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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The eCraft

Wow!  I can't believe I am saying this....but, I think I may have found another tool to add to my collection!  First, I must say I do love my Cricut and my Gypsy-- but, I just discovered this sleek little cutter by a company called Craftwell.

They are due to release eCraft, this summer!  The thing that excited me most about this new electronic cutter system, is that there is NO NEED FOR CUTTING MATS!  Yes, you heard me correctly--NO cutting mats...at all!  There is simply a paper tray, that you can load up with paper and let it cut away.

You may be asking yourself, "well, does that mean I always have to use 12x12 paper?"  Nope. You can use whatever size paper you need-- though they don't recommend smaller than 3x2.  You can even feed longer sheets of paper as long as they are 12'' wide...no limit to length.  So, that means you can cut out entire banners, if you have long enough paper!

Also, get this- You can draw and cut at the same time with this cute little machine!  you can load in a pen and the blade--and it will draw and then cut.  I was amazed by this, because I HATE changing my blade out for a pen.  :)

Other information on this little sweetie-- is that, the images are on sd cards, which are supposed to be around $30 or less.  These sd cards are loaded with images and fonts!

There will be a computer program to use with the machine, IF you want.  Also, there is a Iphone APP to design on the go....wow.  I don't have an iphone, BUT I bet that Droid will also have an app, eventually.

Another GREAT feature, is that it comes with a rechargeable battery, meaning you can take it anywhere.  And, due to it's small and sleek size, that makes taking it places even easier.

Oh, and one more thing worth mentioning-- IF you were planning on getting a Cricut Cake-- you might want to think of getting this instead. The eCraft cuts Lucks Edible Image Food Decoration Sheets. ( I was drooling over the Cake, but I am really thinking the eCraft may win me over...especially since I can get it in PINK!)

The eCraft will come in 4 colors (Pinc, Glacier, Purpleberry and Skye).  They will each come with a 2.8'' black and white display (although color display is available), paper tray, paper roller, image card, 2 black pens,  and 5 blades.

The MSRP is to be $199-$259.

Here is a quick video of the eCraft in action at CHA

Some other questions you might be asking yourself....and then tell me what you think of the eCraft

Why so many blades?  Do they not last?  They use the same quality blades as in other cutters.

What can it cut?  Paper (standard, flocked, glitter, magnet, adhesive backed), card stock, vellum, vinyl, felt, organza, grunge paper, grunge board, wood veneers, thin chipboard, and many other materials under 1mm thick.  

How many sheets fit in the paper tray? The number of sheets depends on the thickness/weight of the paper. There is a guideline on the tray to help you determine the maximum quantity, as well as an alert on the eCraft that tells you when the paper tray is empty.

Does it make lots of noise? No. While all cutters make some noise, the eCraft is relatively quiet. For everyone who saw the eCraft at CHA or in a video demo, those were prototypes, the actual production units are much quieter.

What are the accessories? There will be full line of SD Image Cards ($39.99 - $49.99), 5 packs of Black, Primary, Pastel, Glitter and White/Gold/Silver ball-point pens ($9.99 - $11.99), 10 and 20 packs of blades ($17.99 - $29.99), iPhone App, Travel Bags, Rolls of Vinyl, Battery Pack and MORE!

Does it draw? Yes, a pen and a blade are in the machine at the same time. Our images come with preset draw and cut lines. The eCraft draws first and then cuts without having to stop and swap or reset anything. Draw without cutting or cut without drawing is also an option with the basic eCraft software.
Does it work off of cartridges? We use SD Cards similar to those used in digital cameras. They enable you to work independently of a computer and are available in different themes (Calendar, Travel, Waterlife, Swirls, Fonts, etc...) We currently have 17 SD Cards, each with over 150 images, and there's many more to come!
Can I connect to a computer? Yes, using a USB connection, but it is not required (see above).
Is it Mac compatible? Due to the limited amount of turnaround time for the software development, the initial release is for PC but we are hard at work on the Mac version and Mac users won't have to wait too much longer, we promise!
Can I use my own designs? Yes, using the Pro version of our software (sold separately). Pro will allow users to import SVG files and access True and Open Type Fonts, then establish draw and cut lines, or create your own images within the software using our design tools.
What file formats are supported? The eCraft uses a proprietary file format, however Pro will allow you to import SVG files, TTF and OTF, automatically converting them for compatibility with the eCraft.
How much does it cost? eCraft cutter, MSRP $259; eCraftshop (Basic Design Software), MSRP $69.99; eCraftshop Pro (Professional Design Software), MSRP $159.99.  Please keep in mind these are suggested retail prices, actual retail prices may differ.


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