Problems with Your Silhouette Cameo

silhouette problemsAs with most things, problems, idiosyncrasies and quirks pop up from time-to-time. And so it goes with the Silhouette CAMEO, even in all its fantastic-ness, sometimes things happen. Read on to see how to fix some of your most common Silhouette Cameo issues:

  • Finding depth-of-cut and speed for different papers and mediums is a little trial and error and a little following the guides. Start with the guides and work from there.
  • The machine when cutting is a little louder than you might expect, though quieter than previous versions.
  • Getting complex cuts, or small pieces, off the sticky mat can be tricky and time consuming; using the Silhouette Spatula is a helpful tool to have in such a case.
  • Silhouette Studio software can be confusing, especially if you don’t work with graphic software regularly – there is a little learning curve. However, once you understand the software, it is quick and easy to create new files and edit images. A quick search on YouTube will net you several video tutorials for a variety of Silhouette functions and projects. Which ones to watch? Select ones by producers whose name you see often, like ScrapHappyLain, ExpressionsVinyl, UnderACherryTree. You can subscribe to producers you like and you’ll be notified when they upload new videos.
  • The font size includes a “blank space” that surrounds all letters (when typing/printing, this space is what gives text its proper spacing.)  To get an accurate view of what the true size of the particular font is and will be when cut, use the ruler overlay.
  • “Page Borders” are not quite as accurate when you’re making cuts, particularly when you’re using the “save paper” function.  It may take some trial and error cuts to get the most out of this function.
  • If getting as many images on your page as possible is how you work, having your items too close together could cause some serious frustration, especially if you go back to select and edit images later.  The boundaries can and do overlap, making it almost impossible to select individual images.  If once you put the images down you don’t expect to make any changes, you should be fine. If you’re a tweak-er, allow more space between objects for easier selection.
  • Cutting thicker material, like chipboard, can be iffy.  “Cereal Box” thickness is generally accepted as cut-able, but thicknesses and density vary.  A new blade housing and cutting pressure should make cutting thicker material easier, but trial and error may still be the rule of thumb.
  • Illustrator is no longer supported, though if you have it you can export a .dxf to Silhouette Studio.
  • Out of the box, some blades aren’t cutting.  Sometimes this is user error in that the blade isn’t seated correctly; sometimes it is just the blade.  Run through the steps in this blog post first, if you still encounter problems contact customer support: Silhouette Cameo Blade Not Cutting Right.
  • Unsticky mats can cause problems, allowing the medium to shift and mess with your cuts. You can re-stick them using a repositionable spray adhesive (be sure to wash and dry the mat thoroughly before putting down a new layer of spray.) Keeping the cover sheet on your mat, when not in use will keep dust, paper, glitter and other crafty pieces off the mat.
  • Shifting mediums when cutting is frustrating and makes for wasted materials. Check to be sure your mat is sticky, and holding the medium in place. Be sure the medium is big enough so the edges aren’t being caught and dragged by the blade. Also make sure the rollers are in the correct place when loading your mat and not catching materials.
  • Patterned paper, cardstock and chipboard come in various thicknesses and densities. These variables can create frustration when cutting – as in cuts don’t go through the material. Check the blade depth and speed for the material you’re cutting. In the case of thicker materials, try double cutting the designs.
  • Images that are sticking too much to your mat, causing tearing of the design aren’t fun. Sometimes mats come from the factory a tad too sticky, or if you’re re-sticking your own mats you may have been a little overzealous. Use the Silhouette scraper to clean up the mat, or you can try lightly blotting the mat with a cotton or flannel scrap of material. The “fuzz” will lessen the stickiness.

A little learning curve, a little trial and error and a search or two for tutorial will have you sailing smoothly with your new Silhouette CAMEO.