We are running a sale on Popup Card Studio. Save 28% right now during this very limited time sale. Click here to order now!

We are also running a sale if you purchase both Make The Cut! and Popup Card Studio. Save 38% right now during this very limited time sale. Click here to order!

Digital Die Cutting machine for Mac

joeykuijoeykui Member Posts: 3
edited August 2017 in General
Hi All,

I'm a newbie looking for a digital die cutting machine that would work with my MAC. I tend to make a lot of cards and boxes for corporate gifts and gift wrapping, and make paper toys. Ideally I would like one that can emboss, and may want to eventually cut leather, metal and thin pieces of wood. As a newbie I would like something that would have a wide reservoir of support and tutorials.

I'm in the Philippines so that may make it difficult to get some models, which is why I'm leaning towards the Silhouette Cameo or Curio... Probably the Cameo and then just tinker with it to figure out how to emboss?

but I could have something shipped from the states...

Would you guy have any advice?


  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,570
    edited August 2017
    When it comes to leather, wood, metal, and even thicker paper products for boxes, you won't get what you need from any Silhouette cutter because all of their models are low force.  When they claim to cut materials like chipboard or leather, we're talking about the thinnest possible versions of those materials which, conveniently, they sell in order to be able to make those exaggerated claims.  Their chipboard is so thin that I don't know of a single crafter who would even call it chipboard if they happened upon it.  It's more of a heavy craft paper.    

    My advice to anyone researching cutters is to ignore ALL comparison tables between various brands of cutters because they ALL contain wrong information and discontinued models. In fact, refer to Mistake #7 in this post I made a few years ago to get a better idea of how to pick a cutter:  https://personaldiecutting.com/7-learning-mistakes-made-by-cutter-owners/

    Now, that being said, this was a good place to ask and I'm sure there are others here who will chime in and many of them do have excellent experience with lots of brands. I'm calling out @juliefes at this point.  :)

    At this particular forum, the software supported is Make The Cut which has limited capability with Mac computers.  But, as you gather more information, you'll find out which cutters will work with Mac based software.  

    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit, Skycut C and D
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • joeykuijoeykui Member Posts: 3
    Thanks Sandy!

    Ive been doing a bit of reading and I felt a bunch of information was outdated. I was looking at the Cougar lines but kinda hit a dead end on shipping it out here - and then I just thought maybe I should start with something a bit cheaper... Would you know if there are ways to tinker with the cameo to get it to emboss?

    Thanks again!
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,570
    There's no way to tinker with it in order to make it operate with a higher pressure. I believe with the Curio model, which has two heads, the blade does a slight kiss cut which then makes it easier for the embosser to press down on the material enough to leave an indentation. However, I also remember reading that you needed to use the Silhouette cardstock in order to get decent results.
    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit, Skycut C and D
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 10,325
    @joeykui - I'll chime in here with my two cents worth on the "embossing" capabilities of an electronic die cutter. If you take an embossing folder or a metal die that would be used in a hand cranked die cutting machine such as the Cuttlebug, to name one popular brand, and examine it very closely, you will see how your results will have raised parts, curved parts, deeply etched parts, not so deep etched parts, etc., as in the details of the image below linked.

    You will have a challenge reproducing this type of a result with a traditional electronic die cutter that has an embossing tool added to it. That embossing tool cannot pivot or change it's axis as it needs to, in order to produce the 3D effects that a metal die or embossing folder achieves. So where you see the embossing effect around the center part of the magnified part of the image, that would have to be achieved by a series of little lines in your design, very close together, and you may have to do multiple repeats to actually see it.

    Also because of its stationary position, you are getting more of a debossing effect, not an embossing effect. To get the embossing effect, you would need to have the right side of the paper face down on the mat...if the mat is overly sticky some of that adhesive will come up on the right of your projects, which is not desirable. I hope that makes sense...I know from experience, people that love the effects of having used embossing folders for many years, are often very disappointed when they try to get the same look with their electronic cutter.

    Just noting this so that you are buyer beware, no matter which cutter you choose. I concur with Sandy's comments, the Silhouette cutters are all too underpowered for what I need a cutter to do.
  • Crazy_Mr_ZingCrazy_Mr_Zing Member Posts: 3,528
    It sound like you are very new to the world of electronic cutting so buying a machine that is cheaper and more easily obtainable might be a option worth pursuing in view of upgrading once you more familiar with electronic cutting 
    But bare in mind that the capability of a cheaper lower powdered machine will limit what you can do with it
    Cheaper machines lack the power required to cut thicker or more dense materials 
    As other have state no electronic cutting machine can reproduce the embossing effect of a embossing plate .
    Have you considered a manual die cutter for example a Sizzix
    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
  • joeykuijoeykui Member Posts: 3
    Thanks everyone for the advice!

    I think I will just go with the cameo for now. The reason I wanted to go digital is because I'm not a fan of having a lot of dies around (i have a ton of those Martha Stewart punch around the page things as it is) but I do see how a manual machine would be the only way to get a nice embossed effect. So I guess its just something I need to think about.
  • Di-liteDi-lite Member Posts: 3,470
    If you get a cameo and you use MTC there are lots of files that already have preset borders that can be cut (but not embossed) lots of holes etc.  Very pretty.  I have an old cameo and that is how I started.  I have a Force now which is a totally different kettle of fish.  Steep learning curve but it can do extraordinary things.
    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.
This discussion has been closed.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!