With the Silhouette Business Edition upgrade, there is a Weeding Lines feature.
If you are new, the term “weeding” may be new to you. This is simply the removing the excess material around the design that you have cut. When you are using a material such as Oracal 651, it can be easier to remove in smaller sections.
What are weeding lines? These are lines or shapes you would use around a design to make it easier to weed the design. For instance, if you have a large decal cut out of Oracal 651 such as this 12″ x 12″ tile project, it can be much easier to weed it with smaller sections, since it is very sticky and easily sticks back to itself.
If you do not have the Business Edition upgrade to the Silhouette software, then you can create your own by drawing shapes or lines. For instance, in this design I drew 2 lines across the entire design, so it would cut the vinyl and break the design up into 3 smaller pieces to work with. A 3rd line could have been added between Cameo and the Established line as well.
I usually forget to add weeding lines until I’m in the middle of weeding a large decal and then wonder why I don’t use this feature more often.
However, with the Business Edition upgrade, there is a feature that will set the weeding lines automatically for you. But, it may not work exactly how you think it should. Once you understand how it works, then it may work better for you.
Let’s take a look at the Weeding Lines Panel.
Weed Settings Panel
- Weed Lines – Choose an option on how the weeding lines should act. There are 5 options: Off, Horizontal, Vertical, H/V, or Recursive.1. Off – no weeding lines applied to the Silhouette mat.
2. Horizontal – weeding lines on a horizontal axis where clear paths occur.
3. Vertical – weeding lines on a vertical axis where clear paths occur.
4. H/V – Horizontal and vertical weeding lines applied, where clear paths occur.
5. Recursive – Adds weeding lines between letters, where clear paths occur.
- Padding – Adjusts the spacing between the weeding lines and the design.
Here is the default setting with the padding at 0.394 in.
And here is the padding increased to 1″.
You can control how close or far away you want the weeding lines to the design.
- Weed settings – Only Shapes on Media – Choose whether the weeding lines should include designs that are placed off of the design mat or only the shapes on the mat.Here is how it should look with the Only Shapes on Media unchecked.
It will place weeding lines around all the designs on your work space.
Now, there are some versions of the software that this feature does not work properly and it will put weeding lines around all the images on the work space whether the box is checked or not. I have found that if you turn the cut lines off on the designs that are off the design mat, then it only sees the designs with the cut lines on and includes those in the automatic weeding lines.
Here I have turned the cut lines off on the design that is off the mat and then the automatic weeding line feature only sees the design that is set to cut.
It will just depend on what version of the software you are using in how this part of the feature acts.
What does clear path mean?
In all of the options of weeding lines, I mentioned that it has to have clear paths in order to create a weeding line. What this means is that it has to be a clear path from left to right or top to bottom in order for it to make a weeding line automatically.
Now, while we may “think” there is a clear path, sometimes the software sees the space around the design or font when selected and reads it as a blocked path.
For instance, with the ever popular Samantha font, there is lots of excess space around the text in the selection box. This is because it is accounting for every single character and glyph in the font file.
If the weeding lines are turned on, even if it looks like there are clear paths for a weeding line, the software is reading the actual selection box around each text and it does not see a clear path.
In this case, before cutting, the text would need to be welded. Once you change the text in any way, it is no longer editable text, so I recommend making a copy of the original and pulling it off the design mat. If you have a font that does not overlap, then you can use the Convert to Path option and this will then only account for the letters in the design and not the entire font file for the selection box.
For more information on Text Style click HERE.
Now, you can see the selection box around each text box has decreased in size to include only the letters that are in the design.
If the weeding lines are turned back on, you will see there are more clear paths.
I think the Automatic weeding lines feature that is available in the Business Edition upgrade can be very useful, once you understand how it works.
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