Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Eclips is near!!! Sizzix Eclips Update!

I just got word that the Sizzix Eclips machine will be shipping to Scrap-Mart this week!!  I am so excited to get my hands on the Eclips - I have been missing it ever since I had to send the store demo machine back a few weeks ago.
There are a lot of questions out on the web about this machine, so I am reposting some of my original thoughts on the Eclips for those who missed that post (I updated a few of them as well).  I've got several videos showing the Eclips in action under the VIDEO tab on this blog.
Ok, so here are my top 10 thoughts on the Sizzix Eclips machine:
(1)  The Eclips machine is extremely user friendly. I was up and cutting within minutes of unpacking the box. The remote control is very intuitive and easily became second nature to use. I was worried it may take a while to get used to but that was not the case at all. It is amazing to me that the machine has so much capability but is so easy to use - typically a machine with this many features would have a steep learning curve, but Sizzix has done a great job in making it very user-friendly. 
(2)  The screen resolution on the remote is great - very clear images but easy on the eyes.  Very fast navigation as well - no long delay after you hit a button.  No guesswork whatsoever and that saves time. I'm all for crafting efficiency!
(3)  The images on the cartridge samples are not an exhaustive list of shapes on each cart - they are just the base images, but each one has various creative features, many of which include other shapes.  I love that many of the images offer a traditional steel-rule die cut design with dotted lines for detail, but also offer layers ('pieces') so you can choose to make a layered design or a traditional looking cut.  You can get multiple looks with one image.  Fabulous!!  And more cartridges are coming!!
(4)  When a shape offers embellishment pieces you can choose whether to cut one piece or all of the pieces - so no need to cut three times if you want three different colors of paper. I did not expect that option and it is so convenient to have!! Cricut users will especially appreciate this feature as there is no need to modify the image with software to 'hide contour' for the pieces you don't want to cut.  Rock on!
(5)  Almost every shape has a shadow feature which is fantastic in my book!  I'm a shadow girl - this is a big bonus for me.
(6)  The creative features are applied on a shape by shape basis, not on a cartridge by cartridge basis. In other words, on any given cartridge you may have one shape that has a border feature, while another shape has an embellishment feature. Sizzix looked at each image to determine which creative features were appropriate for that shape. Awesome!!
(7)  Because the remote allows you to navigate through your images quickly and store them in the cutting que, you are not tied to your handbook.  I didn't even have handbooks for the demo cartridges and I was able to scroll through the designs quickly and with ease to determine what I wanted to cut.  No more forgetting what images are on the cartridges!
(8)  The laser preview feature is a great way to see exactly where you are cutting.   If you are trying to use up a paper scrap, or center a cut over a pattern in your paper or on a photo, this feature is awesome!  No guesswork or approximations!
(9)  The designs can cut to a full 12 inches.  Borders also have a 24 inch option if you have the larger mat (sold seperately).
and last but certainly not least....
(10)  The cutting capability of the Eclips machine is by far the best I have used - and I have used many different brands of cutting machines.  Ultra clean cuts each time - even through chipboard!  No wasted paper due to tears and snags.  No rough edges to sand down or uncut pieces to snip.   Seriously accurate and clean cuts.   The feel of the machine and the cutting mechanism is very solid and sturdy. It definitely has a high-end feel to it and it even sounds cool (according to my 7 year old!).
So there you have it - my first-hand personal opinion of this machine!  If you are a machine collector like I am, make room in your crafting area for an Eclips - you won't be sorry. 
Jenn

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