A PDF Heart Box

Okay, so this is a little late for Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t receive the question from Clare until Tuesday morning! : )

Clare is a new KNK Maxx owner and was having some problems with a free PDF file she had downloaded from a great web site that I’m sure you ALL are going to be checking out:

PaperCraft Art Creative Downloads

This file is a perfect example to show how to import vector PDF pattern files into KNK Studio and prepare them for cutting. So, I made a series of videos to show the four major steps in getting the file ready to cut:

The first step is to import the vector file (after it is downloaded and saved to your computer). For many PDF files, you use the same steps as when importing AI files. You need to assign a color for the Fill, if it imports with invisible Fill and you need to turn off Thick Line Attribute. Now that won’t be necessary with ALL PDF files, but just in case, watch this video:

Importing Vector PDF with Invisible Fill and Thick Line Attribute

Once those steps are completed, the lines need to be recolored. This is normally just a matter of selecting one or more paths at a time and then picking colors from the Shop Palette to distinguish fold lines from cut lines. In this particular example, there are a few spots that needed correcting and, thus again, this particular file is a great example to show what you might need to do with an imported pattern file. Make sure to test cut first from scraps just to make sure you understand how the pattern will fold and if there are any problem areas needing alteration:

Recoloring Lines in Fold Up Patterns

Then, you’ll need to decide if you want to score those fold line or convert them for dashed/perforated cutting. I’ve covered both options in the next video:

Scoring and Pouncing

Finally, before cutting the pattern, I will check to see if the various lines and curves making up the design are many individual segments or connected into one or only several paths. While it’s not essential to make them one continuous path, you will probably get a better cut if they are. It can take a lot longer to cut if the machine is lifting and dropping the blade for individual line segments, especially if you haven’t set the cut order. Also, it may lead to more spots where the cutting isn’t smooth. So, in this final video I show how to use the Connect Path function in the software to join up all of those lines. Now, one could also just manually join the adjacent nodes on any two paths, but in this case there are a LOT of individual segments. So, when the nodes are close together, this one step function will join all of them. Nice! Oh… and I also show how to create the separate heart halves to cut from a second color, as shown in the box I cut above. : )

Connecting Paths

Finally, I have an older video on resizing boxes. Note that you can normally just drag the corner on a selected pattern and resize proportionately and you should be fine. However, when you want to stretch the pattern in one direction, more than in the other, then watch out! Your fold-up pattern may no longer work! So, a revisit of this blog post and video will help you in such situations.

Post about Resizing Boxes

Resizing Boxes

Thanks, Clare for providing the topic for this post! Good luck with learning your new Maxx! Let me know if you have more questions.

Disproportionately Resizing Fold-up Projects

Thank you to Heather L for today’s subject. Heather sent a fold-up gable box pattern that was sized to ~ 10 x 6.5. She wanted to make it as large as possible for a 12 x 12 sheet of cardstock. Now the issue with resizing fold-up patterns is that you have to keep the overall width and height proportional or your pattern will not necessarily still fold up correctly. This was precisely the situation with Heather’s box. After stretching the image to fit a large square shape, the side flaps were too large to fold inwards to form the box.

Not to worry! This is a perfect application for the Ginsu Knife tool. Once I stretched the image, I cut off the two flaps and resized their width to match base of the box. Then I welded them back into place. The key was to just know which dimensions needed to still match so that the box pattern would work. The only thing is that you may need to do a test cut after stretching any given fold-up pattern to see for yourself which parts still work and which parts will need adjusting. If you have a pattern yourself that you cannot figure out, then please send it to me! This is a terrific new subject to explore.

Here’s the video to watch: Heather’s Gable Box Resizing