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Old 09-26-2018, 10:04 PM
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jaffro jaffro is offline
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I recently purchased the Scan n Cut CM700 but also haven't played around with it much yet. I tried it out at the start of my current build, to cut out the parts for my wheels. It can be a bit hit and miss but that was after kindof rushing into it without learning how to use the machine properly. I wouldn't trust it on a purchased kit until you fully understand the machine and the software but there is definitely potential there with some time spent learning how to use it properly.

There are a multitude of tutorials and how-to's out there, these too can be hit and miss, some people should be made to watch some "how to make a how-to video" tutorials before posting.... but that's another story.

So, to address some of your points...

Quote:
Originally Posted by airdave View Post

1. You need the sticky mat for holding whatever sheet you are scanning and cutting.
You'll need to take care of this mat and keep it clean, and probably replace it regularly.
I see no reason to assume it will harm your model sheets.
This is where I made my first mistake by rushing in. I read a lot and watched a lot of videos about this machine prior to purchasing but even with extensive researching, I somehow missed a few people's tips to "de-stickify" the cutting mat prior to first use.

My first cut test was a success, removing it from the mat was another story. It stuck so well that it removed the back layer of the cardstock (250gsm) which eventually resulted in me having to entirely remove the sticky surface of the mat. This can be replaced with store bought products, to avoid the reasonably pricey purchase of a whole new mat. There are a number of tutorials showing how to do this, I've bought the products but haven't attempted it yet.

I should also add, when it comes to supplies and replacement items for this machine (mats, tools, blades etc) Amazon.com is your friend. At least for me anyway, in Australia, it's cheaper for me to order from Amazon than to buy replacement items from the official local supplier.

When purchasing the items to fix my mat, I also purchased the "low tack" mat, which is much better suited to cardstock than the standard mat that comes with the machine.



Quote:
2. Important...the scanner, is only about 400dpi
...the higher the resolution, the better the scan and the better the cut outline will be.
But the demonstration appears to show a fairly accurate scan result.
I have the higher end model (prior to the new Scan n Cut 2 series) and my scanner is only 300dpi, but this seems to be more than adequate for what the machine needs, as long as your prints are crisp and clear. Scans can also be a bit hit and miss however, I've had a few instances where the machine only recognizes one of two similar parts, right next to each other on a sheet. This is also something that can be rectified in software and settings however, but I haven't looked into that yet.

Quote:
3. Nice to see you can adjust and set the cutting outline.
In case you want to cut outside the outline contour and leave extra material, or cut right on the outline, or even cut inside the scan outline.
The adjustment for this appears to down to thousandths of an inch.
I haven't played around with this much but it does appear to be very useful.

Quote:
4. In the video demonstration, the operator chooses to leave a small edge outline(border) around all cut parts.
Even in the low quality video, you can still see that the registration is ever so slightly off
and the outline is slightly thicker on one side of each cut part.
This leads to me to assume that if she had chosen to cut directly on the outline of each object
the cut would have been slightly off the mark.
This isn't a big deal for a "sticker" or craft thingy...
but for a scale model part, that kind of inaccuracy could be a serious issue.
Well spotted, this does indeed seem to be an issue but like I said, I haven't experimented with it enough yet to know for sure.

Everything you scan on the machine can be edited on the screen as that video shows, what she didn't show was that you can also export your scans to the web-based software for further editing on your computer. I played around with this after watching some tutorials and there's a lot you can do to fix inaccurate cut lines before cutting, also removing things you don't want to cut, such as part numbering etc from printed model sheets (the basic scan will want to cut everything). This basically brings up the issue of how much time you want to spend in software to save time actually cutting out parts by hand.

I used it to cut the concentric rings and join strips for my wheels. I scanned and printed the parts sheets first, so as not to wreck my actual kit parts, it was an expensive kit. Glad I did too, the cuts weren't very accurate, but considering I had always planned to putty and paint the wheels, they were still usable and saved me a lot of annoying repetitive cutting of tiny triangular tabs.


Quote:
I think this is the biggest factor when thinking about using a scan and cut machine to cut preprinted models.
(When I say preprinted, I am including any printed page, whether it be from a retail kit or your own printed model pages.)
If this device cannot scan accurately, and then cut accurately, on the outline of the parts
then it is useless to anyone who is trying to build printed models accurately.

Its possible the machine allows you to adjust the registration and you can try to cut again.
But in many cases, you may have only one chance to cut a printed sheet.

So, while I am impressed with the machine and its features and its price,
I'm still not sold on this idea.
I'm still not sold on it either. I went ahead with the purchase because I was offered a good deal on it through a CC rewards program and it has other uses. Vinyl cut lettering, Crafts for the kids, to name just two. I'm also keen to try it out for cutting my own scratch built/designed parts for another model i'm working on, using the web/computer based software to prepare some parts sheets to be cut from plain cardstock. Tracks for a bulldozer, to be more specific, a lot of small, repetitive cutting.

But to sum up, as far as perfect cutting of pre-purchased or printed parts sheets, I think they still have a way to go, or at least you need to spend a fair bit of time learning how to use the software and the machine itself to get good results.

For people with issues cutting stuff by hand due to disabilities, arthritis etc... if you're willing to spend the time with the software etc, there is definitely some potential there and I would reccomend trying to get a look at one of these in action or speak to someone who uses one regularly about how it could work for you.
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