Thursday, March 3, 2011

SVG Files & Sure Cuts A Lot

Some of my followers have been asking for more information on theSVG files I post.  So what is a SVG?  It's short for Scalable Vector Graphics and is an image format (like JPEG and GIF).  Not being computer literate, I really don't know much more than that.  But that's okay, I don't have to.  Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL) is one program you use to open, manipulate and cut SVG files with your electronic cutter.  I use a Cricut Expression but SCAL will also work with a Cricut Personal, Cricut Create and Cricut Cake.  It will also work with Craft ROBO machines.  All you do is install the SCAL program on your computer, hook that computer to your Cricut with a USB cord and cut! 

What first intrigued me about SCAL was the fact that I could cut virtually any font I wanted.  It was an added bonus when I discovered all the wonderful free files that are available to be cut in SCAL.  Over the past 16 months I've collected hundreds of files...all free...and with the recent SCAL upgrade, I am able to easily create my own files.  If you're not interested in collecting or creating files there are many online places where you can purchase complete theme sets of SVGs for around $7.  One of my favorites is SVG Cuts.  They have really nice sets and also offer frequent freebies.   I own just five cartridges...the ones I ordered along with the Cricut before I knew about SCAL.  I rarely use them and haven't bought any others because I've found or created everything I've needed.  SCAL runs around $60..about the price of 2 cartridges...a big bang for your buck! 

I've found that I use SCAL and my cutter for all kinds of projects besides scrapbooks and cards.  I've cut contact paper to use for glass etching.  I've cut vinyl to make personalized water bottles.  I've designed elements for mixed media art.  I've cut stencils out of acetate.  I've cut wings and a top hat for a paper mache snowman.  It's so much more than just for scrapbooking or card making.  It's an important tool that I use in all my art projects.

If you are interested in learning more, there are numerous videos online that will explain what the SCAL program can do.  Check out one of my favorite sites: Scrapping Table.  Michelle has seven short videos that show what you can create with SCAL. 
And please, if you have any questions, leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer them. 


TeenaBugg38 said...

thanks for the info Cindy! I have had my cricut for a few months and don't really do much with it. I think having SCAL would bust my creativity wide you the fact that you can use just about any font is what has really grabbed my attention. And like you said....that is merely the cosxt of 2 (cheap) cricut crts!!! Think of the money a scrapper (or anyone who uses purchased alphas) would save!!! This would pay for itself over and over again!!! I will definately be purchasing SOON!!!

Shana said...

I bought my Cricut Expression in January on eBay, got one cart. with a Groupon Amazon deal for $14 (bought the Groupon at $10 which was worth $20 @ Amaazon), then bought SCAL. I use SCAL almost exclusively! I also use Inkscape (free opensource program) sometimes to help edit the text art (skewing large amounts of text is easier), and I can personalize anything with limitless possibilities. I spent less than $200 total (Cricut included), and I'm thrilled! Even the hubby is coming up with projects! :)

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave in the Cutting category today [05 Mar 12:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

Creative Kuts said...

Thanks for the great tut. I love my cutting program!