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Upgrading from a Cricut/Silhouette - help me!

 
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Old August 7th, 2019 Aug 7, 2019 12:05:25 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upgrading from a Cricut/Silhouette - help me!

I work full time as a designer/maker and run a pretty successful Etsy shop (decals, glassware, etc) and Iím thinking about upgrading from my Cricut Explore Air 2 to a more professional/commercial vinyl cutter and would love some input!! My biggest issue with the Cricut has always been the cut accuracy and precision, and recently Iíve been having issues with the blade depth/Smart Dial settings (ex: being on VINYL and cutting 651 sheet as normal, but for whatever reason it cuts all the way thru to the mat). Iíve scoured the internet for solutions and nothing has worked, so this makes me think Iíve either (1) outgrown the machine and need a better cutter, or (2) the Cricut I have is broken/messed up and getting a new Cricut would solve my issues. I primarily cut small decals for glassware, laptops, etc., so size-wise the Cricut suits my needs and I think I want to stick to something desktop size.

Iíve done a ton of research, and based on my needs/wants, the 3 machines Iím considering upgrading to are: Graphtec CE Lite 50, Roland Sticka SV-15, or KNK Zing Orbit. They all seem to cut faster and more precise than Cricut, which is exactly what I need. My main concern, however, is the idea of learning new software (bc I do like Cricut Design Space and its ease of use) and also the fact that those machines "Cut StudiosĒ arenít compatible with Macs, so iíd have to use an Illustrator plug-ins instead. That being said, Iím great with computers and willing to learn, I just didnít know if it would really hinder me that Iím using a Mac. I wanted to get an impartial opinion and see if any of you guys have experience with those machines or any input whatsoever!!
 
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Old 4 Weeks Ago Aug 7, 2019 7:28:46 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading from a Cricut/Silhouette - help me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lezztur

My main concern, however, is the idea of learning new software (bc I do like Cricut Design Space and its ease of use) and also the fact that those machines "Cut Studios” aren’t compatible with Macs, so i’d have to use an Illustrator plug-ins instead. That being said, I’m great with computers and willing to learn, I just didn’t know if it would really hinder me that I’m using a Mac. I wanted to get an impartial opinion and see if any of you guys have experience with those machines or any input whatsoever!!
I've got a Roland Camm-1 & an ex employer has the Roland Sticka SV-15 which he's had for years so can't comment on the others you mention but the Roland's are a very good machine & cut very accurately.

I use Illustrator but was mostly Photoshop based prior to that & even with Photoshop experience it does take quite a while to feel comfortable with Illustrator, but that will depend too on the complexity of your designs. The good thing about it is if you get stuck trying to figure out how to do something you can usually find it explained in a video on Youtube.

If you like Cricut Design Space maybe you can still create your designs there & save them & import into Illustrator for use in Cut Studio until you become comfortable using Illustrator, but i'm not familiar with Cricut Design Space's file types so can't advise.

Last edited by JynxDezyns; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:44 PM..
 
Old 4 Weeks Ago Aug 7, 2019 7:51:45 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading from a Cricut/Silhouette - help me!

I have a roland gx24 - I think I have had it for 12-13 years with no troubles. I know a few people who purchased the cheap ones and they were dunzo in a year or so. I have put the hurt on the machine lots and lots of glitter, rhinestone templates etc.



I will give you some advice that if you like doing small things and one offs you may be just better off getting a cricut maker. This goes for paper too. I do multiples 20-50 of the same design with multiple different layers of colors and running rolls through the plotter works. You will waste more material to just do small things. you can put small pieces of vinyl etc on a cricut mat and run it though but it doesn't work as you think if you are used to the cricut. It almost makes the material ride to high so when the blade is orienting itself it sometimes scratches the item you are cutting leaving visable marks.
I personally have been thinking about getting a cricut just so I can use up all my scraps for little personal projects.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago Aug 7, 2019 9:58:53 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading from a Cricut/Silhouette - help me!

look at the cameo 4 coming out in the fall ($299 for a 12")
made by graphtec, and also comes in, 15" and 20" sizes

download the silhouette studio software here for free and see if you like it
 
Old 4 Weeks Ago Aug 8, 2019 1:48:25 AM -   #5 (permalink)
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I replaced my Cameo with an 18" Silver Bullet a few years ago and if I bought another cutter it would be another Silver Bullet.

I use SCAL 5 for cutting (on a PC), but it also supports Mac machines.

For the products I make, I need a cutter that will easily handle everything, from kiss-cutting vinyl, to cutting through heavy mylar stencil material, and accurate printing and cutting of heavy magnetic sheet.
 
Old 4 Weeks Ago Aug 8, 2019 6:08:23 AM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading from a Cricut/Silhouette - help me!

link to silver bullet cutters here
 
Old 4 Weeks Ago Aug 8, 2019 1:00:17 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading from a Cricut/Silhouette - help me!

You might be better off with a flatbed cutter for what you are doing. You will have less waste. If you want to go with a roll cutter something like a Roland 24" is a good way to go and it will last for years.
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