Note: This post is totally obsolete, but I will leave it up to remember what used to be required back in the day.
After many months of experimentation, and quite a few false starts, I have finally got a print and cut procedure for the Cricut and SureCutsALot that I am satisfied with. This represents the collaborative efforts of several members of the craftedge.com forums, especially BobS, CraigG and AustinGM. Thanks to everyone who helped piece this together into something practical.
1. Open your digital file in the program you are going to use to print it. Select the image and resize it as desired for printing. Note its final printing dimensions in inches, and print. In this example, I printed from Photoshop. You could use any program you like, even Inkscape. This image is from Dustin Pike, you can download it here.
2. Import the image into Inkscape, and set its W and H dimensions to match the ones you recorded in step 1.
3. With the image still selected, choose Path>Trace Bitmap to Autotrace the image using the default settings.
4. Drag the the traced copy away from the original bitmap. Make a note of the new W and H dimensions of the traced copy if they are different.
5. With the traced copy still selected, choose Path> Break Apart.
6. The image may turn black as shown in this screen shot, and the status bar should indicate that the resultant, separate paths are still selected.
7. With all the paths still selected, choose Path< Union to create a silhouette.
8. The resulting silhouette is shown, after changing its fill to none (click on swatch with red X) and its stroke to pink (shift-click on a pink swatch) for the sake of visibility.
9. Drag the outline back over the original bitmap to verify a good fit. Note: If you want to cut a mat (shadow in Cricut lingo) do that now by making a copy (control-D) of the outline and then applying an offset Path>Outset as many times as you need to get the width mat you like.
10. Delete the original bitmap and save the outline as an SVG for import into SCAL.
11. Import the outline SVG from step 10 into a SCAL document and set its size to the exact dimensions you recorded in step 4.
The remaining steps use the hinge technique to cut around the printout using the outline created above. If you are not familiar with the hinge technique, you can view the video here.
12. Place a piece of scrap cardstock on the mat in configuration for the hinge technique. Move the outline on the SCAL virtual mat if necessary to make sure the cut will fall on the cardstock in a convenient location. Cut the file. Press the Load Paper button to gain access and remove cutout.
13. (Important: do not press Unload Paper or unload the mat) Install printout from step 1 onto mat, lined up under hinged cutout window. Burnish printout down well and rotate hinged piece out of the way.
14. Cut the same SCAL file again. Unload the mat (unless you would like to cut out more printouts) and remove the cutout.
15. Enjoy the results!