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.