Friday, 18 June 2021

Scan N Cut Success

Hi everyone.

I hope you are well and if you are in the UK, enjoyed the warm weather which finally arrived and the greater freedoms we are having. Make the most of them while they last!

A couple of years ago, as a present to myself for a rather Big Birthday, I bought a Brother ScanNCut CM900 cutting machine. If you are not familiar with electronic cutting machines, they are a desk-top sized machine that allows the crafter to cut out virtually any 2D shape in a wide variety of materials including paper, felt, vinyl, fabric and even wood or leather.

The Brother ScanNCut may well be the “daddy” of them all as it has a built-in scanner and so many other functions including giving you the option to draw your own images with the machine and you can even foil and stamp with it. Although the machines are primarily aimed at crafters, they are great for artists, designers, sewists and model makers too.

My Brother ScanNCut CM900 Cutting Machine

I had never owned an electronic cutting machine before so although I did get the machine out of the box within 20 minutes of it being delivered and started cutting basics shapes and then slightly more complicated ones pretty quickly, I really struggled to get to grips with the machine. Although it’s not really all that complicated to use, I somehow never quite felt I could master it and was very envious of all the amazing projects that I saw other people creating.

To be honest, after about 18 months, I felt that I had made a mistake and was even considering selling it on Ebay. But that well-known proverb "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" kept going through my mind and I decided to keep at it. 

I set myself the goal of working my way through cutting out most of the built-in patterns that come with the machine by just doing a few each week. Then, earlier this year, I treated myself to a commercial USB that had more intricate designs on it in the form of SVG cutting files.

Creatures I Created From Built-In Patterns


Once I was able to see what amazing projects the machine was capable of producing when using SVGs, I turned to sourcing free SVGs from the internet and even designing my own. This opened up a whole new world to me as there are so many SVGs available and I even discovered I already had some on my old crafting CD-Roms.

Card I Created Using A Tattered Lace USB Design

Finally, I plucked up courage to enter the exciting world of BrotherScanNCut CanvasWorkspace. This is a free, cloud-based application that allows you to design or enhance your own designs on the computer and then transfer them to the machine to cut out, as well as giving you dozens of free projects to create.This was the real game-changer for me as being able to design or create on the computer screen and then see my projects come to life by cutting them out on the Brother ScanNCut made me feel happier than I had done in ages!

Wall Plaque I Created In Canvas Workspace

I've kept a portfolio of many of the things I've produced and I'd highly recommend doing this as it's been a great way of seeing how far I've progressed from cutting those initial basic shapes.

Of course, I still have lots to learn and I know there are many more things that the machine can do which I’ve not even started on yet but I’m so, so pleased that I kept trying and didn’t give up. Proverbs can be useful!   

Please Note: Since purchasing my machine in 2019, the Brother ScanNCut CM900 machine model appears to have been discontinued in the UK and some other countries too. When I last looked on ebay, there are still some used models available but to buy new, you will probably need to go for the more recently launched SDX1200 model.


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