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.

What the Heck is Pouncing?

Today’s blog covers Pouncing in KNK Studio, with some tips about using it. First off, pouncing is the exact same thing as dashed line cutting or perforating in other programs. Instead of a solid cut line, you get dashes cut and you can specify how long the dashes will be and their spacing. Some applications for this would be:

  1. Fold up projects, such as gift boxes, bags, and pop-up cards.
  2. Adding dashed cuts to the interior of your die cuts for dimension, such as you see with the Sizzix dies.
  3. In paper piecing, dashed cuts on the main background piece can serve as guides for placing the other cuts you glue on top. (Thanks to Klo Oxford for this great idea!)

To do pouncing:

First, pouncing must be done in Sign Blank mode. Otherwise, if you are using Page mode, the pounced lines will be sent to the origin for pouncing and then the cut lines will be sent to the origin for cutting and they will NOT line up! Thus, go to Cut>Plotting Defaults, and check Sign Blank near the bottom. Then click on Save Default and click on OK.

Next, select the lines to be pounced and change their color. For example, in the image to the right, the black line will be cut and the blue line will be pounced.

When you enter the Cut Preview window, RIGHT click on the 6th icon from the right in the Cut Tools toolbar.

Enter the dash and space settings from the popup window:

Click on OK and make sure the Pounce icon is indented.

Then, if you have more than one image in your window, and you need to ONLY do the Pounce on one color, then click on the second icon from the right.

Uncheck the color you do NOT want to Pounce. In this case, we uncheck black. Then click on Cut.

After the line is pounced, then click on the Pounce icon to outdent (no longer indented), use the second icon from the right again to now uncheck the color you just pounced. In this case, the blue would now be unchecked. Click on Cut and your image will be cut.

That’s it!