Monday, August 17, 2009

Craftwell's eCraft

The buzz abounds for the crafting industry's latest personal electronic cutting machine by New York based company Craftwell. The eCraft is a sleek, low-profile and portable machine that cuts without the use of a cutting mat (woohoo! no mats to replace or sticky glue to apply). This little machine can cut images up to 10" high by. . . wait for it. . . ANY length. There's even a roller attachment accessory that will house a paper roll to create banners. Imagine a darling personalized Welcome Home Baby sign or a Go Team banner for the kiddos' sporting events. The machine also boasts a paper feed tray so that multiple quantities can be cut without having to key each one. This is a fantastic feature for those mass produced cards (picture holiday cards). Simply choose the image from the large LCD screen and key the quantity, load the paper tray and walk away to maybe cook dinner or some other mundane task that gets in the way of crafting time. Come back and, voila! a stack of neatly cut images ready to pop out and apply to your cards.

The eCraft can cut through regular weight paper, card stock, specialty papers (flocked, glitter, textured), magnet, vinyl, and even grunge paper. And it cuts all this using a sensor so you don't have to make any adjustments to the blade. There's also talk about a longer blade option that could handle chipboard. I'm wondering if it could even cut fabric that's been stabilized with a spray adhesive on cardstock (or maybe an iron on stabilizer, hmmm?).

If you thought all of that was enough to make you run out and buy one, there's more. It also draws. So if your design has a bit of detail (ie. petals on a rose), the eCraft will draw the detail first and then cut out the image, and you don't have to swap the pen for the blade. As for the artwork, Craftwell has designed images in a variety of themes, including fonts. These will be sold on SD cards (called Fun Cards). Because the machine uses SD cards, you can run it independently of your computer, but as an added feature you can use Craftwell's software component to create your own designs in Adobe (and the like) or use any True Type font.

There are a few price points ranging from $259-$399 for B&W vs color screen, and even a heavy duty commercial grade cutter for the professional (or very serious) crafter. The eCraft is anticipated to arrive in time for the holidays. I know a few people who will have it at the top of their wish list, myself included.

Check out this video from YouTube showing the eCraft in action:

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