I Love the Erase Tool in MTC!

Reason #20: Erase Tool
Reason #21: Inverse Erase Tool

These are two more reasons to check out Make The Cut software! The ability to simply drag the mouse to erase parts of a vector image and, equally handy, to add to a vector image provide easy modifications to your cutting files. The eraser size can be anything from 0.03 mm thick (we’re talking eyelash on a ladybug thin!) to, basically, unlimited.

And not only can the Erase tool be used to erase or add to images, but the 0.03 mm provides a great tool for slicing and dicing shapes. While there is a Knife tool available for this purpose, I personally prefer using the Erase tool in most cases, because it results in a closed shape, rather than leaving it open. Here’s the difference:

The Knife tool always does a straight line cut. The Erase function has the option of a freehand movement or you can hold the Ctrl key while using and achieve a straight line erase, as show in the right heart above. Of course there are situations where the open path resulting from the Knife tool could be exactly what is needed. The nice thing is that you have a choice!

As always, videos are the best way to show you how these cool tools work! So, have a look at how the Erase tool was put to use in several different ways in these two demonstrations:

Erase and Inverse Erase

Using the Inverse Eraser to Edit a PNC Trace

If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment here. As always, MTC is available for sale in my online store here. Also, be sure to check out other free MTC videos available at this link, as well as the downloadable user manuals for MTC, which have been recently updated!

And the winner is….

Andrea!!!

Congratulations, Andrea! My random number generator picked Lucky 13 and you were the 13th poster! You have won the $25 gift certificate to KNK USA and VDBC’s quarterly membership!

Thanks to everyone who posted comments yesterday! And thanks to Chris for asking me to do this again! It’s always fun! :)

Andrea, Chris and I’ll be contacting you by email with your prizes!

Win a $25 GC and a Subscription to VDBC!!!

To celebrate this 4th Anniversary of www.visualdesignsbychris.com, Chris is offering a membership to her current Quarterly Membership Club and I’m offering a $25 Gift Certificate to KNK USA! For more information about the QMC you can see some details here.

The winner will be selected randomly from those who post a comment HERE to THIS post today. Note that I will need to approve the posts and will do so as quickly as I see them. As long as your post makes it to my approval section by midnight PDT, it will qualify. I will then draw the name of the winner Sunday and announce in a new post! Good luck to all!

And don’t forget to then head over to VDBC to see the adorable cutting files available by Chris and her designers. Also, click on the Forum there to join in on more celebrations this weekend!
Happy Anniversary, VDBC!

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…