Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL) Software to use with Cricut Machines

Hi. Four months ago I stumbled across some software called Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL). It is a software that you can use with your cricut machine and your computer that eliminates the need for additional cartridges unless you want to buy them. The software is GREAT. I've had several friends ask me about this software, so I thought I'd try a blog to see if I can answer some basic questions. I'll try to cover some other helpful tips as I go along also. But...back to SCAL.

First off, you do NOT have to have any other programs to make SCAL work, but if you download a free program called Inkscape, then the possibilities are endless. You will need to have the trial version of Design Studio which is the Provo Craft cricut software (which in my opinion is a waste of money.) I'll go into some of this later in another post. For now, I'll tell you why I bought SCAL.

I bought SCAL because I hated to individually cut the letters from the font cartridges on the cricut and then cut the shadow for each letter and then glue each piece together. Then turn around and glue each now shadowed letter AGAIN to the actual layout I was working on. Way to time consuming for me. With SCAL I can cut my word in one piece, shadow it with one piece and glue to the layout in just 3 steps. Not 3 steps per letter, just 3 steps per word. LOVE it! With SCAL, I can also use almost ANY TTF font (some are really too thin to actually cut). That means that I can literally use a different font for every scrapbook page that I create because there are thousands of free fonts everywhere on the internet. In SCAL, you pick your font and you can "weld" the letters together creating a word in one piece. The snowflake in this picture is also a "dingbat" font so it is "free" too. This font had 26 different snowflakes that I can now use. So basically any font and any dingbat that are in the TTF format are now available for me to cut. Just for fun...do a search for dingbat fonts and see how many "cartridges" you now don't have to buy.....(I should warn you that some dingbats do need some cleanup in order to cut but many cut just as they are.)
I paid 64.99 for my SCAL here - (https://www.cutterscreek.com/store/) which included free shipping and a disk copy. It is available for download on the original Craft Edge website http://www.craftedge.com/index.html, but I found that it was cheaper a couple of other places plus I wanted the actual disk and I'm glad I did because my computer crashed and I had to reinstall everything. Boy was I glad I had it.

Anyway, take a peak at this picture. The white is one cut and the blue shadow is one cut. So two total cuts for the word snow. Sorry I didn't use a different example, as this one was posted before on this site, but it's time to put the kids to bed so....this one will have to do. (As I mentioned on the previous post, the penguin was created from an image that I got sent to me in the mail. I thought he was cute so I scanned him and turned him into a cut file. That also is something for another post!)
On the Craft Edge website is also a forum. You can learn just about anything there about SCAL plus you can get hundreds of free files that can be used directly in SCAL. Hence, no need for any new cartridges. The sky is the limit and if you learn Inkscape, you can literally create anything if you have the time and the skills but if you don't there are TONS of blogs with free files. I'll also share some of my favorites on another day too. So keep watching and hopefully I can help you learn a little of what I've discovered along the way and point you to my favorite spots for free SVG files.
Have fun and let me know if there is anything specific that you want me to share with you.

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