Essentials
First Cut

Loading Filament in the Alta

One of the basic things you need to know how to do with the Silhouette Alta® is load the PLA (polylactic acid) filament, or the plastic material, that the Alta uses to print your objects. The Alta can print any PLA filament that is 1.75 millimeters thick. To load the filament in your Alta 3D printer, start by opening Silhouette 3D™, powering on your Alta, and connecting it to your computer. In the software, click on the 3D Print tab. In the upper right-hand corner, ensure that your machine has been selected. With the Alta selected, click on the Filament button. Next, click…

Adjusting the Blade

Being able to insert, remove, and adjust your blade is an important part of learning how to use your Silhouette. Find your machine below and follow these steps if you wish to learn how to manually adjust your blade. CAMEO 2, Portrait 1, and Curio 1. Remove the blade from the tool holder by twisting the knob counterclockwise and pulling out the blade. 2. The blade needs to be manually adjusted to the number indicated in the Send panel prior to cutting. Different materials will require different blade settings. 3. To adjust the blade setting, place the blade into the…

Adjusting the Rollers

If you have a CAMEO 2 or CAMEO 3, you have the ability to adjust the rollers to cut different sizes of lined media on rolls (namely vinyl and heat transfer) without a cutting mat. Find your machine below to see how you can adjust the rollers on your machine. CAMEO 2 1. Locate the release lever on the right side and turn it clockwise. When the lever is pointing up, the roller is locked in place. When the lever is pointing toward you, the roller bar is raised and the rollers are ready to be adjusted. 2. Grab the…

Loading Your Mat

When you are preparing to cut material with your CAMEO or Portrait machines, it is necessary to load the material onto a cutting mat, and then you load the cutting mat into your machine. Follow the steps below to see what you need to do to load the cutting mat. 1. Silhouette cutting mats are available in several sizes. Be sure that you select the mat you are using from the Page Setup panel before beginning your project. We are using a CAMEO 12-inch by 12-inch mat and letter-sized paper.2. Cutting mats are printed with a 1-inch grid pattern to…

Making Your First Cut

Supplies Needed: Silhouette CAMEO®, Silhouette Portrait®, or Silhouette Curio™ Silhouette Cutting Mat Silhouette Cutting Blade Cardstock Design ID #63380 1. Open your design in Silhouette Studio®, click on the Send tab in the upper right-hand corner. The Send window will open.2. The first step is to select your material. Select the media type you are using from the drop-down list.3. Pick which tool you are using, what lines to cut, and whether you want to cut by Fill Color, Line Color, or Layer (Designer Edition only).4. Check that your blade is set to the recommended setting and loaded.5. Load your material with…

Using a Crosscutter

If you’re using a CAMEO 2 or 3, you have the ability to use the crosscutter. This comes in handy when you are cutting vinyl or heat transfer without a cutting mat. 1. In Silhouette Studio®, open your design (Design ID#272298). Select “None” as the cutting mat in the Page Setup panel. 2. In the Send panel, go to the Advanced Settings, and Select “Feed” from your feed options. Adjust the ending distance so that the material will feed through the back of the machine. 3. After your design has been cut from your material, select “Advance to crosscutter” from…

Using a Dual Carriage

The Silhouette CAMEO® 3 and the Silhouette Curio™ are the only machines with the dual carriage. The great thing about the dual carriage is that it allows you to perform two tasks at once. Just follow the instructions below to see how you can use the dual carriage. In our example, we are doing a sketch design and cutting the outline at the same time. 1. Open your design (Design ID#65245) in Silhouette Studio®. Make sure your design is ungrouped so that certain lines may be assigned to certain tools. Go to the Line Style panel and change the color…

Cutting Without a Mat

The Silhouette CAMEO and Portrait have the ability to cut lined material like heat transfer and vinyl when it comes on a roll. To see how it’s done, follow these steps. 1. Open design in Silhouette Studio®. In the Page Setup panel, select “None” under the Cutting Mat section. You will see the cutting mat disappear from your design window. 2. Load your media into your machine. Make sure you select “Load Media” and not “Load Cut Mat” if you use Cameo 2. 3. Under the Send panel, select your material type. Adjust the blade if necessary, and click Send….

Cutting Adhesive Materials

Silhouette’s machines have the ability to cut materials with an adhesive backing. This makes creating your paper-related projects super easy because you can cut what you want, and then it’s ready to go. Follow the steps below to see how we created these pennant banner pieces with our chalkboard cardstock. Supplies Needed: Silhouette CAMEO®, Silhouette Portrait®, or Silhouette Curio™ Silhouette Cutting Mat Silhouette Cutting Blade Silhouette Studio® Silhouette Chalkboard Cardstock Silhouette Spatula Design ID#75323 1. Open the design in Silhouette Studio®. 2. Place the adhesive-backed material (in this case, chalkboard cardstock) on your cutting mat. 3. Load the cutting mat with the…

Cutting From a USB

With the Silhouette CAMEO® 2 and 3, you have the ability to cut Silhouette Studio® files directly from a USB device. Note: You cannot adjust the design without Silhouette Studio®. You must cut the file that was saved to your USB device. 1. Turn on your CAMEO and insert your USB drive into the slot on the side of the machine.   2. Load your material into your CAMEO. 3. After you load your material, a screen will appear. Choose the “Browse USB” option on the touchscreen to enter the USB device menu. 4. Choose “Select file” to browse to your…

Cutting Fabric

Did you know that you can cut fabric with your Silhouette machine? This is a fantastic feature of the Silhouette machines because you are able to cut fabric precisely. You might be too scared to try, but we hope we can put your mind at ease with this tutorial; it’s easier than you think. Let’s get started! Supplies Needed: Silhouette CAMEO® or Silhouette Portrait® or Silhouette Curio™ Silhouette Cutting Mat Silhouette Fabric Cutting Blade Silhouette Fabric Stabilizer Iron Scissors Design ID #49442 Open design in Silhouette Studio®. Cut a piece of fabric that is larger than your design. Cut a piece of fabric stabilizer that…

Sketching with Pens

Your Silhouette can do more than cut; it can also sketch! You can download sketch designs from the Silhouette Design Store or tell your machine to sketch instead of cut a design. If you’d like to see just how easy it is to sketch a design, follow the instructions listed below. Supplies Needed: Silhouette CAMEO®, Silhouette Portrait®, or Silhouette Curio™ Silhouette Cutting Mat Silhouette Studio® Silhouette Sketch Pen Silhouette Pen Holder Pen Design ID#44558 Design ID#42467 1. Open your designs in Silhouette Studio®. Resize if needed. If you are using the Basic Edition of Silhouette Studio®, simply design your project with regular…