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Old 01-30-2013, 08:53 PM   #1
Die Cut Diva
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Wisconsin
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Default What is the difference between Silhouette Designer Edition and SCAL?

The Cameo is my first electronic cutter so I am unsure of the features of SCAL and Silhouette Designer Edition or when I would use these features.

It is my understanding the Silhouette Designer will let you open and use SVG file where the basic Silhouette Studio will not . Apparently there are a lot of cutting files including free ones that available.

The Silhouette Studio Designer Edition has a ruler ,an updated eraser and cutting tool which may be helpful . It also has a few other features such as using rhinestones which don't interest me at this time

What will SCAL do that Silhouette Designer Edition will not do or visa versa

I doubt I need both of these programs, right?
Thanks
Barbara
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:11 PM   #2
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I have both...haven't touched my SCAL since I upgraded to designer edition. I used mostly SCAL 2 only messed with SCAL 3 a few times. Designer edition does everything I need. I use my machine all the time for cards and scrapbooking. I like the fact that I can save my own creations to the library. Any 3rd party svg files I can also import to my library so I don't have to go hunting for a file every time I need something. I have heard that Make The Cut surpasses SCAL in ability and may even be better than designer edition. I would definitely look into that program as well before you make your decision.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:19 PM   #3
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Thanks!
I don't think I can use MTC because I have a Mac and from what I have read it is only for a PC
Correct me if I am wrong .

I think someone said with SCAL you can make your own SVG files, but I can barely figure out using ready made files so that is not a feature I would use. Plus I can't draw an apple, much less anything more complicated
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:49 AM   #4
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I'm the same way, I buy the stuff I want and make my own thing with it. Everything that I would use in SCAL I can already do with designer edition. Plus I can mix and match the shapes I buy from the silhouette store with the shapes I buy from other websites on the same mat. I can also have them all in the same library. You can't do that with SCAL. There are also plenty of youtube videos out there to help you learn the silhouette software I don't see much for SCAL, mostly MTC. I use a PC so I am not up to date on all the MAC stuff.

If you do end up upgrading to designer edition, wait until there is a sale. They just had a 40% off sale not to long ago.

Here is a really good forum for silhouette users. Everyone is real nice and knowledgeable there. If you do a search for this question you will find tons of info. I think someone even posted a comparison chart to the different programs pro's and con's

Silhouette Plus

Have fun!!
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:42 AM   #5
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Thanks!
I appears all I will eventually need is Designer Edition.
Right now I don't have any SVG files and I have not downloaded any freebies from the net . Except for one file all of my files are from the Silhouette store

I saw that the SCAL site has Designer Edition on sale for $33, but I am going to wait until Silhouette America has a special on it.
This way if I have any problems I can call them. The couple of times I had to call customer service at Silhouette they were fantastic.

Right now I will learn to use what I have.
Thanks again
Barbara
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:48 PM   #6
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You can also use a free program called Inkscape to convert SVG files to dxf files which the Silhouette will recognize. I don't have the designer edition (yet ) and that's what I use.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherHolbrook View Post
You can also use a free program called Inkscape to convert SVG files to dxf files which the Silhouette will recognize. I don't have the designer edition (yet ) and that's what I use.
Correct me if I am wrong, but are the files from the Silhouette store in .dxf format?
I thought they were in .gds format

Of course this is all so new to me.

I googled svg and found it is for Scalable Vector Graphics .
.gds is for Graphic Data System
And now .dxf is for Drawing Exchange Format

Not that I understand the difference
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara Jay View Post
Correct me if I am wrong, but are the files from the Silhouette store in .dxf format?
I thought they were in .gds format

Of course this is all so new to me.

I googled svg and found it is for Scalable Vector Graphics .
.gds is for Graphic Data System
And now .dxf is for Drawing Exchange Format

Not that I understand the difference
The Silhouette store quit selling .gsd files quite a while ago and only sell their proprietary file format .studio. The gsd files (not gds ) is a file type that Graphtec developed for use with their plotters (CraftRobo, Wishblade, Original Silhouette machines) and since Silhouette bought out the rights for the craft machines, they implemented their own file type. I don't think they ever sold .dxf files (I can't think of the specific terminology right now, but they are "wireframe" drawing - originally from autocad I think).

I've been researching MTC and from what I have read and all the reviews/recommendations, I think it is probably a better (more robust) program than Silhouette Studio. It has more functionality and a much more comprehensive tracing algorithm so you will get more accurate traces. You can also import/trace more file types (like vector pdf, ps, ai, scut, & scut2 files). Not to mention all the available free svg files all over the internet. I also like that it will connect with Lettering Delights and let you use any of their cut files without having to import/download. I've been using the demo version to test it out and haven't had any problems with it, but I can't attest to the print & cut accuracy of it (I have a huge problem with SS not doing print & cuts worth a darned). But, again, from what I've read it works excellent. And Barbara, it is compatible with Mac. There is a great forum on the MTC website it you want to check it out. You can download a trial verson of the program from there too.

ETA: I forgot to add that the program does have quite a steep learning curve (from what I can tell with the limited time I've spent on it). There is a yahoo group that has tutorials to take you right from beginner to advance user, and the MTC forum is full of helpful people.
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