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T O P I C    R E V I E W
George D Posted - 07/25/2018 : 9:12:25 PM
I covered building two different structures where I used my Cricut paper cutting machine for a large portion of the construction in these threads: http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=50263 and http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=50619 I've started another project using the Cricut machine. This is a kitbash and this time I'm only going to document the few steps I take where I use the machine. I won't be covering the work not involving the machine. I'll explain why later.

I'm currently assembling the truss rafters. The building is 50' long and it's going to take 26 of these buggers! I started by drawing a rafters on my computer. I loaded that drawing into the Cricut machine and scribed the design on a piece of 0.040 styrene. I used a light setting since I wasn't trying to cut the styrene. I enhanced the picture by wiping black acrylic paint on the styrene. This is going to become the jig I use to build the rafters.

Notice the bottom line is longer than the rafter. This is exactly 6 (1:1 ratio) and it's the way I tell Cricut the drawing is 6 wide. The truss is then scribed by the machine to exactly match the drawing dimensions. The rafter is HO scale 38'- 6 wide.

I added scrap pieces of styrene to hold the sticks of wood on the jig.

I modified my drawing, extending the lines to use it as a guide for cutting the individual pieces of lumber.

It's a simple matter of laying the stick on the drawing and cutting the correct length and angle. I printed multiple drawings because I figured the razor would start to damage the drawing as I cut multiple pieces of wood.

Here's a completed truss. It takes about a half hour to make one - Only 25 more to go!

Those gusset plates were also cut on the Cricut machine. They were cut from a sheet of colored card stock. It took the machine a half hour to cut them and it took me close to an hour to pick all the little pieces off the mat. But! If I had tried to cut them all by hand it would have taken much longer and they wouldn't be any where near as accurate.

The mat the card stock is on is very sticky. My first attempt at cutting the gussets was done on an old mat that had lost most of it's stickiness and the blade started to lift the gussets off the mat and things got real messy. That old mat still can be used. I'll use it on heaver material with painter's tape on the edges to hold the material steady. I'll save this mat for thinner materials.

This might give you an idea why it took so long to pick the gusset plates off the mat.

I'll be glad when I'm done assembling the truss rafters and I can see some progress on my building.

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
George D Posted - 06/10/2019 : 10:46:36 AM
Originally posted by Frank Palmer

George - you do windows!

Don't tell my wife!

Frank Palmer Posted - 06/10/2019 : 10:41:04 AM

George - you do windows!
George D Posted - 06/10/2019 : 06:55:17 AM
Thanks, Bryan.

brownbr Posted - 06/10/2019 : 06:14:33 AM
Very precise George. Looks great.
George D Posted - 06/09/2019 : 8:35:07 PM
Thanks, Jim. I sent you a PM. AutoSketch can produce several types of files, none of which work in Cricut's Design Space. I copy and paste my drawings to Inkscape and save it as an SVG file, which works in Design Space. Inkscape is a free CAD program, but I hesitate to recommend it because, other than paste and save, I find it cumbersome.

I've read recommendations for Fusion 360 as a replacement for AutoSketch, but I don't know anything about it.

BurleyJim Posted - 06/09/2019 : 4:12:13 PM

What is the file type that you send to the Cricut? scale 1:1?, Inches or Metric?

That Rat Shack nibbler puts a smile on my face, every time I see it.

Sully Posted - 06/09/2019 : 2:40:39 PM
Thanks Jim.....I'll check it out. tom
BurleyJim Posted - 06/09/2019 : 2:19:09 PM
Tom and George, Check out Autodesk Fusion 360. It works well in both 2D and 3D. If you search for it on the internet, download the free trial, and then follow the path to register it as a 'hobbyist'. I've been using it, and of cours there is a bit of a learning curve, but there are hundreds of youtube videos and tutorials. Look up Lars Christiansen on youtube, and if you can get past the Norwegian accent, his tutorials are terrific.

George, I sent you an email. This project is looking excellent.

George D Posted - 06/09/2019 : 2:04:03 PM
That is a little pricey, Dave. I'm content with my Cricut doing layout lines on thicker materials. I've quit trying to find ways to cut 0.030" and above styrene.

Tom, I use AutoSketch and love it. It was dropped by AutoDesk in 2008 and from what I can tell impossible to find. Grab one if you're lucky enough to find it. The last version was AutoSketch 10. The problem with AutoDesk CAD is they don't sell the programs any more, they sell annual subscriptions and they are pretty pricey.

Sully Posted - 06/09/2019 : 1:54:21 PM
Thanks George....., what CAD program are you using? Given your experience with both the Circuit cutter and model rr'ing structure building I would probably do myself a lot of good if I learned the same program so that I could not bore you when I ask semi-intelligent questions in the future. ...tom
deemery Posted - 06/09/2019 : 12:19:49 PM
This is the machine I contemplated when I was looking at those cutters: https://silverbulletcutters.com/15silverbulletprofessional.aspx The appeal was the heavy cutting pressure, which allows you to cut thicker materials. The downside, of course, is the price.

George D Posted - 06/09/2019 : 11:43:02 AM
Tom, learning CAD and playing with a Cricut machine would be a good way to pass the time before your stuff arrives.

I have "0" experience with other CAD programs, so I can't recommend one. I see several have free 30 day trials. You might go that route to find one that looks good and is in your price range.

If you get a Cricut, buy a Cricut Maker. It is supposed to be able to cut thicker materials than my Cricut Explore.

Sully Posted - 06/09/2019 : 10:56:32 AM
Hi George......greetings from SC! Just went through your thread and I'm sold on this incredible modeling tool. You mentioned that Auto Sketch was no longer supported. Given I have "0" experience with any CAD program, any recommendations on a simple to learn program I can play with here in Charleston waiting for the new home to be built. (All my modeling stuff is packed in a POD and sitting in VA Beach until then)
George D Posted - 06/09/2019 : 09:09:10 AM
Thanks, Carl and Mike.

Tyson Rayles Posted - 06/09/2019 : 08:42:17 AM

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