I want to emphasize the importance of reading the first 3 chapters of the KNK Force User Manual:The KNK Force doesn’t work like any other blade based cutter in the hobby world. Read the Introduction for details.
If you don’t follow the instructions, you’re not going to get good cuts AND you can break a blade.
If you don’t understand the new settings used in Z axis cutting, you won’t be able to troubleshoot cutting issues.
On Monday, I uploaded a new version. Below is a list of the major changes for those who have already gone through the initial January 11 publication. There are some other minor changes such as typo corrections and a few clarifications here and there. But if you’re just interested in knowing the “big changes”, here’s the list:Introduction: Added a section before Important for those customers who have never owned a cutterSection 2.01.1 Cutter Tabs – covers functions on each of the main pages/sections and where to find details in the UMSection 2.02: More information in the Important boxSection 3.04: Added two new terms: Tool Mode and Layout Mode to better explain where images will cut End of Chapter 3: More materials added to the suggested settings table. This will continue to change with future updates.Section 4.01: Explained more about SVG filesSection 4.02: Entire section rewritten to cover Tool Mode and Layout Mode for various vector programs, as well as “things to do” before or during SVG export Section 4.03: Explained how to find out which C3 version you’re using and what each version changedSections 5.03 – 5.07: Added information about using Force accessory toolsEnd of Chapter 5: Recommended settings for accessory tools. This will continue to change with future updates. Section 7.08: Preliminary information on design changes to make for rotary tool useAcknowledgements: Added to say thanks to the people who are contributing to the content of this user manual! 🙂
As always, if you run into problems you cannot resolve after reading pertinent sections, seek help! We enjoy making KNK owners successful! Also be sure to check out the various resources for the KNK Force. Right now, the Force Facebook Group is VERY active and a great place to join in on friendly discussions and sharing of ideas and solutions. Hope to see you there!
At long last KNK USA is ready to provide instructions and support for the new KNK Force die cutting machine. I have set up a support page here with a link to a preliminary user manual. This manual will be updated every day or two so I recommend holding off printing it.
I still need some time to compile the suggested settings for materials tested so far. The settings table for cutting with a blade will be at the end of Chapter 3 and I’m targeting to have the first version of this table uploaded by tomorrow at the latest. Settings for the various KNK tools, including the rotary tool, will be available in about a week. If you’re eager to get started using any of the accessories, please just contact KNK USA or me directly and we will provide some suggestions to get you started.
As in the past, I’m open to constructive criticism regarding the user manual. Please let me know if there needs to be clarification in certain sections, corrections to typos or other grammatical mistakes, and suggestions for making it better.
Have fun with your new KNK Force! And thank you for your patience as the C3 software continues to be enhanced.
Understanding where shapes will cut is always a challenge faced by anyone with a new cutter. Our brains are programmed to expect one result and, unless you just get lucky, a different result is what you get. KNK USA has always provided a test pen with every new cutter so that new owners can draw on scrap paper for the first hour or two or three and avoid wasting material or cutting into the mat.
I want to emphasize that this lesson is based on how C3 works currently. At some point in the future, C3 will have more options. Also, I welcome questions, so don’t hesitate to post them here. All posts are moderated to prevent spamming so you won’t see your questions immediately appear nor will they be answered quickly. But I will answer them within 24 hours.
Let’s get started! As you work through this tutorial, click on the screen captured images, as needed, to get a larger view. The bounding boxes around the shapes in C3 can be difficult to see otherwise.
There are usually two orientations in a cutting program: Portrait and Landscape. Currently, C3 only cuts in Portrait mode. Thus, the way you see it on the screen in the design program, left to right, is the way it’s going to cut in C3: left to right, as you face the Force. Note that it doesn’t matter whether or not the design program has a portrait or a landscape setting. Therefore, if you have a design that is wider than 15″, you need to make sure it’s rotated before exporting as an SVG. For example, let’s say this is your design and it is 23″ wide:
This file cannot be cut in this direction. It must be rotated so that the 23″ side is running up and down on the screen:
Now the file will cut to the Force the correct way. Note that being able to rotate shapes before cutting is on the To Do list for C3, but not yet available.
The material to be cut can be located anywhere on the cutting mat:
Some programs use a virtual mat and users place the material on the actual cutting mat based on where the shapes are located on the virtual mat. In C3, there is no virtual mat. But the following steps will help you understand where you can expect shapes to cut based on how they appear in C3.
You always set an X,Y origin before cutting. This origin is typically in the lower right corner of the material, just a small distance from the outside edges. The tip of the left side tool is used for setting this origin.
The thumbnail image in C3 indicates where the image will cut relative to the origin you set on the Force. For example:
If you have several shapes, then those shapes maintain the same relative distance apart:
If you set the origin in a different location, such as at the “X” below, then the shapes will align with that new origin. For example:
To help clarify this, note the box that surrounds the thumbnail image. The lower right corner of that box approximates the location of the origin you set:
Depending on the program which exported the SVG file, you may find a situation where the thumbnail box around the shapes is much larger:
In this case, the thumbnail box indicates that the original software had the ability to store more information in the SVG file: specifically the size of the document area that was used in the software and where the shapes were located in that document area. The same alignment occurs in that the bottom right corner of that thumbnail box will align with the origin that is set. The origin is again set in the lower right corner of the material and the shapes will be cut in the location indicated by the thumbnail:
Some vector programs allow you to choose, during export, how the shapes will be located relative to the bounding box. In other words, you can decide if you want the bounding box to be just around the shapes themselves or around the document area that was set up in the original program. This will be covered, in the User Manual, for various common vector programs, such as Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape.
For programs that cannot export an SVG with information about shape location (e.g. Make The Cut), a quick work-around is to add a tiny shape, such as a small line, at the bottom right corner of the virtual mat or document area:
Without that small shape, the bounding box is around the other shapes:
However, by including that small shape in the lower right corner (which matches the location of the origin on the Force), the bounding box now extends to the origin and the shapes will cut in the same location on the material as they are positioned on the virtual mat in MTC:
The best way to master this topic is to play around with some shapes of your own, exporting them from your vector design software, predicting where the shapes will cut on the Force, and then verifying using the test pen and paper. You can’t get started quite yet! But soon you will and again, if you have questions, post away!