would be at 11x1. This results in cutting about 1/2" from the left edge, and right to the bottom. When using PNC, I place my print portions and then generally have to move them left about 1/2"  when doing the printing.

    It's a weird set-up for sure, but it's working for me right now. Of course 6 months from now if I try to use it again I won't remember. So that's part of the reason for putting it in this post so I can find it again! LOL

    I know I would be better off with a new machine, but can't justify that expense right now.

    Thanks so much to everyone who assisted/commented on this thread.
  • Crazy_Mr_ZingCrazy_Mr_Zing Member Posts: 2,486
    No More Random Cuts with this Project ? if not guess those random line where just somehow related to that file

    I Use Zing Air, Make The Cut - Pop Card Studio, WinXP- Win7 -Win10
    Paper Modellers I Revere Marc Hagan-Guirey ----- Yoshinobu Miyamoto ----- Peter Dahmen
    Gallery ID #26944 ----- Link to My Cloud Have a Look your Welcome to Make Use of the Files
  • mizjewelsmizjewels Member Posts: 7
    Nope - no random cuts so far on this project. However, I only needed to cut a few, whereas the other project had the machine running all day for like 3 days. So that could be a part of it too perhaps?
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