Cameo Silhouette

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Background

The Cameo Silhouette is kind of like an inkjet printer with a razor blade in it. A typical use case for the machine is cutting vinyl (e.g. adhesive-backed = stickers), but also paper, stencils, and generally cutting stuff that's "not too thick."

Pre-requisites

We have a laptop with all the required softwares installed on it already. It has a label on it that says "IG DELL 4" as well as a piece of green tape that says "Silhouette Cameo" on it. What makes this laptops special is that it has the USB drivers for the Cameo Silhouette installed already, as well as a plug-in for Inkscape that provides the menu option "Extensions" => "Export" => "Send to Silhouette".

Steps to Use it

0. If you already have an SVG you can just cut it, skip to 11, because the machine speaks SVG natively.
1. Download an image, e.g. in PNG format.
2. Open it in Inkscape (free software package), and select the image.
3. Select Path => Trace to Bitmap
4. Fiddle with the Threshold settings using Live Preview until it reasonably approximates the outline of what you want to cut.
5. Click OK and exit out of the Trace to Bitmap dialog, and you end up with two layers.
6. Delete the original image layer.
7. Re-size the image, holding Ctrl key down to preserve the aspect ratio.
8. Choose Path => Object Path
9. Highlight shape, then Path => Break Apart
10. Make sure the fill is off and the stroke is on Flat Color
11. Make sure the page size "big enough" (e.g. 8 inches by 8 inches works) using File => Document Properties
12. Load the material into the machine. The material will feed through to the back of the machine, so ensure the back is unobstructed.
13. Line up the plastic mat to align with the rollers, and then press the Enter button on the machine, and you can use the arrow keys to further secure the materials.
14. Choose Extesions => Export => Send to Silhouette.
15. Select the material that is appropriate to what you are cutting, then click Apply.
16. The Cameo Silhouette will cut your design, and you can press the Enter button on the machine to release it when it says "Unload" on the screen.
17. Apply the sticker to the machine :-)

Notes

1. Transfer paper is a thing that might be useful to know about too.
2. How do you get more blades?
3. How do replacement mats?
4. What, if any, cleaning / maintenance is required?