March 18, 2011
Did you know that you can apply new adhesive to your cutter mats? I’ve been doing this for years and it works great. There are several different adhesives that you can use. Here is a list of some of them:
- Repositional spray adhesive (Krylon makes one, not sure what other brands are available)
- Basting spray (It’s in the fabric section)
- Xyron re-positional adhesive for the sticker makers, or re-positionable glue runners
- Zig 2 Way glue (I’ve been told they have a wide marker, I tried the chisel tip on a smaller area)
- Aleene’s Tack-It Over and Over diluted with equal parts water (I use a foam brush to paint it on)
Here are the basic steps for any of the adhesives:
- Clean your mat. You can use baby wipes or wash the mat with soap and water. Let the mat dry. This works great in between applications too since it removes all of the extra paper bits and lint sticking to the adhesive.
- If you are using a spray, mask off the edges of your mats.
- Apply your choice of adhesive, then let dry if needed.
- Most of these adhesives will leave your mat overly sticky, so pat the mat all over with your hands to reduce the stickiness.
I have tried several of these, but my favorite is Aleene’s Tack-It Over and Over. It does have a longer dry time, but you don’t need to mask your edges (just be careful with your foam brush) and it doesn’t have fumes like the sprays. I’m all for the quick and easy! I have a container that I use to store the diluted Aleene’s and the foam brush I use to apply it. When I need to re-apply adhesive I just get out my container and I’m ready to go with no prep time. 🙂
August 4, 2010
I found three more new features in SCAL 2.021.
One is the ability to open more than one SCUT2 file at a time. If you click on the Import svg button or use Import from the file menu you can open multiple SCUT2 files. Each one will open in a new page, but if you want them on the same page you can copy and paste them where you want them.
The font list is now alphabetical, no more lower case font names at the bottom of the list.
The other new feature is the ability to simplify your cutting files. Here is how you use it.
- Select the Path that you want to simplify and from the menu use Path/Simplify.
- A dialog will appear. You can change how severe the simplification by increasing or decreasing the threshold. Click on Preview to see the change. The number of nodes is shown above both the before and after images. A higher threshold will result in more nodes being removed, but can cause distortion of the shapes. Click OK when you like the results.
- This is what my simplified text looks like using the default of 50. It originally had 623 nodes and the simplified letters had 194 nodes and will cut faster than the original.
I have updated my original post on the SCAL 2.021 update to include all of the features that I found after I wrote that post.
August 3, 2010
I found another new addition to SCAL 2.021 today. For those of you familiar with Inkscape, this would be the same as Path/Combine. It doesn’t change the cutting lines, just the fill settings. This is really useful when working with paper piecing files to combine pieces together into one layer.
Here is an example of how it works.
Shapes before using Object Merge
- Shapes after using Object Merge
August 1, 2010
Craft Edge has released an update for SCAL2 here. Here are the changes:
- The much asked for ability to export to svg files directly from SCAL. Files can also be exported as BMP and PNG. All of these are found in the menu under File/Export.
- You can now open multiple SCUT2 files in different pages of the same file. I have more detail on this here.
- The ability to use vector PDF files directly without needing to use another program to convert them to SVG first.
- Automatic simplification that can be adjusted or disabled (available through the menu: Edit/Preferences/Edit tab).
- Path Simplify has been added. I have more detail on this here.
- Adjustable grid with snapping option. Snapping is available in the View menu and the grid can be adjusted there or in the Preferences/Grid tab.
- More shapes have been added to the shapes library, including USA and a nice selection of flourishes (possibly music and symbols too, but I can’t remember for sure). I also noticed new shapes in the basics shapes section.
- Each shape is now placed on it’s own layer, and when shapes are Unioned the layers are automatically combined. If shapes are Grouped, they are all placed in a folder with the layers underneath. If a shape is deleted, it’s layer is also deleted.
- Object/Merge has been added. This is comparable to Path/Combine in Inkscape. See this post for more information on this.
- A deactivate option has been added to the Help menu. Very useful if changing computers or compatibility mode.
- The ability to move objects on the mat by clicking anywhere on them. This was actually added in 2.013, but that version was removed from the download page after a day or two.
- Fonts are now in alphabetical order, even fonts with lower case names.
April 16, 2010
I just switched from XP to Windows 7 64 bit, and discovered that my usual method of opening uninstalled fonts to use in Inkscape doesn’t work with Win7. When I tried to install The Font Thing I got an error message and it wouldn’t install. What is a font addict to do? I found this solution and it works! Go to The Font Thing website here and then click on the Download tab. Download the second link on the download page. You want the one without the installer since you aren’t going to install the program. Once you have the files downloaded, unzip them, then for ease of use I pinned the TFT.exe to the taskbar. Just click on the pinned file to run the program.
When you click on the Browse tab, you might just get a question mark. If you click on the refresh button it will change to your C drive and you can navigate to where you have your uninstalled fonts stored. Then you can preview or temporarily load your uninstalled fonts. 🙂 If you want to use TFT to install fonts, you will have to set it to run as an administrator before you open the program.