Add paragraph text here.Cutting Machines
1. History (Junior, Cadette, Senior, Ambassador)
Your machine is a plotter or cutting machine. It has a head attached to an arm to draw, trace, or cut paths that have been plotted out. Plotters use vectors which are point or path drawn images.
This is not a printer. Printers use cartridges that lay down ink mediums to display raster and vector images.
The first commercial plotters began being used in the 1950’s. As computer software started to evolve so did the customization and use of plotters. Most plotters were found in sign shops and the drafting industry. The first cutting machines marketed to crafters came out in the early 2000’s.
2. Get to know your machine. (Junior, Cadette, Senior, Ambassador)
What is it called? Does it need cartridges or does it run off a computer program or an app? a. What kind of materials will it cut? How do you tell it the kind of material you are using? b. Will your machine require a mat or will it cut without a mat. Does it need different mats for different kinds of materials?
3. Decide on a project. (all levels)
Do you want to do a scrapbook page? Or maybe a poster for World Thinking Day or for selling cookies. Maybe you would like to make 3D flowers. Or embellish an Acrylic Pour Painting or jewelry. Maybe you would like to design a troop shirt or flag. Or put names on water bottles or camp chairs or sit-upons. Do you want to make a quilt? Or dog tags? Or aprons for your cookie booth? Maybe some temporary tattoos for a recruitment rally. You can even do troop bumper stickers. Or invitations to your bridging ceremony. Maybe you want to name your kayak. Or put Thank You stickers on boxes of cookies you sell. Maybe you want to make decorations for a ceremony. Or boxes for badges. The possibilities are endless with cutting machines.
4. Learn the vocabulary (Daisy and Brownie do * words, others do to the level the girls need to do their project)
a. Cutter/Plotter - A plotter is a computer hardware device much like a printer that is used for printing vector graphics. Instead of toner, plotters use a pen, pencil, marker, or knife heads, continuous lines onto selected medium rather than a series of dots like a traditional printer. b. SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics with support for interactivity and animation. c. Vector vs Raster - Unlike JPEGs, GIFs, and BMP images, vector graphics are not made up of a grid of pixels. Instead, vector graphics are comprised of paths, which are defined by a start and end point, along with other points, curves, and angles along the way. A path can be a line, a square, a triangle, or a curvy shape. These paths can be used to create simple drawings or complex diagrams. Paths are even used to define the characters of specific typefaces. d. Die Cut Machine - Machines with cartridges e. *Vinyl - a thin, flexible plastic-like material with adhesive on the back f. *Heat transfer vinyl - thin, flexible plastic-like material with an adhesive that is activated with heat. g. *Weeding - getting rid of the parts you don’t want h. *Transfer tape - reusable tape to transfer vinyl from carrier sheet to the project i. *Font - style of text j. Mats - used to hold materials stable for cutting. Your machine may have one style of mat, or may have many mats with different holding strengths. Check you machine for the correct mat. 1, Light grip - paper 2.Medium grip - vinyl, cardstock 3.Strong grip - leather, metals, acrylics 4.Fabric - fabric k. Tools 1.Scoring stylus - for fold lines 2.*Curved pick - a hooked tool with a sharp end to pick up unwanted portion of your material 3. Pick - a tool with a sharp end to pick up unwanted portion of your material 4. Spatula - for lifting paper off of the sticky mat 5. Burnisher/squeegee - used for rubbing/attaching two things together L. Blades 1. Fine Cut - for vinyl, paper 2. Deep Cut - for chipboard, metal, leather 3. Rotorey - for fabric
5. Design your project (Daisy, Brownie on paper, Junior, Cadette, Senior, Ambassador on program, if the machine uses a program))
Different machines require you to design your project in different ways.
A cartridge machine can only cut from the cartridges you have. Look through the cartridges to see what you can make.
Other machines allow you to design your project on the computer, tablet, or your phone. These programs allow you to use thousands of pre-designed projects, upload images, or design your own images. You will need to check your machine to see what programs to run. Most programs allow you to upload your own images.
YouTube has lots of videos to teach you how to do different projects on your machine.
6. Choose your materials (all levels) Different projects require different kinds of materials.
Paper. Your machine cuts many kinds of paper. Some will even do paper as thin as tissue paper or as thick as mat boards for pictures. Scrapbook paper is used often for projects. It is a heavier paper with a pattern (or color) printed on one or two sides. It is almost always printed on white paper. When it is cut, you can see the white on the edges.
3D flowers use cardstock, but look best with solid core cardstock. That means the color goes all the way through, not just on the top of the paper. You can see if the paper is solid core by looking at the edge of the paper. If you can see white on the edge or on the bottom, it is not solid core. Cardstock also comes in different weights. 3D flowers do best with about #65 cardstock.
Vinyl is cut with cutting machines. It comes in flat sheets and in rolls. There are many different kinds of vinyl. The first 4 listed come in many colors, glitter, holographic, fluorescent, and even glow in the dark. a. Permanent b. Removable c. Marine d. Iron-on or HTV - heat transfer vinyl - comes in hot peel or cold peel e. Printable - comes in both permanent and iron-on f. Waterslide or tattoo g. Window cling
Some cutting machines will cut fabric. Some require a stablizer ironed on the back of the fabric. Others require a fabric mat. Check your machine for requirements if you want to cut fabric.
Some machines will do engraving on acrylic or metal.
Some machines allow you to print using a seperate printer, then it will cut out the design for you.
Some machines allow you to cut thin pieces of leather, wood, and even metal.
7. Cut your design (all levels) Follow the instructions for your machine to cut your design. Remember that different materials may require different settings. Check your machine settings before cutting. It is important to note that most HTV (heat transfer vinyl) is mirrored when it is cut. The HTV is placed shiny side down, and the back is cut so that it can be placed on your object and ironed on with the adhesive on the back.
Different materials may require different cutting blades or tools added. Check your machine instructions for the different blades and tools required.
8. Weeding (all levels) When your project is cut, your paper or vinyl or other material is still all there. You must take out the parts you do not want, leaving the parts that you are going to use. This process is called weeding. Some materials and some cuts weed easily. Glitter vinyl and HTV can be difficult to weed, especially if it involves small pieces. A light source under/behind your project may help. Another option is to put corn starch on the back of glitter HTV before weeding to help show the lines.
9. Put it together (all levels)
Once your material is cut you need to put it all together to finish your project.This may require glue, hot glue, or transfer tape to move the design from the vinyl sheet to your project.
If you use HTV (heat transfer vinyl) you will need a heat source. Heat sources range from an iron all the way up to a heat press. HTV is put on using high temperatures. Make sure you place something under your project, like a towel or a pressing pillow. Do not iron or press on a wood table, it can damage the table. Having a piece of cooking parchment paper or a teflon sheet is recommended to
use between your project and your heat source. Check your brand of HTV to see what temperature to use. Also note if your HTV is hot peel or cold peel. If it is hot peel, you peel up the transfer tape while the HTV is still hot. If it is cold peel, you must wait until it returns to a normal temperature before peeling the transfer tape.