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vinyl cutting machines. I have questions


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Posted (edited)

well since a good 3d printer and all the accessories you need are out of my current price range, I started looking at a cutting machine to make custom masks.

I had been leaning towards a Cameo 4, but the reviews on amazon are terrible. most say the machine just quits after a couple of weeks and there os absolutely no support outside the U.S. I can still get a portrait 3, which by some accounts is a better machine just smaller.

 

so what are your opinions on these? is there a better option? what kind of experience do you have with them?

cheers

Edited by dylan
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Hi dylan

 

There is an excellent Facebook group that is focused on cutting machines mostly for modelers. There is a range of topics from the beginner to some that have done amazing mask work. There is also a file section which has some mask files for sharing in addition to a useful FAQ section. Search for "The Cutting Edge scale modeling plotter/cutter users" on Facebook. Once you join, search through the posts as the question as to which cutter is best for a modeler new to cutters comes up on occasion. There are also hints and tips on the software used for the cutters.

Have fun modeling!

Mike

🍻

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6 hours ago, crackerjazz said:

This Circle cutter thread in Tools 'n Tips took a turn for the subject of cutting machines : )   I'm enjoying cutting masks and styrene on the Cricut.  

 

 

thanks for that. How does the pay to play work with the cricut, will it not work if you don't pay the subscription? or does it just not allow you to download new patterns?

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Mike J. Idacavage said:

Hi dylan

 

There is an excellent Facebook group that is focused on cutting machines mostly for modelers. There is a range of topics from the beginner to some that have done amazing mask work. There is also a file section which has some mask files for sharing in addition to a useful FAQ section. Search for "The Cutting Edge scale modeling plotter/cutter users" on Facebook. Once you join, search through the posts as the question as to which cutter is best for a modeler new to cutters comes up on occasion. There are also hints and tips on the software used for the cutters.

Have fun modeling!

Mike

🍻

thanks Mike, I'll join and hopefully learn a thing or 2

 

Edited by dylan
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If I may ramble on a couple points briefly...

 

First, I have not used the cameo 4 extensively yet, but do own one.  I've cut masks for a couple models (B-2A RAM panels and wheel masks), as well as a couple polystyrene sheets for panels.  At this point I have not had any hint of it falling apart.  The machine itself is a little over a year old, but wasn't opened up for use until 4-5 months ago.

 

Second, if a 3D printer is what you're really interested in, the price difference may not be much.  Take a look at the Anycubic Photon Mono and related printers:

 

https://www.amazon.com/ANYCUBIC-Photon-Printer-Printing-Monochrome/dp/B08Q394GQ1/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=photon&qid=1623022718&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExRUk2TFJEU0QyNjhUJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMTE4ODYxMkpBRjNJQUJUNEJDMyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNjQzODEzMUxEMkZITExOTjc1ViZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

 

They're SLA resin printers for about $210-240.  Yes, curing and washing chambers are nice extras, but you can make do with pools of IPA and sunlight basically allowing you to print out-of-the-box.  If you looked for FDM printers, some of them are even cheaper.  However, ABS/PLA FDM printing is good for rapid prototyping, but not so much model parts.  The surface can be a little rough.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, ESzczesniak said:

 

Second, if a 3D printer is what you're really interested in, the price difference may not be much. 

 

 

 

well I want both, but I don't have the money or space for a 3d printer and a vinyl cutter.
thanks for the answer.

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4 hours ago, dylan said:

thanks for that. How does the pay to play work with the cricut, will it not work if you don't pay the subscription? or does it just not allow you to download new patterns?

No need to subscribe.  That's only if you want to download designs from their library. In our case we upload our own designs and the machine will cut them as long as they're in the proper format.  I've also created simple masks using Design Space. If you're handy with Illustrator you can upload the file directly. Inkscape can also convert your designs into svg for cutting.  

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On 6/6/2021 at 8:22 PM, crackerjazz said:

No need to subscribe.  That's only if you want to download designs from their library. In our case we upload our own designs and the machine will cut them as long as they're in the proper format.  I've also created simple masks using Design Space. If you're handy with Illustrator you can upload the file directly. Inkscape can also convert your designs into svg for cutting.  

 

Thanks for the info.  I had seen some reviews on Amazon that indicated that you could not cut anything unless you subscribed.  Apparently, that is not the case.

 

Stacey

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What they probably mean is that you have to register to be able to use Cricut Design Space for cutting.  You do have to log in with your username and password when using Design Space.  And the app doesn't launch without an internet connection.  This is one difference from the Sillhouette which can be used offline.   If you do subscribe (has an annual or monthly subscription fee) you'll have access to the Cricut library designs which are mainly scrapbooking designs or fonts, I believe, as well as designs shared by other subscribers.

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  • 1 month later...

Got myself a Cricut Maker ($450 Aus).

 

Have been using it to cut masks out of artists frisket and vinyl transfers for my models, now that I'm mostly scratch building and not using kits.

 

Can cut masks or vinyl transfers of letters down to about 3mm in height.  You can't really go any smaller than that.

The trick is to use the Washi setting and reduce the pressure setting to 'less'.  This gives the most delicate cut.

 

The machine is bloody amazing and even a Numpty like me learned to use it in no time.  The Design Space software is OK, a bit clunky for editing text/shapes as you have to overlay the bit you want to remove with another shape, then use the 'slice' function, but it can be done.  And you can import shapes/logos etc from the net, then edit them so it just cuts the bits you want.

 

My current & first project using the Cricut is a diorama of the Romain Grosjean F1 crash at Bahrain in 2020.  Here is some of the Cricut work.  First I did a test run on thick paper for the Haas logo, then below is the mask cut on frisket.  Then the mask used on the wrecked car.  I do find the frisket can leave a sticky residue on the model though which is a pain to remove.

 

 

Cricut2.jpg

PaintedFrame1.jpg

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