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Old 03-07-2011, 09:12 AM
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Gil Gil is offline
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Location: Northern Bear Flag Republic (Known as Water World in L.A.)
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Selection Spreadsheet

A comparison of various hobby plotter/cutters is here.

Klick 'N Kut appears to have the best spec's for card modeling use.


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Old 03-20-2011, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 51
Gil, that's a great resource. I'm seeing more and more convincing samples of what modelers are doing with these machines.

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Old 03-21-2011, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 325
I'm failing to see a decent feed tray on all these 'vinyl cutters', which is probably why they need alignment marks, feed sheets and optical sensors. My Epson printer has this really cheap sliding plastic glide that when pushed up against the paper almost always guarantees that it will print in the correct position.
I'm assuming that by feeding the card/paper in by hand these devices are only designed for cutting shapes for templates, signs and other crafts, they weren't designed for the purpose your trying to use them for.

As for vector graphics, pepakura can produce a .dxf, but this file is useless 'as is' and needs manual editing to produce a cut/score file. Should point out here that the pepakura format contains enough information to auto generate a cut/score file.
The issue I see is the correct conversion from vector to scaled sheet, dxf doesn't contain scale info, so when you import it to other software your going to have to scale and align it manually, which is as tedious as cutting out the sheets with scissors.

I think all that is lacking in these desktop devices is the correct software and a decent optional feed tray. Is it worth talking to these companies about such problems? The needs of the paper modelers would open up other possibilities in other craft areas.

where you live? where in your house is the plotter? when do you go out? do you have wonder woman wallpaper?
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:16 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Earth
Posts: 5,159
"This is my Printer Cutter (Plotter) and even I won't waste my time trying to create a cut pattern for a preprinted model. would be hours of work creating the cut file.
...then many test cuts to try to get it just right.
...then one shot to run through the printed page and most likely ruin it.

In that case, it saves a lot of hand cut work."

Dave, I just wonder. I used to program 4 and 5 axis CNC machines. Fixtures and parts came off every day, sometimes many times a day. In those days you would use a code (G98 offset) to make a new relative starting position. Let's say you making a bulkhead and start working on another one. You would then take a reading from established Datum planes (X,Y,Z and or A and B), and proceed. Parts always came out perfect. Is there anyway on your machine to establish Datum planes (using a point on the model itself) or is it always off the edges of the paper (not sure if it is, just asking). Production machinery never sees a part, it cuts a path based on a predetermined reference point. As long as the reference point is the same, you get repeatability. Just curious, as that is one helluva a nice looking machine you've got there!
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:23 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Dunedin, NZ
Posts: 101
I have an old CraftRobo at work. It takes in vector images and trawls them for lines of two particular colours (programmable, default red for cutting, green for scoring.) These lined are in the image but are not printed.

It is cute to watch it cutting away, but I have not yet thought of a way to get it to cut parts out of pre-printed models, or even third-party vector-format files. It is designed to be used with files that are created for it. I have not yet examined the Pepakura option, that might well be fun.

In addition to the blades (which I have found to be quite hardy), an adhesive backing sheet is needed to retain the work under the blade. In my case, this quickly wore out and I lost one project that slipped out of alignment. I have one spare backing sheet, but have not yet found a source for replacements.
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:51 AM
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Location: USA
Posts: 2,929
The people on the World Works Games forum have a section where they discuss the use of the CraftRobo/Silhouette machine to cut out the parts for making game terrain. There are a lot of good ideas on how to use them including a way to make home made carrier sheets. There might be something in there to help out.

WorldWorksGames :: Index

WWG Users Resources > CraftRobo/Silhouette SD/Automated Cutting Support
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It is not laudatory or heroic to accomplish that duty the neglect of which would be criminal.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 51
The carrier sheet can be revitalized by spraying it with low tack spray adhesive. It seems that taking these machines from the craft world to the model world does have a learning curve but is very possible.
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:22 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Dunedin, NZ
Posts: 101
Thanks for the tips! It will now be towards the end of the year before I will have time to set the CraftRobo up again, but I have made a note for reference then.
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:07 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Jakarta
Posts: 615
...i'll just bumped it up, in case anyone interested in reading the thread again :-) .
WIP: Marek Hellcat (scale up)
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:11 AM
lillorizzo's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Messina, Italy
Posts: 71
Sorry fo the stupid question. I am new to papermodeling...When building a tank tracks how do you cut off the useless paper parts among the links? Thank you
Lillo Rizzo
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