Using layered svg files in SCAL 2.0

July 27, 2009

One of the great new features of SCAL 2.0 is that you can import layered svg files into SCAL and use the layers as they are, or use the ungroup feature to separate the svg layers and move them around.  You can get SCAL 2.0 here as either a new program or an upgrade.  I used Inkscape to create a card file with three layers, one to score the card for folding, one to use markers, and one to cut the card.  I created a separate layer for scoring rather than using dashed lines because you can use an old blade turned upside down in the blade holder to make score lines.    Here are the steps I used.

  1. Create an svg with a layer for each technique you want to use (ie a cutting layer, a scoring layer, a layer for each color of marker, etc).  Leave all of the layers that you wish to use in SCAL visible.
  2. Import the svg into SCAL.
  3. If the layer window in SCAL2 isn’t showing, from the menu, Window/Workspace/Advanced.  The layers window should be in the lower right corner.
  4. Click on the triangle next to the svg folder to reveal the svg layers.
    layer svg 1
  5. Open and close the eyes to determine what is in that layer, then click on the menu button at the top right corner of the layers box, select “Properties”, then change the name to represent that layer.  Do this for each layer.
  6. Close all of the eyes, then open them one at a time to use each layer.

Here is the card I made.  You could also use the marker layer to cut an overlay for the card instead of using a marker.  The download includes the svg file, a 2.0 scut for use with a 6×12 mat, and a 2.0 scut for use with an Expression.  These files are for personal use only. Feel free to link to this post, but the files are not to be shared or distributed in any way.

Download the files from here.

happy birthday card copy


Solid letters using Cricut markers and SCAL

July 21, 2009

One of the common questions on the SCAL forum is how to get solid letters with Cricut markers.    One option is to use a thin, even font such as Learning Curve.  I found a font called Multistroke that also worked well.  Another option is to use Inkscape and make a series of smaller and smaller linked offsets.  This method will work with any font.  My first attempt at this turned out pretty well.  There were a few spots that weren’t filled in, but one more offset would have taken care of that.     Here is how to do this in Inkscape.

  1. Change your Inkscape view mode to outline (View/Display mode/Outline)
  2. Type your text
  3. With the text selected, use the menu Path/Object to Path
  4. With the text still selected, Path/Linked offset
  5. Click on the little white square that appears somewhere at the top of your text and drag it inside your letters until you think you have a good distance between your offset and original letter
  6. With the offset still selected, Path/Object to path
  7. Repeat as necessary from step 4 until you have your letters filled in.  See below for an image from my sample file and the results with the markers.

text path inset

Here is a sample I made using Ariel with the linked offsets, Learning Curve, Multistrokes, and ALS Script.  I set the height at 1″ for all of the fonts.  The dots between the letters on Learning Curve and ALS Script are because I forgot to use Path/Union before importing into SCAL.

marker sample1