Skycut Camera Calibration
Ever felt overwhelmed when you opened the box and look at your new electronic cutting machine? If your answer is yes, then know that you’re not alone and it’s not an uncommon feeling.
The previous article/video shared some details about what was in the box, This post is all about setting up the machine for successful cuts. So let’s get to it. Have your notebook on hand.
The SkyCut works with several pieces of software. My software of choice is SCAL 5 Pro. The format of the program is very similar to the software used with the eClips, so the learning curve was minimal. So this article will be specific to use with SCAL.
Install the software and connect to the machine as directed in the User Manual (free download here). This is covered in Section 1.
SCAL offers WYSIWYG or Origin Point set up. My preferred choice is WYSIWYG but if you’re an Origin Point crafter, by all means, check out that option. It’s covered in Section 1 as well.
Section 2 covers more basics – including maintenance of the machine and mats. Don’t skip this section either. Once you’ve completed Sections 1 and 2 —
Let’s move on to one of the most used options for many crafters – print and cut!
Print and Cut
Section 3 covers Print and Cut (Contour Cut) and calibration of the camera for perfect cuts. The calibration process is very easy. You’ll need a piece of paper, a mat, and the test pen that came with your machine.
Insert the test pen into the holder and secure it. Place the mat and paper into the cutting area of the machine and lift the lever to secure the mat and paper under the pinch wheels. Using the control panel and arrows, move the pen to an area of the sheet of paper. Be sure to leave room to move the pen an inch or two away from the square that will be drawn in the next step.
Please view the following short video. The steps outlined will help you calibrate the camera for use. Stop the video as often as needed to complete the steps.
You’ll also find additional details if you run into trouble in the User Manual. Upon successful calibration of the camera, you don’t need to reset it again unless the machine has been jarred by moving. The steps for print to cut are pretty simple.
- Import png images or SVGs. Set the lines to Print and Cut Print in the Styles panel (look for the Wrench). If your image is truly transparent, you’ll want to check the Preview screen to see which lines will actually cut. You may need to add a Blackout Shadow Layer (Contour Cut) behind the image for a successful cut. Most png images will cut along the outer edge – just be sure to check preview before sending the images to the printer or cutting. Page setup may impact the way your printer prints, so be sure to use that option in the software and make sure that your printer is set to the correct paper size as well.
- Print the image(s) using the Print + Cut button on the cutter window. Once your print has been completed, place the images on the mat. Insert the mat into the machine.
- Move the blade holder to the lower right registration mark, (if you closed the print + Cut window, open it again and follow the directions in the window and click NEXT.
Click the SCAN button. The machine will automatically register at all four corners of the registration marks and then will begin to cut.
The following images are from Summer Clipart by designer NotturnaClipArt.
The images below have been watermarked and are printed on Neenah 110 lb white card stock.
Cut sheet, pulled from mat. Images are cleanly cut on the cutting outlines:
Below are the images left on the mat — some are cut right along the lines of the images and others have a sticker margin. All are ready to color:
Here is a close-up of one of the images, cut and ready for coloring. Note the detail of the cut along the braid and the sunsuit:
There is a wide variety of images available at Creative Fabrica. You’ve got a whole library full of choices to make for any occasion. Remember too, that images can be printed on many different mediums. Sticker material, printable vinyl, card stock, vellum, printable glitter paper, etc. Adjust settings in the cutting window to accommodate the material you have printed your images on.
TIP: When cutting on a material for the first time, ALWAYS do a test cut. We all know that some materials can be pricey or in limited supply. Mistakes will happen, but you don’t need to waste a whole sheet of paper. Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Make adjustments if needed to your settings and track those in your notebook.
Please feel free to check Jan’s articles on The Artistry and her blog for more examples of projects created using the SkyCut and the Print and Cut option. Hoping you have some creative time built into your busy schedule soon. Happy Crafting!