UNIQUE FEATURES OF SILHOUETTE
The Silhouette family currently includes three different cutting machines: the Silhouette Portrait®, the Silhouette CAMEO®, and the Silhouette CurioTM. Each machine performs unique and precise functions, and each machine is tailored to fit specific jobs. Silhouette also offers the Silhouette MintTM, a unique custom-stamp maker. Instead of cutting, the Mint machine creates custom stamps using thermal printing technology. All the machines are designed to give users complete control over their projects.
Silhouette machines are among the only ones on the market that feature matless cutting. The machine can handle cutting rolls of vinyl up to 10 ft. long. With this type capability, Silhouette projects aren’t limited by size. Both the CAMEO and the Portrait support matless cutting.
Silhouette Studio® and Mint StudioTM are software downloads, meaning that an internet connection is not required to use the program. Internet is needed to download the software or to purchase designs from the Silhouette Design Store. But, internet is not essential to access the design features in Silhouette Studio® or to access designs the user has already downloaded from the Design Store. Once a design has been downloaded from the Design Store, the user has access to it forever.
The Silhouette CAMEO® is the ultimate DIY machine. It uses a small blade to cut over 100 materials, including paper, cardstock, vinyl, and fabric up to 12 in. wide. The CAMEO has the ability to register and cut printed materials and is PixScanTM compatible. It is Silhouette’s machine that has the largest cutting space and is most versatile in the materials it can cut.
The CAMEO 3 was released in August, 2016. This CAMEO features a dual-carriage, increased clearance, and Bluetooth® technology. To top it all off, the CAMEO 3 was the only machine compatible with Silhouette’s AutoBlade, a self-adjusting blade which automatically sets itself to the correct setting based on the user’s selected material type. Now the AutoBlade is also available with the Portrait 2.
The CAMEO 3 features a dual-carriage. The tools are marked with little red circle on the left and a blue circle on the right. Insert two tools (such as an AutoBlade and a sketch pen) into the corresponding tool holders assigned in Silhouette Studio®. Watch two different tools work in one cut job!
By adjusting the white rollers on the main roller shaft, the Silhouette CAMEO® can cut the following media sizes: A4, letter, 12”, 13” (12“material on the cutting mat). The spring rollers have been designed for a strong yet gentle way to hold project materials in place during the cutting process.
The CAMEO 3 has a 2 mm clearance level. This allows users to cut thicker materials using the Deep-cut Blade.
Barcode Scanning Feature
The CAMEO has the unique ability to scan printed barcode labels from Silhouette Studio®. This feature can be useful when working with multiple Print & Cut files.
The CAMEO 3 is Bluetooth® compatible and allows wireless communication. The Silhouette CAMEO® “Bluetooth® Edition” includes a pre-installed Bluetooth® adapter. For all other CAMEO editions, Bluetooth® is enabled, but requires a Bluetooth® adapter to be installed. Using Bluetooth® technology, the CAMEO can receive cut jobs by devices other than the computer. The CAMEO can also receive cut jobs without being attached to the computer.
The CAMEO 3 can create stipple designs using a marker or felt-tip pen. Stippling is creating shapes with a series of dots.
The crosscutter, located on the back of the CAMEO, allows users to separate the finished cut job from the remaining media in one quick stroke. With the crosscutter track attached directly to the back, users will get a perfectly straight edge every time. This is extremely helpful when cutting matless with large rolls of vinyl.
SILHOUETTE PORTRAIT 2®
The Portrait is a smaller, more compact cutting machine. It cuts most of the same materials as the CAMEO, but has a slightly smaller cutting area at 8 in. wide and a slightly lesser clearance. This machine also has the ability to register and cut printed materials and is PixScanTM compatible.
The Portrait retains all of the precision cutting ability of the CAMEO in a smaller, more compact size. It performs the same precise cuts as the CAMEO, including matless cutting, and can cut rolled media as long as 10 ft. at a time. A big difference is that the Portrait does not have adjustable rollers like the CAMEO, so don’t try to mess with them or move them. The Portrait rollers stay put!
The Portrait 2 is Bluetooth® compatible and allows wireless communication. Using Bluetooth® technology, the Portrait 2 can receive cut jobs by devices other than the computer. The Portrait 2 can also receive cut jobs without being attached to the computer.
Silhouette’s AutoBlade, a self-adjusting blade which automatically sets itself to the correct setting based on the user’s selected material type.
Curio is the one of the most specialized Silhouette machines because it gives users access to different types of media as well as giving more effect options (like embossing or etching). Because of it’s higher clearance level than both the CAMEO and the Portrait, Curio can accept thicker media to stipple, sketch, or etch upon such as wood, metal, and chipboard. And while Curio is also a cutting machine like the Portrait and the CAMEO, its emphasis is on embellishments and detail.
Unlocking Curio tools in Silhouette Studio®
Curio’s specialty icons in Silhouette Studio® can be used ONLY with the Curio and not with the other machines. The tools will deactivate if the software recognizes that a CAMEO or Portrait has been plugged in because neither machine has the capability to perform these unique Curio features.
Increased clearance level
Curio’s clearance is up to 5 mm to accommodate project surfaces like wood, metal, and canvas. Curio’s cutting depth is 2 mm using the Deep-cut Blade, giving it excellent cutting and embellishment capabilities.
Platforms, mats, and base
The Curio can accommodate a wide range of materials by adding or removing platforms. The Curio comes with four platforms marked with either a “1” or a “2”. For common material types, the Silhouette Studio® Cut Settings will indicate which combination of platforms to use (for example, a platform setting of “3” would require both a #1 platform and a #2 platform since 1+2=3).
One of Curio’s greatest strengths is its loading mechanism. Because the base is solid, Curio loads the same every single time. This means that a cut job can be interrupted, pulled out and examined, and loaded right back in, with cutting resuming at exactly the same point. This is especially useful when layering designs like colors for multicolored sketches.
Users can use the Curio’s dual-carriage feature to use two different tools at once. The first carrier is denoted by a red circle, and the second carrier is denoted by a blue circle. Curio knows to do the action associated with the red circle first and then the blue circle second.
Curio’s 5 mm clearance level means users can insert materials that other Silhouette machines can’t accept, like metal. With this new feature, new crafting options are available. The stippling & etching tool is meant to accommodate these possibilities. Users can etch designs for home décor, create custom jewelry, and much more.
Stippling is a way of creating a drawing through the use of dots instead of a continuous line. Curio performs this effect with the stippling & etching tool on thin metals or with a felt-tip pen or marker on paper.
Embossing and debossing
Curio can emboss, deboss, Score & Emboss, and Print & Emboss using special embossing tools and mats.
The Mint differs from other members of the Silhouette family because it is not a cutting machine. The Mint is a custom stamp maker. In four easy steps and less than two minutes, users can have a completely original, custom- made stamp. It’s as easy as designing it, Minting it, inking it, and stamping it. Once it’s inked, the stamp is good for 50+ stamps (but it often lasts a lot longer before it needs to be re-inked). The Mint is small and takes up roughly the same amount of desk space as a smartphone. But the Mint is powerful enough to create stamps sized anywhere from the size of a postage stamp to the size of an index card. And because ink is applied directly to the stamp, users have precise control over what color goes where.
The Silhouette Mint uses 5 ml bottles of ink that users apply to the stamp. The stamp will then absorb the ink, enabling it to stamp approximately 50 images before the stamp dries up. After that, just add a few more drops of ink and it’s ready to go again. Each 5 ml ink bottle has enough ink for hundreds of projects and thousands of stamps.
The Mint uses thermal printing to create 3D reliefs of designs, making even the most intricate details visible. Almost any design in the Design Store can be turned into a custom stamp. It even works with photos.
Designing with Mint Studio
Mint Studio and Silhouette Studio® are two separate software programs engineered to work with the Silhouette Mint and the other Silhouette machines (the CAMEO, the Portrait, and Curio), respectively. Even though each of the programs pair with different Silhouette machines, the two programs are very similar. If users already know Silhouette Studio®, learning Mint Studio will be easy.
WHICH MACHINE TO CHOOSE?
A common question users have is “what machine is best for me?”
The Silhouette CAMEO® is best suited for users who need a more versatile cutting space. Because the adjustable rollers allow both a 12 in. and a 9 in. cutting width, the CAMEO accommodates 9-inch and 12-inch media. The CAMEO’s wider width is perfect for scrapbookers as well as the CAMEO, Mint, Curio, and Portrait makers who use 12 in. x 12 in. cardstock sheets or other similarly sized media. For even larger projects, the CAMEO’s 12 in. x 24 in. cutting mat gives more cutting space in one job. For users with lined media or large projects, the CAMEO is the best match. Plus, the CAMEO can do intricate details and features a dual-carriage, making it the ultimate DIY machine.
Because of its lightweight build, the Portrait is perfect for those who need to travel with their Silhouette. The Portrait is also less expensive than the CAMEO, which makes it a perfect introductory machine for new users. The Portrait is also great for paper crafters and card makers whose cut jobs tend to be letter-sized (8.5 in. x 11 in.).
Curio specializes in intricate detail and subtle effects. The type of users who would benefit most from Curio are those whose projects require details on a smaller scale, as Curio’s cutting base has a 8.5 in. x 6 in. cutting space (8.5 in. x 12 in. with purchase of the large base). Curio can stipple, emboss, cut, sketch, and etch. Curio is the best fit for users with projects that include impressive details or avid creators looking to expand their options. This group could include mixed media artists, jewelry makers, and stationers.