Materials + Tools
- Thin cardboard (a cereal box or thick folder material works)
- Silhouette Cameo
- Silhouette Studio (download)
- Template for a papercut animal (download a simple elephant here)
Set up your design in Silhouette Studio
- Open Silhouette Studio.
- Set the page size and display settings. more
- Open the Design Page Settings panel from the upper right corner.
Set Page Size to size of your cut file created in the last step, either using the sliders or entering the dimensions directly. This should be the same as the size of the cardstock you will cut. Silhouette Studio automatically scales DXF files when loading, so matching the dimensions saves you from needing to re-scale your design
Set Cutting Mat to Cameo 12 x 12”.
Check Show Cut Border. Make sure your entire design fits within the cutting area, indicated with a red box. If it doesn’t, select the entire design, and move or scale it to fit.
Load your cut file (3dpapercutelephant.dxf): go to File > Open and select your image; or import the image to your library and double click to add to project.
- Set cut settings. more
- Open the Cut Settings panel from the upper right corner (open image)
Set Cut Style to Cut. Your design should now be outlined in red, indicating the path of the blade.
Select Heavy Coverstock under Material Type.
Scroll down within the Cut Settings panel to find or edit the appropriate blade setting for your material (the Heavy Coverstock preset specifies a blade setting of 7, but you may need to increase this if your cardboard is thicker). You’ll use this number in the following steps for machine setup.
Set up the Cameo machine
- Set the blade, using the blade adjustment tool. more
The blade and adjustment tool are stored in a compartment on the left side of the Cameo. The blade assembly is a black tube with numbers along the bottom, corresponding to different blade settings. Don’t touch the white part of the blade assembly; it’s sharp.
The blade adjustment tool is a grey, plastic barrel with an arrow on one side. Align this arrow to the red dot on the bottom of the blade and insert the white part of the blade into the narrow end of the adjuster. Now use the adjuster to turn the blade to the appropriate setting: turn the adjustment tool until the arrow points to the number indicated in the Cut Settings panel (in this case, 10).
- Install the blade. more
Lift open the front of the machine. Find the white barrel on the left that will hold the blade. Turn the locking mechanism on the front of the barrel to the left, so the blade can be installed (or later removed). Insert the blade numbered-end-first and push it down gently (the ridge on the blade between the smooth and ribbed plastic will rest on the top of the white holder).
Lock the blade in place by twisting the mechanism on the front of the blade holder to the right until it stops. You shouldn’t be able to move the blade now.
- Load the cardstock, using the 12 x 12″ cutting mat. more
- Align the upper left corner of your cardboard with the upper left corner of the cutting mat grid. The top of the mat has a black arrow for orientation. Press down to secure the cardboard to the mat.
Insert the cutting mat sticky-side-up and arrow-first into the Cameo. Align the left edge of the cutting mat grid with the teal arrows on the left side of the machine’s feed area. Push the mat in gently until it just reaches the silver roller shaft.
Press the Load Cutting Mat button on the Cameo LCD screen. The rollers should pull the mat into the machine partially. If it doesn’t grab your material, you may need to adjust the position of the rollers or insert the mat a little further.
- Double check cut settings. If you aren’t sure they’re right for your material, you can perform a small test cut:
- The Test Cut button is at the very bottom of the Cut Settings window. You must have a material type selected for this option to appear.
- The test cut is a small square about 1 cm across. You may want to perform a test cut on a scrap of material.
- Click Send to Cameo when ready (at the bottom of the Cut Settings window).
- When the machine finishes, press the Unload button that appears on the LCD screen.
Peel off your pieces from the cutting mat.