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How To Use Silhouette Cameo

How To Use a Silhouette Cameo

In this tutorial, we are going to guide you on how to use the Silhouette Cameo. This guide will help you if you’re a total beginner or not.

In case you bought an older model, the tips will still be applicable.

Using a Silhouette Cameo

Set Up Your Machine

The first thing with the Silhouette Cameo is unboxing it. You need the following to use this machine:

  • An Auto-Blade
  • Cross cutter
  • Power and USB cables
  • 12-inch cutting matt
  • Register your device

Now that you have all the essentials needed, register your machine. There is a unique serial number on the back of this machine.

Create a Silhouette Account

Immediately after registration, your official Silhouette account will be created. This account will come with a 3o day free trial to the Silhouette store.

You will get a $25 credit as well for projects, purchasing designs, and fonts for your machine.

Connecting the Silhouette to your MAC/PC

To connect your machine to the PC, plug the AC adapter in the right of the Silhouette. Press the power button to turn it on.

Install the Silhouette Studio software. You can get the software from their site.

The next thing we are going to look at is how you can create your design in Silhouette studio.

Creating Your Design in Silhouette Studio

How To Use Silhouette Cameo

Now that you have installed the software let’s find out how to create a design to cut.

Double click the icon of the Silhouette Studio on your computer to open it up

Choose a Design from the Welcome Screen

Set up the page by doing either of the things below:

  • From the top menu, pull down the view menu. You can then select show design pace settings
  • Click control F1 on your PC or use the command F1 on Mac
  • Select the design page settings on the top toolbar resembling a piece of paper with two perpendicular arrows.

The design page settings are on the right quarter of your screen. Input the dimensions of your media with the height and width boxes.

  • Select that you will use 12”x 12” with your machine.
  • Choose the text tool from the left menu. Do this by clicking the button resembling an “A.” You will get a type cursor then open the text style menu at the right quarter of your screen.

Create Your Text

How To Use Silhouette Cameo

Select your font by scrolling the fonts on the Text Style Screen. That should be on the right of your screen.

Size your word. There are two ways of doing this:

  • Go to the Text Style window to get the font size menu you are going to use. Type here the size you would like to use
  • Drag the bounding box. You should know the size of the fonts you want from your final design. Go to the left menu at the top and click the arrow tool.
  • Click on the blank space to deselect the word. This will make the green type box to disappear.
  • Click the word again using the cursor to bring a thin and black bounding box around the word. Drag the design out until your desired size using the boxes on the corner of this box.

You can see your design’s measurements outside the box when you put it in and out. The squares that are darkest lined on the cutting represent 1sq inch.

Welding and Spacing Letters

After writing your word in script font, the tails of each letter might overlap in the next letter with red lines. The red lines are a guide showing the places the machine is going to cut.

You can double-click on your word so that you can get the green box around the text cursor and the word. You will see the Type settings box on the right side of your screen.

Move the letters for the tails to barely overlap using the character spacing slider. Remove the green text box by clicking the white space.

Right-click on your word and choose “Weld from the menu.” Doing this removes red cut lines overlapping in the design.

How can you adjust cut settings?

You need to adjust the cut settings before sending your design to Silhouette. This enables you to get high-quality cutting

  • Select “cut settings” under the Silhouette tab. It’s on top of your screen from the drop-down menu. This will show the Cut Settings menu on the right side of your screen.
  • From the list, choose the material you are using. You could as well adjust the settings by selecting “custom.” This allows you to choose the blade’s thickness and speed manually.
  • From the menu, you can also choose the tools you would like to use.
  • Choose the tool you would like to use for each image or line in your design.
  • After choosing your settings, click on the “send to Silhouette” button. It is at the right top corner or the bottom.
  • After cutting your design, you will see another menu that will invite you to “unload your design.
  • Press that button, remove your design then head to weed and transfer the design.

Printing and Cutting

The Silhouette Cameo has a popular feature called print and cut.

  • To get cut lines matching up together on the cut material and paper print, ensure the paper you are printing is matching with your page studio’s design size. Go the right side and get the design page settings.
  • Select the show print border. Click on the registration marks menu to modify their positions and dimensions.
  • Add your design within the registration marks and the print area. Ensure it is within the print border so that it can be recognized by the machine and printed.
  • Print the document but make sure that all the registration marks are printed and the design looks okay.
  • Load the printed document in your cutting mat. Align it well then feed the mat in the machine as you press “load cut mat” on the LCD screen.
  • The Cameo will detect your registration marks automatically at this stage. In case it isn’t recognized, you might want to click “retry manually” after clicking “send to silhouette.”
  • Click the arrow signals so that your design can be realigned under the laser. Finally, click register and cut away.

Using the Silhouette Cameo shouldn’t be difficult after unboxing it. You just need to connect it well to your MAC/PC, create your design, and get through the cutting process.

James M. Rai has been screen printing T-shirts and other textiles professionally and as a hobby for more than 15 years. During that time, he owned and operated a small screen printing shop in northern California for more than 7 years. More recently, James has gotten involved with Cricut and other cutting machines.