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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Janome Artistic Edge cutter Review: Part 2

The other day I started writing a review of the Janome Artistic Cutting Edge digital die cutting machine. I realized I had so much that I wanted to say, and so much to show you, that I decided that I'd better make this a 3 or 4 part blog post. You can read part 1 of the review here.

Today I wanted to go over the Artistic Simple Cut software that comes with this machine. If you are used to cutting software like Silhouette Studio, the Janome Artistic Simple Cut Software might take a little getting used to. If you use the Cricut Explore Design Space software, the Simple Cut software is a little more similar to DS with capability of separating shapes into layers, but it also very different. The Simple Cut software is it's own thing, and that's a good thing.
First off, I know it's important to know what types of files the software is compatible with. I have found that even though some of the file types I would like to use are listed as supported files, I cannot get a few of them to import properly. I cannot import Adobe Illustrator files. I cannot properly import SVG files right now--they open, but they don't look the way they are supposed to. I know that the software update coming out in March 2015 will fix the SVG imports--I'm super excited about that--especially for my customers at my SVG shop, I'm hoping the update will also fix the AI file imports. I have been able to successfully import EPS files. So I have simply saved my SVG files as EPS. I see a few other common cutting file formats on that list of supported files.

In addition to being able to open several different file types common for cutting, the software can also import several embroidery file types. This is where the software really shows it's stuff.
If you are used to other cut machine software, the first things you will notice when importing a file into Simple Cut, is that there is not a 12x12 mat behind your artwork. Also, the lines will appear as stitches, (even in drawing mode--I'll explain the modes in just a minute.) Do not let either of those things confuse you...just accept that this is an inherent difference. I'm just making you aware, so you don't panic when you see stitches instead of lines. The reason for this is that this software can also integrate with embroidery machines, for appliqué and other projects where you might want to cut fabric, or quilting. It will make a little more sense when I share an appliqué project with you in the future.

One way to remedy the lack of a 12x12 mat behind your artwork, If you like to feel grounded like I do, you can go to the Tools drop down menu from the top menu choices. Select Change Hoop, and choose a hoop that is close to a 12x12 size. If you are wondering what a hoop is...well...welcome to the world of embroidery. You may find yourself wanting to buy a sewing/embroidery machine so you can unleash all the power of this software.  Just sayin...

Truthfully, seeing stitches and no mat was a little difficult for me to get over, but I heard a rumor that the new update coming out in March 2015 will also include the ability to choose a cutting mat and see your lines as lines, and not stitches. Thanks Janome, you are going to make a lot of paper crafters very happy with this update. that you know the general look of the program...let's talk Drawing or Stitch Mode. In the upper right menu there is a paintbrush, and a needle icon which represent the mode changes. Select the paintbrush, and you open the draw mode, and the ability to select your lines and color the lines and fill them with another, amongst other drawing functions.

Notice the palette below, how each square is divided in half diagonally, the upper half that shows an outline will change your outline color if you click on it. The bottom portion of the square will change your fill. Now if you are a seamstress who loves embroidery, you will be happy to know that the software has many of the common thread color palettes and they can be switched easily to the one you are working with. I just chose an RGB color palette for simplicity since I was just going to be cutting this design.
The stitch mode is represented by the needle symbol. You will not normally need to go into this mode if you are only cutting paper designs, but if you are doing appliqué, you can sequence your cutting and embroidery on different layers and make the cutting portion of the project and the embroidery portion integrate seamlessly. This mode is where you change your stitches--see the palette on the right side that opens up when you are in this mode. There are a ton of options which can be overwhelming at first--(actually over 360 stitches), but it will make more sense the more you work with it. There is definitely a learning curve to the program, but it is well worth learning in order to access some of the nifty features. 
To send a design to the cutter, you go to the File tab in the top bar menu. Then select Export from the drop down menu, then select To Crystals/Cutters in the fly out menu. 
Doing this will open the export to cutter dialog box. Notice the choices you have in this interface. You have control over speed and pressure, a color sequence area (I only have one in that box, because my design is just made of black lines.) This comes in handy if you want to make some paper changes, then the software will allow you to select the color you have on your mat so that it will only cut those shapes. (Cricut Design Space software has a similar feature so you may be familiar with this capability already.)

There is also the ability to test cut, print & cut and more. I have not played with every feature here yet, but look forward to it, and will update you over time. 
I'm going to stop the software review here, then get into the tools and other features tomorrow. This is a lot of information to absorb, and I want to keep you interested so that you can get a feel of what the Janome Artistic Edge Cutting machine paired with the Simple Cut software has to offer to you.

So until tomorrow...
We'll take a tour of the top menu bar, all the tools in the tool bar, and the align tools. 

--Samantha Walker

1 comment:

  1. Rather than consult to anyone these few Para actually helps me to find out the true path. It saves my cost and time both. Objects Embroidery Designs


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