MTC vs SCAL: Which is Better for You?

Make the Cut and Sure Cuts A Lot are two popular choices for designing and cutting files to digital die cutters. In the past year, I’ve been frequently asked which better. The answer is, “They’re both good programs, similar to one another with different strengths and weakness. So it depends on what you need.” Thus, it’s important for customers to understand the differences so that they can pick which one is best for them.

I recently published a post at Personal Die Cutting which outlines these strengths and weaknesses, listing the assets of each program in various areas, such as text, designing, user interface, cutting, etc. I urge you to read this articlein order to understand what the two programs offer and where they are lacking.

I then came up with the idea of a checklist for users based on their specific needs and planned applications. The lack of a smiley face doesn’t necessarily mean the program is incapable of handling that particular function. It just means that the other program is better suited.

Application MTC SCAL4 SCAL4 Pro Comments
I own a Mac The MTC version for a Mac, which runs via a Wine emulator, has restrictions: cannot change printer settings, only cuts to a few types of cutters, requires tweaking a throttle setting to prevent stops during cuts.
I prefer to work in metric units SCAL’s options are mm, cm, and inches. MTC main display, including the virtual mat is only in inches. You can enter settings in metric units, but the main display is always in inches.
I cut lots of different materials SCAL offers the ability to add presets for storing settings on both materials and blades.
I design and cut stencils SCAL has a Stencil Bridge function for easily connecting child shapes to the outside area. In MTC, one can use the Erase tool.
I design and cut rhinestone templates MTC comes to a crawl if editing rhinestone patterns with more than a few hundred circles.
I design and cut HTV projects SCAL has a Knockout function for quicker designing of projects where layers cannot overlap.
I cut small designs from vinyl SCAL4 Pro has cut by color and the ability to assign a layer to cut with every color and be used for aligment.
I cut large designs from vinyl Regular SCAL4 is limited to 72″ long cuts and there is no tiling option. You would need either MTC or SCAL Pro for these capabilities.
I do print and cut applications In SCAL layers can be assigned as Print-Only or Cut-Only. SCAL also offers customizable registration marks and Scan to Cut for some cutters.
I make boxes and other score and cut items SCAL works with dual head cutters and has a prompt option to allow tool changeout on single head cutters
I design and do engraving patterns SCAL has a Line/Hatch Fill option for filling in shapes.
I draw with pens in the cutter SCAL has a Line/Hatch Fill option for filling in shapes. It also has a prompt option to allow tool changeout, if needed.
I prefer to design my own files Both programs have excellent designing capabilities.
I prefer to buy cutting files or find free ones Both programs import a wide range of file formats.
I design in KNK Studio You can copy/paste directly from KNK Studio into MTC. Using SCAL means you’ll need to export as AI, EPS, or PDF from KNK Studio and then import.
I design in Inkscape You can copy/paste directly from Inkscape into MTC. Using SCAL means you’ll need to save as SVG in In kscape and then import.
I like to freehand draw MTC offers fat path (versus thin line only) and you can draw with various patterns of dots and dashes

I also made a printable version of this table. Further, you can check out the user manuals for either program by visiting the Zing Air user manual page. The software part begins with Chapter 3.

Please feel free to post any questions you might have about these programs! I’m always happy to answer.

Next KNK Retreat Announced!

The next KNK Retreat will be held May 26 – 28, 2017 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada! Liz Ackerman, who has taught at prior KNK Retreats and seminars will be hosting this one and I recommend her highly! She’s energetic, experienced, smart and fun to be around! For more information, visit the page linked below and feel free to post any questions you might have.

2017 Wild Rose Retreat

Review of the KNK Force

Recently I was asked to review the KNK Force for an online site called Personal Die Cutting. If you are interested in learning more about this incredible one-of-kind machine, check out the review here.

A detailed comparison to other KNK cutters is presented in the comparison tables here at my site.

To check out the resources available for the KNK Force, visit a dedicated support page I set up, as well as Cutterpunk’s support page.

Many KNK Force owners have created some absolutely amazing things! If you are a Facebook user, visit the photos section of the KNK Force Facebook Group

To see KNK Force pricing and available accessories, click on the following links:

KNK Force digital die cutter

KNK Force accessories

KNK Force blades

Finally, if you have any questions about the KNK Force, please feel free to post them here or you can contact KNK USA directly by calling 800-268-3672 or you can use their contact ticket system at this link.

Happy Cutting!

Free Popup Gift Tag

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I love Popup Card Studio SOOOO much that after signing up for a Christmas-themed gift tag swap, I immediately decided to design a gift tag that would also be a popup card:

tag2

I wanted a whimsical design and easily located a free Rudolph image using Google and traced it in MTC. I employed my usual approach of starting the design in MTC where it always seems easier to visualize the final product. I used a free font called Christmas Light Indoor for the To and From elements. Then I copied and pasted those into Popup Card Studio and created the popup design for the inside of the tag. I exported this popup as an SVG file to reopen in MTC. It’s important to note that if you are a KNK Force owner, you need to do this so that the fold lines can be broken and rejoined before the file is exported and opened in C3 for cutting to the Force.

I used both the Maxx Air and the Force to cut all parts. Because the Force has easy and accurate PNC, I used it for the colored To/From pieces and for the Merry Christmas greeting. I also used it for the popup insert because the Force has dual heads, thus capable of scoring and cutting the popup all in one step. Given that I was making 16 of these tags, I needed efficiency!

While the Force was doing its cuts, the Maxx Air handled the cutting of 16 sets of red, white, green, light brown, dark brown, and black pieces used in these tags. Now, if only KNK USA would come up with a machine to do all of that tedious gluing it took to create Rudolph’s head! LOL When I started organizing the file to share with everyone, it occurred to me that some crafters might like Rudolph to also be a single PNC element so that the tedious gluing of small pieces would be eliminated. No problem! I added several variations to the file that I’m sharing here.

The file contains an MTC format file, a SCAL format file, and individual SVG files for those cutting with the Force or importing into a different program. Also, for those using other design software, the PNC elements have been included as individual PNG files. To verify sizing, the tag should be 4.75″ in height.

If you’re into popup cards, think about buying Popup Card Studio. It takes a little practice maneuvering in the software but there are lots of free videos to help you learn it:

PCS Demo

Intro to PCS

Two Line Card in PCS

and dozens of other PCS videos here: Susan Bluerobot

If you have any questions, please post!

Celebrating 10 Years of Klic-N-Kut Cutters!

10-years

KNK is 10 Years Old Today! Let’s Have a Contest!

On November 21, 2006, the first generation of Klic-N-Kut cutters began arriving in customers’ homes and businesses. Since then, thousands of customers have joined our KNK community and the number of materials and applications have widened beyond imagination. It’s always exciting to see the latest creations!

To celebrate this 10th anniversary, we’re having a contest to win a $100 Gift Certificate from KNK USA! We want to know what you like best about being a Klic-N-Kut owner. Please use the following link to enter the contest. Post just a few words or as many words as you like! If you also want to share a photo of a KNK project, feel free to include it, as well.

Click here to enter

On November 28, KNK USA will randomly select one of the posters as a winner of a $100 Gift Certificate from KNK USA!

Thank you all for being such terrific customers! Your continued support and valuable input over the years has helped shape the evolution of our products. We look forward to serving your needs for many years to come.

Posted in KNK