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Herb Kephart
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Made a new category for this--I feel that it is important enough to warrant a place of it's own.

Herb

Jacques B
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Paper cutting , laser cutting , 3D printing  the future is ... now

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Here is a good thread on using a paper cutter:

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/79025-a-guide-to-using-the-silhouette-cameo-cutter/

and

http://www.scale4x4rc.org/forums/showthread.php?t=27956

and one in French, Google Chrome does a good translation:

http://forum.e-train.fr/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=26005

I have a KNK zing cutter, haven't got a chance to really use it but it has shown possibilities:

http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/20642

Now that my health has improved and am back modeling.

Looking forward to using the cutter.

Harold

Last edited on Tue Jul 12th, 2016 05:44 pm by hminky

Jacques B
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Thank you Harold for those valuable links about paper cutting machines.
The thread on the Loco Revue forum is an impressive 309 pages long. It can be highly technical specially about using the various CAD softwares with the paper cutter.
I purchased a Silhouette Portrait cutter after reading a special issue of Loco Revue talking about laser cutting, 3D printing and paper cutting machines .

Helmut
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@Jacques
The software you use is the one featured here?
I thought about Inkscape, but would have to buy the .svg extension (Designer)  from Silhouette of course. The cost comes out to be almost the same. A friend of mine, who makes rr. models out of etched nickel silver. creates everything in Inkscape.
Think I have to deeply dive into the respectve internet forums to find out what people say about Designer.

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What a great thread! Maybe someday, we can take an Armitage or Gebhart loco plan and feed it into the laptop and have it printed in 3D in 15 minutes!
Carry on, this is very interesting.

Woodie

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Helmut, I have the Model Builder software you linked to. I like it a lot. You can use any image or texture and create things in nearly any scale. It isn't difficult to use and is very versatile.

Herb Kephart
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A word of caution--
I bought a Silhouette Curio through Amazon and it came promptly, last week.  It didn't work---stone cold dead when plugged in. Called Silhouette. endured 30 minutes of the most mind numbing noise while on hold. Finely realized that there was a way to get them to call back, which they did-- two hours later. Talked with a pleasant gal, who didn't know the product very well. She decided to send me a new power cord, including the wall wart. That was over a week ago and still waiting
In the mean time, more testing on my part, makes me think that the cord is OK, the fault is in the unit it's self.

Perhaps by Christmas-----

Herb, who never runs with scissors.

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Grrr... I was afraid of that issue. Herb, your problems are the first I have heard like that, but the 'organization' that sells the machine seems to be an entity in Utah that probably doesn't know much about anything. I hope not to have problems with my machine.

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After I wrote the above post, and thought--heck-return the thing and buy another. Amazon pays for UPS to pick it up next working day at no cost for return, refund when they get it back. Tomorrow, I order a new one.

Beat me with a stick--it feels SO good !

Not throwing my scissors away yet !

Herb

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Excellent Herb! I thought that would be an option, but I didn't remember where you bought it. I buy most online things like that from Amazon now because of their instant refund/return policy. I've only had to use it once with a far-east vendor, but I got my refund by click... instantly.

Good luck on the next one. I hope it works like most others I've read about. The distributor in Utah has zero good reviews that I've found.

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Herb we hope will receive your new Silhouette Curio soon.
It is quite frustrating, I purchased a defective Nikon camera from Amazon and it only took 10 days to get the problem fixed

Jacques B
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Yes Helmut, I'm using the Model Builder software . I also purchased the Brick Designer complementary software.
Of course it is mostly North American oriented but you can take pictures of German doors and windows and import them in your building designed using Model Builder.

Using Model Builder files with Silhouette Studio is

not straightforwar because you cannot import directly the .mb4 files created by Model Builder . Model Builder will only export files to the .pdf fileformat

1) design the brick wall
2) print it
3) insert the printed sheet in your scanner
4) Import the wall to Silhouette Studio using the scan option
5) Draw the openings to cut and the the Registration Marks ( 3 references for the Silhouette optical sensor )
5) Print the brick wall and the newly added openings and registration marks
6) glue the printed sheet on the mat, introduce the mat in the Silhouette and cut.

Question : why do you want to import .svg files into Silhouette Studio ? What about Libre Office Draw ?

wahiba
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Missed this group for a while. Returned and found paper cutters section. Getting into myself, see avatar. Mainly freelance prototypes at the moment.
David

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I like your website David. Lots to review there.
Do you have a pattern for the loco?

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I probably have somewhere, but filing is not the best!!

I have been looking at making models in two ways.

First of all to print out the model on a colour printer and then cut out around the print out. the Silouhette software allows this.

Second approach is using coloured card and replacing the cutter and plotting out lines on the model. I think these cutter probably started out as a plotter. Plotters for CAD use died out with the arrival of large ink jet printers but seemed to have a second life as cutters.

Currently I am investigating the use of glossy photo card. I did not think photocard would produce good models. I have proved myself wrong. Glossy printed coaches at least look pretty good.

Web site tends to get neglected over summer, relatively short period in this part of the world. However not having a freezing garage means model making progresses quicker.

If anyone is looking to using a cameo cutter this link to a UK model rail site has quite a bit of info. I have contributed a little myself. There is plenty to wade through.

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/79025-a-guide-to-using-the-silhouette-cameo-cutter/

David

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Thanks David. Please keep us posted with your progress.

Also, we are currently looking for a how-to that starts with laying out a small square and cutting that. This was a test process to see how the cutter is working. I can't find it anywhere. I thought it was in that RM thread that you linked, but I haven't seen it yet. I'm 20 pages into another re-read of that thread now.

wahiba
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It is rather a long item on the topic. Possibly better to start from the latest and work backwards.

The machines were marketed in the UK for the Craft Greeting Card market but I think the software was a bit much for the average card crafter. The TV seller of this stuff has moved on to a Brother machine that scans and cuts rather than requiring pre-drawn material. For model making though the pre-drawing requirement is probably essential.

Personally I always fancied a plotter for CAD drawings but with the advent of ink jet printers they disappeared. The cameo silouhette works brilliantly as a plotter. They sell adaptors to take any pen as well as special pens for the machine. The latter are short fat biros and are useless. However I found that with the adaptors evens cheap pens can work very well.

David

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Well, I get to pack up the second Curio, and send it back today. First one was dead as doornail, second has something wrong with the software--would do some things, wouldn't do others. I fiddled with it a long time trying to get it to work--and to see if it was me, or the machine. Going to give it one more try.

Starting to wonder if the ones sold through Amazon, are seconds. Deplorable quality control at Silhouette it would seem. Pathetic phone ''help''.
Excrable (love that word!) written (and online) ''instructions''---other than that--

Still have plenty of Xacto blades. Did it that way for the last 65 years--might do it that way for the next 65.

A disillusioned Herb

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That is a real shame Herb. I think the company owes you a free machine. Pitiful. :us:

I use the term 'dead as a doornail' too, but had to look it up.

from the 'net...

"Doornails are the large-headed studs that were used in earlier times for strength and more recently as decoration. The practice was to hammer the nail through and then bend the protruding end over to secure it. This process, similar to riveting, was called clenching. This may be the source of the 'deadness', as such a nail would be unusable afterwards."




... wow, that definition leavs plenty of room for comment... :bg:

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Herb,

I have also bought a Curio recently. The software on the cd is not the right one!. You have to download the latest version from the silhouette website. The update option doesn't work either. The new software resolved a lot of my problems.

You can download it here:
http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/software

The latest version is 3.8.something. The software wich came with my curio was 3.4. This version is not usable with a curio. I use 3.7.something, I updated it about 2 weeks ago, so the updates of the software come in a high speed.

I don't know wich version you use but this could be the problem.

Alwin

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You know Alwin--that just might have been the problem. I was trying to use the 3.4 that came with the machine. Damned outfit sends machines out with the wrong software. Place must be run by a bunch of drunks.

Oh well I get to wait some more---

Herb

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Alwin
understanding that you have a curio, did you try to cut some thicker materials ?
and how well thas its cut ?
maybe i like to buy one , i have the cameo, just good for thick paper

Cor

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Cor, I can't tell about ticker material. I don't own the deep cut knife. Just learning the settings for the machine. The machine came with the embossing tools, I have tried that on thin paper and it works quite well.

Alwin

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I paid the extra for the designer version hoping it would pick up layers from my drawing package. It did not but seems to run better overall than the standard version.

I save files from the drawing package in scaleable vector .svg format. I save in the Inkscape variant which works fine except in one respect. Loaded into Silhouette I find it is oversized by exactly 1/16. It can be scaled back in silhouette but I tend to reduce the original CAD drawing to 15/16 of the original before sending it to the drawing package, DrawPlus 8.

It is,obviously a software quirk as the precision up to six decimal places remains intact. I think it might be using the Inkscape version of .svg files. However the other option of the Adobe version changes the size by 1/3!

In some ways it is nice to know that still computers and software have quirks requiring human intervention.

David

Last edited on Sun Aug 14th, 2016 12:31 pm by wahiba

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David, are you sure that the units in your drawing programm and in the Studio software are both the same? You van set the import units in Studio, and I'm pretty sure you van Tell your drawing programm wich units you are using.

I use autocad and once I figured out the units it works perfect.

Alwin

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Definitely not the units. I think .svg files are open source so my suspicions are on that. It is exactly 1/16 the error which suggests software.

I check regularly as these things have a habit of being subtly corrected within an update.

As for double posting have had the same problem myself.

David

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Guys--We can fix double posting as soon as we see it--so no worry!


Herb

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After much beating my head on the computer, I found what my problem is--besides behavioral.

Curio only wants to work with VECTOR files--this means a file composed of lines and arcs. Vector files are what CAD drawings are made in. Almost all other files--scans, copies and the like are RASTER format--where the image is made up of little dots--pixels, like photos are.

And never the twain shell meet--not even at the station.

Herb

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Beating your head on the computer won't help the Vaster files.

So, did the Curio finally start earning it's keep?

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Herb Kephart wrote:

Curio only wants to work with VECTOR files--this means a file composed of lines and arcs. Vector files are what CAD drawings are made in. Almost all other files--scans, copies and the like are RASTER format--where the image is made up of little dots--pixels, like photos are.


Herb,

That is not completely true. There is an option for importing jpg files and use a trace function.
It is described on this blog:
http://www.silhouetteschoolblog.com/2014/01/how-to-cut-jpeg-with-silhouette-studio.html
http://www.silhouetteschoolblog.com/2014/08/tracing-complex-and-multi-color-designs.html

BTW: I haven't tried it so I don't give any guarantees. :mex:

Alwin

Last edited on Thu Sep 1st, 2016 12:41 pm by Alwin

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Indeed, Ken.

Do you remember what the website is for the carbide knives? .020'' paper stock is harder than styrene on the cutter--but I like working with card--always have used it,

Herb

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Thanks Alwin

Will look into that, next cutting job. If it works it will be a lot easier ( I hope) for me.

 Herb

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Herb Kephart wrote:
Indeed, Ken.

Do you remember what the website is for the carbide knives? .020'' paper stock is harder than styrene on the cutter--but I like working with card--always have used it,

Herb



I'll go look Herb. It was Amazon or ebay, that's where I buy everything. :thumb:

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Yep, it was amazon... here's the link.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IJ673E8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Those particular ones have a very low rating Ken. Fish around on that site and you will find cutters and a holder made (or sold?) by EMY which have a high rating, and I think/hope fit the Curio.

Details when they arrive

Herb

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@Herb
googling around revealed that CB09 blades are appraised by the community. I'll try these also, as they are also available over here.

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Sorry Herb. Those have a low rating because people, like me, can't read or see. Those don't fit the CB09 holder and you can see it if you look at the pic.

These are the carbide ones I got that DO fit.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LIT5X9U/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Yup!

Herb

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Guess I must be one of the old guard. I don't use the computer for design purposes. I tend to see what is on the bench for materials and consult the brain cells for the design. If it doesn't work I don't have to consult the computer on why it doesn't. I don't have enough time or energy to add more steps to the process besides I like to build things in 3d as apposed to on screen 3d.
Clif K

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I'm with you Clif--but  the thought of having to cut 63 windows for a factory that will set against a wall as a backround building-------- This danged thing cuts them out--while I'm daydreaming (in 2D)--All the same.. Waiting for replacement cutters.

Herb

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I guess that there is a definite advantage to technology. It does take the monotony out of the repetitive tasks. I do a lot with jigs for those. As with my ore boat build, each of the 16 hatches has 110 pieces and like the 16 feet of hand soldered railing. The 3d printing interests me the most but alas being on the fixed or broken income that is a long way off.
Clif K

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Clif, you are doing great without it! Nothing beats real handiwork anyway.

Woodie

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I agree---
But remember Woodie, this ia a BACKGROUND (backdrop) piece

And I also agree as to Clif's work!!

Herb

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Well, the carbide knifes are the way to go--for certain! Went through a half dozen "regular" knifes before ordering the carbide ones. Thar was a year ago. and the first carbide one I put in the machine still cuts clean!

Now - I haven't used the Silhouette for 6 or 7 months. I make a drawing, scan it and  turn on the Curio, First thing, it says that it has a software update. Now I have seen this non- threatening  bit often enough that I ought to realize that an "improvement" to Mr Gates means that something that worked fine, and I used on occasion . has been completely changed to accommodate. something that I can't think of using--even if I knew what it was. So I have to slog along, to figure how the simple stuff works now. Some day I'll post a photo of a IPad that I got angry enough at to put a 38 caliber hole through it.  But I am straying from the path. I click the Curio screen, and let it do it's thing. Then I convert the JPEG scan to whever the Curio likes (EXE?) and I'm all set to go. get to the point that the program is in the cutting box, hit CUT and it instantly says "cutting finished" all it does is run the head across the paper, while it says finished, with no cutting at all. I have tried changing every setting that I can find today with no effect on what happens. Any Idea what I am doing wrong? Even showed it the dead IPad before dinner, thought that might make an impression on it, but evidently it doesn't scare easily. Cant find anything addressing this problem on search function for the RM Web monster article

Any ideas before I ask the question over there?

Herb

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" a IPad that I got angry enough at to put a 38 caliber hole through it "



Hi Herb :old dude:



I don't think that's what Apple meant by 'taking a screen-shot' ! :shocked:



Friend of mine was annoyed by doing his paper work ...

... so added some 12-gauge 'ventilation holes' in his filing cabinet !!



Understandable !

But I generally DON'T approve of shooting indoors ! ...

... especially when I'm standing there & have to listen to it !

Very bad for the hearing.



:mex:



Si.

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Technology is a wonderful thing, I applaud those who can make it work for them. However, I'm afraid that my future in this hobby centers around Xacto knives and needle files and a ball-peen hammer. Carry on, this is fascinating!

Woodie-clan of the cave bear

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" Clan of the Cave Bear"
Whoa-- Barb isn't gonna like that if she hears it.
Some form of appeasement might be called for.

Herb the mute

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Si. wrote:

But I generally DON'T approve of shooting indoors ! ...

Even the renowned Victorian detective S. Holmes decorated his wall with an "E.R. " pattern by emptying his revolver....

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Next thing that I'm going to try is to see if it will cut one of the previous patterns that it did with no problems.

But right now, household chores need my fine touch--never realized that they took so much time out of the week.

Mrs Doubtfire

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Herb Kephart wrote:  I click the Curio screen, and let it do it's thing. Then I convert the JPEG scan to whever the Curio likes (EXE?) and I'm all set to go. get to the point that the program is in the cutting box, hit CUT and it instantly says "cutting finished" all it does is run the head across the paper, while it says finished, with no cutting at all.

@Herb
I'm using the curio, and under WIN10 it needs version 4.xxx (can't remember the complete version at the moment) available for download on their website. Version 3.3 gave me that message, too.
And then of course did I manage to PICNIC a few times, leading to the same result.
( Problem In Chair, Not In Computer )

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Helmut, thanks for the hint. AS FAR AS I KNOW, I'm running 4.1.201  . Let me go back and see if I really installed it, when  I thought I did.

Herr Kaput

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Hi Helmut.

I was wrong about having installing Ver 4.201, but with my son helping me (doing it for me) got it installed. Don't care for the new arrangement at all. Smaller icons and some functions (scaling) no longer available. Finally got everything ready---and it still plays it's little "cutting compete" thing.

We didn't install the beta version, because if there was any kind of a problem I wouldn't know what to do about it. Are you running the beta?

Herb

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Herb- try using the "better version" rather than that "beta" one. Or just go back to whittlin'.

Cheers,   Michael  (never mix Seniors & modern digito stuff, the techno will always win)

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@Herb
I run 4.1.201,( no beta etc. ) too. Does the Curio show in your Desktop 'page settings'?

Last edited on Fri Oct 13th, 2017 08:53 pm by Helmut

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Yes, it does, Helmut. Thanks for trying to help--but I surrender!  In the beginning I was tossing around two ways to make the 12 parts--make a solid "master," and from that make RTV molds, and cast the parts  from resin. OR cut pieces in the Curio and laminate them to make pieces of required thickness.

The Curio won out, because the small amounts of rubber and resin that I have are old enough that I am concerned that they wouldn't set up properly. I am ordering rubber and resin when I finish here. I have made parts this way for nearly 30 years , and with the amount of time that I (and son Doug) have put into the Curio. I could have some of the cast parts in my hand, It's off to the shop to make a 4 times larger pattern, to trace with the Gorton engraver.
Will cut the master from REN board scraps, that I have from the "good old days". REN board is beautiful stuff to work with, main problem is that it is a little expensive for hobby use, and the smallest that you could buy (last time I bought) was a 4' X 4' sheet. Comes if various thicknesses and is rather heavy  when shipping costs are involved.

Herb.

Alwin
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Herb,

I normally don't use the curio to cut images, so I am not familiar with this. But a quick internet search came up with this:

This issue can be caused by the following:
There is no cut information present (generally due to the fact that the image is an external imported file and has not yet had cut lines created) The cut lines are not set to have the lines enabled to cut


Resolution

If this is an external file that was imported (such as a JPG, PNG, or BMP file), figure out if any action beyond simply opening the file has been taken. Most commonly, this is the concern and it is necessary to use the Trace feature to create cut lines for the Silhouette to see.

Maybe this helps, but if you didn't had any problems before than I have no idea too.

Alwin

Herb Kephart
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Alwin- Thanks for that. Previous to Win10, everything worked the way it was supposed to.

However, doing a trace, and working from there is something that I never thought to try, although that is the recommended way to convert jpeg to what ever the curio software likes. I have been converting that way from the beginning, but never had to create a cut line before. Last evening I unloaded the material from the platen, to get more desk space. It's not going to take much to set up again, and try what you are suggesting. Will advise, as the thing is a real winner at making window frames. Have tried in the past to draw what I want on the design page, but that is more that my patience and skills will allow anymore. Will Post when I try, with results.

Thank you Helmut, and Alwin !

Helmut F
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Herb,
Did you ever get on with this?

My wife suddenly took an interest in a die cutting machine, and that got me looking. Something jogged my memory about this thread and I just read it through.

I am actually looking to get the Cricut Explore Air 2 or Cricut Maker *for my wife*.

;)

Herb Kephart
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Helmut, and all:

My computer time lately has been restricted with a lot of family, and other matters. I fired up the Silhouette Curio program, only to find that there was another revision-- 4.1.6  (I believe). A totally different screen format. Most importantly, downloading and printing the instruction book proved interesting. The old book had 41 pages--the new 112!


Perhaps, this version (program AND instructions) will explain all--I hope so, as the machine is like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead--when it is good, it's very very good, but when it's bad, it's horrid.

Have to get some time to read, and explore. Hope that soggy old brain can absorb all. Any one else using the new format?

Herb


Helmut F
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no worries Herb. i am quite sure you will work it out.

if i get a chance to mess with one, i will post my results.


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