My son asked me to make him a Christmas card and I thought hmmmm he wanted a tree with all the bling! I remembered seeing a beautiful cutter file that Penny Duncan made and decided to give it a go….. well, 3 days later I still had no card because I had a limited amount of the right paper. (A travesty in itself right!) I had scraps and the eCraft is supposed to be able to cut some pretty small scraps, but no matter how I set them on my mat (yup ya need a mat with the mat-less cutter or all you get is shards) the file always cut in the wrong place!!!
Anyhoo, I managed to cut a few things I needed but most were torn in spots and unusable. *grrr* Tearing paper is a pressure issue and I found out the hard way each machine is just a little bit different so you will need to find your happy numbers. So I decided to get up real early Christmas morning to cut just one more and you guessed it….. after much tweaking and a little math I thought “take that you useless machine” …. but I still ended up with garbage!
As my son drove off I decided it was time to wrestle with this #%&*$ machine or get rid of it. I made a cup of strong hot coffee (well my hubby did, thanks sweetie :p ) and I set down to figure it out. The problem was after importing the file into MTC (Make the Cut) the mat was set to landscape. So I figured I would just use the main toolbar and rotate it to Portrait. Once it was rotated I cut the file only to find that the tree was cut out of a different quadrant! Since I was using scraps this was a bummer…. no matter what i did I couldn’t get it to cut where I put the tree. So in a pinch I loaded a new mat (yup a stabilizer as they call it but still a mat none the less) and put the scrap where it cut the last tree. Well I can’t afford to ruin this much paper for each project so I set down to figure out just what went wrong. In the end here is what I discovered….
The following is based on 12 x 12 paper/card orientated to how we ‘look’ at it from top to bottom; from left to right broken up into quadrants. Sometime in the future I will go step by step with this tutorial and double check everything. In the meantime if you have questions or notice I have something wrong (I had a hard time putting this all into words … well for mixed audiences *giggles*) please drop me a line @ CroppyCat@yahoo.com I sure hope this helps someone!
If you have imported/designed a file in Portrait Mode and cut, then what you see on the screen in MTC is exactly how it cuts on the eCraft. So this may be the best option to save yourself alot of headaches and wasted paper. Just remember to leave about an inch between the top edge of the paper/card and where the design will actually be cut. *(see note below… not now when you are done reading the post *wink*)
However, if you do change from Portrait Mode to Landscape Mode (green squares below) then you MUST say ‘YES‘ when it asks you if you want to rotate the file. It will ‘appear‘ to change quadrants on the screen in MTC, but it will cut in the desired location on the paper/card. The eCraft is merely rotating the mat & image 90 degrees Counter Clockwise to to orient itself so it cuts the image where you have put it. Why?? Who knows :/
If you select ‘NO‘ (yellow squares below) when you change from Portrait Mode to Landscape Mode, MTC will still display on the screen in the correct position, but when it is cut it will actually cut your image out from a different quadrant because the mat and image were rotated 90 degrees clockwise (and the little bugger didn’t tell you!).
An example: In the above diagrams you see that I put the arrow (my image) on MTC’s virtual mat in quadrant 4. I decide to change the mat orientation to landscape and I click on ‘NO‘ when it asks if I want to rotate the file. Now you might expect the file to be cut from the lower right quadrant (Q4) because MTC still has it displayed there after you changed the orientation from portrait to landscape. But if you selected ‘NO‘ then the eCraft rotates the mat & file 90 degrees clockwise (and never tells you!) and cuts… so will your design which will be cut from the adjacent quadrant. Still clear as mud…. Right there with ya… I was pulling out my hair until I made these little graphics so I could better understand what was happening.
You need to make sure you put your image in the proper ‘quadrant’ or position on the MTC screen keeping in mind that ‘virtual’ mat will rotate your image(s) 90 degrees clockwise! So when designing & cutting in Landscape mode you have to take into account this rotation and place your image 90 degrees counterclockwise on the virtual mat before you try to cut!
If you put your design in Q1 it will cut in Q2
If you put your design in Q2 it will cut in Q4
If you put your design in Q3 it will cut in Q1
If you put your design in Q4 it will cut in Q3
For example: Place a piece of paper in front of you (use 12×12 for simplicity sake). Divide it into 4 quadrants similar to the image below for the eCraft. This is how you would look at the paper/card normally (from top to bottom and from left to right). Now let’s say you want to cut something from the bottom right (Q4) of the paper/cardstock (as you are looking at it) in this case the arrow … you must put the file in the upper right corner (Q2) on the MTC virtual mat and rotate it 90 degrees counter clockwise. By doing this it will cut in Q4 (where you want it in this example)… if you do not do this it will not cut in the desired position.
If you decide you would rather rotate it from Landscape Mode to Portrait Mode you must say ‘NO’ when it asks you if you want to rotate the image for it to cut in the correct spot and positioned properly. Now how does this affect your design if it covers more then one quadrant?? I have no idea (just kidding). But honestly I have not actually run onto this, but when I do I will add it to this write up.
*One final note: Keep in mind that cutting in Portrait mode (with the eCraft) may not always be the best option. This is because you need to leave about an inch between the top edge of the paper/card and where the design will actually be cut. OR ELSE! (*Giggles*)
Seriously, the reason for this is because the rollers on the eCraft need that inch to hold onto the paper/card. Failure to leave this ‘gap’ may (most likely) result in the paper/card shifting and your cut will be ruined (if in fact it cuts it at all *sigh*).
Also, the upper left corner of the virtual mat in MTC is equal to the lower left of your paper if fed from the front.