Hello everyone! Emily here to share with you my top five reasons you need Silhouette Studio® Business Edition.
To start off, let me give you a little bit of background on the Silhouette software in general for those of you who might not know.
Silhouette Studio® is the powerful design program that is unique to the Silhouette line of machines. The software lets you create a design on your computer (or download a ready-made design from the Silhouette Design Store) and then sends it directly to your Silhouette cutting, detailing, or stamping machine.
The first tier of Silhouette Studio®, called Basic Edition, is available to download for free on the Silhouette site. Even if you don’t have a Silhouette yet (shame on you!), you can download the software from the website, check out some of the tutorials here on the blog, and get a feel for what is possible.
Now, back to Silhouette Studio® Business Edition.
Business Edition has all of the same capabilities as Basic Edition, includes all of the features of the Designer Edition, and adds additional features of it’s own. It is not a completely different program—instead, it is the highest tier of Silhouette Studio® available. And if you’ve ever played around in Basic Edition (what are you waiting for?! go and try it!), you know just how powerful this design is.
Here’s what I love about it and why you need to get it right now.
1. Use More than One Machine at a Time
The Silhouette Studio® Business Edition Software provides “multicutter support.” This means that when using the Business Edition, you have the ability to send cut jobs to multiple Silhouette cutting units at the same time as long as they are both hooked up to your computer. Pretty awesome right?!
To send cut jobs to multiple Silhouette cutting units hooked up to the same computer, simply
(1) Go to the Send to Silhouette panel.
(2) Select which Silhouette unit you would like to send the job to.
(3) Press the Start button.
You can choose to cut either the same design or cut different designs on each machine at the same time— so many possibilities!
NOTE: The cut job will be sent to the last machine you selected. It will be actively displayed when you click “Start.”
You can also name your Silhouette units within the program using this feature. This is so you are able to determine which job is being sent to which unit.
To rename a connected Silhouette, simply
(1) Click on the Silhouette model name (shown in grey below) in the “Send to Silhouette” screen:
(2) Once you click on the model name, you can type in any new desired name for the specific Silhouette unit.
The name will be retained whenever using the computer that was used to create the name, even if the unit is unplugged and reconnected later.
2. Create Large Vinyl Wall Decals with the Tiling Feature
Silhouette Studio® Business Edition provides an automated Tiling feature. This feature allows a larger job to be cut from a series of smaller tiles, which can then be assembled after the cutting process is completed. This makes it perfect for making vinyl wall decals.
The Tiling feature lets you to design a large scale image of 24 in. x 24 in. and cut it out in several passes. Anything bigger than twelve inches wide cannot be cut in a single pass due to the maximum cutting width. But with the Tiling feature automatically segmenting the job into a series of smaller jobs you can make your designs as large as you like.
The Tiling feature makes life so much easier when trying to cut large-scale items such as wall decals! (For help with tiling, see Silhouette’s tutorial here.)
NOTE: The Tiling feature is available only when running the Business Edition version in the Media Layout mode (see reason #4 for more information on the Media Layout mode.)
3. Add Weed Lines with the Click of a Button
The Weed Settings tool provides the option to create weed lines within open line paths for easier weeding of materials such as vinyl and heat transfer. Options include a surrounding weed line border and internal weed lines inside the design’s open spaces (such as within letters) to provide an easy method of removing excess material after the completion of the cut job.
Weed lines: A weed line is what you call the extra shapes or lines that you draw around your design when you’re cutting on vinyl. It makes it easier for you when you go to remove the excess pieces of vinyl.
The Weed Settings panel can be found when running the Business Edition in the upper right-hand side of the screen:
The following options are available in the Weed Settings panel:
- Show Weed Border – This option enables an automated weed border to be created around the entire cut job.
- Padding – The option will adjust the padding dimension to add or remove spacing between the border and the included weed border.
- Weed Lines – The Weed Lines option allows you to include internal weed lines, as they may be possible to include for the image.
All weed borders and internal weed lines are adjusted as alterations are made to the placement or sizing of objects. Below is an example of what a surrounding weed line border looks like. All weed borders and lines are displayed in blue.
4. Get the Most out of Your Materials with Media View
Silhouette Studio® Business Edition provides a different view option to enable users to view both the original Design View of how images are laid out from a design aspect and a Media Layout View of how lines are processed to actually appear in the resulting cut job. While the traditional “what you see is what you get” Design View can be utilized and jobs processed in this manner when using the Business Edition, there is an additional option to change to the Media Layout View in order to maximize efficiency of laying out designs to be cut on specialty materials commonly used in business settings. Less wasted materials means more money saved!
This side-by-side view capability provides access to further Business Edition features, such as Matrix Copy options, Media Layout Nesting and Tiling.
When running the Business Edition version, you will find two Layout modes shown in the upper right-hand side of the screen:
Design View and
Media Layout View.
So what’s the difference?
Selecting this option will put the software into the traditional single pane view and have objects cut out as they have been placed in their original design. Our photo from earlier with the automatic weed lines is a really great example of Design View.
Media Layout View
Selecting this option will provide a side-by-side view of your original layout (Design View on the left-hand side of the screen), and a view of the way your job will be processed to cut to your media, or material that is being cut (Media Layout View on the right-hand side of the screen).
The Media Layout View also allows users access to further Business Edition tools that maximize media efficiency and add the convenience of laying out the job for optimal cutting.
Silhouette Pro Tip: Adjusting Design Size vs. Media Size
When running in the Media Layout View, you may adjust both the sizing of your original Design View in order to have your layout reflect how you want the final product of your project to appear, and can additionally adjust the media size of the actual material size being cut as shown in the Media Layout View. It is important to note the differences in that the left-hand side showing the Design View is a view of your intended final project and how it will be assembled whereas the Media Layout View shows how the cut will be processed on your media/material that is being cut.
To adjust the Design View:
(1) Go to the Design Page Settings, as you normally would when adjusting your workspace size.
To adjust the Media Layout View:
(1) Go to the Media Layout Settings, which will determine the actual media or material size that is being cut.
And remember, this option is only displayed when running in the dual layout mode found in the Business Edition.
5. Communicate with Other Design Software
The Business Edition also allows users to import Ai, EPS, and CDR files that have been created from other major vector imaging software programs (such as Adobe Illustrator® or CorelDraw®).
To access this cross-platform communication feature:
In the Business Edition, go to the File menu and select Open.
NOTE: If you are on a PC, you will need to select the file type you are seeking to open and select the Ai, EPS, or CDR option.
And when you import these file types into Silhouette Studio® Business Edition, they maintain the layers and color options from their original program. This means that when it comes time to send your design to your Silhouette, both the cut by layer and cut by color options are available automatically.
Silhouette Studio® Business Edition is the perfect tool for small business owners, serious crafters, and even beginners who want to unlock and explore further features of Silhouette Studio®!