This guide will cover how to use cutting machines to create paper art of the Adafruit Circuit Playground characters. We'll also cover topics on how to design artwork for paper crafting projects. We'll go over materials, tools and workflows for creating fun projects.
Smart cutting machines are widely available, come in different sizes and are relatively easy to use. You can find these at your local arts & carts stores and even department stores. These machines can cut a wide range of materials such as cardstock, chipboard, craft foam, rubber sheets and fabrics, just to name a few. So they're not just for cutting vinyl anymore! Newer models feature dual tool heads for scoring fold lines and pen plotting for handwritten type or outline artwork. Some of the newest features like, print and cut, allow you to precisely cutout graphics made with an inkjet printer.
There's a lot of ways to use these cutting machines in your projects. Combining different materials with colors and textures can makes high quality looking objects with precise cuts and details. Mixing different mediums like 3D printing and paper crafting can make for unique designs that can both look and function together nicely. There's benefits to using cutting machines when compared to cnc milling or laser cutting. For example, it's more safe (no need for ventilation), less noisy, and less expensive. So these can be a good supplement to some of the more involved maker tools on the market.
Here's a few ideas we came up with. There's seriously lots of things we could add to this list. It's just a few that came to mind. Although a cutting machine can do the majority of the work, we feel the hard part is designing the artwork and coming up with the idea. Designing for manufacture is a learning process that happens best when working on a project.
- Boxes and Packages
- Enclosures, mounting structures
- Paper Art
- Signs, Banners, Posters, Cards
- Patterns, Details, Props, Apparel
- Solder stencils, solder masks, copper tape
Here's a handy list of tools and supplies you'll need to work with paper.
- Adhesive Cutting Mat
- T-square / Ruler
- Squeegee Tool
- Craft Knife/ X-Acto
- Weeding Tool
- Glue stick (Extra strength)
- Cardstock (medium or heavy weight)
- Chipboard (30pt (624gsm)
- Self healing cutting mat
- Blue painters tape