Getting Started with the Skycut C24 Cutter/Plotter
There are a lot of brands of cutters out there to choose from. Pros and cons for each… I first heard about the Skycut a couple of years ago after talking to a friend. The machine became my dream machine — but since I still had 3 other working cutters, I put the purchase on hold, but kept my heart set on getting one in the future. When 2 of the 3 cutters bit the dust between December and February, I knew it was time to take the leap before the last cutting machine also made its last cut. A little more research, talking with other users – and the decision was made to make the purchase.
The biggest pros:
1) not having to learn new software
2) having the heavy-duty machine
3) the 1-year warranty that comes with the machine along with
4) the free technical support and the FREE user manual is well written, easy to understand, and it also provides a suggested cutting guide for the myriad of materials the machine will cut and engrave. (User Manual was updated July 2021)
5) the additional option of a laser attachment that is available, that will etch into several materials
6) Tech support is also willing to test cut new materials without charge and provides guides on getting the best cuts if the material can be cut
The C24 is a large cutter. Probably bigger than most crafters would need but I’m not disappointed at all…
Let’s see what comes in the box!
The machine, blade holder, 3 blades (2 red-capped, 1 blue-capped), pen in a holder (and a replacement pen), power cord, USB cable, cutting mat.
As you can see, the machine has the tools you need to successfully create 1, 2, or 3D projects as well as draw, emboss, or engrave. Cut paper, fabric, vinyl, crepe paper, craft foam, wood veneer, and more.
Additional tools are available – pen tool (can handle most household pens and markers) and the adapter for the Foil Quill which is one of the tools used frequently with the machine.
The pinch wheels on the machine help to feed the material, or mat and material through the cutting area with ease. The pinch wheels are adjustable. My preference is to use the two center pinch wheels to feed the 12 x 12 mat. There are levers on the pinch wheels. They should be kept in the up position for most materials. Thicker materials may require a little more “grip” and lowering the lever on the pinch wheels that are feeding the material through the cutting area may be needed. For most purposes, the levers are in the up position. The larger lever on the back of the machine is to set the pinch wheels directly on the mat or material. The lever should be placed in the up position to lock them in place. The user manual goes into more detail about the placement of the pinch wheels and is important to read.
Another bonus for this machine is that you can use mats from other sources. As shown in the video, a mat that was for another cutting machine can be utilized. You may need to make some adjustments to the blade settings, however, depending on the thickness of your mat and the material. When cutting, the blade should cut only through the material and not kiss the mat.
The image below is a mat that has been used almost daily for the last month. The only marks on the mat are from the pinch wheels.
TIP: When using a mat, place the pieces to be cut in the center of your mat. While the pinch wheels will not impede cutting from edge to edge of your material, you may not get the cleanest cut on an older mat where the wheels have laid a track on the mat.
Connecting the machine to the software
Many of the machines are WI-Fi capable and you can connect to your local network and not have to use the USB cable. However, because my WI-Fi connection can be a little iffy at times in the downstairs studio, the USB cable is the perfect solution. SCAL 5 Pro is my software choice and the transition from eCal 3 to SCAL was an easy one.
BONUS: An internet connection is not required to use the software. The main drawback would be if you don’t have a computer and your preference is using a mobile device to design or cut from your device. Be sure to set your software to work with your machine. You can do that very easily with the software in just a couple of steps.
Don’t be afraid of making a mistake while setting up your machine for the first cut. You really do learn from them. Keep a notebook handy for the things that work, the materials and mats you’re using, and also for the oopses as well.
Since purchasing the machine in April of 2021, most of my projects have been paper-based. Lots of print 2 cut and many projects using files purchased at Creative Fabrica. You’ll find a few of my projects posted on The Artistry.
While you may not need this large of a machine, there is a C16 model with a cutting area of just under 16 inches also available. The C16 is about the same size as the eclips, the Maker, or a standard Silhouette machine. The C24 is approximately 38 inches long.
If you would like a little more information about this amazing cutting machine, check out PlotterGeeks.com for machine details. You’ll find the SKYCut User Manual here and of course, YouTube videos here.