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  1. 1. Do you currently own a cutting machine?

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Hi all

 

This may be a stupid question so apologies in advance if it is.

 

I have just bought myself a silhouette 2 cutter and I am getting to grips with the software. However when it comes to sending it to the cutter I do not know which material to select for plastikard. As it is american software is it listed but under their brand name, or do I have to set up a new material. I expect it may be the latter but any help would be appreciated. I have had a look at previous posts but may have missed it in th 96 pages.

 

Many thanks in advance

 

Bernard

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14 hours ago, BernardSmith said:

Hi all

 

This may be a stupid question so apologies in advance if it is.

 

I have just bought myself a silhouette 2 cutter and I am getting to grips with the software. However when it comes to sending it to the cutter I do not know which material to select for plastikard. As it is american software is it listed but under their brand name, or do I have to set up a new material. I expect it may be the latter but any help would be appreciated. I have had a look at previous posts but may have missed it in th 96 pages.

 

Many thanks in advance

 

Bernard

For 10thou (0.25mm) plasticard I use Blade 10, Speed 1, force 33, 2 passes

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25 minutes ago, dhjgreen said:

For 10thou (0.25mm) plasticard I use Blade 10, Speed 1, force 33, 2 passes

 

I concur, cuts right through 10 thou plasticard on those settings, very useful for clean window apertures. 

 

And once you've set up those settings, you can save them (as something identifiable like '10 thou plasticard' for example) for the next time. 

Edited by CloggyDog
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been using my original Portrait (now known as a portrait 1) today, and discovered I couldn't connect to my Win10 laptop, when I eventually tried the Sillhouette website I discovered that there seems to be some compatibility issue due to recent Windows updates, and the cutter needed its firmware re-flashed - and that could only be done oin a non-win10 PC that would communicate to the portrait - fortunately I have one of those, but I haven't seen this issue reported elsewhere?

 

Fortunately this was at home when I have the wherewithal to do this, not out at a demo with no wifi to get the files.

 

Jon

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Oh dear!  I haven't used the cutter for quite a while, but I have some work I need to do soon.  I must connect the cutter with the laptop to see if it works or not.  If not, it is a good job we are going to France on Wednesday, as the only non-win10 computer I have is in our French house.  I will have to take the cutter with us so that I will be able to flash the firmware on it.

 

Mick

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On 15/08/2019 at 13:13, dhjgreen said:

Further to this, my Portrait 1 has stopped working.  This from Silhouette

 

"Hi David,

Thank you for your email. I am so sorry that those steps didn't resolve this issue. Unfortunately, as of August 1, 2019 Silhouette America is no longer able to support USB connection between Windows 10 (1809, 1903, or above), particularly USB 3.0, or other related newer hardware and the following Silhouette models:

CAMEO 1

Portrait 1

Silhouette SD

Original Silhouette

We apologize for any frustration or inconvenience this may cause. Unfortunately, as some technology advances, we are eventually unable to provide compatible hardware to accommodate these changes."

 

So less than 2 years old and will not work with an up to date PC!  Not good.

 

Alan_LSWR: did you sort out your problem?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don’t use the Silhouette anymore, but I did have a rummage around for a possible answer.

 

has anyone tried the steps in this thread. They seem to be a bit flaky, but they are working for some people

 

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows8_1-hardware/silhouette-cameo-computer-wont-recognise-device/1637e7aa-6aa5-42e2-a391-0be14ccfd77d?page=1

 

Someone has also used a USB hub to do the heavy lifting of converting from USB 1.0 to USB 3.0 and back again, tricking Win 10 into thinking it’s dealing with a USB 3 device, so that could be an option.

 

https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/2232203-windows-10-and-usb-1-0-device-support-over-usb-3-0-interface

 

Finally, some computers come with a mixture of different USB ports, such as 2 and 3, so if you haven’t tried already, make sure you try all the ports To see if anything at all works.

Edited by JCL
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/11/2019 at 12:24, GreenBR said:

Is ther anybody on here using / own a Cricut Maker?

I know this is off topic but just trying to get a feel for any users as i think i am getting one for Christmas.

Thanks in advance.

Got one but minimal use for modelling as yet.

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Yes I have one. I have used for cutting there 2 mm chipboard also 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 mm plastic card. The latter two at the moment not all the way through, score and snap. Also used the chipboard setting on Wills walling sheets. Not quite enough to snap but good cutting guides. It all needs more experimentation.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 28/11/2019 at 16:24, AJ'S said:

Yes I have one. I have used for cutting there 2 mm chipboard also 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 mm plastic card. The latter two at the moment not all the way through, score and snap. Also used the chipboard setting on Wills walling sheets. Not quite enough to snap but good cutting guides. It all needs more experimentation.

 

@AJ'S Can I ask which material you chose for cutting those various sizes of plastic card from the options list? I've gone with the suggested Foam Board option (using Cricut's Knife Blade on 10thou plastikard) but I'm wondering which material selection is optimal.

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On 27/12/2019 at 15:36, reseaux said:

 

@AJ'S Can I ask which material you chose for cutting those various sizes of plastic card from the options list? I've gone with the suggested Foam Board option (using Cricut's Knife Blade on 10thou plastikard) but I'm wondering which material selection is optimal.

 

I have used "tooling leather" to cut .020 plasticard successfully. The limitation seems to be that the option to edit the "Knife Blade" settings is locked out. I suspect because of the rotation capability, it would be too complex.

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As a result of reading the excellent work by Jason(JCL), Mike Trice, Rob Pulman and others on here I decided I should take the plunge. My wife bought me a Cameo 4 for a combined Xmas and forthcoming 70th present.

Here goes with my experiences with it so far.

 

It came with two cutting mats, "weeding" tool, an autoblade and various bits of plastic. Most of the latter are obvious in their use, the odd one is not so.

 

These days very few laptops etc have built in DVD players so no software disc is supplied.

 

The instructions in the box come in 6 languages on a single A4 sheet of paper. One side are the sort of warnings that tell you not to stick your poodle in the microwave. The other side has a small section on manual adjustment of the autoblade and how to adjust the rollers and not much more.

 

So it was off to t'interweb to look for the user guide. The first Silhouette site I found appeared to be aimed at gay men. 


A revisit to the single page of instructions returned an email address for tech support, part of which showed me the web site is actually silhouetteamerica.com. From there I downloaded the Silhouette Studio software and the cutter and SS user guides.

 

The cutter carriage can hold two cutting tools. 

 

499769858_cameo401.JPG.bc6d718bbd219a5841003775a129c18e.JPG

 

As the photo shows the two tool holders are keyed. So it is not possible to put identical Cameo 4 blades in both holders.

 

In front of the carriage is a recess in which the autoblade can be pumped up and down to manually adjust it.

 

The next photo shows the autoblade and the plastic bits. All are marked to go in to holder 1.

 

872939232_cameo402.JPG.993f1beb66a82156c2af913cd81fda85.JPG

 

The auto cutter is bottom left. The Cameo 4 tools are self identifying. The arrow points to a steel strip. The size of this varies between the different types of tool and is how the tool is auto identified.

 

The row of plastic bits along the top wrap around Cameo 3 tools and allow them to fit the holder and be identified. For example the blue part is used with the sketch pens, the grey for the deep-cut blade. From this I conclude that Cameo 3 blades can be used in Cameo 4 but not vica versa.

 

I have decided that the plastic bit bottom right is some sort of wrench for removing/refitting the likes of dust caps though there is no reference to it in the user manual.

 

The software installed OK and the Cameo and cutter type were picked up and identified correctly but there were problems with the graphics. The "design" display should have a grey background. Mine was black. When I move or resized the cutting area it left a trail of images across the screen. The only way to clear this trail was to switch to the "write" screen then back to the "design" screen. Also any loaded design was mishapen and was ghosted on the cut area. This was obviously unusable.

 

<1523953505_FailedSSdisplay.png.5acb4097cbdd6eba76153134d71376bd.png

 

Earlier in this thread there are descriptions on installing a silhouette driver and driving the cutter direct from Inkscape.  This route appears to have been shut off. There is no software disc to load it from, nor does it appear possible to download the Cameo 4 driver and install it independently of Studio. 

 

My laptop is a Dell which is just over 2 years old. The graphics drivers are up to date. It also has a solid state drive which makes it fast.

 

I sent a problem report to Silhouette and got a prompt reply. This was to go in to Studio Select Edit-> Preferences -> Advanced -> OpenGL Settings. Then to select a SOFTWARE ONLY option for graphics acceleration. This did not resolve the problem.

 

I had seen graphics problems similar to this more than 20 years ago, so the pointer to the SS OpenGL settings was useful. At the bottom of the advanced settings page is the OpenGL Configure section. It was set by default to "None". I changed it to WGL_SWAP_COPY and bingo the problem was resolved.  I fed this back to Silhouette.

 

521205282_WorkingSSDisplay.png.ed9bbd4ea222e41322ab0d6d679cb920.png

 

Now to see if there any unexpected issues with this and to try cutting something. I may be some time!  

 

Ian.

Edited by Ian Major
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7 hours ago, Ian Major said:

 

I have decided that the plastic bit bottom right is some sort of wrench for removing/refitting the likes of dust caps though there is no reference to it in the user manual.

 

 

 

Ian, the plastic tool is for raising and lowering the depth of blade - at least on the earlier cutters - there is also one moulded into the frame of your machine - its shown in your first photo - just below and to the left of blade holder '1'.

 

I'm demoing my old portrait cutter in Stevenage in a week-and-a-bits time if you (or anyone else who might be interested) are in the area.

 

Jon

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On 02/01/2020 at 11:31, Ian Major said:

As a result of reading the excellent work by Jason(JCL), Mike Trice, Rob Pulman and others on here I decided I should take the plunge. My wife bought me a Cameo 4 for a combined Xmas and forthcoming 70th present.

 

 

Many thanks for taking the time to post Ian.  A Cameo 4 is on my wish-list, so I am delighted to read your experiences.

 

Edit: re Inkscape: I wonder whether the Studio install silently included the installation of a driver.

Edited by aardvark
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Jon,

 

Thanks for your input. The socket in front of the holder 1 is mentioned in the instructions so it is fairly clear how to use it but the plastic tool is not to be seen. No doubt I will find a use for it though usually I end up using things for purposes beyond their original design!

 

Sadly I will not be close to Stevenage in a week's time (oh memories of the Grampian Hotel). Having got my hands on some kit a demo would make more sense to me now. 

 

Aardvark,

 

I am pleased you found my ramblings useful. If there is anything specific you would like to know about the Cameo 4 I have just drop me a note.

 

The preset list of materials in SS for the Cameo 4 includes metal (engraving) and balsa. Sounds like a great boon for making model aircraft wings.

 

I had a hunt around the silhouette filestore looking for drivers that could be called directly and failed. I didn't see the cutter in the printer list but now that I have a better understanding of the box perhaps I should look again.

 

With the new style of cutter holders compared with the Cameo 3 I did wonder whether third party units such as the Amy Chomas engraver and the CB09 could be used with the plastic wrap around devices. The CB09 bodies appear variable in shape and the ridges on the inside of the wrap arounds look as though they would not happily attach to the CB09s.  The Amy Chomas ones look better engineered so may be OK.

 

Ian.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Greetings mates!  I am a retired firefighter/paramedic from the US.  I am new to the group.  I recently bought a Silhouette Cameo 4, but due to recent medical issues I haven't had a chance to start "experimenting"...  I am following this thread with great interest as I would eventually like to cut out styrene sheet thicker than 0.10 in thickness for my fire apparatus builds.  Cheers!

 

David

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  • 5 weeks later...

I have started with simple tasks to carry out on my Cameo 4. The simplest, I decided, was to treat it as a graph plotter - no blade depths to think about. So I invested in some Silhouette pens.

 

I recently did a complete rewire of the North East Cheshire G0G test track. This wiring is made slightly more complicated by it switchable between between DC and DCC on some or all of the tracks. I had this really clever idea of doing the wiring diagrams in Inkscape, transferring the file in DXF R14 format to Silhouette Studio then using the cutter/plotter to draw A3 size diagrams. I have pens in several colours so the wiring scheme would be easy to follow.

 

First picture is a small part of one of the plans in Inkscape SVG format. I like SVG since it is XML which I find easy to read and manually edit if the mood or need takes me.

 

384924435_01ExampleInkscapediagram.png.0371f008d4dcf3530e92bc8d0870d641.png

 

This was transferred to Studio and opened giving me this -

 

1837100412_02ExampleSSDXFdiagram.png.163001a67ffda3a1fa61876eee0b9f1b.png

 

Spot the difference! Despite the manual stating that Studio "supports the following DXF features only: Arc, Circle, Ellipse, Line, DWPolyline, Spline and Text" the text was not transferred. My really clever idea was not so clever after all. Still - it occurs to me that this "feature" might be useful to allow the SVG file to be notated in the knowledge that the Silhouette cutting file will ignore these.

 

Another thing I noticed was that the dashed lines in the SVG form were rendered as solid lines in Studio.

 

On to the next attempt. I am building a Connoisseur MACAW B which I want to construct with DC brakes. The kit supplied solebar overlay has the wrong rivet pattern for this. I produced a suitable pattern in Inkscape. Ultimately I intend to use the cutter to mark out brass sheet so that I can use my rivetting tool on it. But first I checked the design by using the pens to draw it on the back of an offcut of wallpaper. This design is too big for the sticky mats supplied with the cutter so I bought a pack of 3 Realike 24 x 12 inch mats.

 
I plucked up courage, fitted a pen and off we went. At first the cutter whizzed backwards and forwards but nothing was appearing on the paper. Then the penny dropped. The Silhouette pens are ball point - I should have doodled with it on scrap paper first. Towards the end of the sequence the pen burst in to life. Re-issuing the job produced a perfect result.

 

1454346466_03solebarprinting.JPG.82814d249819393c77cd24c31686ea54.JPG

 

A close up of the result. The circles are 0.5mm diameter.  Nice.

 

261463360_04printdetail.jpg.2e8d536fd6cb7a1716fc31ac7d047fd8.jpg

 

I cut out the printed parts to try for size against the kit parts.  

    

1434275212_05tryforsize.JPG.83d3b67d287a3a109b08d72c0fe988e9.JPG

 

I am quite pleased with the result.

 

Now to try it with a blade. I opted for something simple to start. I decided to use the Kingsway free Xmas download "Rover's Return" which is in PDF form. I started with page 3 
since it is to be printed on 160 gpm paper/card.

 

Not wishing to spend extra money on Silhouette Studio I have Basic Edition installed. This does not import from PDF. As a first experiment I loaded the PDF into WORD extracted the image on page 3 and saved it as a PNG file. I imported this into Studio. The result was an image that was only 25% of full size. I printed the same page directly to my printer using Adobe Reader. Using the dimensions measured from the print I resized the image. Because I was blowing up the image so much Studio displayed a warning triangle top left about possible poor resolution. It looked OK so I continued.

 

I started putting in the cut lines. Fortunately before going too far I tried applying the registration marks. I had print encroaching in to the hatched areas and under the registration marks - the SS manual says this must not be done. I started again with the image avoiding these areas - this did need some of the Kingsway logo rubbed out to fit. I printed the image with registration marks then added the cut lines. Next time I will add the cut lines before printing with registration marks. I could find no way of locking the image WRT the registration marks so had to be careful not to move the image whilst adding the cut marks.

 

1188244575_06printedwithregistration.JPG.f848180d1850ffd752ebc62c5cf3951f.JPG

 

The next image shows the SS Design view. Notice the front/side wall part extends below the horizontal part of the lower "L". No mention in the manual that this is not OK but it did produce an issue.
   
1290761839_07DesignpageofRoversReturn1sttry.png.b791ffdc4ae2368fa438a1afa6fb0c60.png

 

Now to do the cutting. I selected the "SEND" screen and got the following. Note the that part of the wall below the "L" has been greyed as have the cut lines. I suspected that the cutter would not cut in this zone. The apparently random short cut marks I put in place to line up the blade before cutting parts at that particular angle.

 

704562519_08CuttingpageofRoversReturn1sttry.png.0c79da0824675d1adab55eea4cd75cf9.png

 

I set the machine off with the auto blade fitted. At first it failed giving "Registry Lost". I suspect that this was due to the slight difference in boarder around the Realike mat compared to the Silhouette one. No problem - I told SS to switch to manual register, positioned the cutting head over the black square, gave it a go and away it went. It was much faster than I expected. Definitely need to keep your fingers out.

 

As expected it did not cut below the bottom of the "L" so I had to finish the cutting off by hand. The next image shows the cut out parts. Nice and clean. Not bad for a first attempt.

 

981327807_09cutparts.JPG.f9383174f4f082124bdfade3f03c3c0a.JPG

 

I suspected that there would be "no cut" areas along all sides of the page. So in SS I created a test pattern - just a series of parallel lines reaching the edges of the page. Here is the "Design" view.

 

1225968998_10Regtestpattern.png.1e84a2bd1cecd55510ff97541da567f7.png

 

Added the registry marks - the hatched areas are clear of the lines.

 

1849332001_11Regtestpatternregapplied.png.79f339a7efbbe7fba3d4ecde5671c530.png

 

Then switched to "Send" screen. Indeed the cut lines are truncated as they approach all of the edges as indicated by the blue arrows.

 

1537763549_12Testofcutareasendscreen.png.b7ebf5f5a6e3b40db28d07d374fb1302.png

 

My apologies if this is documented elsewhere on RM Web - I have not seen it if it is.

 

Next up I will do all the design work in Inkscape then move the file to SS to add registration and print and cut. For this I designed a mask to indicate where the no go areas are. In the image below the blue area correspond to the hatched areas the red areas are the undocumented no go areas. I have added another Rovers Return page. You can see the cut area is severely restricted reducing the amount that can be cut from an A4 sheet and generating a lot of waste.

 

<pic13>225598089_13regmask.png.78ec5d55f0299e02d15d554528648e09.png

 

The next stage is to prepare pages 2 and 3 of Rovers Return (page 1 contains the instructions). This will go on thicker card so will be a tougher test of the machine (and me).

 

This wont be for a couple of weeks. I am just a few days off my 70th birthday and, weather permitting, my family is meeting up not far from the Malverns to celebrate. 

 

BTW. I am looking at an application called Hugin as a method to take the perspective out of photos to help produce cutting designs. It produces a true non-perspective image and has been used on, for example, photos of Egyption hieroglyphs cut into vertical stone walls.I have tried GIMP but it doesn't do a full removal of perspective - its own instruction manual admits the fact.

 

Something new to learn when I get back!

 

Ian.
 

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