Thursday, March 8, 2012

The eCraft tearing problems revisited

I have watched from the sidelines as the tearing problems persist. 

Yes, there are work arounds.  And, at least some of the problems deal with cutting points that have dulled.  But, the majority of problems are related to a behaviour in the eCraft that causes the paper to be lifted up by the cutter until it is above the cutting edge of the blade.

I know this because I spent a considerable amount of time observing tearing using a high-speed camera to catch the action in slow motion.  And, I sent these videos to eCraft for their engineers to study.  I didn't say anything because I felt a team that could come up with such a wonderful design in all other respects would figure out how to stop the paper lift.   I wanted to give them the time necessary to do so.

Here is a slow motion video that demonstrates exactly what is happening just before your paper rips.   Notice how the blade lifts the paper!

As ripping still seems to be an issue, I am going to do my best to used what I learned in that research to try to see if I can come up with a solution.  All I can do is to promise to try.  And, at long last, I think I have the means to do so, now that I own a 3D Printer with which to experiment.

One of my goals with my new 3D printer is to come up with a solution to the tearing problems if at all possible.  I'm going to attempt to design a foot that holds the paper down as the eCraft cuts, much like the foot on a sewing machine.  I will let you know if the idea works!

Wish me luck for ALL of us!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Show me the love!

And, I'll show you a CONTEST!

One of my greatest experiences has been becoming acquainted with the craft community through my early blogs about the eCraft cutter.  What I came away with out of that experience is that this community does what it does out of a deep love of family, friends and creativity.

I FINALLY found a fun way to give something back to at least a few of the fantastic followers of this blog.  I wish I had enough money to send something to everyone.  But, I don't.  However, I CAN recognize the work of every one of my followers.

Here is what I'd like you to do.
  1. Add your name as a follower, if it's not already there.
  2. If you have a blog, photo site, Facebook page, Twitter account or other social media where you have images of your work, I would like you to send those links to me by March 15th, 2012.
My email for this is:   tmeeks[at sign]

I will moderate the links to make sure they are family friendly.  Those that pass that test will be featured in a future article on how the heart plays such a huge roll in the craft community.

My gift also has a second goal.  I think people who love crafts and family will love 3D printing.  So, I'm hoping this contest will introduce all of you to the potential of 3D printing to expand the ways you create to show love.  One of the best ways to become acquainted with 3D printing is to create something and have it created by a 3D printer.  And, right now, among the most fun and best 3D experiences that my granddaughters and I have had was when we created some robots together,

Here is a video of the robot building process created during the MyRobotNation's beta test.

I've ordered 5 gift certificates from My Robot Nation to be given away through this blog.

The first My Robot Nation certificate will be going to a person that I REALLY appreciate enormously.  When events took me out of eCraft blogging, she more than picked up the slack.  And, I know that many, many of you have been helped by her.  So, our first recipient will be Denise O'Connor of Purple Paper Paradise.  I can hardly wait to see her first robot creation.

Don't tell her... It's a surprise!!!  :)

I will then pick 4 additional followers at random, from those that have sent me links, and send the 4 winners a certificate that allows them to create and ship a robot from   If a winner is outside the U.S.A., I will have to add funds to your gift certificate for the shipping.  So, I will contact each winner to try to ensure that you pay no shipping costs.

This is the first time I've tried something like this.  So, I hope that my rules are clear and all goes well.  This is meant to be a fun thing for everyone.   And, that is where the 3rd rule comes in.  When you have created your robot, we'd like to see it and hear how your first 3D experience went.

In the meantime, have fun with this short video!

I don't work for MyRobotNation.  Nor do I have any ownership stake.  It's just my kind of fun!