Software & File Types for your Digital Cutting Machine
Here is a general guide as to what each software will do & the files they will cut, as understood at the time of writing. Please note there are often other ways to accomplish the same thing, and more are always being discovered. And, while some software can open a file it doesn’t always mean it is ready to cut. Sometimes, they will open & then need some cleaning up, changing of line types or vectorizing before it will cut. And, there may be work arounds available to convert files so that they can be opened with your software.
Adobe Illustrator: www.adobe.com For purchase separately from any machines. A very powerful designing program, that has a steep learning curve. Many tutorials out there, not a lot that are specific to cutting machines. You can get a free Cutting Master bridge from Graphtec web site (http://www.craftrobostore.com/craftrobodownloads.html) that works with Illustrator & makes it so Illustrator can cut directly to your machine (Silhouette, Wishblade & Craft Robo machines), which makes for cleaner, faster cutting & many options as far as saving different file types. Excellent importing & tracing abilities for converting raster to vector for cutting. Opens 20+ file types, most important for home cutters are DXF, PDF, KNK, WMF, EPS, AI, SVG.
Create N Cut & Create N Cut plus: This is the software that now comes with the Xyron Wishblade in addition to Robo Master. It allows for more designing abilities (create titles with mats), and a few more import/export abilities. It will open DXF, AI version 8, sometimes AI, possibly PDF & WMF.
Signmax Funtime & Win/pc: http://www.funtimescrapbooking.com/ This software comes with the Pazzles & Gazelle machines and its native file format is WPC. The software can also be purchased separately, for designing purposes. There are different versions of this basic type of software available that do different things. Depending which version you get it also will cut to the following machines: KNK, Wishblade, Silhouette, Craft Robo & more. It has tracing abilities for converting raster to vector for cutting. There is less of a learning curve with this program, more “home user friendly”. Opens BMP, JPG,Tiff, PCX as raster for tracing. WMF, WPC, VIP EPS, PRN, PLT, EPS, AI version 8, DXF as vector for cutting. Does not open vector PDF files. Recognizes Truetype fonts that are on your computer. Has a sharing network web site to share files with others.
Inkscape: A free, downloadable designing software program that is very powerful but has a pretty steep learning curve. There are a lot of tutorials out there on using this for cutting machine purposes. Opens AI, PDF then can save as SVG or DXF. Opens raster for tracing.
Inspiration Design: Comes with the Pazzles machine. See Signmax Funtime above as it is the same software maker.
KNK Studio: Software that comes with KNK machines, you cut from it & and can design with it. Opens 40+ file types, most important to home cutters are: DXF, PDF, KNK, WMF, EPS, AI version 8, sometimes AI. SVG files would have to be converted as they don‘t open directly. Excellent importing & tracing abilities for converting raster formats to vector for cutting. Recognizes fonts & dingbat fonts on your computer for cutting & comes with many more.
KNK Studio GE: Software that can be purchased to use for designing & cutting for the Graphtec machines (Silhouette, Wishblade & Craft Rob). More powerful than the Robo Master software that comes with machines. Recognizes fonts on your computer & comes with many more. Opens 40+ file types, most important to home cutters are: DXF, PDF, KNK, WMF, EPS, AI version 8, sometimes AI. SVG files would have to be converted as they don‘t open directly. Excellent importing & tracing abilities for converting raster formats to vector for cutting. Recognizes fonts & dingbat fonts on your computer for cutting & comes with many more.
Robo Master: Software that comes with Craft Robo, Wishblade & Silhouette machines. Imports DXF that have been saved properly for Robo Master import (will not import block-referenced objects or splines, text or dimension lines) & opens GSD files. Design ability is limited, but you can use other software programs to create DXF files & some will cut directly to your machine. ** note there are different versions of this software depending on the machine you get. The main differences between them are that the Silhouette version allows you to buy & download GST format files from Quickutz, the others do not. And, the older blue colored Wishblade’s software doesn’t allow you to import DXF files. **
Sure Cuts a Lot: Software that may be purchased to use with your Cricut "No longer supports cutting to the Cricut" Please see Craftedge.com for the list of machines that use this software. Allows you to use SVG files, and design your own files. Designing within the software is limited, but many people use Inkscape (free) or Adobe Illustrator to do their designing then save as SVG from those programs, then open in SCAL to cut to their Cricuts. Allows use of fonts & dingbat fonts that are on your computer.
In short these are the machines & the main file formats that you would use if you have not purchased any additional software to go with them:
Craft Robo machines: GSD, DXF
Cricut machines: Only Provo Craft Software and Cartridges unless you buy SCAL, then SVG
Gazelle: WPC, DXF, AI version 8
Klic N Kut Element: KNK, DXF, PDF, AI version 8, WMF, EPS
Klic N Kut Groove: KNK, DXF, PDF, AI version 8, WMF, EPS
Klic N Kut Maxx: KNK, DXF, PDF, AI version 8, WMF, EPS
Pazzles: WPC, DXF, AI version 8
Silhouette: GSD, DXF
Wishblade machines: GSD, DXF. New Wishblade version comes with Create N Cut software (see above).