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You have just bought your Silhouette Cameo. It’s probably one of the most potent cutting machines.
But you are nervously staring and wondering how to use the Silhouette Cameo.
You must be new to this, and making the first cut might seem overwhelming. Don’t worry.
In this tutorial, we are going to guide you with every step you need to use the Silhouette Cameo. This guide will help you, whether you are a total beginner or not.
In case you bought an older model, the tips will still be applicable.
How to get started
Set up your machine
The first thing with the Silhouette Cameo is unboxing it. You need the following stuff 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 free trial of 30 days to the Silhouette store.
You will get a $25 credit as well for projects, purchasing designs and fonts for your machine. Put the packing materials back to the box.
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.
Choose the language you would like to use
Install the Silhouette Studio software. You can get the software from their site and choose the option you would like to operate your system.
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
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
1. 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 Page Settings
- Click Control F1 on your PC or use the Command F1 on Mac
- Select the Design Page Settings on 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”x12” with your machine.
- Choose the Text tool from the left menu. Do this through 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.
2. Create your text
Select your font through 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 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. You can easily operate it from inside.
- 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. Take the Registration Marks menu up 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.