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Author Topic: Any one used/using a cricut cutter for decals?  (Read 650 times)
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Dan Snow
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« on: February 09, 2021, 08:04:47 AM »

As I sit at the bench laboriously hand cutting letters for my Grumman Guardian, I got to pondering.

Since I'm making white letters on a dark blue background, I can't cut NAVY out as a single word on the decal paper. Now, I know absolutely nothing about any of these cutting machines, but was wondering: Can I load a sheet of decal paper into the machine and program it to cut the letters for me?  How good is the quality of cutting? How accurate are they? How easy/difficult to program?

Unless I find a used one for a good price, unlikely to buy one, just wondering about it.

Thanks for any input.
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flyinryans
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2021, 08:52:23 AM »

I use a Cricut for all kinds of stuff. It is very easy to use. Although they try to force you to use their products. There are work arounds for that with other programs such as ink space. It is very accurate. Tissue would be hard to cut but decal paper should work fine. I want to try and make some really small paint masks to see how that works.
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2021, 08:54:36 AM »

For tissue I once used a cheap low power laser. It cut the tissue very well. Easy to do with basic CAD skills.
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strat-o
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2021, 12:28:03 PM »

The weird thing about the Cricut is it needs an active internet connection.  This is because for every move it makes, it needs to ping their company server to decrypt the cutter movement commands.  This is how they ensure you are using their software.  At least that's how it was two years ago.  I went with a Silhouette cutter because it's a more open platform.  I'm a programmer so even I could write programs to make it operate. 
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2021, 12:48:53 PM »

I didn't know that about the Cricut.
I have a GCC cutter with a 24" carriage ... one of the best things I have ever bought.
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Don McLellan
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2021, 12:52:26 PM »

Hi Dan,

I too have a Silhouette cutter and have cut mostly balsa (up to .040" thick) with it.  I have a friend who cuts wide masking tape (Tamiya 40 mm wide) to make masks for painting 1/32 scale slot cars, using the same cutter.  So, using a craft cutter to cut out numbers and letters should be no problem.  The Silhouette will read all kinds of different file types; I use dxf files.

Don
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2021, 01:02:59 PM »

Don,
Not as fine as Tamiya masking tape, but I use Aslan 85k masking film. I bought a 20 metre x 600mm wide roll of the stuff. It was Pete Iliffe that put me on to it ... gave me a few scraps a few years ago.
It sticks well to doped tissue ... but does peel off without too much drama. Still experimenting with the stuff, but it worked well on the slightly wrinkly tissue of my Mooney Wittman V racer.
(Photo taken while the paint was still slightly wet)
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randoloid
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2021, 03:44:50 PM »

The weird thing about the Cricut is it needs an active internet connection.  This is because for every move it makes, it needs to ping their company server to decrypt the cutter movement commands.  This is how they ensure you are using their software.  At least that's how it was two years ago.  I went with a Silhouette cutter because it's a more open platform.  I'm a programmer so even I could write programs to make it operate. 

That used to be the case but they now have their their own app that isn't online.   I draw my files using other applications, save the files as SVG and import them into the Cricut Design space app.  Have used my Cricut for cutting lots of stuff including birch ply, balsa, plastic rib templates, vinyl masks for painting and yes even tissue decals (for my AMA number)
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Tim Hooper
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2021, 05:08:47 PM »

We bought a Cricut some months ago (my wife is a crafter, so we went halves on it), and I've used it on both tissue and self-adhesive film quite successfully.

You can import image files (jpg etc), and cut out and discard the surrounding backgrounds to just leave the shape you need. This is quite handy on aircraft logos, and so on

Tim
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Robmoff
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2021, 06:44:21 PM »

I use an Eclips and it cuts well enough to produce reg numbers for my 16 inch Piper Vagabond. Here I've used 2" wide polypropylene parcel tape, yes it comes in a range of colours and it is both thin and light. A bugger to set up at first, but you soon get the hang of it.
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2021, 06:58:39 PM »

This is the smallest I have gone cutting a spray mask
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Don McLellan
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2021, 07:54:19 PM »

That is amazing Russ!!!
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mick66
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« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2021, 10:53:57 AM »

I didn't know that about the Cricut.
I have a GCC cutter with a 24" carriage ... one of the best things I have ever bought.

Hi

What kind of price range is that if you don't mind me asking?

Cheers

Mike
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2021, 01:54:21 PM »

Mike,
Cheaper compared to the Cricut ... when you take capacity into account. Mine is discontinued now, but there are new versions.
I'll find the link for the company that I use (based in Tamworth) as soon as possible. There are aimed at business users so not as 'crafter orientated'
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2021, 01:58:27 PM »

Here's the link:

https://www.grafityp.co.uk/vinyl-cutters

I notice that they now do a smaller version aimed at the craft market.
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2021, 02:00:48 PM »

Mine is the older equivalent of the Expert 24"  Smiley
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mick66
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« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2021, 05:00:43 PM »

Hi

Meant to reply to this before now.  Thanks Russ but that Expert 24" seems way price at £400 plus?  Is that the right one I'm looking at and is that cheaper that the Cricut model you are thinking of?

What's the general consensus on the Cricut,  thinking about spray masks and templates for markings on small FF up to relatively large RC (100"). 

Cheers

Mike
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2021, 03:51:38 AM »

Mike,
No, the 24" model is considerably larger than the Cricut .... it is able to cut 10 metres x 600mm.

In the GCC range, this is the one aimed at the craft market:

https://www.grafityp.co.uk/gcc-i-craft-portable-desktop-sign-vinyl-and-10110091

My daughter-in-law has the larger Cricut and is very happy with it .... I would like to see it in action, but not had a chance yet.
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2021, 04:14:56 AM »

One thing that impressed me with the Cricut 'Ultimate Maker' (I think I have the name right), is the way it cuts card and the different cutting tools available.
I've just checked the specs and noted the 4kg cutting force available on that model!
I must admit that they do look tempting for hobby use.
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