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Old 07-01-2012, 11:56 AM   #1  
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Default cut files or dies...confused

This may be a lame/stupid question, but I need to be brought up to speed!!

I see many stamp companies coming out with dies to match their images - I understand this, although I would probably pass on most of these dies.

Now I see some companies issuing "cut files" to match their images - this is intriquing to me but I am not quite understanding what I need to get these files.

What type of machine would I need to have to use these cut files? I only have a slice (and I know that cannot be used, besides it is gathering dust in the closet of my craft room).

So - help me out here...can these machines cut heavyweight cardstock and how often do you replace the blade?

Thanks so much !!
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Old 07-01-2012, 04:04 PM   #2  
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I think the most common cut file format is the SVG, which can be used by a variety of machines. But a lot of the times, stores will sell cut files in a variety of formats for different machines. I have a Cameo which has it's own proprietary file format .studio, but with the software upgrade it can cut SVG's as well.

I've only had two machines, the Gazelle and now the Cameo. I did not have much luck cutting much with my Gazelle and it sits collecting dust in my shed.

I now have a Cameo, and love it. I hardly ever buy metal dies anymore. I've only changed my blade once in the 6 months or so that I've had it, but that's only because I think I chipped the blade somehow. They are fairly inexpensive to replace, I get mine for less than $10.

However, I have not had luck cutting out heavy cardstock like Papertrey Ink's. That's the only thing I don't like about it.

HTH.
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Old 07-01-2012, 05:16 PM   #3  
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There is a ton of info on past threads about the electronic die cutting machines (which cut these types of files). There are a lot of different machines with differing capabilities, but most will not cut the metal dies - they usually do one or the other.

There is always the option to use scissors to cut them by hand, but if you are talking about buying the files specifically to go around the stamps, that's obviously not much help! It works better for box templates and that sort of thing.

Like KatarinaM said, the Cameo doesn't do heavier materials.The Bosskut Gazelle, the KNK Zing and the Pazzles Inspiration are the three I see mentioned most often that do cut through heavier things like foam, chipboard and even balsa wood. Of course, the price tag and complexity goes along with that. I think they all seem to have good customer service though, so if you have issues you aren't alone!
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:18 PM   #4  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by KatarinaMView Post
I think the most common cut file format is the SVG, which can be used by a variety of machines. But a lot of the times, stores will sell cut files in a variety of formats for different machines. I have a Cameo which has it's own proprietary file format .studio, but with the software upgrade it can cut SVG's as well.

I've only had two machines, the Gazelle and now the Cameo. I did not have much luck cutting much with my Gazelle and it sits collecting dust in my shed.

I now have a Cameo, and love it. I hardly ever buy metal dies anymore. I've only changed my blade once in the 6 months or so that I've had it, but that's only because I think I chipped the blade somehow. They are fairly inexpensive to replace, I get mine for less than $10.

However, I have not had luck cutting out heavy cardstock like Papertrey Ink's. That's the only thing I don't like about it.

HTH.
Kath, it's fine with regular weight cardstock? Have you ever used anything like A Muse cardstock with it - one side white?? And do you have any trouble cutting regular patterned paper?

Having never even seen one in person, I'm just wondering if you feel there are any limitations for thinner materials, too.

I don't do much of that sort of thing with thick materials and I am beginning to take a shine to the idea of having digital cut files vs. storing metal dies . I have heard only good thing about the Silhouette Cameo so I'm *this* close to caving in.
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:33 AM   #5  
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Dies- Metal dies that are made for manual machines such as the Big Shot.

Cut Files- Electronic files, usually in SVG, that can be cut on digital cutters that support those file types. Examples would be KNK Zing, Bosskut Gazelle, Silhouette Cameo.

Dies have one standard size. Can cut heavier materials than an electronic cutter. Some of the dies can emboss around the edges.

Cuts can be resized, manipulated like make narrow or wider, shorter or taller.

Blade changing- It depends most time the life of the the blades are supposed to last to at least three hundred cuts if you use regular cardstock.

If you use glitter cardstock, acetate, chipboard then the life of the blade does shorten.

A lot of people will notice their blade will only last maybe ten cuts. That is because a teeny tiny tip of the blade can break off making your cuts ragged or destroyed. It's so tiny you can barely see it. This is usually caused by setting the machine too high or the pressure to high.

Cheapest die cutting blades are the Roland blades that are used in cutters such as KNK Zing, Bosskut Gazelle, Pazzles, & Sizzix Eclips. Those are the most popular Roland cutters on the market for crafters at the moment. I buy my blades on Ebay. I usually can get five for around $8.

Most expensive blades are the Graphtec Silhouette Cameo blades. You have to replace the whole blade housing and not just the blade. Graphtec blades for the other cutters like Silhouette SD, Wishblade, Craft Robo can be pretty pricey too. I used to find good deals on Ebay. I have to pay around $8 for one blade.

I die cut all the time so I can extend the life of my blades. I sharpen them with aluminum foil. I dust out the housing after every use. Simple maintenance will make the blades have a prolonged life.
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:39 AM   #6  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by PhantomView Post
I don't do much of that sort of thing with thick materials and I am beginning to take a shine to the idea of having digital cut files vs. storing metal dies . I have heard only good thing about the Silhouette Cameo so I'm *this* close to caving in.
Phantom- I don't remember if you sold your work. I know somebody here does who was looking into a Cameo. Silhouette released their new licensing program last week. Here's the link: Silhouette Support

When I have wrote posts about the Cameo I wasn't even aware they had a licensing program. I am sorry everyone. I know it's one of those "You should have known." I know angel policies are really important to many of the girls/guys over here and can be the make or break decision when purchasing a new craft tool. I hope that helps.
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:57 AM   #7  
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Phantom, it works great with most other papers. I don't know about Amuse papers, but they sound similar to Memory Box papers, which are white on one side. They cut great! I find that the 'crisper' the paper, the better cuts I get. Softer, 'raggy' papers like PTI and SU not so much. Those are the two papers I stay away from with the Cameo, which kind of stinks, because that is the cardstock I use most often. Now I am hearing that AC cardstock works really well with the Cameo, and I plan on hiking over to my AC Moore with a bunch of coupons to try them out.
I love my Cameo, and I haven't even tried the print and cut yet!
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:43 AM   #8  
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I was able to find a thread over on the Tool and Product talk section and found a wealth of info.

I was thinking that my budget was starting to bust with purchasing dies and thought about the trend to electronic machines and cut files. I'm wondering how this will impact companies like Spellbinders, Sizzix and Cheery Lynn.

While I am not ready to buy an electronic machine, based on my experiences with manual machines I would want one large enough to cut 12" shapes, and to cut heavy chipboard.

Thanks!!
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:07 AM   #9  
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I set mine to double cut the PTI cardstock, and it works great.
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:52 PM   #10  
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Double cut on what setting?


Quote:

Originally Posted by tinahale38View Post
I set mine to double cut the PTI cardstock, and it works great.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:09 PM   #11  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by KatarinaMView Post
Phantom, it works great with most other papers. I don't know about Amuse papers, but they sound similar to Memory Box papers, which are white on one side. They cut great! I find that the 'crisper' the paper, the better cuts I get. Softer, 'raggy' papers like PTI and SU not so much. Those are the two papers I stay away from with the Cameo, which kind of stinks, because that is the cardstock I use most often. Now I am hearing that AC cardstock works really well with the Cameo, and I plan on hiking over to my AC Moore with a bunch of coupons to try them out.
I love my Cameo, and I haven't even tried the print and cut yet!
Thanks so much!!! It's good to know. I was imagining the difference between a blade pulling through the cardstock vs. the dies that cut straight down (when it comes to the white side). Years past of using a trackblade cutter probably affected my thinking .

Dee Ann thanks for the info - that never even occurred to me. I was only thinking of it as a customer/enduser but I appreciate the info. And you provided a ton of other info here - tfs! I'm sure no one would ever think 'you should've known' - grateful for the time you put into your answers, too.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:43 AM   #12  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by KatarinaMView Post
Double cut on what setting?
oooh I literally just bought a cameo, it's still in the box - been using my Robo, which cuts PTI card great (- but I have it on the double setting also -) I upgraded to Cameo because i read it had capability for even more pressure and so, should be able to cut thick card even easier...I thought...sure hope it's true...will let you know!
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:43 AM   #13  
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I use SU cs in my cameo and it cuts beautifully when I put the settings at heavy cardstock and adjust the blade to a 5.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:33 PM   #14  
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I've got a KNK Zing and love it. Considering its capabilities and the it comes with MTC sofware, the price isn't bad. I've had great success with it. Cut's SU cardstock like butter. It'll also do print and cut. Just all around, it's been a great machine and I don't regret the investment.

Back to your question of stamps that have cutting files available. I purchased the Bombshell Angel stamp from Bombshell stamps and the compatible cutting file. Love it. It's been a lot of fun.... kind of like a dress up doll. Here are a couple of things I made with her....

Link to my blog with a filter for Bombshell Stamps turned on: Paper & Chrome: Bombshell Stamps
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:45 PM   #15  
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I cut PTI with my Silhouette SD and use the same blade the Cameo uses. I have it set to 5 and select double cut and it works like a charm every time!
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:01 AM   #16  
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The Cameo should cut PTI's cardstock with a double cut easily. The Cameo has 100gsm more than the Silhouette SD. I don't use PTI's CS so I don't know if it's a fibrous cardstock. Most fibrous cardstocks never cut well in electronic cutters since it's so dense. I don't cut heavier cardstock with my Cameo, for the most part, since I have a Cricut & Gazelle. When I do cut heavier CS I cut twice.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:41 PM   #17  
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Just wanted to put in a little plug for the Sizzix Eclips. I haven't had any issues with cutting SU cardstock on it. Sizzix also has the Tim Holtz Stamp2Cut cartridges out now. I haven't bought any as they're really pricey for what you get. With these, you stamp an image then are able to cut it with the Eclips. Eclips also uses its own version of SCAL that allows you to cut with your computer. (This is the software that you used to be able to use with the Cricut until Provo Craft sued them.) Finally, if you haven't seen the products available through SVGcuts.com, you're missing out. They have some really amazing kits that usually include cards and are very reasonable priced.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:56 AM   #18  
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Does the Eclips come with Ecal or do you have to buy it separately?
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:07 PM   #19  
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Hi DeeAnn, You can find some bundles that include it. I've seen it for $299 bundled with eCal and a $20 gift cert to SVGcuts.com from PunkinPatchStamps.com. I got mine at Overstock but had to buy eCal separately. There are sales on eCal from time to time for around $50.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:43 AM   #20  
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Hi DeeAnn, You can find some bundles that include it. I've seen it for $299 bundled with eCal and a $20 gift cert to SVGcuts.com from PunkinPatchStamps.com. I got mine at Overstock but had to buy eCal separately. There are sales on eCal from time to time for around $50.
Thank you! I have a Gazelle that I do love. I have been kind of eyeing the Sizzix Eclips because I do love Sizzix designs so it would be a nice cartridge base system and free standing computer system.

I don't know if I want to buy Ecal when I already own SCAL 1, 2 & 3. I do understand the licensing terms and all that legalities. I know that the Eclips probably has a different Motherboard schematic over other Roland machines that a new program probably needed to be written for it to work as a standalone machine. I feel kind of silly owning all those SCAL's and then purchasing another "SCAL". I would own four SCAL's. I would be using two versions on three differrent machines along with my MTC. A little overkill for my style of work.

I am definitely putting Ecal on my "It's a good die cutter to buy list." when I do recommendations. She is a pretty one and has a couple of unique features over the other Roland cutters on the market.

Thank you for the help.
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