cricut machines

Inkaneer Nov 23, 2016

  1. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Anyone heard of these? Cricut (pronounced crick cut) machines have been used in the scrap booking hobby for several years. They can print and cut various designs. Now they are able to cut out shapes like buildings from wood or plastic. There is a demo video available from Trainmasters TV that was featured in the October 10, 2016 edition of Model Railroad Hobbyist E Magazine. Here is a link to that video

    http://mrhmag.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=571743ad1254f1d0593e8f68d&id=93e2ac4b42&e=82af7f6767

    Click on the link then click on the box entitled "play video"

    Note: the E Magazine is free but a subscription to Trainmasters TV is not. (The video is free however)
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
    Doorgunnerjgs likes this.
  2. Doorgunnerjgs

    Doorgunnerjgs TrainBoard Member

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    That's pretty cool. My wife is a crafter and we have looked at those before, but never got one. Now I'm wondering why not!!!!
     
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  3. crappie610

    crappie610 TrainBoard Supporter

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    you have to buy the Circut expoler air . it the only one you can use to cut buildings you also need a program like Inkscape to draw your buildings and export them to the circut. I have been doing it for about 2 years'

    chuck tidd
     
  4. crappie610

    crappie610 TrainBoard Supporter

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    where is a yahoo group for the circut
     
  5. warnerj01

    warnerj01 TrainBoard Member

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    My wife had a Cricut, but she switched to the Silhouette Cameo.

    IMHO...

    For our hobby, I think the Silhouette Cameo does a better job and more advanced features and functions than the Cricut. Both products have Pros and Cons.

    Check out Silhouette's Video
     
  6. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Chuck, maybe you can give us a short overview of the process from designing a building in Inkscape to actual cutting it on the Cricut.
     
  7. SLSF Freak

    SLSF Freak Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I got a Craft Robo (same concept) several years ago and just couldn't get into it, and I sure tried. I think it's one of those things that you'll either really enjoy the medium or you won't. If you're one of those that really does well with papercraft it would probably fit the bill nicely. As an n scaler, my prints/cuts tended to be small and I ran into issues of fragility of the small parts. But again, that's just me and my lack of patience - not necessarily an indictment of the product itself. I will say I was super impressed with how well it could cut fine details. And it's nice to be able to print your bricks or roofing and have the cutter be able to cut the shapes perfectly on the prints. So having tried the cutter, a CNC mill and 3D Printer, I've discovered I'm a 3D printer guy - that's where I get the most enjoyment. If I were to give 2D another shot I'd try out a laser engraver to see if that's a better experience for me.

    Would love to see some of the cutter guys share their works!

    -Mike
     
  8. kingpeta

    kingpeta TrainBoard Member

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    I'm starting to look at these machines and wondering how well they do with cutting things like styrene and thin balsa or basswood? Why is the Silhouette better than the Cricut? Some of the comparisons I read online say the Cricut makes better, more intricate cuts which could be really important for me working in N scale.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  9. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Good question. I would like to hear other's evaluation or comparison also. I am not interested in doing really intricate work but I would like to know some basic stuff like can it work on styrene and what thickness. The Trainmaster's video mentioned 1/16" basswood I believe.
     
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  10. crappie610

    crappie610 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I genealy use 20/30 styrene. In most cases it dont cut all the way,so you just snap it out. I can cut doors and windows so they are press fit on tickly doors and windors.
     
  11. DD99

    DD99 Guest

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    Good morning. I've been scoping out the Cricut as well as the Silhouette machines. I like the Silhouette Curio because it does embossing, but it only does 8.5"X6". Not necessarily a deal breaker in N Scale.

    My wife has been checking them out as well, she works with polymer clay... We've decided on the Silhouette Cameo because it's the best mutual fit, but have agreed that we may get the Silhouette Curio after we've experimented with the Cameo, for it's additional functionality.

    Here's some links that she came up with, they aren't railroad modeling (RRM) centric ;-):
    http://cuttingforbusiness.com/2016/05/04/silhouette-cameo-versus-cricut-explore/

    https://personaldiecutting.com/cricut-explore-air-vs-silhouette-cameo-3/



    http://www.allthingsthrifty.com/201...-take-2-im-a-fair-weather-fan-apparently.html

    I've only gotten through the first one, but it says:
    "Plan to cut paper? I’d recommend a Cricut Explore Air.
    Looking to cut thicker, denser materials or a wider variety of materials? I’d recommend a Cricut Explore Air."
    - certainly weights it for RRM.

    Pros for Cameo in that article:
    "Plan to create lots of custom designs? I’d recommend a Silhouette Cameo."

    Another thing we don't like about the Cricut is it's proprietary restrictions which I really dislike supporting, like the software only being useable if you are online, and some bought designs only "rented", not owned by the user.

    We're waiting for boxing day to purchase, so the decision may change before then...

    Cheers
    Dd
     
  12. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Neither of these machines are currently being marketed for the model railroading hobby or, for that matter any of the modeling hobbies (airplanes, boats, etc.) So I would imagine that none of the designs that are available would be of much use to us. But if we can design an object in Cadrail or Inkscape and then have the machine cut out the object that is where these machines will benefit us. This is very doable. Until I saw the Cricut machine I was all set to produce a bunch of coal mining patch houses that are ubiquitous to coal mining towns all over Appalachia. That would have consumed a lot of time. But with a cutting machine I could probably do a whole town in a fraction of the time to do one house manually. The critical issue with these machines is how thick of a material will they cut. The video mentioned 1/16" basswood and .03 plastic. That is pretty substantial for our needs in Nscale.
     
  13. SLSF Freak

    SLSF Freak Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Also I'm curious of the life expectancy of these blades when scribing or cutting thicker materials. For the paper cutting I did (and some card stock) I could do maybe two projects before the blade would start to drag and tear the paper on fine cuts. The blades back then were proprietary so there was a supply/demand issue I ran into. It was a new technology however back then so I wouldn't be surprised if they have blades in bulk these days for the hard core but I don't know.
     
  14. crappie610

    crappie610 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I use (ink scape) for my draw[ngs ,and export them to the circut design space. the circut will store them in its libary.you can pull them up ant time and use them
     
  15. Doorgunnerjgs

    Doorgunnerjgs TrainBoard Member

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  16. kingpeta

    kingpeta TrainBoard Member

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    I went back and watched that TMTV episode using the Cricut. He cut out a simple circle from .030 styrene. The machine did it but he had to sort of break out the circle from the sheet. As if it scored it well but didn't quite cut through completely. He also mentioned it can cut 1/16" basswood. He was using an optional deep cut blade.

    I also read one of the independent test reports linked in one of the above links and they obtained superior cut results after using custom settings that differed from what the manufacturer recommended. Maybe this approach would yield better cuts in our "model railroad" type materials.

    I'm still researching......


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  17. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    One other aspect of these machines is that they can be programed to go back and cut the same pattern more than once to avoid making one deep cut all at once. We are all familiar with the 'score and snap' method for styrene construction so I am not concerned with that. But what I am impressed with is the accuracy of the cut.
     
  18. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    I have been experimenting with Inkscape but the online directions seem to assume that a user has some knowledge of such programs. That is, of course, not always the case. My biggest question is how does one design a building so that it is 1:160 scale? The instructions don't seem to cover this aspect.
     
  19. gary60s

    gary60s TrainBoard Member

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    Convert the full-scale dimension to inches and decimal fractions (4' 8 1/2" to 56.5") and divide by 160 (0.353125.) All of my sketch sets are drawn in N scale this way.
     

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