Silhouette’s portable cutters are the ultimate DIY and crafting machine. Many small business and companies utilize Silhouette machines for their stationeries and uniforms. It cuts printing costs and it can be used everywhere. Alas, there are still people unfamiliar with Silhouette’s machines which can be extremely handy for those who make a living with arts projects. Finish reading this guide to know exactly what a Silhouette machine is and how it operates.
What is a Silhouette machine?
Silhouette offers a line of portable die cutters you can use to cut shapes, pictures, and texts out of any materials. The size of the machines is similar to a small home printer and comes with their own software that allows you to create any designs. The Silhouette machines are able to cut paper, fabric, foam, vinyl, or heat transfer materials. After printing, using the tools provided by Silhouette, you can sketch, engrave, emboss, stipple, and etch straight on your designs.
To use a Silhouette cutting machine, first, plug the cable into the USB cable of your computer or laptop. Then, install the software that comes with your Silhouette machine. You can purchase, download, and upgrade the software separately through the Silhouette website, all compatible with Windows and Mac computers. You can even download mobile Silhouette software for your Android, iOS, Windows, and Kindle.
Which is the best Silhouette machine?
Although there are several types of Silhouette cutting machines available on the market today, there three most popular machines are the Silhouette Cameo (and its newest version, Silhouette Cameo 3), Silhouette Portrait, and Silhouette Curio. Each has their own specialties and advantages.
The Cameo cutter can cut any material on a 12 by 12 inches mat. For larger projects, the Cameo can also cut on a 12x24 mat. This machine has a dimension of 20 inches in length, 6.5 inches in width, and 5 inches in height. It weighs 6.5 pounds and has an SD card slot and LCD display. The only downside is that the Cameo will generate more waste when cutting smaller projects.
Portrait cutters are cheaper and smaller than the Cameo, with a width of 16 inches, a length of 5.6, a height of 4.5 inches, and 3.5 pounds in weight. It doesn’t have an SD card slot or an LCD display. It has a smaller cutting mat (8 by 12 inches), however, it is ideal for smaller projects. With its size, it takes up less desk space and can be carried around easily.
Lastly, the Silhouette Curio is one of the newest machines in Silhouette’s repertoire. The smallest out of the three, the Curio operates on a cutting mat that is 8.5 by 6 inches in size. It has new features like embossing, sketching, and stippling. The Curio features two carriages to insert additional blades or tools for your projects. The raised clearance bar allows you to do projects on woods, foils, leather, and metals.
You can purchase additional tools to customize your designs even more. Some of the additional tools are:
- Sketch pen
- Engraving tool
- Fabric blade
Silhouette Tips and Tricks
Using the Silhouette cutting machines may be intimidating for beginners. The tips below can help you when using Silhouette machines for the first time.
- De-stick the cutting mat. New cutting mats can be overly sticky and can end up ruining your materials. It’s better if you blot away the glue with a clean, used cloth.
- Do some test cuts. The test cut feature allows you to preview the settings and ensure smooth cutting. This feature makes a small half inch square and triangles on the material. To avoid mistakes, do some test cuts before printing the final versions.
- Upgrade to Designer Edition. To get the most out of your Silhouette software, it is recommended to upgrade to Designer Edition. Although it costs extra, it offers extra functions like rhinestone feature, eraser tool, knife tool, shear tool, and fill option.
- Use grid lines. On your software window, click on the “reveal the grid lines” option. This setting will mimic the lines of your cutting mat so your placements will be accurate.
- Make use of the undo. The little undo bottom on the top left of the software window will be your new best friend.
What can be done with a Silhouette machine?
Silhouette machines offer endless possibilities. To get used to the machines, try downloading the design templates from the Silhouette websites. There are stencils for cards, t-shirts, clothes, and glass. You can even print out wall decals, engrave wooden frames, or embroider your initials on your favorite decorative pillows using Silhouette machines. With this guide, you can extend the possibilities and explore all your creative desires. Get your Silhouette machines and tools now on iPrice Hong Kong through our partner online stores like Lazada, AliExpress, and Galleon.