How to convert PDF files to SVG files to cut in SCAL.
Important! This method is for templates with NO SCORE LINES. In my next post I will cover how to convert PDFs with both cut lines and score lines.
As a sample I converted the valentine spinner from this post.
I originally posted about converting PDFs to SVGs for Sure Cuts A Lot last spring. The method I thought would work turned out to be a big fail. Now I'm back for another try.
I don't own a Cricut, so I have been relying heavily on my reader, Carole, to test along the way. I could not have done it without her!
I also don't own SCAL, so I can't offer ready-to-cut files for Cricut users. (I tried this conversion process with the trial version of SCAL, which expires.) Carole also tried several files and was able to cut successfully.
I may get around to converting some of my files to SVG. In the meantime, I am confident that you can do this conversion yourself with any of the PDFs I have posted.
BAH HUMBUG! It still doesn't work unless there are NO OPEN PATHS on the PDF file. I wish I knew why some paths that look open are actually closed, and some aren't. Looks like the valentine spinner doesn't cut right after all. So sorry!
MORE...I tried selecting each open path and then clicking Stroke to Path. (Thanks to Sue from Crazy Cricut Cutz.) In "Preview All" I see greyish red lines. Will that cut? Is anyone willing to try this file?
How to convert PDF files to cut with SCAL
You will need Inkscape, which is a free program. I sampled the results with the new SCAL2. If you have the older version and try some of the files, let me know how they work for you.
First you need to set up the size of the page in Inkscape to fit the mat in SCAL. For some reason the size does not convert exactly.
Open Inkscape. Go to File then Document Properties. Click the Page tab at the top. Set the default units as inches. Under Custom Size set the units to inches. Set your paper size to 9.25 inches width by 4.5 inches height. This is the maximum size that will fit in the cutting area of the SCAL mat.
Go to File then Import. Select a pdf file to import. (You can only import one page at a time from a multi-page PDF.)
Move the imported picture onto the page if necessary.
Resize to fit the page. Either drag the corners of the picture or go to Object then Transform then Scale.
Save. I did Save As an Inkscape SVG. If that doesn't open in SCAL try saving as a plain SVG.
Now open SCAL.
Import the SVG either by clicking the icon at the top of the page or going to File then Import SVG.
Move the picture until the edges are entirely within the guidelines of the cutting mat.
Click Cutter then Preview. All the cut lines should show up red. If they don't, most likely some piece of the design is hanging over the edge of the mat guidelines. Move the design and test again.
All done and ready to cut!