Working in Sure Cuts A Lot 3 can be intimidating to some and to other it may seem as a breeze. In the case of this BFF Friend, I found this to be a great way to bridge the two. Take an intimidating issue of new software and turning it into a breeze of knowledge to pass on. So, the question is, "How am I going to do that?" The solution is quite easy in my case. Here we have a very simplified file with text on it. My first step of course was to download the file that this lovely BFF had supplied. After looking at the file and seeing the attempt she made. (I must admit there is a HUGE amount of applause in the background surrounded by dancing Angels.) The only part left was to follow a systematic process in getting this file to cut appropriately on her Silhouette Cameo machine. Finally, going through the process of exporting it as a SVG.
I must back up here first and say this to those in the audience looking for help. I am very comfortable in working with SVG files, working with digital die cutters of all types and know a thing or two about how to make these things work. Currently, my situation is I do not have a Silhouette Cameo Cutting Machine. What I do have is a CraftRobo (pre- Portrait, pre-Silhouette SD, pre-Cameo ect.) My CraftRobo is a very useful machine and has allowed me to create some wonderful projects. In fact, while attending Ferris State University Graphic Design Program. (Go DAWGS) I learned to master all I could in the creation of GSD files, Adobe Illustrator and the feature "Print and Cut" Now that the world of SVG has taken over. I have learned the process of working with programs such as Sure Cuts A Lot to import and export SVG files. In all, I have a great deal of passion for personal die cutting machines and the creation of files that get exported in the form of cuts or files into machines such as ones listed above. I would like to add that I am in the process of working to cut with my Graphtec CE5000-60 Cutting Plotter. By using this machine, the cutting plotter, I will be able to by pass the upgrades of machines, keep using what I have and over come the challenges that many face with a "new designed machine" or the "latest and greatest".
Here is a couple pieces of advice I like to pass along in working with this wonderful hobby involving personal cutting machines.
1.) Learn the basics
If you decide to learn the basics you will be able to grow into more complex files, elaborate shapes and cutting mediums.
2.) Define what you want to do with your machine. Arguably this should be "Lesson 1" but I have it as number 2 in order to keep things in perspective. That perspective is just play. If you define what you want to do with your personal cutting machine first. You will be giving up that level of creativity in just playing and learning the basics.
3.) Don't let any problem you encounter in working with your machines software or machine itself define what projects you can or can't do.
4.) My last piece of advice - remember the process is always easy if you want to put work into it. Have fun, keep creating and share your creation.
First import the file into the program SCAL3 after opening the program. FILE > IMPORT > SELECT FILE
Second Select the Entire file that was just imported.
Using the Rotate tool found under the Object> Transform > Rotate tab selections. You can rotate the file to be positions to fit on your mat based on rotation.
Making sure that your file is still Selected All - You will want to Ungroup the file by going to Object> Ungroup.
You will want to Break Apart the entire file (making sure that the file is totally Select All still). You can do this by going to Object> Break Apart. This is to place everything in the imported file so it is seperated.
Be sure to Select All and then you will want to change the "Fill" of the objects in the file.
Then choose the "None" option in the Fill portion of the Appearance panel. You will want to make sure that your objects are still fully Select All. This will be sure to take out all the fill with in the objects leaving you just stroke lines.
I do this only when I am cutting shapes, letters or words using Sure Cuts A Lot. Often times, I will not do this using the Print and Cut feature of the program. That being said, I use plugins for Adobe Illustrator to handle the Print and Cut needs I may have in a project.
Choose your Line Style you wish to use for the cutting lines in your project file. In this case, it would be assumed that the line style would be a solid cut line and not a dash. The solid cut line in the line style is the default option but can easily be changed to a dash cut line. This is the line type that your machine will cut out.
After all that is done you will want to select your personal cutter information under the "Cutter" Tab. You will also want to select the "Mat Size" and options for either "Print and Cut" or type of connection you will need to make this project cut to your cutter needs.
Now that we have finished creating our file, selecting our cutter and options of cut. We will want to Export your file. Here we will go to File> Export > and wait for the next screen to display.
Now all there is left to do is selecting SVG in the Format drop down and naming your file. Finally, hit the Save button after you have chosen where to save this file.
Congratulations for working through your first process of basic Sure Cuts A Lot 3 - 101 Learning. These are the basic steps that you will want to learn and master while using your digital die cutting machine with Sure Cuts A Lot software. If you master this process then you are ready to do some more fun and exciting things.
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