Silhouette Cameo...Tool or not?

Discussion in 'Tools of the Trade' started by Gandolf50, May 2, 2015.

  1. Gandolf50

    Gandolf50 Researcher of obscure between war vehicles... Moderator

    Not the cheapest tool in the arsenal..but they do offer a package deal, that was what my wife gave me this last Christmas. At first I was skeptical, having looked into laser cutters and every type of cutter out there ( was real tired of cutting repetitive parts like tank tracks!) There are some great products with blades on the market that will cut up to 2mm board as small as a tank tread, not to mention the laser cutters available..but the cost is very high..and unless your going to turn it into a business I could not see the expense, then there is the problem of converting whatever you need to a cut file since you will not have access to the original vector in most cases ( there are though a LOT of times that the PDF can be opened in lets say Inkscape ((Free)) and converted to a usable format but that is a topic for another thread!) The cameo I kinda ignored as it had a sticky mat that you use to hold your paper, and I did not like the idea, since I live in the desert and dust is always everywhere!

    So I first used it to cut some stuff for the wife, figuring she would get more use out of it then I would, but as I worked with it and learned more, and how to tweak things I tried it on my Scammell Pioneer SV2S tire treads, and it did GREAT took some doing, but saved a lot of work.

    So I decided to see how far I could push it in that direction..if you have seen Renova's Kraz 255b it has some crazy tread pattern! I could never see cutting it all out by hand and having to repeat it 7 times out of 1 mm stock!! Ackkkk!!

    tire kraz tread.jpg
    tire kraz.jpg

    so I created a Cameo file for it..
    tire kraz1-25 file.jpg
    black is for the cut lines and red is just for placement...
    tire kraz cut file.jpg
    Marks in the corners are registration marks..

    Crossing my fingers...sent to the Cameo...
    View of the finished cut held up to desk lamp...some of the pieces got moved out of alignment so they look messed up but all in all I am happy as can be!!

    You can see that the cut does not line up with the print..but that was my fault, and a fault with my cheap printer and can be corrected easily! I will keep working on things and perhaps up-grade as the next level of software loads SVG files directly and uses layers...also I have been working on sending the file directly from Inkscape! Will keep all informed! If it will do 1mm bolt heads I will be ecstatic!!
    Tonino and mysteroid like this.
  2. zathros

    zathros SENIOR Administrator

    The Cameo will line up exactly. I just found having to do the outside profile lines all over again tedious. I would be interested into what you find that I can directly import and use. I have had my machine 2 years, used it three times, and go really frustrated with it, as the first one was a dud, and they did not recognize that, though I did, before finally sending me a new one.

    I can easily make outlines of any model I design, I didn't know you could import those files ino the Cameo, maybe they have upgraded the software since then? :)
  3. Gandolf50

    Gandolf50 Researcher of obscure between war vehicles... Moderator

    Several things... and I am speaking to all now...If you do your own design, and save from your software as DFX then you have to do nothing to get things to line up, as it will use that data as cut line! The problem is when most people expect it to import a raster image and get the same quality...I have Version 3 of Silhouette software ( also the free version) and it will import .dxf .png .bmp .jpg .jpeg .tif .tiff and .gsd which I am not familiar with...I know the upgrade 45+- $ will do some other things as well as import .svg. I have loaded pdf's into inkscape moved deleted etc and saved off to dxf, and it works great! Just wish inkscape would load more than 1 page of the pdf at a time! The trace function takes some getting used to!
    As you know, raster images are all jagged on the edge, and the trace follows what-ever it wants along that edge. Those that wish to color their models will need to use vector images and it will work great..personally I prefer black and white and I'll color on my own!
    I did have to scan the treads to my Scammel....and import to Cameo
    then I selected the are to use the trace function...
    Then told it to trace the outer edge...( I have the scan of the treads pulled out of the way so that you can see the trace..but in reality they would overlap..then be sent to the printer with registration marks and then back to Cameo for the cut...
    s-treads-trace-outer-edge.jpg so even with a raster is possible to work with and get some good results! The next level of befor going for a laser cutter I looked at was this.... but could never justify the expense!
  4. zathros

    zathros SENIOR Administrator

    I will have to try that. Presently, I am making a real "sofa', and restoring a "real" car, and have a ton of house repairs to get done before Winter visits us again! :)
  5. Gandolf50

    Gandolf50 Researcher of obscure between war vehicles... Moderator

    Hey! You sure your not living my life? wait you said presently...I'm still finishing those type things also, two vehicles, two window seats...several pieces of antique furniture..the list goes on and on..basically...everything I did not of could not do the last 20 years..and thats not including the Honey-Do list...that just became a paper-roll! ;)
  6. zathros

    zathros SENIOR Administrator

    I have noticed this commonality. Maybe we're clones, I know I'm a clown, in any event. :)
  7. angelode

    angelode Member

    Sorry to answer so late. This post is from last year, but it does make a huge difference to me.
    I've been using the Silhouette Cameo for almost a year now. I recently purchased the business edition to create A3 objects. At least that was the main purpose. I noticed that in the Business edition you can also import documents straight from illustrator which is what I use to work with.
    My greatest recent victory though is the discovery of something called Wineskin that allows me to use PC windows on my Mac. This is huge foe me because it means that I have access to Pepakura designer.
    I still have to glue the objects, but I use Cameo for the cutting and folding.
    These are some completed projects that I worked on:

    IMG_5574.jpg These were A3 sheets wrapped around a pillar. They were simple but for a 3D student exhibition at the art school that I work in.
    IMG_5578.jpg These were posters and the objects were cut and folded by hand but the type was done using the machine.
    IMG_6221.PNG This was for a client who needed something to display her jewelry. She gave me the card with the foiled logo and I cut them to the shapes I designed in a short space of time. I only did the cones for the necklaces and the smaller cones for the rings.

    All in all, I find that the machine and the software that I'm using are saving me loads of time which is great for jobs but I still want to make paper models with a knife, scissors and a folding tool. Sounds weird, I know but it's the enjoyment of using the scalpel and a folding tool and as much time as I want.
    Last year I did a 100 days project where you set your own task and post it online [ ]. Mine was making one thing out of an A4 piece of paper every day, I posted some of the earlier ones on Zealot. Here is an example of my finest ones:
    IMG_5265.jpg Kid flying a kite
    IMG_5344.jpg Self portrait. you can see a stop motion of me making it here:

    Right now I'm waiting for the 100 days project to start up again, and I will be making paper things and forming them into mobiles every week, but the purpose of the project is to understand the software properly, thereby using it every day for 100 days...
    DanBKing likes this.
  8. zathros

    zathros SENIOR Administrator

    Dude, that is freaking awesome, worthy of it's own thread, also worthy of posting here. I found my Silhouette has one feature that no software will fix. It won't build the models!! As Gandolf50 stated, if you want to use the image you have printed in color, you basically have to outline it with control points. That s like making the model all over again. It is really a neat product, but I still have only used it three times. I have found for complicated models (not line ones) it takes as much time to write the program as it does to cut it by hand. However, for what "angelode" did, it seems more suited. I would have purchased a P.C. o go along with my Mac before I purchased the Silhouette, only to get access to that which will not run on Macs. This is not a Mac vs. PC comment, it;s a have "both" comment, if you ned both. Then get the Silhouette. You'll have all basis covered. I purchased an Asus Tablet/computer, Windows 8.1, 1G Video Ram 16 G's Internal, and 64G SD Card. It cost $220 dollars at best buy. This is a fully capable computer. When you can get one that cheap, there is no longer an us vs. them argument. It also has USB3.0 when docked to the Keyboard, yes, a removable Keyboard. If you spend around $120 more, that keyboard has a 500G (or 320G), something like that) solid state hard drive in it, and 2 G's of video ram.. It also has great accelerometers and plays Airborne Asphalt 8 Great!! :)
  9. angelode

    angelode Member

    Thanks for your comments, Zathros. I will look into buying a PC. Here in New Zealand it's a little more expensive but I might be able to buy it through my private business. As far as the Silhouette goes, I hope to be able to discover the all the workings of the programme.
    If you're interested and work in Coreldraw, here's a link from sihouette:
    And the user manual:
    You probably already checked these out, but if you haven't, they have a lot of info.
    In the meantime I might start looking for a second-hand PC.
  10. zathros

    zathros SENIOR Administrator

    If I had use for a Mac, I'd buy one. Regardless of the flame wars, and the fanboys. These are tools. You get the tool you need to get the job done.

    What I do about Gandolf50 is the paint the parts. When I first made models, I always made them in white cardstock and painted them. If importing them using .dxf format, that could solve lots of problems. :)
  11. DanBKing

    DanBKing Active Member

    WOW! That self portrait is a brilliant idea!!! Very well executed! thumbsup:)

    I'd love to learn how to do that. That would make a great novelty gift for friends and family!! :)

    But where to start .............. ???? I have no clue .....!
    angelode likes this.

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