Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The eCraft has Landed - Bad News and Good News

Well. the eCraft has arrived and I have already shot a very bad video with a Bloggie Camera.  Now, why, you ask, would someone that professes to have been in the video industry for 15 years use a Bloggie, of all things, to create their first video of the eCraft.

Blame it on a co-worker with a cold that decided passing it one would be a good thing.  Picking up my lights and camera would have exposed some other people to my cold and that is NOT the kind of gift I want to pass on. Besides, I was just too exhausted from my new gift to go through the hassle of setting up the video lights, etc., etc., etc.  Besides I thought you'd rather have some content than nothing.

But, first.  Some bad news.  The eCraft does NOT cut Creatology Fun Foam in the thickness available from Michael's.  It just will NOT fit under the cutting head or the feading mechanism.  Sorry.  MAJOR BUMMER for me because Fun Foam was THE one thing I actually understand in crafting.  Even four year olds understand Fun Foam!  But, alas, it is not to be.

Having said that, the rest of my story is ALL GOOD.  My approach was to remain as clueless as possible (not read the manual until absolutely lost.) and see how far I could go.  And, I actually was able to put it together, power it up, load some paper and actually make a cut, all while in absolute clueless mode.  Now, THAT is MY kind of product.  So, let's see some images.

The eCraft is a super slim design.  Directions are written right on the cover; but, I found it so simple to operate that I could find a shape and cut it in complete Clueless Mode.  All the controls are at the right, just under the display. which while not hi-res, was adequate for the simple information it conveys and easy to read.

As you can see, the directions for operating the eCraft are relatively straightforward and concise.  The upside down image is interesting as it describes how to clear the machine of cutting debris that might build up.

I thought it would be fun to show you the "Trolley" or Printing/Cutting Head in a technique called Crossed-Eye 3D.  Some of you will be able to see the following in pop into 3D and others will not.  The trick is to look at the center line, crossing your eyes and themn relax them until the image pops into place.  If you are among those that cannot make it 'pop', don't worry.  You can just look at one of images to see the underside of the trolley.  There are two resting pads on the outside edges of the trolly, in the center area a cutting head on the left side and the pen on the right side

The knob at the top is pulled out to release the trolley so that it can be lifted up for changing the pen, removing the cutting blade cover or changing the cutting blade.  The blade cover in the foreground.

 The Screen is adjustable in position from completely flat to near vertical.  While it isn't super hi-res, it is more than adequate to communicate the information we need to select a shape, determine the number of multi-cuts and set the size of the selected shape.  Since I was, after all, in completely clueless mode, I have NO idea what the "Manual - Portrait" means.  I guess I have to read that manual after all!

Controls could NOT be simpler.  When I created my video making my first cut, I was actually sitting behind the cutter, facing the camera.  So, everything was upside down.  Even so, I was able to figure out what I should do and the order in which it should be done.  I believe the "S" indicates the starting point for the cut.


Beth said...

Thank you, thank you and thank you!!! Love the video. I can not wait for mine to come.

Ruthie said...

Tom - you are a complete star! Hope the cold gets better!


Tom Meeks said...

Thank you both! I'm glad that it was helpful. And, I, too, hope this cold gets better! :)

It's a very nice machine.

The next step is to actually read the manual, select the most intricate shape I can find and cut the smallest size of as many different papers and materials I can find. Too bad about the Fun Foam, though. I wanted to do something super serious like make Fun Foam airplanes. But, I WILL try Balsa.

Shayla said...

Thanks for the video, I learned a lot just watching you learn. I hope you get rid of your cold soon!

Tom Meeks said...

Thanks, Shayla!

mommahobbit said...

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Denise O'Connor said...

Great job Tom! Sadly, I am still waiting on mine, it is so good to see that someone has it now! Can't wait to see what else you do!


Lysa said...

Way cool, thanks for the video. First off congrats on the new arrival. Glad you have it for the weekend I can't wait to see more.

Jo said...

Love your first video and it certainly looks easy enough so far. Thanks for the tip about attaching the tray - will be looking out for that on my machine when it arrives. I did notice your further blog suggestion too about turning it upside down. Ta.

Tom Meeks said...

Hi Jo!

Please tell of of your users Down Under that I'm actually loving the machine. I feel it's my duty NOT to be a RAH-RAH Salesperson so that you and your members can have realistic expectations when they start shipping in Australia.

Be sure that all of them know that I have little or no experience with any other cutting machine. So, I hope that when you do get yours you can follow behind me with your own evaluations that I can link to.

Great to hear from you!

tina said...

Thanks just opened the my box too and this was very helpful, thanks!! Will continue reading and I;m sure you will have lots of tips for me ( I am not mechanically inclinded at all,& this is my first electronic cutter)

Tom Meeks said...

Thanks, Tina!

We've been rambling a bit, so I might try posting a complete list of the tutorials from time to time.

If there is ANYTHING that you run into and would like me to at least try and address it. Please feel free to either email me or tell me right here on the blog. It's great to have you aboard.

linda edinger said...

Tom I just received mine and the paper moves all over when trying to cut I am using medium weight cardstock and I am soo frustrated can you help thanks LInda

Tom Meeks said...

Do you mean that it is not being held tightly by the rollers?

No matter what paper you put into the machine the rollers should clamp the papers very tightly. The ONLY motion should be rolling in and out.

Otherwise, you have a defective machine.

Leann Chivers said...

Hey Tom, the S means that the image is capable of being cut as a Shdow :)

Leann (from the UK)