Silhouette Cameo 3 Die Cut Help!

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by marioman38, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    I need help! I bought my fiance a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas and neither of us have a clue how to use it. All of her friends have the Cricut Cuttlebug diecut.

    If anyone knows of any resources on

    1) How to use the Silhouette Cameo 3 Die Cut Machine

    2) Where to find discounted/free Silhouette Designs, as they are expensive in the Silhouette Design Store, something like $1-$3 for EACH tiny little graphics file!

    Any help is greatly appreciated! :)
  2. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    I bought mine about a year ago. I use it all the time. I learned lots of good/tricks on YouTube.
  3. anotherscotsman macrumors 68000

    Aug 2, 2014
    My wife has used one for a few years now. As AlliFlowers highlighted, look online for the videos that Silhouette themselves and many other users have put on YouTube.

    The designs can be had pretty cheaply through a subscription system with Silhouette although best value when the subscriptions are on sale. If you search online there are also many designs for free sometimes bundled with other file-types (e.g. .svg)The Silhouette Studio (upgrade from basic free software) can import a number of vector design types including .svg files. There may also be other software around to convert to the Silhouette cut-file format. You can also trace raster (bitmap) designs within the Silhouette software and that can work pretty well depending on the type of image. Hope that helps.
  4. Mr_Indigo, Feb 7, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017

    Mr_Indigo macrumors newbie


    Sep 26, 2015
    I bought my partner one and now I'm Design-A-Box inc, I'm also Design-A-Paper Background and Design-A-Shape lol! I'm also tech support apparently.

    With any tool you need to practice and create some small items and waste a bit of paper, the trickiest part is getting the right cutting depth for the paper/card you are using, this is where testing comes in with each paper you buy and making notes with info like...
    • Where you bought it
    • The GSM or weight value (No two paper brands are the same even if they are the same GSM)
    • Colour (I have found that coloured papers have their own characteristics from white papers)
    • Test cuts, always do a test cut on a batch of paper (Don't use the small test cut i.e. the small square with a triangle in it, it's not big enough to get an accurate cut determination.
    • Create a circle, triangle and square or rectangle, and add a dashed line to the square so it can be folded, Make the shapes about 2 inches (50mm) in size. This may seem like wasting paper but don't throw the shapes you have cut away keep it in a scrap box for smaller cuts or die stamping.
    • The setting the cutter blade was on when it made a successful cut (less is more here, the blade only has to reach through the paper, any further is counterproductive
    In the end, trial and error is the key.

    Oh and learn how to use Illustrator or a vector app you feel comfortable with like Inkscape (free), it will give you a massive creative outlet.

    Silhouette Studio (SD) is good but it's deliberately limited and if you want to be creative and more flexible, you will need to upgrade to Silhouette Studio Designer (SSD).
    My experience of Silhouette is that it's all about marketing and upselling, you're buying into an ecosystem, that’s not a bad thing but personally, I like to be independent. My partner prefers 'Make The Cut' (MTC) but it really is a personal choice with regards to software, you can try it and see how you get on or stick with SD for a while and just play.
  5. marioman38 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    Thanks for the tips. There is a local arts and crafts store near by that will be teaching a Silhouette Cameo class the end of March that she signed up for. I think its $40 for a two hour class, they supply the materials.

    I'll have to tall her about Make The Cut and Inkscape, thanks!

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4 January 7, 2017