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 Post subject: Cricut Maker and SCAL2
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:25 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:46 am
Posts: 2
Hi All,

Apologies if this post is a rehash of many that have gone before...

I recently bought a Cricut Maker as I do sticker designs for Lego and wanted a machine that can do kiss-cuts on small detailed vinyl stickers. After reading the reviews and comparing the Cameo vs. Cricut machines I decided the Cricut Maker seemed the better option. How wrong I was! The machine itself is actually fine but Cricut Design Space is an absolutely appalling piece of software. Common issues aside (lack of design functions etc) my biggest issue is that I have no control over the quality of the print in the print-and-cut feature, and it appears to only output at something like 100dpi, resulting in pixellated and unprofessional images (i.e. ones that I can't sell, basically).

I have had the Cricut for about 2 months now so am past the 30 day return period (from Amazon, where I bought the machine).

There are some workarounds but they are awkward, e.g. I can print to pdf in Design Space, load the pdf into an art package and then overlay the sticker images with higher resolution ones, save again as pdf in 600dpi, print that, and then get the Cricut to cut the image. This takes ages to do properly though and the cut accuracy is never 100%

My questions therefore focus on SCAL2, which I have read still works with the Cricut Maker machine (or can be made to work with it).

1) I'm concerned that SCAL2 isn't actually that readily available anymore - there are posts / comments about most of the ones being advertised actually being fakes or pirated versions, e.g. there are some for sale on the UK Etsy store but are they real???

2) Does anyone know if SCAL2 will actually work with the Cricut Maker? If so is it awkward to get it to work, or can it be made to work reliably with that machine?

3) MOST IMPORTANT! Does anyone know what the dpi / print quality is like if printed via the SCAL2 software? This is my major issue with Design Space. The quality of the printed images just isn't good enough, and my understanding is that Cricut aren't going to be improving it anytime soon. I have an inject printer that can output much higher than 600dpi, but for quality purposes I would need SCAL to output print-to-cut images at a dpi of AT LEAST 600pdi. Does anyone know if it can do this?

4) Last option - maybe I'm making this all way too complicated and should just buy a Cameo machine? If so does anyone have experience of printing vinyl stickers with a Cameo, which one, and what is the print-and-cut quality like? (e.g. can it print at 600dpi?). I'm loathe to spend hundreds more £££ on another machine but it might be the only feasible solution at this stage.

Thanks in advance
-Rob


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:38 am 

Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 7:01 am
Posts: 438
A number of years ago, three different software companies were sued by Provo Craft (the maker of Cricuts) because their programs would cut to the Cricut models available at that time. All three companies had to comply by making their software no longer compatible with Cricuts. While SCAL2 was released before this law suit, it will only work with certain Cricut models (e.g. the original Cricut, Cricut Expressions), it does not work with any of the newer Cricut cutters on the market today... and legally never can be made to work.

I don't know enough about the Cameo to answer your questions. In my opinion, you should contact Silhouette directly with questions regarding print quality. Oftentimes users will exaggerate the capabilities of their cutters in an effort to self-justify their purchase. So, I only trust company representatives to be able to correctly respond to product functionality.

If it doesn't work out, I recommend checking out the Skycut line of cutters. Their Print and Cut capability is phenomenal (I'm currrently a tester as part of writing their user manuals). And there's a method whereby you can do the printing for your PNC project directly from the design software you're using and then perform the PNC from SCAL5.

_________________
Sandy McCauley
Manager of Customer Relations and Education for KNK USA
Owner of http://www.iloveknk.com/


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:46 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:46 am
Posts: 2
SandyMcC wrote:
A number of years ago, three different software companies were sued by Provo Craft (the maker of Cricuts) because their programs would cut to the Cricut models available at that time. All three companies had to comply by making their software no longer compatible with Cricuts. While SCAL2 was released before this law suit, it will only work with certain Cricut models (e.g. the original Cricut, Cricut Expressions), it does not work with any of the newer Cricut cutters on the market today... and legally never can be made to work.

I don't know enough about the Cameo to answer your questions. In my opinion, you should contact Silhouette directly with questions regarding print quality. Oftentimes users will exaggerate the capabilities of their cutters in an effort to self-justify their purchase. So, I only trust company representatives to be able to correctly respond to product functionality.

If it doesn't work out, I recommend checking out the Skycut line of cutters. Their Print and Cut capability is phenomenal (I'm currrently a tester as part of writing their user manuals). And there's a method whereby you can do the printing for your PNC project directly from the design software you're using and then perform the PNC from SCAL5.


Hi Sandy,

Thanks for reply. I think I've actually read your website whilst Googling about print and cut options. I've started looking at the SkyCut cutters, they do seem to get good reviews. I'd like to just run what I'd be wanting to use it for by you and see if you think they can do it.

I'm designing and hoping to sell kiss-cut stickers for Lego (and similar) bricks. By their nature the stickers are small, for example a 2x2 circular Lego tile is only 15mm by 15mm, and 1x2 rectangular tile is 15mm by 7mm. I have a Canon Pixma Pro 10s printer so it can print out very high levels of detail at these sorts of scales, but I've had a nightmare trying to get my Cricut Maker to work with the printer and also print accurately. At these sorts of scales even a fraction of a mm off and it ruins the sticker. I've also tried a Brother Scan n Cut but had similar problems (and also the Scan n Cut doesn't seem to know how to cut a straight line!)

Do you think the KNK SkyCut range would be able to do what I want? That is, to kiss-cut vinyl stickers with a high degree of accuracy? Also important is the speed of the process (I guess you would say workflow). I do this outside my full-time job so don't want to spend hours trying to set it all up everytime I want to print and cut something...so far this is my experience with the Cricut, it's very tedious to get it to work properly.

Hoping there is something out there that will do what I want and not cost the earth!

Thanks in advance :-)


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