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Resolution of Silhouette machines

runcyclexcskiruncyclexcski Member Posts: 4
Hi all,

I found this web site while trying to find specs for resolution, accuracy, and precision of Silhouette machines, before deciding whether to get one. I cut in a material called 'parafilm', also known in europe as Nescofilm, it behaves like soft mylar, 4 mil (100 microns) thick. Would the S machine be able to produce an array of rectangular channels, e.g. 1 mm (40 mil) wide and 5 mm (200 mil) long, spaced 1.5 mm (60 mil) from each other, without cumulative errors (<1%) over an area 25x25 mm?  If the maker could publish a test pattern for specs that would be great, but of course they don't. 

I currently make these by hole-punching 10 pairs of holes using a jig milled in tough plastic on an end-mill, and connecting holes pair-wise by hand with a razor blade. 

Comments

  • Di-liteDi-lite Member Posts: 3,151
    I know nothing about the new silhouettes - although I do own a cameo silhouette.  I would expect a hundred percent accuracy even on such fine detail - but I know I would have to find the correct cut depth along with the correct speed to achieve this.  Maybe someone with a KNK machine can advise you further on their expectations of accuracy.
    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.
  • Crazy_Mr_ZingCrazy_Mr_Zing Member Posts: 2,806
    Depending on you location and if your budget would meet one of the KNK machine
    It might be possible to have your material or similar test cut to your pattern and then see if it meets your expectations
    I other thought I had was if a custom steel rule die and manual cutter would be a better option


    I Use Zing Air, Make The Cut - Pop Card Studio, WinXP- Win7 -Win10
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  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,064
    The biggest issue is the 1mm wide channel due to the swivel radius of the blade. It will be a challenge for any blade to cut a nice sharp rectangle at such a small width. 
    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit
    Need help with your KNK? Visit this link: http://knkusa.com/contact/
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest KNK / MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • GabeGabe Moderator Posts: 4,374
    edited April 27
    It would seem to me that your best bet would be a custom die.  There are people on the forum who can give you more info about this than I, so I hope they will notice this thread.  I just recall, barely, a discussion about have dies made for other very precise work.  

    Edited:  I did some searching on the forum and found a couple of discussions that might be helpful.

    @susan_ID2293 said this in Feb. 2013; "I have had lots of Accucut custom dies made for notecards, frames and journals. I have spent between $50 and $80 each for the dies boards that are about 10"x 12" (The Accucut Jumbo size). They determine the price by the intricacy of the design. Simple notecards and invitations with crease lines run about $50 to $70 each."

    In October of 2016, @SandyMcC said this: "...if you are mass producing the same exact design with employees, it would make more sense to use steel rule dies and at least something like this:  http://www.accucutcraft.com/grandemark-2-die-cutting-machine.html "

    Good luck with your quest.
  • runcyclexcskiruncyclexcski Member Posts: 4
    Thank you all for insightful comments. I, indeed, do not change my designs that often, perhaps once in 6 months. Each time I come up with a new design I hope it is 'the final' one, and yet 6 months later I find reasons to improve it yet again. Nevertheless, if a custom manual die could be made for under $100 that could be used, say 100 times before it needs to be re-made (or can they be sharpened) it would be OK.

    I suppose, my main problem is that I did not quite understand how the Siluoete machine worked: does the knife blade move up and down many times a second, thus creating tiny incisions, parallel to the intended outline (i.e. the first derivative)? In that case, if I used the narrowest blade, it might work for my 1 mm  channels? I do not mind if the cut goes a bit 'beyond' the corner.

    As an engineer, I wonder if curved blades can be made that would replace the flat one when needed, thus taking advantage of the 2nd derivativel, to create curved surfaces better, as well as holes. :)


  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,064
    Blade-based digital die cutters use blades that swivel in the blade holder.  To start cutting the blade holder drops down at a particular location along a path and then follows that path based on the information being communicated from the computer. If it's only cutting a straight the blade drops down at one end, cuts the length of the line, raises u,p and moves to cut another shape.  If it's cutting a closed path, the it drops down somewhere along the shape's path and cuts out the entire shape plus a hair more (called an overcut) to ensure that the path is closed.   

    The material being cut has to be stabilized for cutting which means it is pressed down onto a sticky cutting mat.  This is necessary in order to keep any closed shapes from "moving around" after they are cut and also to obtain clean complete cuts.  If a material, like vinyl, is being cut, a mat isn't needed because the backing sheet on vinyl, which the blade doesn't penetrate, serves as the mat.

    There are lots of videos you watch on die cutting. Here's a page from my own web site with links to KNK videos:

    http://www.iloveknk.com/knk-info/free-video-tutorials/

    Feel free to ask more questions!


    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit
    Need help with your KNK? Visit this link: http://knkusa.com/contact/
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest KNK / MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • runcyclexcskiruncyclexcski Member Posts: 4
    Thanks SandyMcC! I looked at a few videos in the link, it was a bit hard to see what is going on, and to quantify how accurate and precise the cuts were. I did get the main point, i.e. the blade drops, mainly, once per closed cut. I originally thought that to prevent the piece from being dragged around it's held in place by vacuum, but it looked like, indeed, that was a sticky mat. 
  • Di-liteDi-lite Member Posts: 3,151
    It is a sticky mat that is held down by pinch wheels.  The blade cuts each sector and lifts between cuts.  So if your rectangle is one piece it would cut the whole rectangle in one go but if it is made up of four lines it will cut each line separately.  Cutting machines are as accurate as the drawing and settings used to cut a project.  There is of course a learning curve on each machine.

    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.
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