can a Shapeko 2 be used as an electronic die cutter ?

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can a Shapeko 2 be used as an electronic die cutter ?

Post by lobosolo » Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:33 pm

My wife wants an electronic die cutter for her scrap-booking and I don't want to buy her one that's locked into some proprietary software and parts like a Criquit cutter. I am interested in getting a Shapeko2 for my shop to go with my 3d printer. It would be much easier to convince her that I need the Shapeko2 if she will also be able to use it for scrap-booking and then I can put the money from her die cutter towards purchasing the shapeko2.

I have looked through the website and I see it say it cuts paper and there is apparently some knife attachment, but looking through the website, I don't see any examples. Has anyone used this machine to cut out paper/sticker shapes and such ? Any examples that I can show my wife would go a long ways with her.

Thanks for any info,

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Re: can a Shapeko 2 be used as an electronic die cutter ?

Post by tjshape » Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:45 pm

I had been considering this: ... _knife.htm which would be a cutting knife to do pretty much exactly what your wife (and mine) wants, but ended up just getting her a Silhouette instead.

It's much less work for me and the software is much simpler for her overall. I must admit, I have used the Silhouette as well for things too. I'm able to import DXF files, which Illustrator and I believe also Inkscape can save as, so it's not entirely proprietary. You're unable to easily export your designs from the Silhouette software though, which is unfortunate as there is an extensive library of vector images available for it.

That being said, that knife (and ones like it) look like they'd be a very nice tool to have around just in case.
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Re: can a Shapeko 2 be used as an electronic die cutter ?

Post by WillAdams » Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:50 pm

There was a hot knife which was used to good effect to make a balloon:

There is this video showing vinyl cutting:

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Re: can a Shapeko 2 be used as an electronic die cutter ?

Post by clockit » Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:22 pm

Ah, finally a topic that I'm proficient at, lol... I was a sign maker in another life... :D

While possible to use the Shapeoko as a vinyl/die cutter I think in the end all you would end up with is fustration. The Shapeoko is basically a plotter, however, cutting vinyl is a sensitive process because of the style of knife you use. The blade is very pressure sensitive and it actually rotates in the blade holder as you cut to produce smooth lines. Next, you substrate, the vinyl has to be perfectly flat waste board with NO voids what so ever. If there is a void under the vinyl the knife will dig into the vinyl and shred it. My 2 vinyl plotters create a vacuum suction to keep the vinyl tight and flat as the plotter pushes it back and forth to be cut. Also, there is no one setting for cutting vinyl, vinyle varies in thickness and material types and each kind you have to play with until find the perfect setting to cut, too deep and you cut through the carrier and the backing paper comes off with the vinyl, too light and you make a lot of scored lines on the vinyl but still have one sheet.

Lastly, the software for 'sign making' is very easy to master and includes all the tricks to make some pretty neat stuff such as outline, drop shadows, and distortions. I bought my package in '98 and have used the same hardware and software ever since without a single upgrade and believe me, I could sit down today and make anything that any new product on the market today could do with vinyl.

While getting into vinyl cutting can be very expensive to get in to, the good news is that there are some very basic kits out there that are bundled and should be everything that your wife would need. You can buy a complete system for as little as $199 from a place like ... AmvC8P8HAQ or here ... ontent.htm as well as a ton of other places. My recommendation for good vendors are Beacon Graphics, R & J Sign, and Sign Warehouse. Just google vinyl plotter bundle and you'll get all kinds of choices...

Bottom line, my mama an inexpensive cutting system of her own and buy yourself a Shapeoko... You both could be cutting exactly what you need and want in the $1,200 range, possibly.... :D
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Re: can a Shapeko 2 be used as an electronic die cutter ?

Post by tbfleming » Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:57 pm

I'm really impressed with my Cricut Explore and used it to upgrade my Shapeoko: . Lock-in isn't really a problem since it imports SVG. I wouldn't want to mess with cutting paper or vinyl on a machine that wasn't designed for it (pressure-sensitive Z, special software).

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Re: can a Shapeko 2 be used as an electronic die cutter ?

Post by rodcar125 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:01 am

I saw this drag knife on YouTube and looks pretty nice. For 5 bucks the designer sends you the files so you can machine it, add some screws, bearings and knife and it's done.
Hope to make this project my first one on my SO3. I already have the tool path and GCode generated in NX9 so if someone wants the .prt filer or code just let me know.

Here's the video:

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Re: can a Shapeko 2 be used as an electronic die cutter ?

Post by mankyd » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:07 pm

I have a Silhouette and have very happy with it on the whole.

Even better though, I emailed the company was was given a reference sheet for it's GPGL codes. Checkout: ... -graphtec/
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Re: can a Shapeko 2 be used as an electronic die cutter ?

Post by dave_the_nerd » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:47 pm

Yeah, I was able to cut some vinyl with mine, but for the time and money I spent on parts: if you intend to be doing it a lot, you're better off looking for a used Silhouette on eBay or at Goodwill or something.

IMO and YMMV, of course. I just found it kind of frustrating. And it meant I couldn't be doing my projects while I was working on hers.
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Re: can a Shapeko 2 be used as an electronic die cutter ?

Post by Damin69 » Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:40 am

This is what I use for vinyl cutting. It is a Signwarehouse Lync S60
20150227_170944_resize.jpg (115.67 KiB) Viewed 1270 times
20150227_171219_resize.jpg (77.13 KiB) Viewed 1270 times
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