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A Potential Tool for Card Modeling?


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I saw this new tool in the Micro Mark email advertising. Have also seen similar products in the craft store chain, like Michaels. In the Micro Mark description of the tool, it describes the capability of scanning and perhaps digitizing sketches for cutting. It appears the tool can cut all sorts of shapes and in lots of different mediums. I am wondering if there would be any useful application for card ship modeling and cutting out parts. Perhaps the technology is not yet refined enough to be as precise as what is required for ship modeling? I don't know, but would hesitate to spend this much for something that had no practical value.

Has anyone had any experience with this type of machine who could comment on it?



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I have a Cricut machine. The problem they both have, is that they are setup to cut image files, not CAD drawings. I have yet to be able to go from my CADs to a format that I can cut. Something simple like a building (all straight lines), can be drawn with several graphics programs, frames, decks and bulkheads, not so much so.


The machine has been sitting for several months, as I've been to busy to get back to it. This fall/winter, I will try again.

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I think it is accurate enough, the problem lies in inputting the existing pages. With the Cricut you have to scan in the pages, reprint them with alignment marks added by the Cricut software, then cut the prints, not the original pages. In addition their software uses the web browser as the drawing pallet, limiting the size of the print, to smaller than a sheet of standard paper. If I remember correctly about 8 1/2 by 6! They have released a new version of "Design Space", their software, but I have not had a chance to see if they have corrected this.


So far with not being able to go from CAD to the machines format, and the limited Scan to Print function, I've been disapointed. I have about 100 HO scale high photo quality detailing building kit files, that I was planning to use this machine to cut out the parts for, but they are 8 1/2 by 11 sheets and printing them, scanning, then reprinting with the alignment marks will seriously degraded the details.

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I also have a Circuit machine and have used it with my autocad software. I have cut out pully sheave and wheels for a card model. Also for my riverboat used it to cut the roof trim and railings made from .010 thick plastic. Drawn them up in autocad and I believe I have saved them in dxf format. in circuit I had to position and scaled it. For the sheaves I drew one up copied mult units on sheet, it then cut them all out. Just have to watch the cutting they trend to pile up around the knife blade. Existing prints you can scan them to your computer and input them in as a jpeg file, scale it and save in dxf  I believe. These files can be imported. It has been 6 months since I done it but it works.


Lee k 



20160504_111658 sheave.jpg

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Great report, Lee. Glad to know you're having success with your cutter.

I have watched quite a few videos of the Micro Mark offering in action. They advertise it is capable of 12" wide material up to 10 feet long. It looks interesting but I'm not ready to pull the trigger to buy one just yet. I wish I could test their scanning software and determine how precise it is (the cut) before I actually laid out the money for one. Seems like a roll of the dice.

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  • 2 years later...

I acquired a Cameo4 about 2 weeks ago.  I'm learning to use the machine....  

The pixscan tool is pretty powerful.  I did a test using a simple paper model.  I took a section of a commercially printed 15mm (1/100) war game structure (wrecked house)  cardstock model, put it on the sticky scanning mat, and took a photo with my phone.   I then imported the photo into the Silhouette Studio software, and used the “trace edge” feature to find the outline. I then loaded the mat with the paper model still in place into the cutter, and it precisely cut the item out!

This was a learning exercise- it would have been quicker to just cut this simple item out with an X-Acto knife.  But it shows some interesting possibilities.....

The powerful feature is that you aren’t limited to just cutting out the exact item shape you scanned. Once it is imported, you can take the outline of the item you generated and manipulate it, paste it into another file, and then cut it out on a different material. A couple of examples come to mind:

1.   Scan parts of a decal sheet, maybe scale it up if needed, and then cut masks for painting the insignia and letters.  Scan a generic letters or national insignia sheet, and you now have a library to cut masks in whatever scale you need.   I have a clubmate who has done something similar--   he has the previous generation machine.  He was building a specific 1/48 jSpitfire, using an aftermarkmet decal sheet.  His problem was that the sheet had an error-  the fuselage squadron  letters were the wrong color.  So he made a mask and painted them in the correct color instead of using the decals.

2. Scan a paper model, and then cut parts of it on a different medium, say thin styrene.   This has me very intrigued- I have a need for a 1/96 scale Curtiss SOC-3 floatplane to go on the stern of an RC model.  My only options in 1/96 are a (heavy) resin model or a “print at home” paper model.  The paper model is a lot lighter,  but won't be as sturdy or moisture-resistant. 
Cutting at least some of the model out of .010 styrene instead of cardstock has potential....!


Here’s the photo of the simple model on the Pixscan mat I imported into the software...


Edited by Rcboater Bill
Fixed typos, added new ones

In progress:  

BlueJacket Lobster Smack 1/8 scale (RC)

1/96 Revenue Cutter Harriet Lane RC scratchbuild



1/144 scale USS Guadalcanal CVE-60 RC scratchbuild

Revell 1/305 USCG 327’ Secretary class cutter

Dumas 1/16 scale USCG Motor Lifeboat 36500 (RC)

Lindberg 1/95 USCG Lightship LV-112 “Nantucket” RC conversion



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