Author Topic: Silhouette SD  (Read 61573 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

wcfn100

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7645
  • Oh, it's an Owl!
  • Respect: +513
    • Chicago Great Western Modeler
Silhouette SD
« on: February 09, 2011, 12:46:57 PM »
0
Well it needs it's own thread, so here ya go.

I got mine yesterday and set it up last night.  I got all the software installed and made a practice drawing and... nothing.  I couldn't print.  This went on for about 15 minutes and then I plugged the cutter into the computer.  :P

Hopefully we can share settings and such to come up with ideal solutions for certain situations.  I can tell you the biggest problem I see right now is that the cutter scribes (just as any blade would) by pushing material aside leaving a ridge.  Once that's ovecome, this will be pretty sweet.

FWIW, cinder block is no problem.  I did put the horizontal and verticle cuts on two different layers to keep the blade from having to turn and I turned the pressure and speed way down.  I also used the head for the thinnest material.  I had no overrun and everything was nice and square.

I would (and will) post pictures, but I basically destroyed my test samples dealing with the ridges.

I going to try and run my Waterloo Tower 'A' tonight which is regular brick.  I'll take some pics before I get my meddling hands on it.



Jason

Philip H

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7304
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +436
    • Layout Progress Blog
Re: Silhouette SD
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2011, 12:58:39 PM »
0
Jason,
Looking forward to your pics, and the combined a$$hat thoughts.  How, pray tell, did you destry the test sample taking down the ridges?
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

Dave Schneider

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2377
  • Respect: +46
Re: Silhouette SD
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2011, 02:05:31 PM »
0
Mine is supposed to arrive today (according to the tracking number) after taking the slow boat to AK. My first project is the Gibson Yard office on the Beer Line, and I have the AI file all ready to go. I separated the cinder blocks and the wall/window/door outlines into different layers, and included an X in each opening to aid in snapping it out. Not sure if I laid out the roof properly....Jason how did you do it on your tower?



Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

wcfn100

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7645
  • Oh, it's an Owl!
  • Respect: +513
    • Chicago Great Western Modeler
Re: Silhouette SD
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2011, 02:18:32 PM »
0
How, pray tell, did you destry the test sample taking down the ridges?

Between sanding and scraping, most of the grooves were filled in or lost.  Maybe 'destroyed' was an overstatement, but I wasn't going to use it to show what the cutter can do.

I may order a second cutting head and see what a friend of mine can do about making it into a scribing head that will clear the material.

I separated the cinder blocks and the wall/window/door outlines into different layers, and included an X in each opening to aid in snapping it out. Not sure if I laid out the roof properly....Jason how did you do it on your tower?


I probably still need to separate out the layers for that drawing.  If I get some good results, I'll take screen shots showing the layers.

Jason


wcfn100

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7645
  • Oh, it's an Owl!
  • Respect: +513
    • Chicago Great Western Modeler
Re: Silhouette SD
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2011, 01:09:04 AM »
0
Okay, so, pictures....

Here's the artwork basically.  If you have a bottle of JW Black, it helps with the thinking process.



And here are the cuts.






This was done on .015" styrene with the thin blade and a pressure of 5.  I know none of that means much to anyone right now, but hopefully it will soon.  Everyone see the ridges?  That's going to be a big hurdle.  I'm going to try and cut this one into it's individual pieces and see what I can do to clean it up.

edit: This was done with the small verticle cuts first.  I need to try it in reverse oder still.


Jason

Dave Schneider

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2377
  • Respect: +46
Re: Silhouette SD
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2011, 02:35:46 AM »
0
My Silhouette arrived today, and I got it up and running (sorta). After some trouble getting the software installed (my Windows Installer service got messed up) I jumped right in with my Gibson Yard office model.  I thought I had it laid out well, but I had some issues.

I did one layer with the cinder blocks and another with the cutouts. I started with .030 styrene, but the machine made an awful noise and spit it out. Any idea of the maximum thickness for this thing? I then switched to .010 as that is all I could find. For the cinder blocks I just the smallest depth blade holder and a force of 5 and ended up some ridges like Jason. Furthermore, the vertical lines didn't register well with the horizontal ones. This might be an Illustrator issue, as the file was prepared with a newer version than what I used to cut it. With these settings the .010 styrene was just about cut through, so I will need to use something thicker.

I probably rushed things a bit and should probably try some simple tests next.

Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

wcfn100

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7645
  • Oh, it's an Owl!
  • Respect: +513
    • Chicago Great Western Modeler
Re: Silhouette SD
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2011, 03:18:41 AM »
0
I got my pieces cut out and there is a pretty decent warp created by the cutting.  The edges can be knocked down pretty good by dragging a #11 blade across them.



I'm going to try and have it put together for the weekend update.

Dave, the thickest I think I've done so far is .015" and I'm using the mat for thicker parts (of the two that came with it) and also setting the cutter to thick (all layers).  If you go too thick, you may encounter some issues cutting out windows and such.  I used the ol' 'X" to the corners and snapped out the inserts.

Jason

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 17449
  • Respect: +1914
    • Conrail 1285
Re: Silhouette SD
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2011, 10:04:08 AM »
0
The future is now.

Sokramiketes

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 3894
  • Proactive advocate of truthiness
  • Respect: +133
    • Modutrak
Re: Silhouette SD
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2011, 02:42:57 PM »
0
Maybe lighten up the pressure a little bit so you're doing more scribing and less cutting?  It looks like it's trying to cut through the material, really pushing up extra material next to the scribed lines.

Mike

www.modutrak.com
Better modeling through peer pressure...

wcfn100

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7645
  • Oh, it's an Owl!
  • Respect: +513
    • Chicago Great Western Modeler
Re: Silhouette SD
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2011, 03:06:30 PM »
0
Maybe lighten up the pressure a little bit so you're doing more scribing and less cutting?  It looks like it's trying to cut through the material, really pushing up extra material next to the scribed lines.


Right, but when the default is 27, 5 seemed like a good place to start  :P.  I did a second sheet on .010" styrene with a setting of 2 and you can tell the difference.  If anything it looks like that's one of the settings that can be taken out of the equation which is nice. 

I'm wondering if there may be better materials to try and use.  Sort of like how laser cutting got a boost with special laser board material.  I really think some sort of scribing head could be made to work.

Jason

Dave Schneider

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2377
  • Respect: +46
Re: Silhouette SD
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2011, 04:42:39 PM »
0
Just thought I would toss some documentation in here for future reference with regards to the various parameters that can be adjusted. This is just my interpretation of what these things do, but we can edit it if I mess them up.

Blade holders. There are three different caps that you can utilize which control the depth of cut.
From the manual page 2-10.

Blue Holder; Blade protrudes 0.1 mm = 0.004 in
Yellow Holder; Blade protrudes 0.2 mm = 0.008 in
Red Holder: Blade protrudes 0.3 mm = 0.012 in

Cutting Speed: 0.39 to 3.9 inch/second in 10 steps.

Cutting Force: 1 to 35 (?) Not exactly sure what this means...

Media Size.
Standard Mode and for using registration marks: Cutting width is 7.4 inches, cutting length 10 inches.
Expanded Mode: Cutting width is 7.8 inches, cutting length is 38 inches.

Maximum media width is 10.25 inches (I think)

Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

Dave Schneider

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2377
  • Respect: +46
Re: Silhouette SD
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2011, 12:35:44 PM »
0
Not much success last night. I laid out some simple cut outs in Adobe Illustrator and tried cutting them using the Plug-In and here are the disappointing results. I could do better by hand after a couple of beers! Rounded corners, incomplete and wavy scribes. I used the maximum blade depth and a force of 20, at the lowest cutting speed. I managed to squeeze some .030 styrene in the machine (without the cutting mat) as that is all I have on hand, but that doesn't seem like it should make much difference (unless I somehow screwed up the working distance from the blade tip to the surface). I tried similar material using the layout tools in the Silhouette Studio software and got nice square cuts, so it appears like I have an issue between, AI, the plug-in, and the cutter (?). Does anyone have a simple AI file that has worked for them that I could try? Send me a PM and I will give you my email address.



Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

wcfn100

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7645
  • Oh, it's an Owl!
  • Respect: +513
    • Chicago Great Western Modeler
Re: Silhouette SD
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2011, 01:58:29 PM »
0
Dave, I really think you're trying to do too much.

So far the best results are with the minimum cut depth (blue head), a cutting speed of '1' and a cutting force of '1'.

I think you're just gouging into the plastic.

I redid mine using those settings.  I'll repost a picture showing what it looks like right out of the machine.

As for the rounded corners, are you drawing a rectangle or separating the horizontal and vertical lines?  With a rectangle, if the cutter cuts as one piece it will round the corners because the head is on a swivel.


Jason 

Dave Schneider

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2377
  • Respect: +46
Re: Silhouette SD
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2011, 02:37:58 PM »
0
Thanks for the suggestions Jason. I will try your settings. I laid these out as a rectangle, and I understand your point about the head swivel. I will try it again using separate lines. That said, when I use the Studio software and lay out a rectangle, it cuts nice square corners in what appears to be a continuous cut. Maybe it has some sort of built in media movement to realign the cutter. There is this parameter called Track Enhancing which "refers to the action of moving the media back and forth several times before cutting is started to improve the quality of cutting. It is performed automatically when the thickness exceeds a certain value".

Also, are you cutting directly from Abode Illustrator using the plug-in?

Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

lashedup

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 879
  • Respect: +108
    • Model 160
Re: Silhouette SD
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2011, 11:07:45 PM »
0
I didn't see this thread as I don't regularly check all the other forums outside of n-scale - things just get spread too thin in my humble opinion.

Anyhoo...

I'm using the Illustrator plugin for about 99% of what I cut. When I draw things out I kill any fills on any objects and set the stroke width to .0001 so I'm absolutely sure where the lines are intersecting.

I always use the carrier sheet, usually the green one with the stickier surface. That ensures that that material is moving correctly and not sliding around. There is a drop down setting for the type of material you are cutting and I set it to the generic thick or thin and usually tell it to cut at a speed of 5 or so. Depending on the type of cut I'm making I use either the blue cap at a pressure setting of 2-3 (for scribing) or the pink one set to a pressure of 33 if I'm looking to get the maximum cut. There is also an option with the illustrator plug-in to have the printer cut different layers at different setting (or blade caps). I've done this before where I set up my scribe lines on one illustrator layer and my heavy cuts on a second layer with a different color stroke so I can tell the difference. Then you tell the printer to pause between cuts so you can switch the blade out.

I've been strictly using Evergreen Styrene mostly in .010  or .020 thickness. I cut some clap board siding that was .030 thickness as well, but all of it has been Evergreen material. I bought some .005 clear at a Dick Blick art store that is a nicer quality than the evergreen clear and less brittle. I'll have to test it to see, but the clear stuff really dulls the blade faster than the regular white styrene. I'm going to have to order some spare blades.

I can probably grab some screen captures of this stuff after the weekend.

-jamie