Saturday, March 12, 2016

The trails and tribulations of learning my Brother Scan-N-Cut

It is hard to believe it has been nearly 12 months since I last posted, but life got in the way and didn't leave much time or energy for creating, which meant nothing to blog about.
What better time to make a new start than Spring, I am planning to keep up to date with new work and ideas, so watch this space.

In November I bought a Brother Scan-n-Cut so one thing I want to do is make my own stencils and masks using Mylar and Doeflex as well as using it with fabrics such as Lutradur and Pelmet Vilene. I was delighted at how cleanly this machine cuts all of these materials.

I didn't really get a chance to explore what this machine could do until a few weeks ago so after playing around with card trying out settings my first proper attempt was to use Vinyl to create a decal for my husbands scooter.

The next was to make something a little bigger for the glove box on the scooter, quite a learning curve, working out how to kiss cut so I didn't rip through the backing and my mat.

The last few days I have been thinking of making stencils, it took longer to decide on a design as every motif I thought of has been done to death, so I decided to create simple mark making  designs, starting with the letter 'i' from the text folder on the machine, I repeated the letter and made it different sizes, I like the fact the dot over the 'i' became oval as it stretched. I cut these from card and was quite pleased with the result from such a simple source.


The next exercise was to try the same thing on Brother Scan-n Cut Canvas, I don't find this site easy, but I am sure it will get easier once I have used it a bit more.
This was useful in learning how to get the design from the computer to a USB stick and onto the SNC.
I cut this out first in white card and then in Mylar.

Before I could make any stencils I had to test cut my Mylar, as you can see it took a lot of tries, after test cutting the Mylar many times even with the blade set to 12 and pressure 2 it wouldn't cut.  I put in a new blade and  finally achieved the result I wanted.

I had noticed my blade seemed to need a higher setting on card and a new recommended card I bought wasn't cutting cleanly after I had made the second decal on Vinyl, I kept checking the blade and it looked fine, I thought it was just getting duller, but on closer inspection with a magnifying glass the tip was missing, I think one of the close turns on the lettering must have damaged it.
It would have saved a good amount of time if I had changed the blade sooner but I shall know better next time.

The first design on the Mylar was to cut the letter 'i' as above, then stripes and squares taken from the built in designs on the SNC

My next tryout on the machine was to create a drawn image, scan it and make a cutting file, this turned into quite a saga, below was my first little sketch about 3" high. 
I drew it in pencil so that it would possibly give me a worn edge once enlarged as it does in photocopies.

This is the drawn image scanned and drawn on the machine, a bit more worn than expected  ha ha.

The next move was to trace the image on layout paper with a permanent pen, the result when this was scanned was bizzare creating so many lines I didn't bother even drawing it out.

I need to buy some decent black pens to draw out my designs in the future.

Time for plan B, I chose a heart from the designs on the machine, stretched it out to 5" high and 3 1/2" wide, I then cut this out on black card, cut the card up the middle and cut the small nicks out, placed this on the scan mat and loaded it in the machine

Tried again with another heart, cut diagonally and punched some holes around the edge, but of course once cut in the Mylar it just left the heart aperture as the holes were not bridged to the outer edges Doh!
This would work with the inner heart pieces as a mask.

Rather than start at the beginning I cut the edges of the circles away, I like the result.

Below are the finished stencils cut in Mylar, and the positive shapes will make masks.

Next step is to stencil on fabric.


Heather said...

I don't have a cutting machine, but they intrigue me. However, I am not very good with digital/techy stuff so will probably never get one but I am impressed by your patience and the results you achieved.

Carol McFee said...

The beauty of this one Heather is it has around 650 built in shapes which can be resized many times from nail art size up to 12" square and beyond on the larger mat, a built in scanner,it doesn't need plugging in to a computer.
If you want more complicated designs you can buy SVG cutting files and there are lots of free ones on the web, I have been watching it for around two years and finally succumbed last November when there was a great offer on Create and Craft TV.
Blimey I sound like an advert haha

Helen said...

How does the stencil cutting compare to the c... Oh dang forgotten the name of my machine!!! I need a holiday

Carol McFee said...

Hi Helen, is yours the Silouhette?
This machine is brilliant, cuts the Mylar like a dream it's user error that takes the time lol, going to try my deep cute blade next week should be even better.

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