For the first time in months I got the Silhouette out. It was nasty out this morning, rain and drizzle part of the morning, I didn't feel like watching television or reading. Why not craft?
I had the bookmark designed and I would need to run it through the Cameo twice for the different processes. Once for the sentiment, to be printed using the Foil Quill and then to cut the bookmark out. Kids, let me tell you, the Foil Quill worked like a dream once I got it to heat up. Oddly enough, it didn't work through an outlet, but when I attached it to a USB hub (that gets its power from an outlet and is always connected to the laptop) the Quill lit up and the heating began. I admit I was a little frustrated, but once the light came on, it was "okay, cool, let's do this".
It did a great job of the text on the first try. That doesn't happen very often. If this went smoothly, maybe cutting the shrink film would be just as sweet.
Nope. Nope, nope, nope, nope.
First off, I learned to not drink out of a container that has condensation on it. Because drips. The drips smeared the ink. Oh, gee, this stuff isn't water resistant? Swell. I'll try doing a clear coat on them with a special spray, maybe that will help.
Now, the tricky thing is getting the foil and the paper off of the shrink film without unloading the machine. The Cameo 3 has two tools. I was using the left one for cutting, the right one for the foiling. I had set the design too high up on the shrink film, so I had to finesse the tape and foil off from under the roller. I got that done, then started the second part, the cutting.
The cutting. This really surprised me. I've cut heavy card stock before, I've cut acrylic sheets before and it wasn't a nightmare like this. The design is just a basic rectangle with rounded corners with a hole at the top for a tassel. It's nothing fancy.
The circle went fine. The first straight line went about ninety percent then the mat started to slip sideways and there's was a huge drag mark from the blade and it just continued slipping. It didn't even come close to cutting all the way through, although I knew I'd have to make multiple passes. I paused the job, then cancelled it. I got another test sheet of shrink film and repositioned the design in the software. The text done, I started the cutting. Same deal. Started to slip. But this time I was ready and paused the machine before any damage could be done. And I did some research via Google.
I found out you need to start with a shallow blade. Do a few passes (don't unload until you've finished the cutting completely, because chances are, you won't be able to exactly reposition the mat if you take it out and reload), then set it for a deeper cut, resetting the blade accordingly. I started out with a setting of 2, speed 1, force 33 and would do two passes, then make the settings and blade two more. It still wasn't cutting all the way through. After four passes at a depth of 8, the film finally looked to be ready to take off of the mat.
Then another problem. The layer that has the color on it? It didn't cut all the way through on the mat side of the design and it peeled back (think of the film on a new phone screen). Okay, next time, maybe a new blade or use a utility blade to finish the cut.
Now, let's bake! I got the toaster oven and turned it on. Got it set up, found the parchment paper, as per the film instructions, and tried a test piece, a scrap from the sheet I'd cut the bookmark out of. It only took three minutes to shrink and thicken. Wow! Nice! It seems a little thick for a bookmark, but it was pure sorcery.
So then I tried the bookmark. It did shrink up more than 50%. The starting piece was 10" x 2". The result after baking is 4.87" x .7/8". And it's about three or four times as thick.
The layer that peeled back was rough and the area from which it peeled is white. Not acceptable.
So, all in all, it is something I will do again. I'll try again after I clear coat the printed shrink film, change out the blade for a new one and be more careful when I separate the cut piece from the sheet (utility knife, metal straight edge and cutting mat close by). And I'll take pictures.
It was a fun project for a rainy afternoon.
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