Experiments with Precision Cricutting

Because my experiments getting my Cricut to cut N scale window mullions yielded mixed results, I did some experiments this evening to see if I could improve.

Because my initial panes seemed to be undersized, I started by cutting some 1″ squares in card.  From Design Space, these turned out to be surprisingly accurate, and the actual size of a 1×1″ square is within a couple of thousandths of an inch of bang on.  Interestingly, given a square placed in Design Space, Cricut starts cutting at the middle of the left edge.

Encouraged, I drew a 1×1″ square in Inkscape and imported it into Design Space.  It comes in as 1.24×1.24″, but it was relatively easy to resize it to 1×1″.  When I did, it cut the same as the square drawn using Design Space, but starting at the top left corner rather than on an edge.  The result was also within a couple of thou of 1×1″.

Experimenting further, I found that I could manipulate the corner at which the cutter begins to cut by mirroring the square.  Rotating it does not seem to have the same effect.

I wondered if I could use this knowledge to improve the windows, and so, I cut a few of them out of card.  The results do seem to improve, although when we are talking about cutting lines .015″ apart, +/- .002″ in locating the cut results in as much as 25% variability in mullion width.

I’m going to have cut a whole row of windows rather than the sets of two or three I’ve been cutting thus far before I can determine if mirroring the panes to force the start point of the blade is making a real difference.

 

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5 thoughts on “Experiments with Precision Cricutting

  1. Have you tried or thought about trying to cut out white decal paper to make a white decal? A discussion over on largescalecentral.com about printing white decals lead to the idea of using a cricut to cut out decals on white decal paper?
    Craig

  2. In thinking about this too, and your notes about how ‘precise’ the Cricut is, the idea might not work for smaller scale decals (N & HO), but larger ones. Or as you said solid decals. You might get a few more hits on the blog as I posted a link to this post… 😉
    Craig

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