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Suggestions on what machine to use for cutting multiple stickers again and again

Robbie1983Robbie1983 Member Posts: 5
Hi Everone,

What a great source of information this site is. Hopefully someone with experience of using a variety of cutting machines will be able to answer this question for me.

Problem;
 I currently have a Cricut Explore Air 2 which has been great so far for my cutting projects. I've only really used it to cut paper shapes. Recently however I have wanted to use the print and cut feature. I tried printing through Cricut, however the print quality was terrible. I've tried various file formats such as jpeg, png and svg files - imported from Adobe illustrator and the print quality is never as good printing through Cricut as it is when I print directly to my printer.

I thought; no problem, what I'll do is print out all of my files directly to my printer and then I'll import the cutting file in to Cricut, line up my printed images on the matt and with a bit of adjustment, cut the file. Easy right? Not at all. I cannot get the cutting file to align with the printed images at all. I've tried various adjustments, but the cut is never is never in the right place. Occasionally I'll get a few in the right place, but as it makes its way down the page, others will be out of line.

Whilst Cricut has been great to date, I'm finding the software is very limiting and won't give me the flexibility I need to print and cut accurately, each and everytime. 

Ive looked at the Brother ScannCut as that would allow me to scan my printed images in and then cut, however I have hundreds of printed sheets I need to cut (that are all the same) and I thought that if I have to scan each one it could be too time consuming. Ideally I'd like to just be able to scan one sheet of images in and then use that file to cut all of the sheets. Is that possible?

Hopefully the above makes sense. Is what I want to do even possible and if so what would the best machine be to use and what would be the best way of doing it? I assume I'd be looking at adding some kind of registration marks to the original prints, but how would I get the cutting machine to recognise these? 

So so far looking at Brother ScannCut, Silhouette and Zing.

Any help grately appreciated.




Answers

  • Crazy_Mr_ZingCrazy_Mr_Zing Member Posts: 3,325
    edited December 2017
    If your creating the graphic on another software eg AI you need a method of the matching what you print to  the pattern that is imported to the software and what position system the cutter uses
    I would not be surprised the are tutorials on how to do just that
    Having played a little with design space I agree is quite limiting
    As design space is cloud base I guess the down sample image quality to reduce bandwidth

    As for choosing a new machine
    How much cutting do you plan on doing so machines are design for hobby/crafting and other more suited to regular semi commercial work


    Post edited by Crazy_Mr_Zing on
    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
  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 9,991
    @Robbie1983 - what you want to be able to do is a manual cut of the print and cut process, as the pre-printed images you have do not have registration marks that both the Silhouette and the ScanNCut would need to be able to cut properly. The current model of the Zing Orbit also uses the same technology to print and cut - ie it looks for the reg marks and if it does not find them, it fails. However, any Zing Air or the original Zing use manual registration of the reg marks, ie, you use the software to say "here is this reg mark, and here is this reg mark, and here is the 3rd one, now cut" sort of thing. I think you would need this, and you will need to manually mark each of the subsequent sheets you want to print, which is quite easy actually, I would stack them, clamp them and use a thin piercing tool to mark the reg marks, remember if its a manual process it does not matter what the actual reg mark is. HTH
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,390
    While I am a HUGE supporter of the KNK cutters, what you want to do is going to be a bit tedious in order to have a ZIng or Zing Air accurately cut out your stickers since the sheets are already pre-printed. The issue is that printers do not print in the exact same spot one sheet after another and, typically with a prnt and cut application, you need accuracy within a tenth of a mm.   This is why the 3 point registration process has to be used in the first place versus the method you were attempting.

    SCAL has a function called Scan2Cut that works with the Zing or Zing Air (not the Zing Orbit) whereby you can photograph or scan each sheet after having reg marks added. Then you have the software re-trace the cut lines and it will then cut them out using a PNC process. The same can be done with the Silhouette Cameo 3 and with the Brother Scan N Cut.  Actually the Brother machine doesn't need the reg marks added because it has the scanner built-in.  It's probably your best bet. 

    Hope this helps!
    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/
  • Crazy_Mr_ZingCrazy_Mr_Zing Member Posts: 3,325
    edited December 2017
    I'm thinking the method Robbie is using is more printing from other software rather than using pre-printed material.
     
    Much like some users use a 3rd party to print or Print in a Another application export the cut lines and in some cases a border frame for MTC to align reg marks and then cut in MTC.

    From what I gathered from playing with Design Space it applies a full rectangular border for the sensor to detect and determine the position of the printout.
     
    I found no information as to the distance the border is offset from the overall shape outline or the thickness of this border. With that information it may be possible to simulate the border for printout in the other software.

    There are a few more issues to overcome.  Also It appears that there is still a limit to the size of print and cut ?

    Every time I learn more about any PC product it appears they have gone to great effort to restrict the usability and overall provide a inferior product. 




    Post edited by Gabe on
    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
  • Chubby_NinjaChubby_Ninja Member Posts: 55
    edited December 2017
    Every time I learn more about any PC product it appears they have gone to great effort to restrict the usability and overall provide a inferior product.

    While I appreciate the devs have to make a profit and the development and ongoing updates; barring (MTC), cost money, I can't see the point in denying a customer an essential feature i.e. importing SVG ala Silhouette, this is the main reason I purchased MTC and not silhouette, although I feel I was mislead when purchasing it. MTC is a good piece of software but it could have been the best had it had continued dev.

    I think as much as you may need another cutter, I would first look at the software you will be using and download the trial versions to test first before you start spending a lot of money, find people who use what you are considering purchasing to see how it works.

    This brings me to how the producers of machines support software and visa versa...

    While MTC is good, the lack of software updates makes it a discontinued program and is getting older and more out of date every day. I would probably have still bought MTC at the time of purchase, even knowing it is a discontinued product but It should be stated as such prior to purchase, as it is, it's very misleading to not inform the buyer of its discontinued developmental status at the time of purchase.

    Silhouette and to a lesser degree SCAL are the epitome of the upsell and this, giving the basic software for free to tie people into a software ecosystem is all too prevalent today.


    Post edited by Gabe on
    iMac 27inch Late 2015 Fully Loaded, Dell Inspiron 5767 17inch laptop.
    Affinity Designer, Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Sketchup, C4D, Blender.
  • Robbie1983Robbie1983 Member Posts: 5
    Thank You so much for your responses and help. I think I've probably over complicated the print and cut process due to my method of printing.

    I have access to an exceptional printer at work, which prints amazingly well, unfortunately though I am not allowed to install new software so have to print directly from Photoshop or Illustrator or PDF (it's a work computer).

    I'm thinking from your advice that the best way for me to do this, is use the print and cut feature on my machine, but print this as a PDF. I can then print the PDF at work with all the registration marks and then when I'm at home cut the printed sheet as normal.

    I'd still like a new machine as the print then cut area on Cricut is quite small when compared to other machines.

    Thanks again for your help
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,390
    I was focused on the fact you had pre-printed many sheets. If you are willing to sacrifice those, then I return to recommend a KNK because it is far superior in accurately cutting a large sheet of shapes. Since they use 3rd party software, you'll be able to print design in Illustrator, print as PDF with correct reg marks, and then perform the PNC process from the 3rd party software.  Just don't do it until you get some help understanding what kinds of reg marks need to be used.  Also, I recommend the KNK Force personally because I like the camera function for PNC over an optic eye, but many people are happy with the optic eye.  
    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/
  • Robbie1983Robbie1983 Member Posts: 5
    Thank you SandyMcC. I really like the KNK machines and hope to get one soon. I'm based in the U.K. - Is it best to order directly from the KNK UK store?
  • GabeGabe Moderator Posts: 4,501
    edited December 2017
    I agree with Sandy.  If you're going to print from Photoshop, you can add reg marks to the image and then output a PDF.  Then you can print as many copies of the PDF as you want.  Use the camera in the Force to do the PNC, with the reg marks you added.  You will get great cuts, but you will have to do the registration setup for each sheet.

    Bryan did a presentation in the 12/06/2011 webinar, on how to do Print and Cut with images that are pre-printed.  He used an image from a calendar.  Go to Vimeo so you can also read the description of what he is doing.

    vimeo.com/33452755  (Copy the link and paste into your browser's address bar)

    Not sure that this is relevant to what you want to do, but it is an interesting option for highlighting your pre-printed images, before doing the PNC.

    http://forum.make-the-cut.com/discussion/41676/using-pen-and-then-cutting-on-knk
  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 9,991
    @Robbie1983 - point of fact...MTC can be installed on a thumb drive (actually just copy the entire folder for Make The Cut! found in the Program Files (x86) or similar folder onto the thumb drive) and then be run right off the thumb drive without being installed on the computer. Even though I am tech support, as myself, the operating system is locked down, nothing gets installed without an admin password, and I use MTC at work quite nicely =). I also have other programs on my thumb drive, like Paint Shop Pro (PSP), that works quite nicely too.
  • Crazy_Mr_ZingCrazy_Mr_Zing Member Posts: 3,325
    If you considering buying a new machine MTC probably isn't the best choice due to it lacking direct compatibility to new models

    I found these tutorials showing methods of "Tricking" design space into doing a sort of print the cut on full sheets .
    Although i think his idea of perfect align cut may differ to mine ??
    Eric M Boyd - You Tube

    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
  • Robbie1983Robbie1983 Member Posts: 5
    Just want to say thank you all for your help and advice. Every suggestion has been very useful. This is such a great forum.
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,390
    Thank you SandyMcC. I really like the KNK machines and hope to get one soon. I'm based in the U.K. - Is it best to order directly from the KNK UK store?
    Yes. You'll get the best pricing and shipping by ordering it that way. :)  I'm here to help you with whatever you need to know.
    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/
  • Crazy_Mr_ZingCrazy_Mr_Zing Member Posts: 3,325
    edited December 2017
    I'm like a dog with a bone I had to try and figure this
    Best I can calculate the Sensor line frame offset is 0.6" and the stroke width is 0.1"
    The Maximum Print and cut size appears to be 6.75" x 9.25"
    So using this info I think you could create
    a negative cutting pattern 6.75" x 9.25" in AI for export as SVG to design space

    And a  printable 0.1" sensor line offset from the pattern by 0.6" for printing with your graphic content form AI

    Post edited by Gabe on
    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
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