Over Christmas, I purchased a Silhouette Cameo electronic cutting tool. The newest Cameo model just came out and the older version was on clearance at Michael’s. Let’s say it was an
informed impulse purchase. I had done some research and knew it had amazing capabilities, but not enough to really justify purchasing it at the time. Well, I went for it and now I don’t regret it. It wasn’t until I really starting looking at video tutorials that my mind started racing with all of the things I can create! It really takes the quality and professionalism of a project to a whole new level.
Since I’m pumped about my new Cameo, I want to give a quick introduction to this incredible machine as you will definitely be seeing tutorials and projects utilizing it in the future.
The Silhouette electronic cutting machines use a small blade to cut materials including paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric, and more. Pretty much any craft material! The blade changes depending on the type of material you are cutting. You can select designs from the Silhouette design store, import your own or draw designs in the Silhouette Studio®. Literally anything you can imagine, it can cut out! There are two models of the Silhouette and the only difference in the machines, besides price, is that the Cameo cuts up to 12 inches wide and the Portrait cuts up to 8 inches wide. Both machines cut 10 feet long.
Silhouette offers a variety of materials including heat transfer material for fabric, adhesive vinyl, material to make stamps, fabric interfacing to heat fuse fabric cutouts to fabric, vinyl to make stencils for fabric ink, double sided adhesive, magnet paper, metallic foil, sticker paper, temporary tattoo paper, material for stencils, chipboard, and more!
There are a few accessories I’ve tried that make working with the cut outs significantly easier. The hook helps pick out small cutouts of vinyl and heat transfer material. The spatula lifts delicate designs from the cutting mat without tearing. The scraper applies transfer paper to vinyl artwork and scrapes the cutting mat clean. Transfer paper is essential for applying vinyl. You are able to transfer the vinyl cut out in the exact same format as it was cut. The Silhouette came with the cutting mat, however some materials can be cut without the mat.
The Cameo also has the ability to register and cut printed materials and is PixScan™ compatible. This is a unique feature that allows you to take a picture of the material, import it into the Silhouette Studio® design software and cut out the material. Let’s say you have unicorn patterned cotton and want to take the unicorns and glue them on to a sweatshirt. Well, take a pic of the unicorn fabric, import it, select the unicorns you want cut, and let the Silhouette do it’s thing.
A cool feature of the Silhouettes are that you can replace the blade with Silhouette sketch pens or your own pens/markers with a simple pen holder. Instead of cutting out a design, you can draw the design on your material.
The Silhouette Studio® software is set up similar to Adobe design programs. The project template looks like the cutting mat so it is easy to set your design within the cutting space.
One thing that tripped me up when setting up my Cameo is that the Silhouette Studio® software came on a CD. Well, my laptop doesn’t have a CD drive. After searching the Silhouette America website, I was able to download the Silhouette Studio Basic Edition without any problems.
They call the Silhouette machines the “ultimate DIY machine” and I’d say it’s pretty damn accurate. Are you ready in invest in a Silhouette electronic cutting machine?