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Old 01-11-2008, 11:40 PM   #1
heather belle
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Craft Robo Lite - a mistake???

I've been having a play with the Lite and in some respects I am disappointed (please don't banish me, Graphtec!) I have never seen a cutter in operation so I suppose my expectations may have been higher than they should have been. I'm debating whether I should have gone for a different one. Having said that it will serve its purpose - I mainly wanted it for titles and shapes.

Pros:
Very clear start-up instructions
It does welds and mats fairly easily. (If the previous software didn't do that, just how basic was it?!)
You can open templates from this forum directly into the software - just click and they're there. (Thanks to someone on this site little Robo cut some beautiful swirls...I'm sorry I can't find who to credit)
The gridlines on screen and carrier sheet are useful - lines every 2cm.
It does seem to cut Bazzill with one pass (twice on one occasion - in that case I had to start again)

Cons:
The basic software is frustrating mainly because you can only "undo" once. The number of times I have to start again makes me want to scream but this will improve as I remember steps.
Sometimes I "lose" the ability to hold and drag a shape. I can't understand that.
There seems to be no way I can design in my existing software on my PC and save it as a gsd. What do I need? Do I need Design Master or Inkscape? I don't really want to buy Design Master as I chose the Lite partially for its cost compared to the "full" version. I don't think it's meant for designers.
You need a full length of A4 card/paper otherwise it gets snagged in the machine. This can be quite narrow, but I was hoping that I could just stick a little bit of card on the carrier and it would be OK. I've overcome this to a certain extent by "butting" up one piece of card with another and joining them with sellotape. This way I can get a shape plus a mat in a different colour in one pass.
Can't see how to buy the SD cards which are promised - sounds like they are just the thing for a Christmas wish list.


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Old 01-11-2008, 11:44 PM   #2
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I have designmaster with my robo. I find it much easier to do the things I want in that, than i do with the robo master software. That said it is a bit of a learning curve and can be frustrating to begin with but I love designmaster.

I know some of the other robo users use Inkscape I didn't really get on with it.
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:48 PM   #3
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The digital design packs can be bought direct from GraphtecGB from the store on www.crafty-club.co.uk which you will need to register on to gain access

Not sure why you can't cut a piece of card smaller than A4, it's certainly possible to do on the main Robo

Have a look at the tutorials for Inkscape, it's a free download www.inkscape.org and it's been reported that the current beta version they are working on produces DXF files that will, once loaded into the Robo software, cut a lot more smoothly than those produced in previous versions of inkscape. Have a look for previous threads in this section talking about it
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:59 PM   #4
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Hi Heather

I'm not sure how small the pieces are you are trying to cut, I use magic tape to hold my scraps, so you can peel them off without damaging the card or paper after cutting and if you stick them somewhere handy you can use them several times before they loose their stick.

I wouldn't buy Design Master yet as Phil was asking about improvements to the program so it might be worth using Inkscape which is free until the new version of DM is ready.

Check out the free tutorials here on UKS there might be something you find useful.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:32 AM   #5
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I frequently cheat when cutting small pieces of card. Because I know they are going to be stuck onto another base card, rather than add stickiness to my carrier, I spray the back of the small piece of card. That way it gives double adhesion to the piece of card without compromising the carrier.

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Old 02-11-2008, 01:24 AM   #6
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The smallest size that Graphtec recommend you cut is post card size. However I have cut from a long thin strip approx 2 1/2 inches wide on the Lite without a problem. You do need to ensure that the card is well stuck down and is gripped by (at least one of) the rollers. I think a possible problem is that the carrier sheet seems to be quite flimsy and floppy and the card can lift if it flexes. It's similar to but I think worse than the Pro carrier in this respect. So extra sticky or magic tape (which I use too) will help.

The software may look simple but it is also extremely versatile and if you look in some of our galleries you'll see that you can create some very sophisticated designs with it. For example try Ruthan's, Jenniebean's, beanpole's, mine and I think also Rugersmum's.

The Robo gsd file format is a proprietary vector one one so you won't find any graphics software that uses or can convert to it. You can however import various graphics file formats such as bmp or jpg into the Robo and hand or autotrace these; or as already suggested use software such as Inkscape which works with vectors and will allow you to save in dxf format which the Robo will accept.

Spend time going through the tutorials etc, and also reading as many post as you can - there's a wealth of information here to help you get the best from your machine. Most of the information will be also relevant to the Lite.

Alternative methods of getting two colour cuts will be to experiment with the fill tool on the bottom menu - you can add colour and possibly also send to your printer from within the Lite, the print option is there on the menu but I haven't yet tried it. You could also pre print coloured areas on your card, and use the grid to ensure you get your designs in the right positions to cut on them. So you could do very basic print and cut if you create a large enough coloured area. And look for posts on the reverse print & cut method which will allow you to do much finer detail work.

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Old 02-11-2008, 07:56 AM   #7
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I use masking tape to attach
smaller pieces of card
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:57 AM   #8
heather belle
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Thanks everyone for this info. There is a wealth of information to trawl through.

I was grateful for the link for the Crafty Club and I've now registered. Unfortunately some of the free downloads have viruses in them - so I am pretty angry about that. Hopefully my antivirus software dealt with them sufficiently. I've let them know.

Interesting ideas about the small pieces of card - more playing today I think.

Why does the machine suck it in and out a few times before cutting?

Thanks for your help everyone.

Heather
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:30 AM   #9
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Are you on Vista Heather? i've found that i often get a message saying that i've got a problem when i haven't.

It used to really annoy me as well, when a lot of my genuine emails ended up in my spam folder and the majority of the spam was still getting through to me. I ended up switching it off.

I've always assumed that the reason it goes back and forth is to make sure that your carrier mat is lined up properly. I know that sometimes I'm a bit lazy when I feed the carrier mat into the Pro and it gets thrown out the side. If I didn't have the track enhancing turned on I wouldn't know what i'd done until it had started cutting.

The CR does take some getting used to in order to get the best out of it and I think you are doing amazingly well so far.

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Old 02-11-2008, 10:35 AM   #10
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Oooo Rosemary, I have never heard the word sophisticated used in the same sentence as my name before lol.

I agree tho, I love RoboMaster, and I still keep discovering things that I didnt know it could do. I now have RoboMaster, DesignMaster, Funtime, and KNK GE, and I still automatically go to RoboMaster to design anything new.

Heather, I understanding yur issue about wanting to cuts words and mats in one pass. I get around this in two very different ways. The first and simplest is to cut them from the same coloured card anbd layer them as they are, its amazing how effective white on white can be (or even cuttlemugging the mat in the same colour). Secondly, I cut from the same coloured card but then decorate either the word or the mat with rubber stamps, embossing powders etc so that they are colour co-ordinated but different enough to be layered. This saves me time from having to do two passed, produces totally co-ordinated elements, and makes sure I keep my hand in with crafting and dont become just glued to my robo lol.

Hugs xox
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:25 AM   #11
heather belle
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Thanks for your messages.

Janet, I'm not on vista. I've found that the Avast virus software does detect stuff that Sophos doesn't.

I love your ideas about the matting JennieBean.

I've downloaded Inkscape now but I've got to wait for DH to help me out again getting it to run!!!!

Thanks again. Heather
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:36 AM   #12
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I am disappointed that they didnt put more undo's on the new software, we have asked for that time and time again. Guess they didnt listen once again
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:18 PM   #13
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Hi
Your problem about it sucking the paper in and out a few times has been mentioned before and I think if you uncheck the track enhancing box in the main controller panel that comes up when you want to cut it won't do it. Hope I'm right but someone who is a bit more experienced will probably give you more info!
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:19 PM   #14
heather belle
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It's a great shame that they didn't listen if more undos have been requested.

OK, I've now got inkscape and saved a very simple dxf file. When I loaded it into the RoboMaster it didn't fall inside the box so I had to zoom out, select it, then resize it and move it inside. I then realised that it doesn't have the grid as a background so "copied and pasted" it into a new Robomaster file. Am I missing something here?

Also, I saved a simple ellipse as a dxf file but when loading it into Robomaster it was like two of them joined together in the middle. What was that all about?

Sorry for all these questions! Hoping someone can help.

Thanks

Heather
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:21 PM   #15
heather belle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hortibabe View Post
Hi
Your problem about it sucking the paper in and out a few times has been mentioned before and I think if you uncheck the track enhancing box in the main controller panel that comes up when you want to cut it won't do it. Hope I'm right but someone who is a bit more experienced will probably give you more info!
Thanks - I'll try that. It may mean that I don't have to use a long bit of paper.

I really appreciate everyone's help here.

Heather
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