Brother ScanNCut SDX85M Electronic DIY Cutting Machine with Scanner, Make Vinyl Wall Art, Appliques, Homemade Cards and More with 251 Included Patterns, Maui

5 out of 5
SKU:B08HJJ2CYV Category:
  • Description
  • Reviews (3)

Description

The only series of home and hobby cutting machines with a built-in scanner is now more accessible than ever. Introducing the latest addition to the ScanNCut family, the affordable and compact ScanNCut DX (SDX85). Combining premium features such as 251 built-in designs and a 3.47” LCD touchscreen…

3 reviews for "Brother ScanNCut SDX85M Electronic DIY Cutting Machine with Scanner, Make Vinyl Wall Art, Appliques, Homemade Cards and More with 251 Included Patterns, Maui"

  1. :

    I make stickers and other items from my drawings, and have been using a Silhouette for 5 years that has just started to show signs of dying, so I’d been eyeing this machine as a replacement. The main feature of this machine that attracted me was the scanner, as currently I have to put my printed stickers on a Silhouette Pixscan mat, scan each end of it because it’s too big for my scanner, and stitch the images back together in Photoshop to then import it into the cutting software. It’s a pain, but it’s currently the best method I have. So, I thought the Scan N Cut would make my process quicker and easier because of the built in scanner.I had watched YouTube videos about the machine and it seemed to have the features and function I needed, so when my Silhouette touch screen started to have issues, I finally pulled the trigger and bought the Scan N Cut.When it arrived, I set it up and the first thing I noticed was while the machine it self seemed fairly solid and decently made, the touch screen felt really cheap. The mechanism to lift, angle and hold it in a position you like is poorly designed at best and if you have the screen in a vertical position it moves when you tap the buttons on the screen. As you tilt the screen there isn’t any resistance or feedback to help you know when it’s far enough forward that it won’t lock when you let go of it, so if you tilt it too far forward and let go it falls down, which probably isn’t good for it especially if it happens repeatedly over months/years of owning it.Once I started using the touch screen to set up the machine, I found that the touch points were not mapped correctly to the screen, so I had a difficult time typing anything in during setup because if I tried to type “A” it would put a W on the screen, for example. I ended up having to just tap around on the screen to find the right spot to get the letter I needed, in some cases no where on the button image on the screen would the correct letter type, I had to click in a blank area to get that letter.Next I started setting up the software and familiarizing myself with it. I’ve been using the Silhouette software for years and while it did have a little bit of a learning curve, it has a lot of features that the Brother software does not appear to have. I did notice that the version of CanvasWorkspace that can be downloaded to your computer does not have all the features that the online version does. I went back and made sure I had the most recent, updated version, and it still did not have all of the features of the online CanvasWorkspace. This alone isn’t a deal breaker for me, but really? You can do offsets online but not on the local software?Offset lines is a big part of what I make and really important to me specifically, so for many people this may not be a deterrent from using this machine – but from the video tutorials I had seen, you could create offset lines directly on the machine…but this machine, the one I received, had no such option on the menus. So the only way for me to create an offset would be in the online version of CanvasWorkspace, which kills the usefulness of the machine not needing to be used with a computer at all.It felt like they tried so hard to make this machine independent from a computer that it ended up making it really inconvenient to use it with a computer, as if all of the off the machine features were an afterthought and…. an added expense? I’m still not entirely clear about the “online activation card” and the fact that it was marked as “added value” suggesting that it would normally have to be purchased explicitly for the online activation if you wanted to use this machine with the cloud / your computer. That feature is just built in to the Silhouette. It’s meant to be connected to your computer so there’s no “extra” step or purchase to connect the two. I’m still not totally clear on this with the Brother machine, if I could not have connected it to my computer without that activation card, but it seemed that way as that was a step in getting it to connect to the wifi. The cut options on the screen of the machine are extremely limited in my opinion, especially if the machine is built to be a stand-alone device. There isn’t much you can do on the screen, at least in my experience. I did make sure the firmware on the machine was updated and checked back to see if that increased the options available to me or the versatility and it did not.From a website that sells these activation cards “Connect your Scanncut2 machine to a wireless Network with this scanncut online activation card, Simply purchase this activation card and follow the easy step by step instructions to transfer files from scanncut canvas to your machine via Pc or tablet. One scanncut activation card is needed per Scanncut2 machine” That implicitly makes it seem as though this $50 card is required in order to connect the machine to your computer. The card included with my machine was in a package that stated “value added accessory” which is really funny since you shouldn’t have to pay extra to connect a cutting machine to your computer, especially not to access it’s full *advertised* range of features.(I did attempt to connect it with a cable…. it did not recognize the connection)Ok so, at this point I can still live with and work around the issues I’ve found so far. So I get my scanning mat, print a sheet of stickers and make my first attempt at scanning and cutting out some stickers. It is not easy to see on the screen once it scans, but it looks like the scan is terrible. So I look at my sticker sheet and there was a big bubble under it because of how the adhesive on the mat sticks. (I have never had this issue with the Silhouette PixScan mat) So I carefully peel it back up and make sure there are no bubbles, it is perfectly flat. I run it through the machine again to scan it and the scan is still really bad. It is reading dark spots (shadows) where there are none, the sheet is perfectly white with my images outlined in thick black lines. It’s never been an issue for the Silhouette software to see the edges of my stickers and trace the cut lines perfectly. I’m not understanding why the Brother cannot get a clean scan, but I do start to notice that the shadows are always in the same spot, around the middle/right side of the cutting mat.I did notice right out of the box that the cutting mat felt really flimsy as compared to the PixScan mat for the Silhouette, and I’m wondering if somewhere in the design of the machine the mat is able to flex as it goes through causing those shadows. There is no way for me to correct this as it’s due to the internal structure of the machine… another bad design in this device. So I realize the scanner on this machine – the main reason I purchased it instead of replacing my Silhouette with the newer Cameo – is useless to me. I had considered for a moment whether I could use this machine as a scanner (as large format scanners are in this price range or higher) to scan my PixScan mats instead of the whole two-scan-stitching-together process I’m currently using, but no… even though there is a longer mat sold for this machine it apparently only scans 12×12 which isn’t long enough to capture the markings on the PixScan mat and… again, seems like a poor design of this machine. I had originally planned on getting a longer mat so I could place, scan and cut three sheets of sticker paper at once – and now I know that wouldn’t have worked, which again cuts the functionality of this machine.In my attempts to just scan my PixScan mat and see how that went, I found that using scan to cut data literally only gives you cut data when saved to Canvas Workspace (online or offline versions) and even when I just tried to scan over the image…. I couldn’t save it as anything other than Brother’s proprietary cut file format, couldn’t save a scan as a JPG or any other format. So I tried to use just the scan feature. It would not allow me to do so without a USB connection. I tried plugging in a flash drive to save the scans to, and it did not recognize the flash drive. I double checked the drive on my computer and it was working fine. I tried a direct USB connection to my computer and that also didn’t work. So, there’s no functionality to save scanned images as just scanned images because the USB on this machine did not work.I did try really hard to get as clean of a scan from this machine as I could and did a test cut… first, it’s hard to see the cut lines on the tiny screen. Especially if you have something on the small side and at all detailed. Even where the scan was clear, this machine could not achieve an accurate cut line (again, solid black outlines on white paper, could not get more clear for an electronic eye). I tried adjusting the extremely simplistic slider that has little to no explanation of how it works to make the cut line recognition better, but of course it made some lines worse and some better, so it was not helpful. I tried both color and grayscale, which again made improvements to some of the cutlines but degraded ones that had already looked okay. I got it to the best look I could possibly find and……told it to cut.On parts of my sheet of stickers, on the tiny touch screen, it had appeared like the cut lines pretty well matched the outline of the stickers. I fully expected the cut lines on the stickers to match what I saw on the screen. It did not. What it cut was not even close to the cut lines on the screen, not even the ones that were clearly on the outer edge of the stickers – those it cut anywhere from 1/16 to 1/8 inch inside where the cut lines showed on the screen. It weirdly rounded off all the shapes (like you’d expect if it had a large internal offset) and did not come anywhere close to cutting a proper sticker.I had used the quick start guide to set up the blade depth and cut pressure… and again, didn’t even cut through the top layer of sticker paper. I increased the settings and…………still did not cut through the top layer of the sticker paper.To recap,The touch screen adjustable support is really flimsy and feels cheaply made.The touch screen is not mapped correctly to the image on the screen.Using the machine with a computer is complicated and possibly costs more than the machine alone. (this particular listing/model includes the card)The machine doesn’t have enough features on the touch screen interface to be used alone and still be what it is advertised to be.The scanner seems incapable of getting a clear scan.The machine struggles to see clear black and white images and determine the cut lines from them.The machine doesn’t cut the lines it shows on the screen.The suggested cut settings on the quick start guide are inaccurate or the machine does not cut well.It did not recognize anything plugged into the USB port, and without that you can’t simply scan and save an image.Needless to say, this machine has been returned and I will be sticking with my Silhouette.Now, if you are getting this machine to cut their pre-made designs, or cut basic shapes from fabric or paper for quilting or scrapbooking, it could still be an ok machine for you, I didn’t test any of that because it’s not what I personally needed. But if you want to scan an image and precisely cut out a design from it, I don’t recommend this machine.

  2. :

    I make stickers and other items from my drawings, and have been using a Silhouette for 5 years that has just started to show signs of dying, so I’d been eyeing this machine as a replacement. The main feature of this machine that attracted me was the scanner, as currently I have to put my printed stickers on a Silhouette Pixscan mat, scan each end of it because it’s too big for my scanner, and stitch the images back together in Photoshop to then import it into the cutting software. It’s a pain, but it’s currently the best method I have. So, I thought the Scan N Cut would make my process quicker and easier because of the built in scanner.I had watched YouTube videos about the machine and it seemed to have the features and function I needed, so when my Silhouette touch screen started to have issues, I finally pulled the trigger and bought the Scan N Cut.When it arrived, I set it up and the first thing I noticed was while the machine it self seemed fairly solid and decently made, the touch screen felt really cheap. The mechanism to lift, angle and hold it in a position you like is poorly designed at best and if you have the screen in a vertical position it moves when you tap the buttons on the screen. As you tilt the screen there isn’t any resistance or feedback to help you know when it’s far enough forward that it won’t lock when you let go of it, so if you tilt it too far forward and let go it falls down, which probably isn’t good for it especially if it happens repeatedly over months/years of owning it.Once I started using the touch screen to set up the machine, I found that the touch points were not mapped correctly to the screen, so I had a difficult time typing anything in during setup because if I tried to type “A” it would put a W on the screen, for example. I ended up having to just tap around on the screen to find the right spot to get the letter I needed, in some cases no where on the button image on the screen would the correct letter type, I had to click in a blank area to get that letter.Next I started setting up the software and familiarizing myself with it. I’ve been using the Silhouette software for years and while it did have a little bit of a learning curve, it has a lot of features that the Brother software does not appear to have. I did notice that the version of CanvasWorkspace that can be downloaded to your computer does not have all the features that the online version does. I went back and made sure I had the most recent, updated version, and it still did not have all of the features of the online CanvasWorkspace. This alone isn’t a deal breaker for me, but really? You can do offsets online but not on the local software?Offset lines is a big part of what I make and really important to me specifically, so for many people this may not be a deterrent from using this machine – but from the video tutorials I had seen, you could create offset lines directly on the machine…but this machine, the one I received, had no such option on the menus. So the only way for me to create an offset would be in the online version of CanvasWorkspace, which kills the usefulness of the machine not needing to be used with a computer at all.It felt like they tried so hard to make this machine independent from a computer that it ended up making it really inconvenient to use it with a computer, as if all of the off the machine features were an afterthought and…. an added expense? I’m still not entirely clear about the “online activation card” and the fact that it was marked as “added value” suggesting that it would normally have to be purchased explicitly for the online activation if you wanted to use this machine with the cloud / your computer. That feature is just built in to the Silhouette. It’s meant to be connected to your computer so there’s no “extra” step or purchase to connect the two. I’m still not totally clear on this with the Brother machine, if I could not have connected it to my computer without that activation card, but it seemed that way as that was a step in getting it to connect to the wifi. The cut options on the screen of the machine are extremely limited in my opinion, especially if the machine is built to be a stand-alone device. There isn’t much you can do on the screen, at least in my experience. I did make sure the firmware on the machine was updated and checked back to see if that increased the options available to me or the versatility and it did not.From a website that sells these activation cards “Connect your Scanncut2 machine to a wireless Network with this scanncut online activation card, Simply purchase this activation card and follow the easy step by step instructions to transfer files from scanncut canvas to your machine via Pc or tablet. One scanncut activation card is needed per Scanncut2 machine” That implicitly makes it seem as though this $50 card is required in order to connect the machine to your computer. The card included with my machine was in a package that stated “value added accessory” which is really funny since you shouldn’t have to pay extra to connect a cutting machine to your computer, especially not to access it’s full *advertised* range of features.(I did attempt to connect it with a cable…. it did not recognize the connection)Ok so, at this point I can still live with and work around the issues I’ve found so far. So I get my scanning mat, print a sheet of stickers and make my first attempt at scanning and cutting out some stickers. It is not easy to see on the screen once it scans, but it looks like the scan is terrible. So I look at my sticker sheet and there was a big bubble under it because of how the adhesive on the mat sticks. (I have never had this issue with the Silhouette PixScan mat) So I carefully peel it back up and make sure there are no bubbles, it is perfectly flat. I run it through the machine again to scan it and the scan is still really bad. It is reading dark spots (shadows) where there are none, the sheet is perfectly white with my images outlined in thick black lines. It’s never been an issue for the Silhouette software to see the edges of my stickers and trace the cut lines perfectly. I’m not understanding why the Brother cannot get a clean scan, but I do start to notice that the shadows are always in the same spot, around the middle/right side of the cutting mat.I did notice right out of the box that the cutting mat felt really flimsy as compared to the PixScan mat for the Silhouette, and I’m wondering if somewhere in the design of the machine the mat is able to flex as it goes through causing those shadows. There is no way for me to correct this as it’s due to the internal structure of the machine… another bad design in this device. So I realize the scanner on this machine – the main reason I purchased it instead of replacing my Silhouette with the newer Cameo – is useless to me. I had considered for a moment whether I could use this machine as a scanner (as large format scanners are in this price range or higher) to scan my PixScan mats instead of the whole two-scan-stitching-together process I’m currently using, but no… even though there is a longer mat sold for this machine it apparently only scans 12×12 which isn’t long enough to capture the markings on the PixScan mat and… again, seems like a poor design of this machine. I had originally planned on getting a longer mat so I could place, scan and cut three sheets of sticker paper at once – and now I know that wouldn’t have worked, which again cuts the functionality of this machine.In my attempts to just scan my PixScan mat and see how that went, I found that using scan to cut data literally only gives you cut data when saved to Canvas Workspace (online or offline versions) and even when I just tried to scan over the image…. I couldn’t save it as anything other than Brother’s proprietary cut file format, couldn’t save a scan as a JPG or any other format. So I tried to use just the scan feature. It would not allow me to do so without a USB connection. I tried plugging in a flash drive to save the scans to, and it did not recognize the flash drive. I double checked the drive on my computer and it was working fine. I tried a direct USB connection to my computer and that also didn’t work. So, there’s no functionality to save scanned images as just scanned images because the USB on this machine did not work.I did try really hard to get as clean of a scan from this machine as I could and did a test cut… first, it’s hard to see the cut lines on the tiny screen. Especially if you have something on the small side and at all detailed. Even where the scan was clear, this machine could not achieve an accurate cut line (again, solid black outlines on white paper, could not get more clear for an electronic eye). I tried adjusting the extremely simplistic slider that has little to no explanation of how it works to make the cut line recognition better, but of course it made some lines worse and some better, so it was not helpful. I tried both color and grayscale, which again made improvements to some of the cutlines but degraded ones that had already looked okay. I got it to the best look I could possibly find and……told it to cut.On parts of my sheet of stickers, on the tiny touch screen, it had appeared like the cut lines pretty well matched the outline of the stickers. I fully expected the cut lines on the stickers to match what I saw on the screen. It did not. What it cut was not even close to the cut lines on the screen, not even the ones that were clearly on the outer edge of the stickers – those it cut anywhere from 1/16 to 1/8 inch inside where the cut lines showed on the screen. It weirdly rounded off all the shapes (like you’d expect if it had a large internal offset) and did not come anywhere close to cutting a proper sticker.I had used the quick start guide to set up the blade depth and cut pressure… and again, didn’t even cut through the top layer of sticker paper. I increased the settings and…………still did not cut through the top layer of the sticker paper.To recap,The touch screen adjustable support is really flimsy and feels cheaply made.The touch screen is not mapped correctly to the image on the screen.Using the machine with a computer is complicated and possibly costs more than the machine alone. (this particular listing/model includes the card)The machine doesn’t have enough features on the touch screen interface to be used alone and still be what it is advertised to be.The scanner seems incapable of getting a clear scan.The machine struggles to see clear black and white images and determine the cut lines from them.The machine doesn’t cut the lines it shows on the screen.The suggested cut settings on the quick start guide are inaccurate or the machine does not cut well.It did not recognize anything plugged into the USB port, and without that you can’t simply scan and save an image.Needless to say, this machine has been returned and I will be sticking with my Silhouette.Now, if you are getting this machine to cut their pre-made designs, or cut basic shapes from fabric or paper for quilting or scrapbooking, it could still be an ok machine for you, I didn’t test any of that because it’s not what I personally needed. But if you want to scan an image and precisely cut out a design from it, I don’t recommend this machine.

  3. :

    The Brother CM350 is a nifty machine with a lot of versatility, but the experience of getting it set up and operational is much more difficult than it needs to be.Unboxing is similar to an inkjet printer. Lots of cardboard and tape to remove, but very straightforward. From there, it gets very confusing–especially for anyone who is unaccustomed to this type of machine.Brother has attempted to combine a quick-start guide with reference tables (for mat selection and blade adjustment) in what they have labelled a “Quick Reference Guide.” This would have been fine, except that they put all of the information in a counter-intuitive order. Putting the mat selection and blade adjustment tables before the instructions for initial setup does not make sense for first time users.Rearranging this document, renaming the sections, and reformatting the instructions into a sequence of steps that should be followed would make this experience much smoother. For example, “Adjusting the Cut Pressure” is a troubleshooting measure and should not be on the first page. Meanwhile, “Adjusting the Blade Extension” sounds like a troubleshooting section, but it actually contains two non-obvious steps (removing the same-color safety cap and giving the adjustment dial one full turn) that are required for the machine to work.After the initial setup, you will likely want to start cutting immediately. Most first-time users will want to start with a material they have handy, but a check of the mat selection table will indicate this may not be possible. The unit ships with the standard mat (for cutting cardstock, poster board, and other thick materials), but a low tack mat (not included) is needed for cutting printer paper or construction paper. The standard, included mat becomes more useful if you have thicker, smoother materials on hand, but you may have to make a trip to the store before the fun can even begin. The included mat can also be used to cut fabric, but the unit does not include either of the sheets used to support fabric cutting. It also does not include the mat for photo scanning.Once you get the machine set up, have a supply of useable materials on hand, and have the mat(s) you need, then the machine becomes really useful. Any teacher who has ever felt limited by the selection of die cutters in their workroom will love the dozens of resizable built-in patterns. Also built-in is a type feature which allows you to choose a typeface, type in the desired words, and quickly cut out the letters. There are seven typefaces to choose from, one of which is a mock-Asian font that really doesn’t belong in modern tech. In addition, as much as I hate Comic Sans, it would have been helpful to include a standard handwriting font to help elementary teachers and parents teach handwriting. Brother offers a Windows-only software application to make cutting patterns from any TrueType font, but this isn’t quite as handy as having it built in.One of the premier features of this machine is the ability to scan in existing images and create cutting patterns from them. The touch screen menus make it easy to scan an image into the machine. It’s a little more challenging to crop the image and convert it to a cutting pattern, but if you start with a suitable source image,it’s not too difficult. (The photo scanning mat was not included, so I did not test this feature.)I haven’t yet installed the CanvasWorkspace software for creating and editing custom cutting patterns, but instead preferred to connect the cutter to a computer with a USB cable. It will appear as an external hard drive. You can then copy any Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file to the “drive” and import it as a cutting pattern using the touchscreen menu. SVG files stay sharp and crisp no matter how much they are enlarged or skewed. There are millions of them available for download on Wikimedia Commons and other websites.The machine is surprisingly lightweight; I can easily see it getting hauled back and forth to sewing clubs, scout meetings, schools, and the like. In spite of the weight, it generally has a nice quality feel to it. The exception to this is the LCD touch panel on top; it’s conveniently adjustable, but it wobbles considerably with each touch. Time will tell how the cutter holds up to heavy usage, but it is a very flexible tool that will be very useful, in spite of the unnecessarily frustrating experience for first-time users. If you go into your purchase anticipating these initial challenges, you likely won’t be disappointed.

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