I had a friend who was interested in downloading and using one of my free files that I posted here, and yesterday she asked me some questions regarding that file. She is relatively new to using SVG Files and vinyl cutting, and that is what prompted me to write this post.
While I do not mind anyone asking any questions about my files, in fact I welcome anyone to leave their questions in the comment section, I thought this was important to put out there.
Anytime you cut an SVG file for the first time….I don’t care if you pay for it, if it is free or if you created it yourself, cut the file on paper FIRST.
When I first purchased my own Cricut cutting machine, I went to Micheal’s and bought a pack of scrapbooking paper. It is heavier card stock and it came in a pad of 52 pages that are 12 x 12. I think I paid $14.95 for it on sale. This paper has saved me much frustration AND vinyl!
People creating these files, myself included, are human. We make mistakes. We miss things. We try not to, but sometimes it happens. Each file I create and post for free, I run it through Cricut Design Space as well as the software I use on my commercial vinyl cutter before posting, but that does not mean it will work correctly for everyone.
Everyone uses different machines, different settings, different software, and different materials. An SVG file, is to a vector graphic file, as a pdf is to our everyday document files. It “should” work properly for everyone…but that doesn’t mean it will.
It can also make a difference on what size you are going to cut the file. While the contents of and SVG file are scalable (SVG-scalable vector graphic), that doesn’t always mean it will be a good file to cut for a particular size. For example, the design that my friend and I were discussing yesterday, was one of the hearts in the hearts file I posted here.
If this file were to be cut at about 8 to 10″ in size, say for the front of a tshirt, it would be no problem to cut and weed. But what if you wanted to cut it for a left pocket? Now it gets a little more difficult to weed out all those lines. What if you incorporate that heart into part of a larger design, and the heart itself is now maybe 2″ by 1.5″? It would probably cut and weed out of adhesive vinyl with a slower setting and careful weeding but probably not a good idea for using with heat transfer vinyl as that is more difficult to weed.
I once tried to cut a very simple graphic (it was just words in a cursive font) out of some beautiful chrome adhesive vinyl that I had purchased. It should have worked with no problems. It tore up my vinyl so bad….I’m still picking tiny peices out of my commercial cutter. 🙁
So if you are using a Cricut, a Silhouette, or any other personal vinyl cutting machine that uses a mat, I highly suggest that you cut on paper first and save yourself time and possible headaches down the road. If you have a hard time getting the paper off your mat after cutting, use the little scraper tool.
If you do not have one of these handy little tools, you can buy them online or at any of the craft stores that sell the personal cutting machines. They are worth their weight in gold!