How to: Cutting with Silhouette Cameo

Cutting with Silhouette Cameo

I've been a very happy Silhouette Cameo user for a few years now! And over the years I’ve discovered some tricks for getting the cleanest cuts. Here are my favorite settings to get the best result cutting 200 g/m2 watercolor paper. These settings work with the Gerstaecker N° 3 watercolor paper. If you're using a different type of paper or have a blunt blade, you might need to adjust the settings.

Start by opening Silhoutte Studio, you need the Designer Edition (upgrade) to open svg files. Then go to open and click on PS01_plotter_cutfile.svg.

This is what the file looks like. All parts are grouped with a blue line around them. There's 4 groups in total, one for the ground floor, first floor, rooftop and for the archway. The instructions for assembling match these four groups. You can choose to start by cutting one group at a time. Assemble part by part. But it's up to you!

Inside each group there's smaller parts organized together to match a 300 mm wide sheet of paper. Right click and go to ungroup to move individual parts around.

While moving parts take care that you also move the folding lines. Pick some parts you like to cut and move them onto your cutting mat. Select the right size cutting mat. My mat is 12 x 24 inch. And match your media size with the size of the paper you're using. My paper is 300 x 500 mm.

Now go to the upper right corner and click on send. Here we can select different approaches to cutting, simple, line, fill or layer. We're going to choose line so we can assign different settings to our cut, dashed and folding lines. All these different types of lines have a different color.

My Silhouette has 2 tool holders. They're marked with a blue and red dot on the left side of the settings. I'm using my left (red) tool for cutting and my right (blue) tool for scoring. I use two regular blades for cutting, both with different settings.

Please note that you use the same order of colors as I did. Start by cutting the folding lines, then the cutting lines. Always end with cutting the black lines because these are the outlines. If you'd cut them first your parts will start moving around when you try to cut the folding lines.

Add a new material and call it folding line. Start by copying the settings that I use.

Then add another material and call this cutting line, we'll be using this setting for all line colors except for the green (folding) lines.

Now you're ready to cut! Maybe start by trying a small piece first. Looks for these sunblinds for example to see if the settings work for your paper and blade.

If your knife doesn't cut all the way through the paper, try raising the force. If you maxed out the force try raising the depth of the knife. If you go for a higher depth, set the force back to about 15 again. And then gradually increase the value by 5 at a time until you have the result you want.

Same goes for the folding lines. Does you blade cut all the way through the paper? Decrease the force. If you folding lines aren't crips enough, and it's hard to make a fold then increase the force. If changing the force doesn't do the trick adjust the depth of the blade.

Sometimes it's a bit of work to find the right settings but it will safe you a lot of time later on in the process if the settings are right.

If you have any questions, please get in touch! I'm happy to help you out.

When you're ready cutting all parts, finds the instructions for assembling here.