A few weeks ago, Leon (a railroad modeler in Australia… see his amazing model above and below) posted on the Klic-N-Kut Yahoo group and asked why his blade was raising between passes when using Multi-cut. Because he is cutting polystyrene, he needs to use quite a few passes to cut through his material and it was annoying him that the blade wouldn’t stay down during the cutting of the same path, Plus, he was positive that his prior installation of the software didn’t do that! So, looking into this, I found out that if you set the Overcut to 0 (under Cut>Tool Options), then the blade stays down during multi-pass cutting to a Klic-N-Kut. So, once Leon changed his Overcut to 0, he was good to go!
For those who are unfamiliar with the term “Overcut”, it is a setting which compensates for the fact the blade tip is positioned at an angle relative to the cutting material. The “center” of the shaft of the blade is slightly offset from where the blade tip actually touches the material. Thus, if you were to cut a closed shape and left the overcut value at zero, then the path wouldn’t quite close and your cut item would still be slightly attached to the waste. So, setting some value tells the software to have the blade travel a little further, thus closing the cut. This applies to all brands of cutters and is often called “offset” instead of overcut. Some of the cutters have a setting built-in (Silhouette, Craft Robo, Wishblade), some have the setting on the control panel (Graphtec 5000, Craft Robo Pro), and then others, like ours, have the setting sent from the software. Note that KNK and ACS Studio also have a Trailing Blade setting which is also a blade angle compensation, but affects the sharpness of corners.
When I first found out that leaving the Overcut at 0 would keep the blade down, I thought about how this might affect rhinestone template cutting. Those little circles have always cut best when setting the Overcut really high (Accugraphic recommended 50 for rhinestone template material) and then also having Multi-cut set to 2 passes, so that every circle would be cut twice before the blade advances to the next circle. I figured it would be worth a test just to see. But, alas, as usual, this one slipped off the To Do list and I didn’t remember to get back to it. However, today, Sally H posted on the same Yahoo group that she was having problems weeding 6SS circles from her rhinestone template and needed some help. I recommended the same things we always advise regarding speed, overcut, multi-cut, etc. But then I thought about the possibility that setting the overcut back to 0 and having those circles cut twice without lifting the blade MIGHT make a difference.
It turns out that Sally already had the other settings (which didn’t surprise me since she’s been cutting templates from our cutters for over a year now) BUT, Sally reported that setting the Overcut to 0 apparently made a huge difference in the weeding. In fact, she got a perfect weed on her next cut!
So, I’m recommending this to everyone who is using Multi-cutwith any material! You might want to try turning off Overcut when setting your passes to 2 or higher and see what happens. CADLink has reported that they plan to modify the software so that Overcut will not be invoked when doing a Multi-cut. So, in the future, this won’t be something you have to remember to do. But for now… make yourself a reminder sticky note and put it on your monitor or on your KNK!
Thank you to Leon for his initial inquiry that led me to contact CADLink. Thanks to Frank at CADLink for letting me know that setting the Overcut to 0 will keep the blade down! And thank you to Sally for testing this out on rhinestone rubber and letting us all know how well it worked!
For more details on Leon’s railroad models, refer to posts at the Klic-N-Kut Yahoo group between the dates of February 11 and February 16, 2011.