Silhouette FAQ



What computers is my Silhouette Cameo compatible with?

The Silhouette Cameo 3 and Silhouette Studio software are compatible with PC and Mac computers.

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What material can the Silhouette Cameo cut?

The Silhouette Cameo is designed to cut a variety of materials including vinyl, paper, specialty patterned papers, card stock, vellum, iron-on heat transfer material, and sticker paper among other materials. With a cutting force of 210gf the Cameo includes a blade that can extend to 1 mm in depth to accommodate some thicker and specialty material types. To find out what types of materials your Cameo can cut use your test cut feature.

    Some specialty materials include:

  • Fabric: select fabrics may be cut depending on thickness. Cutting fabric requires fabric interfacing to work with your Cameo. It is iron on and comes in 2 types; Clean Cut and Sewable.
  • Felt: certain felt materials may be cut with the Cameo however, do testing to determine what felt works best. The Silhouette Cameo community has determined that the best results have come by using Camelot brand felt.
  • Foam: The Silhouette cannot currently cut fun foam. Fun foam is too thick for the Silhouette blade.

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What page sizes are supported?

Traditional pages sizes from A4 to 8.5 are supported. Custom user sizes can be defined with Silhouette Studio. Custom sizes will be limited to the Silhouette CAMEO® 12x12 inch cutting mat. It will not exceed a 13 inch wide path. Materials that are smaller than the width of the pinch rollers would require the use of a cutting mat to hold the material properly in place. The smallest recommended size of material would be at least 3 inches width by 3 inches length which will require the use of a cutting mat.

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What is the lifespan of my cutters blade?

The typical blade will last an estimated 6 months. The blades actual lifespan will depend on usage quantity and type of materials being cut. The thicker and more dense the material the shorter the lifespan and visa versa.

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The Cutting Blade Seems To Be Dirty How Do I Fix This?

During the cutting process, some materials that are fibrous in nature may collect as the blade cuts. This can build up over time within the aperture of where the blade protrudes. To clean, grip the tip of the blade and unscrew it. Any debris that has built up can then be cleaned out. When finished, screw the tip back into place.

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My cutting mat is not holding my materials how do i fix this?

Be sure that the cutting mat’s liner has been removed. You may experience issues with holding your materials if they have an abundance of lint or are not a conducive surface for the cutting mat. You may also experience issues with holding materials if the mat is older, worn down, or the adhesive is defective. In this case the mat would need to be replaced.

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I am cutting thicker material and it’s slipping, what should i do?

Use track enhancing which is a feature that moves the mat and or material back and forth through the Silhouette prior to the actual cutting process to enhance grip and fix potential mis-alignment of corners. This feature is best used when cutting thicker materials, materials that may have a surface that slips, or when there is mis-alignment when using the "Double Cut" option.

The Track Enhancing feature is built into the Silhouette unit which can be controlled through the software (in the Silhouette Cut Settings screen) OR via the Silhouette's LCD screen when cutting directly from an SD card (Silhouette Cameo model only).

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My cutting mat is tearing my materials how do i fix this?

If the cutting mat is tearing or damaging your materials it may be due to the following reasons. It may be that the mat is brand new so that the adhesive is more aggressive. It would be important to keep in mind that aggressive adhesive will effect delicate (tissue paper) or difficult to remove materials more intensely than other more durable materials. You may wish to "relax" your mat a bit by placing it on a surface that is not overly linty but which would allow the adhesive to be less aggressive (such as jeans or denim material).

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My cutting mat is stuck how do i fix this?

Most likely your has been powered off in the middle of cutting job and the cutting mat remains stuck after it is powered back on.

    Perform the following steps:

  1. Power on the Silhouette.
  2. Press the UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW keys on the Silhouette unit until Unload Media is displayed.
  3. If the mat is not fully ejected, repeat the above steps until the mat is fully ejected.
  4. You may alternately power off the Silhouette and manually pull the mat from the machine.

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Why won't the pause button stop my machine?

The Pause button will only stop the job after it has completed the current continuous line it is working on. As such, it may seem like the machine is not responding to the action of trying to pause. The only immediate method to stop a cut job would be to power off the machine completely. If powering off the Silhouette to stop the job, please note that the job cannot be resumed where it left off.

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What are the Silhouette Cameos’ Print & Cut capabilities?

The Print & Cut capabilities of the Silhouette Cameo only works with a project that was created with Silhouette Studio. All Silhouette models offer a Print & Cut feature when using registration marks. After creating your project with cut lines Silhouette Studio, print your project. Insert your printed project into your Silhouette Cameo. The Silhouette’s optic scanner after finding the printed registration will cut out the items of your project.

Here is an example from the manufacturer

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I am having trouble adhering my heat transfers to my cut materials, what do i do?

If your heat transfer material is not adhering well initially or peeling off with limited wear and tear please consider the following for best use of your cut out heat transfer materials:

  • Heat transfer material should never be layered.
  • For best results, apply ample pressure while using your iron's cotton setting.
  • Keep things as flat as possible when ironing on initially.
  • Use a thin pressing cloth (or the Teflon sheet included in the box) rather than a thick cloth.
  • Heat transfer material should never be dried on high heat in a dryer-only medium or low.
  • Highly textured fabrics or loosely knit fabrics are not ideal for use with heat transfer material.<
  • Once your project is finished and the transfer surface has been removed leaving your project, you may wish to again iron (directly for flocked and with a thin pressing cloth for smooth) without the additional plastic surface in order to provide additional heated pressure.
  • After wearing (if a garment of any sort), you will want to wash the garment inside-out.

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My machine is only cutting a vertical line how do i fix this?

Your machine motor may be stuck due to unremoved packing tape. Lift the lid and check. If any blue tape or obstructions persist remove them. There may also be an issue with a direct connection to the laptop or PC you are using your Cameo with. Double check that the original 8ft USB cable is connected to the machine and laptop or PC.

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My cutting strip seems to be damaged, what happened?

The black cutting strip is designed to prevent damage to the blade or the actual unit when cutting materials that bypass the cutting mat (such as vinyl, for example). If you cut too deeply you can cut past the material and into the cutting strip. You should always ensure that the cutting depth is such that it is cutting through the material as desired, but not so deeply that it continues into the cutting strip. You want to adjust your thickness setting to the lowest possible setting where the material is still be cut through properly, but not to where it damages the cutting strip.

Indentations on this strip are normal. Fraying, however, is not and indicates that the Thickness level and/or blade level is too high and adjustments are necessary. The cutting strip typically does not need to be replaced unless it is effecting your cutting results.

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My machine’s is not powering on, how do i fix this?

The following things may cause the Silhouette to not power on properly:

  • The power cord is not plugged into a power outlet.
  • The input that plugs into the Silhouette unit is not firmly connected.
  • The power cord is plugged into a power strip, but the power strip is not turned on.
  • The AC adapter is not plugged firmly into the power cord (the connection between the two cord parts).
  • There is a concern with the power outlet in use.
  • The AC adapter and/or power cord has a fault.
  • The Silhouette unit has an internal fault.

    Troubleshooting - Please attempt the following in order to troubleshoot and find the source of the concern:
  • Check the connections from the Silhouette to the power outlet making sure that the power cord is plugged firmly into the power outlet and that the input that plugs into the Silhouette unit is firmly connected.
  • If using a power strip, ensure that the power strip is powered on.
  • Plug in the power cord to an alternate power source in order to ensure the concern is not specific to the outlet in use.
  • Disconnect the power cord and AC adapter from the Silhouette and then remove the power cord (part with the plug) from the AC adapter (the part with the box that plugs into the Silhouette machine itself), and then plug them back together ensuring they are fully and securely connected.

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What is PixScan?

PixScan is a feature of the Silhouette cutting system that provides crafters the ability to capture an image using a scanner or digital camera. Import images directly into the Silhouette Studio software in order to cut precisely around any printed design.

The PixScan feature is found in all versions of the Silhouette Studio software V3.1 and higher and requires the use of a PixScan Cutting Mat.

    PixScan is ideal for:

  • Turning hand-drawn sketches and lettering into cut jobs.
  • Digitizing patterns.
  • Adding custom-cut borders and frames to professionally printed invitations.
  • Replicating a pattern at its original size.
  • Saving material and time using the Nesting feature to place images to be cut within specially shapped materials.
  • Incorporating printed images or patterns into your custom craft projects.
  • Turning photos and other printed clippings into cut or sketch files.
  • Cutting precisely around already existing printed or stamped images.

PixScan can be used as follows:

Place your material onto the PixScan mat. The material must fit entirely inside the rectangular workspace border on the mat. You can capture an image of the mat and material using either a scanner or a digital camera.

With Scanner: Scan the entire PixScan mat with material in place. If necessary, you can perform multiple scans and the software will stitch the scans together automatically.

With Camera: Set the PixScan mat on a flat surface. Take a photograph of the entire mat with material in place. The photograph can be taken straight-on or at a slight angle. Transfer the image onto your computer.

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