Latest MTC version simplifies print and cut

June 12, 2010 at 4:39 pm 23 comments

Buried in the update notes for Make-the-Cut 2.3.0 was a feature to “take in to account” the DPI of imported files. I hoped this would simplify the print and cut process and did it ever!

Here are the steps I used to get the results above in minutes:

1. Open a .jpg (.png, or .bmp should work, too) file in the program of your choice (I used PSE) and print it, being careful to select settings that will result in a 100% print size (uncheck shrink to fit, etc.). This image is from an ancient PC Crafter ClipArt CD.

2. Import the same .jpg file that you used in step 1 into MTC (if you made changes to the file before printing, be sure to save it before importing) or for a preprinted image scan directly into MTC. Adjust threshold until you see a solid outline (the internal details don’t matter) and click “Import” to trace.

3. In MTC, with the image still selected, click Break followed by Weld to create a solid outline (also called blackout).

4. In MTC, create a shadow layer at the desired size and turn off the original outline so that only the shadow layer will cut (click the corresponding eye icon in the layers palette).

5. Here you have a choice to:

a: Use the carrier method to print onto your cutout with an inkjet printer. Print a black and white draft copy of your image on scrap paper (to save ink). Cut the file prepared above and attach the cutout lined up over your draft printout using repositionable adhesive, load it into your printer and then print the final image in high quality color. This method has been in use for many years (see excerpt from my 1998 book) and is the first choice for those with a top loading printer and for less detailed shapes. I would not use this method with a laser printer.


b: Use the hinge technique to position the printout on the mat for cutting, and cut.
If you are not familiar with the hinge technique you can look at steps 12-15 on this page. I also have a video here. (Of course, if you are using MTC you can ignore the part in the video about the coordinates since MTC will cut your outline in exactly the same location on 2 successive cuts automatically.)

A beautifully cut out printed image is achieved without noting or entering a single measurement! Can you tell I am psyched?


c: MTC does a pretty good job of correlating the virtual mat to your actual mat when cutting, so if your file is forgiving (can tolerate ±1/16in.), you may prefer to simply position it on the mat using the guidelines (image aligned with same guidelines on both virtual and real mat, for instance).

Regardless of the method you choose, keep in mind that the Cricut’s “creep” will come into play with larger images and wreak havoc on your efforts to print and cut page size images.

Another note: The MTC steps above work great for making mats for your rubber stamps, too. Instead of step 1, stamp the image cleanly on a white piece of paper (or use the image from the back of the stamp). For step 2, scan the image into MTC and continue with the rest of step 2, step 3 and step 4. Then duplicate the mat shape as many times you like and cut out of blank card stock. Now you have custom cutout shapes to stamp on.

Use code MTC327 to order Make-The-Cut for $58.36 … the lowest price available.

Entry filed under: Computer Crafts, Cricut. Tags: , , , .

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23 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sarah  |  June 12, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Thanks so much Kay. I can’t tell you how much your tutorials have helped me!!

    Thanks again for your work and time.


  • 2. Debbie  |  June 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    All I can say is WOW!! This just adds an entire new dimension to both rubber and digital stamping. I am really psyched to give this a try because I HATE scissors.

  • 3. Marg  |  June 13, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Thanks so much for the information. I just have to try this!

  • 4. Andy  |  June 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Hey Kay —

    Can I use your image you in a mailing I am doing? I will link this article in the mailing if it’s possible..


    • 5. Kay  |  June 13, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      Sure, Andy, and a link is always welcomed!

      • 6. Andy  |  June 13, 2010 at 8:44 pm

        Thank you, Kay…

        Forgot to say “May I” instead of “Can I”, haha.

        Thanks for writing the article. Mailing should go out late tonight.


  • 7. Kwilt  |  June 13, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Awesome!! Thanks for the tut Kay!

  • 8. ana  |  June 13, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    I am new to MTC and just started reading and learning about this program. I found you through the forum and am very appreciative of the time you put into explaining what you have figured out. I am still to new to try what I have just read but will be coming back for more.

  • 9. Mary Ann Allen  |  June 14, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Glad Andy mentioned this. It’s an AWESOME technique for cutting out rubber stamp images too. I can’t WAIT to try it.

  • 10. Denise Settles  |  June 14, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks for the info, Kay, I haven’t purchased MTC yet. Still holding out with SCAL. Is this something that can be done with Scal? It seems like you should be able to do the same thing, but I haven’t tried the print & cut yet, so I don’t know. I do know SCAL is a little wonky sometimes with the multi-cut feature. Is that why you are so excited about this with MTC? Is Scal less precise correlating the actual cut with the scaled drawing in the program? This is a feature that made me excited (for the first time) about the silhouette. I just found out about it a week or so ago. Nice to know it can be done with the cricut. But I’d rather not sink another $60 into it right now. I’d much rather start saving money to buy a more powerful plotter like the black cat, where I can do some professional level vinyl cutting and maybe make a little $$. Thanks again.

    • 11. Kay  |  June 14, 2010 at 12:50 pm

      Denise, I have had the procedure to do this with SCAL posted on my blog for some time now.
      It is much more complicated and it involves Inkscape. I have been unable to recreate the easier method with SCAL because it does not retain the image’s original size when it is imported. Todd has pretty good about matching features so hopefully he is already working on adding this capability to SCAL.

      • 12. Denise Settles  |  June 16, 2010 at 2:51 pm

        Thanks, Kay, Must’ve missed that blog post! : )

  • 13. rose481  |  June 14, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial! Even I got it to work! Had more difficulty with PSE 8.0 than with MTC. Just got 8.0 and haven’t worked with it much. Been too buy playing with MTC! Thanks again!

  • 14. Becky  |  July 1, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Can’t thank you enough, Kay, for sharing your knowledge and talent. I just tried this and it worked fabulously!

    I just used MS Paint as I don’t have any other programs other than Inkscape. For a test sample, I printed out my image and it was quite a bit smaller than I had wanted (1 1/2″ x 3/4″) but I thought I would give it a shot anyway figuring if it would work for such a small image it would work for a larger one. Came out perfect!

    Again, can’t thank you enough for making my future projects look so good!

  • 15. Beth  |  July 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful information.

  • 16. Connie  |  July 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks for taking time to explain this, hope to try it soon!

  • 17. Eva  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:02 am

    awesome. thanks for such a great tip :)

  • 18. Cricut Imagine Carts « Creating With Scrapbooks  |  September 11, 2010 at 9:48 am

    […] You can print your graphics on your printer (LOVE Lettering Delights, see sidebar).  Print, then cut on your Cricut using Kay’s hinge method. […]

  • 19. kimberlyrae  |  September 23, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Wow! Ok, this is Coolness!
    I’m just learning about the MTC software and die cut machines….I don’t own…yet! ;)
    I’m particulary interested in the eCraft and cricut and I use photoshop cs3.
    So, MTC works for Cricut what about for the eCraft machine?

    • 20. Kay  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:55 am

      MTC does not work with the e-craft. The e-craft has its own software that is suppose to import SVGs. It is just in the early stages now.

  • 21. Make stamp mats with SCAL -video « Clever Someday  |  October 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    […] (To see how to do this in MTC, scroll to the bottom of this post.) […]

  • 22. Anne-Marie  |  December 29, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Thankyou for these great instructions.

  • […] For making stamp mats in Make-The-Cut  scroll to the bottom of this post. […]


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