Some new buildings- Using a silhouette cameo

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#1
I love scratch building, except for the most tedious part- cutting everything out of styrene. Anyone who's ever cut window after window out of a sheet of styrene knows exactly what I'm talking about! It's especially 'painful' in Z scale, since everything is so small.

So, I decided to 'cheat'. I have been experimenting with using a silhouette cameo to do the cutting for me!

I made a quick, simple house using AutoCad, then cut it out to test things. This trial is just cardstock-



It did a GREAT job, so next I tried a more complicated design using Styrene sheet (.020)-



It's kind of hard to see, but this is right off the cutter. The machine scribed siding lines and ridges in the metal roof, then did all the cutting, including some INCREDIBLY small details. It went together pretty well-



With 0.020" styrene, you still have to use a knife to do a little cutting here and there to release the parts- But it works pretty well. I decided to do something a little more complicated, so I drew up some plans for a diner, and cut it out of styrene. This time, I used 0.010", which is thin enough to cut all the way through-



The exterior of the diner is almost done, then it'll be time to do the interior, and paint it!

the silhouette saves me HOURS of cutting time! Once I make the drawings in AutoCad, I can cut them out of the styrene in whatever scale I want them in- And make as many as I want, too!

My wrists are already thanking me :)

-Andrew
 
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#2
Looks good though a better question. is where you get the machine and how much it cost i know a good cad program is a couple hundred dollors or was last time i priced them.
 
#3
No interior!?!? Kidding. :D I am amazed at what you are doing, thanks for sharing. I am not familiar with the machine you are using, it just embosses, and a deep emboss pretty much cuts through the material? Neat stuff, however exactly that works.
Actually, the machine cuts through the thinner material (0.015" and less)- But not QUITE on thicker. This is a link to the machine-
http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/

It is intended for crafters- Scrapbooking, etc- But is VERY adaptable to other hobbies... The software that it comes with allows you to design items pretty well, but if you upgrade the software you can import files directly from AutoCad and Adobe Illustrator, which is GREAT for building models.

You can set the blade depth- I used a shallower cut to emboss the details and siding lines into the sheet, then made the blade cut deeper to cut out the parts.

File setup can be a little tedious- But once you have the file 'tweaked' it's just a matter of putting a sheet of styrene in, pressing a button, and coming back a few minutes later.
 
#4
Looks good though a better question. is where you get the machine and how much it cost i know a good cad program is a couple hundred dollors or was last time i priced them.
The machine is available all over the place- I bought one for my wife from Amazon, it ran about $270. They make a smaller one that's about $110 or so, but the cutting width is limited.

The CAD program can be anything from FREE to very $$$. I already have AutoCad and Adobe Illustrator, which are both pretty pricey, BUT there are free programs out there (Inkscape, for example) that will do the same thing. You just need a program that can export .svg or .dxf files.

But- The program that comes with the machine is perfectly capable of designing all the parts you'll need, too- It's not as powerful, but it'll get the job done!
 
#5
Might look into it if i can work the price in the buget and past my wife she pretty suport I've but she getting leary about the price of some of the railroad stuff.
 
#7
P.S: The corbels are just knockout. Were those cut on the thinner material? Or did you meticulously separate those printed on the thicker stuff?
Those were .020, and I had to do some fine trimming to get them out of the sheet. I didn't do them with .010" because I didn't have any on hand- I do now, and they cut out perfectly. In a larger scale- Something like N or one of the other HUGE scales- You would have far less problem. Z scale is just SO small...

You can cut the end off the sheet, and recut the next building there. The way the sheets line up in the machine makes it super easy to use... But, the sheets are roughly $1 each, so even if you only got one building from each one, you still aren't doing that bad :)

-Andrew
 
#8
The software that it comes with allows you to design items pretty well, but if you upgrade the software you can import files directly from AutoCad and Adobe Illustrator, which is GREAT for building models.

.
I am not sure I get it. .. Would I require upgraded software from the company that makes the device in order to use a dxf file from AutoCAD? I did not see anything on the web site. I see lots of use for this device if it will cut 015 styrene.
 
#9
I am not sure I get it. .. Would I require upgraded software from the company that makes the device in order to use a dxf file from AutoCAD? I did not see anything on the web site. I see lots of use for this device if it will cut 015 styrene.
I was a little confused by this at first, too. To use DXF files, you need to upgrade the software. The software that is comes with doesn't allow the import of other file types, only the silhouette files can be used. You can create and save the files with the included software, but it's not as powerful as autocad by any means!

It does have a neat auto trace feature that you could load a blueprint or line drawing and it'll trace it for you.

As for the 0.015 styrene, I've never personally tried it, but others who have say it cuts fine. I have cut 010, which cuts well, and 020, which ALMOST cuts through, enough that you can snap larger parts out. Smaller parts require some assistance with an exacto knife.
 
#10
I was a little confused by this at first, too. To use DXF files, you need to upgrade the software. The software that is comes with doesn't allow the import of other file types, only the silhouette files can be used. You can create and save the files with the included software, but it's not as powerful as autocad by any means!

It does have a neat auto trace feature that you could load a blueprint or line drawing and it'll trace it for you.

As for the 0.015 styrene, I've never personally tried it, but others who have say it cuts fine. I have cut 010, which cuts well, and 020, which ALMOST cuts through, enough that you can snap larger parts out. Smaller parts require some assistance with an exacto knife.
Thanks I am going to probably try this. I have a older version of AutoCAD and a lot of experience with that software.
 
#11
knk zing

hello i have knk zing well built the machine cuts styrene well i do n scale with corel draw 16

tom

cataldotj@gmail.com






I love scratch building, except for the most tedious part- cutting everything out of styrene. Anyone who's ever cut window after window out of a sheet of styrene knows exactly what I'm talking about! It's especially 'painful' in Z scale, since everything is so small.

So, I decided to 'cheat'. I have been experimenting with using a silhouette cameo to do the cutting for me!

I made a quick, simple house using AutoCad, then cut it out to test things. This trial is just cardstock-



It did a GREAT job, so next I tried a more complicated design using Styrene sheet (.020)-



It's kind of hard to see, but this is right off the cutter. The machine scribed siding lines and ridges in the metal roof, then did all the cutting, including some INCREDIBLY small details. It went together pretty well-



With 0.020" styrene, you still have to use a knife to do a little cutting here and there to release the parts- But it works pretty well. I decided to do something a little more complicated, so I drew up some plans for a diner, and cut it out of styrene. This time, I used 0.010", which is thin enough to cut all the way through-



The exterior of the diner is almost done, then it'll be time to do the interior, and paint it!

the silhouette saves me HOURS of cutting time! Once I make the drawings in AutoCad, I can cut them out of the styrene in whatever scale I want them in- And make as many as I want, too!

My wrists are already thanking me :)

-Andrew
 
#12
One can purchase styrene sheets in larger sizes and cut them to smaller sizes. I do not work for them nor have I purchased or used their products -- but a quick search turned up http://www.eplastics.com/Plastic/Styrene_Hi_Impact. They sell .015" sheets in 26" x 60" size for $3.85 per sheet (plus shipping, of course). If my early morning math is correct, one could get 15 8.5" x 11.5" sheets of styrene from this one large sheet, which brings the price per smaller sheet down to about 26¢ per smaller sheet. I didn't look at shipping prices, nor did I look anywhere else... .015" was the thinnest they carried.

Get some friends to join you, place a larger order, and save money on shipping as well. If you're going to do a lot of work with styrene, from what I've heard this is the way to go!

Regards,
Tom Stockton
 
#13
By the way -- I'd never heard about the Silhouette Cameo -- didn't even know something like that existed. So I "googled" it -- here is the link to Amazon.com's page on the starter set:

http://www.amazon.com/Silhouette-Cameo-Starter-Bundle-Cutter/dp/B007R83VKE

This item is currently on sale for $270, which they advertise as 22% off, and has free shipping. Hmmmm... my lovely wife is a scrapbooker... maybe she needs one of these!! :D

Plus, she just LOVESsales!! :D :D :D

Regards,
Tom
 
#14
@andgott do you like your Cameo? would you recommend it?

I'm looking for a vinyl cutter for some time now and can't make up my mind.

I mean I was looking through the net and read a bunch of reviews and didn't get smarter. It's like those reviews were written by people who have only read about the cutters.

I came across a different blog. The blogger is criticizing the brands. Maybe it's too much for my taste. Anyways I've read this Silhouette Cameo review and got me thinking. More like I have a bunch of questions.

Can it really cut 100+ materials? What about intentionally handicapping the machine so you are forced to buy different ones (curio)?

Any input is highly appreciated
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
#15
@andgott do you like your Cameo? would you recommend it?

I'm looking for a vinyl cutter for some time now and can't make up my mind.

I mean I was looking through the net and read a bunch of reviews and didn't get smarter. It's like those reviews were written by people who have only read about the cutters.

I came across a different blog. The blogger is criticizing the brands. Maybe it's too much for my taste. Anyways I've read this Silhouette Cameo review and got me thinking. More like I have a bunch of questions.

Can it really cut 100+ materials? What about intentionally handicapping the machine so you are forced to buy different ones (curio)?

Any input is highly appreciated
Please note that andgott has not posted in over five years, so he may not see your questions.
 



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