How to Test Cut + Free CanvasWorkspace .fcm File
Have you been dreaming of using your Brother ScanNCut to create awesome projects like this Team Valor hat? Or maybe your want to put names and numbers on t-shirts? These projects can be simple with the right tools. If you’re new to your machine or heat transfer vinyl, you may have scoffed at my last statement. HTV can seem daunting, but is super simple once you have a basic understanding. I promise you’ll be hooked! Check out The Basics if you’re not already familiar.
Now that you have a basic understanding of HTV you can get to the fun part- cutting out your designs! This is the fun part for me because I get to sit back and relax ;) But I can’t just load a sheet of HTV in and let the blade go at it. I need to adjust my settings first! Each material and sometimes even each color of every material will require different cut settings. So how do you find the right cut settings for each material? By doing a test cut! A test cut will show you if the material isn’t cut enough, is cut too much, or is cut just right! Here’s how you can find the best test cut settings for your heat transfer vinyls on the ScanNCut CM650W, but the process is similar for the other models as well.
Place The HTV Carrier (Shiny) Side Down On The Mat
The shiny side of the material is the clear carrier. The carrier holds the heat transfer vinyl pieces in place so they’re always properly aligned. The carrier side goes face down because we need it to stay intact for heat application, so we cut through the duller adhesive side of the material. During heat application the carrier side will be face up. This is why you must always mirror your image and text in your designs before cutting.
Use The Test Cut Function
After you’ve loaded the mat into the Brother ScanNCut, select “Test” at the top. Then you can choose from a variety of shapes to test cut. The circle and square are good choices. Next, resize your shape. I like to size my test cuts to about a half inch or smaller.
You’ll have to go through a few menus, selecting “Set”, “OK”, “Cut” when prompted and finally choosing the flashing “Start/Stop” button to cut out your shape.
Weed It Out And Check It Out
Weed out the cut shape and peel back the corner of the vinyl to inspect the cut lines. Look for the circle to be complete and smooth all the way around. The square’s corners should all be sharply connected with no gaps in the lines.
If you can’t see any cut lines then you probably already knew it was a bad cut from the weeding process. Select a higher number for your Cut Pressure and try another Test Cut. If the pressure is at it’s highest setting already and you still don’t see cut lines, bring your blade out further. While we do want to be able to see cut lines from the blade we don’t want the blade to cut too deep. If you feel the smooth side of the carrier and can feel the cut marks then you’ve cut too deep. If you can actually separate the carrier from the sheet then it’s time to try a lower setting.
Get The Free Test Cut File
While the built in test cut function is handy, I figured out how to make it even simpler! To make it super easy for you to cut the circle and square at the same time I created a cut file with the two shapes nested. This way you can do one test cut that will let you look for all the attributes of a good cut mentioned above. Click here to download the CanvasWorkspace compatible test cut file.
Once you’ve downloaded the file you can either upload it in CanvasWorkspace by going to File> “Import SVG/FCM File” or you can save it to a flash drive and upload it directly to your machine. I prefer the latter because after importing the test cut file you can save it directly to your Brother ScanNCut for future use! To import a file from your flash drive to your Brother ScanNCut plug your USB into the side of the machine and select “Saved Data.” Choose the center option to connect to your flash drive. Once connected you can locate the file and save it to your machine.
Now you have the knowledge and the tools to start creating awesome projects with your Brother ScanNCut and Siser HTV! If you’d like some inspiration for designing your next project check out this post: Offsets: What Are They and How To Make Them. If you’re having fun creating, but are having trouble with the application process check out this post: The Only Way to Handle Pressure is to Apply It.
If you have any questions about this post feel free to leave them in the comments!
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HELP!!! please… i have a brother scan and cut and it seems to cut the same sheet, same design (one word) at different pressures; cutting through the carrier sheet on some letters while being the perfect pressure on others. Im using Easyweed maroon and black. havent tried the black yet but is there a list somewhere of the different pressures for different colors or is it all the same?
Hi Niki! Sorry you’re experiencing troubles. We do not have a list of cut settings broken down into each color of a product. While we have noted minor cut setting differences between colors, the suggested settings on our website should work for all colors of that product. I’d suggest ensuring your cutting mat and blade are clean. It’s possible a bit of debris is under the HTV or inside the blade holder and it’s the cause of the uneven pressure on your cuts.
When clicking on the “Click here to download the ScanNCut Canvas compatible test cut file” when the page loads there is a message – Oops, This Page Could Not Be Found! Where can this test cut file be found – thank you!
Hi Gretchen and thanks for pointing out that error! Brother has recently updated their software to the new CanvasWorkspace so I have just replaced the link with new compatible test cut files. Please try downloading again, and let me know if it doesn’t work for you this time. Sorry about that!
Thanks Lily – I was able to download the files!
So just picked up a Scan n Cut SDX 225 with a roll feeder. Purchased two 6 feet roles to use on the role feeder, I get 3/4 through one letter a D that is 10 x 8 in size, The cutter will stop and give me an error that the material is two thick. it does this in the same exact stop each time I try. I use the same letter and setting on sticker paper, no issue.
the SDX 225 is auto pressure and auto depth, cant set the settings, but its auto set for half cut, though it still cuts through.
Anyone else having issues with Siser transfer HTV on SDX 225?
Hi Paul! What type of heat transfer vinyl are you cutting? You may need to raise the lever on the left side of the machine to make space for the thicker media. Additionally, the Auto Blade can be switched with a standard blade (like the one used in older models) to allow you to manually adjust the settings.
Did you get it figured out because I am having the same issue.
Boy was I having the same issue. Maybe the Siser is tiny thicker than most HTV? Anyway after wanting to throw my machine out the window, and frustration was getting high…. With having the magic “auto blade” for these new DX, I adjusted my half cut on the auto blade to 3, but I think 4 is even better. Things started to cutting much better. I hope that helps. And I did increase the pressure to 4 too!
Can I salvage a piece of vinly that has the carrier sheet cut through is parts of the design. Some parts are just fine but some pieces the carrier sheet and the part that needs weeded is cut all the way through. Can I still iron the piece to my fabric? Should I put another transfer sheet over the entire design so that there are no holes in the design?
Hi Karen! Yes, you can still apply the HTV with a cut carrier. Just be careful to not pinch the vinyl between the carrier when applying. If the cuts are very large so the HTV is moving out of alignment then I’d suggest using another carrier mask over your design otherwise as long as you use a heat transfer cover sheet of some kind, you don’t need to double up your carriers.