Sunday, 4 January 2015

As Promised, a Look at Sure Cuts A Lot 4

I've made a brief video on SCAL4.

I have been using it a lot over the last week, getting to know what it can do or can't.
I'm not very familiar with the previous version but I'm told that this interface is new and improved.  From a Silhouette Studio point of view, it does pretty much the same. A few extras, improved tracing capabilities and supporting export to other more common formats.

All in all, not bad, a bit less user friendly but not too hard to get to grips with if you want to bother. It still seems clunky to me and the interface is boring. I have a Mac, I get annoyed when software interfaces look so old fashioned.

Having said that, it falls flat on it's face in one respect, at least for me, as a Mac user. It causes my laptop to crash. I can be doing something and then, my system closes down for no apparent reason. This is not something that Silhouette Studio ever did. Or at least not unless I gave it too much in the way of graphics to swallow. Whereas, in SCAL4, it will crash on me without any pattern fills what so ever!

Now, giving the benefit of the doubt, it is fairly new (this version) and I am sure that the developers will be spending the next few months getting rid of pesky bugs and improving things.

I had hoped that I would just be able to use one piece of software for design and cut but that is not to be. I have other vector creation software that I can happily use and will do so until the kinks are ironed out.

One annoyance that I found was a box that came up to tell me that the info had been sent to the cutter.  
Well of course it had. The item had been cut! It comes up after EVERY CUT and you have to close it to do anything else. Grrrrr! I really don't need a pop up to tell me that!

Moving objects off the mat was problematic. Items would move off the mat to the work area if I used my arrow keys but not with drag and drop. Hmm. 

Today, it cut something that was not even on the mat, had never been was like a ghost had taken over. Annoyingly it wasted some heavy plastic that I was planning on using for embossing plates.

So. my verdict is that while it may be ok for some, I'm giving it a miss apart from sending files to my cutter - my Silver Bullet is brilliant but sadly not compatible with Studio!

EDIT   - NEW VERSION OUT - there is now a tick box in the new version V4.008 (may have been there before, if so, I missed it) that is in preferences, that constrains items to the mat. So that problem is solved now it is unchecked.

The latest fix is also dealing with the inability with a Mac to use some glyph fonts properly, as well as other fixes.

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