Going Wireless!

A big announcement came from KNK USA today! At the end of October, the first Bluetooth KNK’s will begin shipping!

I cannot count the number of times customers have asked me if there would ever be a wireless Klic-N-Kut and I always responded, “I doubt it.” Alas, I was wrong! The time has arrived and I’ve been told that it is working flawlessly. I cannot wait to get one!

Going wireless means that owners can set up their KNK Maxx Air anywhere within ~ 30 feet of their computer and not be burdened with the USB or serial cable previously needed. This will certainly lead to an entirely new arrangement within my own office/craftroom and I can’t wait to do that. For anyone preferring to stick with the old school connection, no problem! A USB cable and serial cable will both continue to be provided with every Maxx Air shipped. For those who do not have Bluetooth already available in their computer, an adaptor will be provided for free by KNK USA.

Bluetooth technology is not the only enhancement to the latest Maxx product line. The Maxx Air will also feature:

  • A more powerful motor for faster and quieter cutting.
  • The maximum cutting speed will now be 800 mm/sec compared to our previous 600 mm/sec.
  • There will be 168 cutting speeds, which will be more than sufficient for any application, from cutting very thick dense materials to drawing or engraving at super fast, time-saving speeds.
  • The maximum cutting force is now at 1500g with more settings (255 versus the previous 160).This will keep me busy for the first few months, as I will need to retest the wide range of materials capable of being cut on our machines. Just as with the previous KNK’s, I want to provide a detailed table of recommended cut settings so that new owners have a good starting point for their test cuts.
  • The control panel on the new Maxx Air will feature a few other changes:

  • Pressing the Origin button while online will toggle the laser on and off. This will make it much faster than the previous method of needing to go Offline and pressing the Menu button before pressing Origin.
  • A menu setting called Dwell which will delay the start of a cut. This function will be used with the future rotary tool where a delay is needed so that the tool has a chance to drill down to the depth needed for the engraving of metal or wood.
  • A menu setting called Soft Landing which will change the force used when the blade is first dropped to penetrate the material.
  • These new models will come with the same outstanding features as our prior models, including:

  • Bolt-on flatbed tables
  • A fully-adjustable blade holder seat (which permit a wide use of pens, markers, and other accessory tools)
  • Adjustable pinch rollers
  • A large (13″ x 22″) extra-thick long-lasting cutting mat
  • A built-in laser for spot-on print and cut applications
  • The $300 bonus package of free blades, crafting tools, and miscellaneous cutting materials will also continue to be shipped with every Maxx Air
  • Superb technical support, customer service, and educational resources: I will be writing the user manual for the new Maxx Air and providing tutorial videos, as needed. :P
  • To further compare how the new Maxx Air compares to the prior Maxx models and to the amaZing Zing, view the comparison table updates also available here at this site. Be sure to also check out the opportunity to save $50 on the new Maxx Air by putting down a $100 deposit in advance of shipping. Go to KNK USA and then click on Maxx Air, in the left column, to learn more.

    Closing Open Shapes

    One question that I occasionally get from a customer is what to do when closed shapes are not actually closed. Sometimes, it’s a case of just two nodes not being connected. Other times, it can be dozens of gaps on a single shape. In both KNK Studio and in Make-The-Cut, when a shape is not closed, it will not fill with color, as shown with the left reindeer above. In KNK Studio a shape will be dashed lines if Fill is turned on and the shape has a gap between two nodes. In Make The Cut, the shape will be a solid line and filled with the background of the Virtual Mat.

    One thing to remember is that even when a shape SHOULD be closed, it often won’t change the results when you cut because the disconnected nodes are SO very close that the cut completes. If, however, the gap between the nodes is significant (say, more than 1/16″), then certainly you will have a problem with your shape not separating from the waste. Also, if there are numerous gaps, then the cutting won’t be as smooth since the blade will be raising at the and of each path where a break occurs and then coming back down at the next node.

    I made several videos showing the various options users have in both KNK Studio and in Make-The-Cut for closing open shapes:

    Closing Shapes in KNK Studio

    Closing Shapes in Make-The-Cut

    One thing not shown in the MTC video is how to quickly identify the location of a broken path. As I mentioned above, the blade will always start and end at the disconnected nodes. Thus, if you use the Measure Tools (bottom icon on the Node Edit menu), and then hover your mouse over the shape, a large blue or green arrow head will pop up indicating the cut direction and starting node for that particular path. Also check to see if the entire path has turned red:

    If part of the path is only red, then you have another break on another part of the shape. Hover the mouse over another part of the shape to locate the break in that one. The following screen shots show that the outer shape has two breaks:

    Thus, in this case, the closing would need to be applied in both locations. But as you can see from the video, it’s an easy process and you even have choices on how to close! Pick the one you like best and go with it!

    Feel free to post if you have any questions…

    Designing a Stencil Edge Card

    Free videos today to teach you how to make a stencil-edged card, such as the one I made above. There are other variations on this card and I want to thank the various members of the MTC Forum who shared their ideas. I liked Liz Ackerman’s because I immediately saw how it would work in KNK Studio, as well. So, that’s why my readers get TWO videos today… one showing how to design a stencil edge in KNK Studio and one showing how to design the same exact thing in Make-The-Cut.

    Designing a Stencil Edged Card in KNK Studio

    Designing a Stencil Edged Card in Make The Cut

    If you would like to download the cutting files for this design, select the file type format you need:

    Stencil Edge Tulip Card in KNK Format

    Stencil Edge Tulip Card in MTC Format

    Stencil Edge Tulip Card in PDF Format

    Post if you have any questions!

    Creating an Inset for a Shaped Greeting Card

    Carol B contacted me asking for help with designing what I’m going to call a “shaped inset”. The original file was a onesie-shaped greeting card and she wanted to have a separate shape cut that would contain text for the inside of the card. She wanted it to be the same shape as the card but smaller so that there would be an even border or margin around the smaller shape, as shown in the screenshot above. Conveniently, I had another similar onesie file that I had designed several years ago, so I used it for experimenting and for making the videos for today’s post.

    Since Carol was asking me how to do it in EITHER KNK Studio or Make The Cut, I decided to show how to do it in both programs since it is equally easy in both programs! In KNK Studio, I used the Ginsu Knife tool to bisect the card, followed by the Inline function under Transform>Outline to shrink the shape. This created a nice even border to appear around the smaller onesie shape. In Make The Cut, you will use the Erase tool to bisect the card, followed by the Inset Shadow function under the Shadow Layer to shrink the image, creating the same kind of border or margin.

    Here are the links to the two videos:

    Creating an Inset Shape from a Shaped Greeting Card in KNK Studio

    Creating an Inset Shape from a Shaped Greeting Card in Make The Cut

    If you want to follow along during the video and repeat exactly what you see, then the file I used can be downloaded here:

    Onesie in KNK Format

    Onesie in MTC Format

    Reasons 4, 5, and 6- Importing Files into MTC!

    Ready for some more Make The Cut! (MTC) features? Here are three more all related to having more files available and how easy it is to get them into MTC for cutting:

    Reason #4: Make The Cut! will import SVG files and several other formats not available for import into KNK Studio.

    SVG files are readily available on the Internet, both from web stores selling cutting files but also free at many blogs and user forums. MTC will also import SCUT files (created in Sure Cuts A Lot) and the latest AI formats. While KNK Studio does offer a wide range of file import filters, unfortunately SVG and SCUT are not included. Further, AI files must be version 8 in order to easily edited. Newer versions of AI can be troublesome in KNK, but not in MTC!

    It’s very simple to import SVG files: just look for the icon at the top of the screen:

    Reason #5: Make The Cut! comes with over 4500 free cutting files uploaded by users!

    It’s a simple click to bring up a search window where you can not only search by category, date, and tag word, but also by an ID indicating which user uploaded the file! Further, this is a growing database as more and more MTC owners freely share their designs with other owners. Here’s a video to see how this works:

    MTC On-Line Gallery

    Reason #6: You can copy and paste images, text, and notes directly from KNK Studio to Make The Cut!

    This one is extremely important because the new KNK Zing will come with Make The Cut! software and I know that KNK owners will want to be able to cut their existing .knk files as well as continue using KNK Studio for some of the designing functions they’ve already been using for years. No problem! The copy and paste is very simple to do.

    I was especially happy to see that you can also continue using those 1300 fonts that came on your KNK Clipart and Fonts CD and copy/paste text you’ve just typed directly over to MTC, even though MTC cannot install these particular font formats. Further, if you use the Notes function in KNK Studio, you can also copy/paste this text into a similar Notes function in MTC.

    Here’s a video showing how easily these three copy/paste situations work:

    Converting From .KNK to .MTC

    Make The Cut! uses a layers function to separate images for cutting. This would be used any time you have different colors in a KNK file and specifically need to keep those colors separated fur cutting. For example, a fold-up project with scoring lines could be one instance in which you would want some parts of an image put into a different layer from the rest. Another would be a paper piecing project where one would put all of the images to be cut from each color of cardstock onto separate layers. There could be several ways to do this when converting from KNK to MTC, but here’s my initial recommended method:

    Converting A Multi-Color KNK File to MTC

    Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out my next post in a few days when I’ll present three designing features in Make The Cut! that will make you cry out, “Wow!”

    MTC is sold for $58.36 in my store.