In this installment of In Detail, I’m reviewing the Little B Perfect Positioner. The Perfect Positioner is described as a clear adhesive mat designed to help keep nested dies from shifting during die cutting for any die-cutting tool platform. I’ll show how it works with both the Lifestyle Crafts Genius Platform System and the Sizzix Extended Multipurpose Platform in the Sizzix Big Shot Machine.
There’s a slightly tacky adhesive on both sides of the Perfect Positioner. Measuring 12" tall x 6" wide, the positioner is printed with a ¼" increment ruler grid and 12 card template guides.
To begin, remove the clear plastic protector from the back and adhere the positioner to the platform. Since the Perfect Positioner is not quite as long as the Genius Platform. I chose to line the bottom of the positioner with the bottom of the Genius Platform. Remove the front plastic protector. Save the protectors.
For the purposes of evaluating the Perfect Positioner, I tested several die configurations. Please note: These configurations were not chosen for their aesthetics.
I placed a circle die from the Sizzix Circles Framelits set inside a rectangle die from the My Favorite Things Blueprints 1 set on the Genius Platform base, which is magnetic, with the cut sides up. Although I was not using the card template guides, I placed the rectangle die inside the A2 card template (which I’ve indicated in the photo with a red rectangle). The positioner’s ruler grid is drawn with black, solid and dashed lines. The card template lines are drawn with a slightly heavier-weight, black, solid line. My immediate reaction to centering the circle die was one of overwhelm, trying to distinguish which line was which. I resorted to counting squares with my fingers.
(In the In Detail post on 11 Essential Tools I describe how I use the Tim Holtz Ruler to position dies. On one side, the ruler is labeled in a standard manner from “0” to “12” inches, in ⅛" increments, while on the other side, “0” appears in the middle and the measurements go left and right from “0” to “6.” This enables one to easily center a die inside another shape.)
I covered the dies with the cardstock and the A mat, and I ran the combination through my Big Shot.
The panel cut well, and the dies did not appear to shift during either the process of placing the mat on top of the platform or running the platform and mat through the Big Shot.
The A2 card template on the positioner is drawn for a half-fold, 4 ¼" wide x 5 ½" tall card or a tent-fold, 5 ½" wide x 4 ¼" tall card. Even though there are 12 card templates on the positioner, I am only interested in using the A2 one; unfortunately it is drawn for a card that I only make about 30% of the time. Most cards that I make are tent-fold, 4 ¼" wide x 5 ½" tall.
Frustrated with the difficulty of centering the circle die in the rectangle, I discovered it to be easier to line up the rectangle die along the bottom of the grid. Because the far-left line is so close to the platform edge, I started at the 1" line. Going forward, I would ignore the card template lines entirely.
Continuing with the positioner on the Genius platform, I tested a combination of dies from the Paper Smooches Quote Tag die set. To avoid visual confusion, I placed the combination of dies where I could take advantage of one of the lines on which to place the “Hello” sentiment. I lined the top of the tag on one of the heavier card template lines. Because this combination of dies easily fit together, the placement of the dies was more straightforward than in the previous example.
I covered the dies with the cardstock and cutting mat and ran it through the Big Shot. The dies stayed in place during the die cutting.
Next I wanted to test a combination of the sentiment from the Paper Smooches Quote Tag die set inside the rectangle die from the My Favorite Things Blueprints 1 with the Genius platform using the positioner and without it. With the positioner on the Genius platform the combination cut well without shifting.
Next, I removed the positioner from the Genius magnetic platform and set up the same combination of dies on the Genius platform’s A cutting mat grid. Since I was working on the other side of the cutting sandwich, the dies were placed cut-side down on the cardstock. (There’s a grid printed on the cutting mat; within the center section, the grid has 1" increments. Therefore, for precise placement I would need to use the Tim Holtz Ruler or similar.) I positioned the magnetic platform on top of the dies, flipped the platform and pad, and ran it through the Big Shot.
As you can see, the cardstock shifted at some point in the process.
With the positioner still removed, I die cut the same combination by placing the dies on the Genius platform (rather than the cutting mat), covering them with cardstock and the cutting mat, and running the combination through the Big Shot. Again, the cardstock shifted at some point in the process.
Judging from the die cutting results without the positioner compared to the results using it, it’s apparent that the slightly tacky adhesive of the Perfect Positioner helps prevent shifting of the dies during the die-cutting process when using the Genius platform. However, I would prefer that the positioner not include the card template lines.
For a final test, I wanted to use the positioner with the Sizzix Extended Multipurpose Platform. Normally I use Sizzix platforms with my dies cut-side down. Since the cutting plates are clear, it’s easy to see what you’re cutting. Because the Perfect Positioner cannot be cut into, I had to change my setup. With the positioner adhered to my non-cutting plate, I placed the dies cut-side up. Next I covered the dies with the cardstock and the other cutting plate and ran the sandwich through the Big Shot. The dies stayed in place.
Using my usual configuration of the Magnetic Platform and Standard Cutting Plates, I almost never have any slippage issues. Furthermore, I rarely use the Sizzix Extended Multipurpose Platform for die-cutting. I don’t see an advantage to using the Perfect Positioner with the Sizzix platforms, given that doing so requires that I have to arrange the dies cut-side up covered by cardstock. I much prefer to arrange my dies on top of the cardstock and use the Tim Holtz ruler for positioning.
I can recommend the Little B Perfect Positioner for the Genius platform, although as I stated earlier, I would have preferred that the grid not include the card templates. The Little B Perfect Positioner provides an inexpensive alternative to adhering the dies with washi tape or other temporary adhesives for placement. It's hard to predict how many times the positioner can be used before needing replacement. Over time, the adhesive will most certainly wear out, but replacements are less expensive than a roll of washi tape.