Let’s Explore v4 – Print & Cut – Part 1
I love the print and cut option on the Silhouette software!
I’ve used it for many years and in this 2 part series I will share some tips with you for getting a successful print and cut.
A few weeks back I made up special Chemo day gift bags for a friend of mine who is a Planner gal. I found a few print and cut files that I knew she would like on the Silhouette Design Store and then set up to print them all out in the Silhouette software, then I let the Cameo machine do it’s work and cut out around them. I will say that every single one turned out perfectly!
I was asked so many questions, I thought I’d show you how I did it. I am going to break this up into 3 parts so you get the most out of it.
Part 1 – Setting up a pre-designed Print and Cut project
Part 2 – Print and Cut – Text
Part 3 – Print and Cut – Images
Pre-Designed Print and Cut Project
First, find a Print and Cut design that you like. I am using the ML Panda Love Stickers from the Silhouette Design Store.
Open it in the Silhouette software.
Every file you open will be different in what it looks like when you open it and is based off how the Designer saved it.
Next, on the Page Setup Panel, adjust the Page Size to Current Printer. Also, check the boxes next to the Show Print Border and Show Cut Border. These are guides that will help in lining things up so they print on the page and are not outside of the cut area.
With the Reveal set at 0% you will see a white page that is the size of the Page Size you have chosen.
Now, in order for the Cameo to read where the design is on the printed page, we need to add Registration marks. Click on the Page Setup Panel – 3rd tab – Registration Marks.
Then choose Type 1 Registration marks if you have a Cameo, Portrait or Curio.
If you have an older model machine before the Cameo 1, then you would use the Type 2 marks.
You will notice 3 marks appear on the Page. A square in the top left corner, a corner bracket in the top right corner and bottom left corner (this is with the Portrait Orientation – Page Setup chosen).
Tip for a beginner or for print and cut issues.
- Click on the Restore Defaults button. This will reset the Registration marks to the default and this is where I suggest you start from.
While the registration marks can be moved, each printer will vary in how far they can be moved and still get an accurate cut. I suggest starting with the default registration marks and then you can test from there once you are familiar with the print and cut process.
Next, make sure that your Print and Cut design is inside of the Cut border. Notice that the Cut border has now moved in line with the 3 registration marks. Anything outside of that border will not cut and may interfere with the reading of the registration marks.
In the photo above, I need to move the design to the left because it is too close to the right cut line.
And the design cannot be in the cross hatched area of the print and cut. The optical eye of the Cameo needs this area to read those registration marks correctly. If the design is in the cross hatched areas, it can interfere with the optical eye reading and either give you an error or an inaccurate cut.
The cross hatched areas are across the top and the bottom left corner.
As I mentioned above, each file you open will be different. With this file, there are 2 parts to the print and cut design. One part is the graphic of the pandas and the second is the cut lines. If the design needs to be moved, make sure to select & move both parts together.
Once my design is moved away from the cut border and the cross hatched areas, it is ready to send to the printer.
There are 2 ways to do this.
- Click on the Printer icon in the top left corner. This will send the print job directly to the printer that is set as the default printer connected to your computer.
- In the top left corner, choose File > Print and you will get a pop up of Printer options. (Ctrl + P)
- The options vary by the printer you have connected to your computer.
- Tip: If you have a Preferences button, click on that and look for a “Preview before Printing” option. This is a great feature to see if it is going to print how you want it to before actually committing to the print job.
- Check the Preview before Printing box.
- Then click OK.
And choose Print.
- A Printer menu will pop up and the design can be previewed before committing to printing.
Again, this will be dependent on the printer and what the printer setup settings are. Not every user will have this and it can vary, but never hurts to look for it.
- Tip: Check to make sure that the bottom left registration mark will print completely. I see a lot of print and cut issues and one is the registration marks were outside the users printer margins and did not print. This means you will either get a registration error or it will cut inaccurately because it doesn’t have all the information to read it correctly.
- Once you’ve verified the settings are correct, click on Print and it will send it to the current default printer.
Grab it off the printer.
Place it on the Silhouette cutting mat exactly as it shows on the virtual design screen, in the top left corner of the cutting mat.
Then load the cutting mat next to the line on the left that the arrows point to.
Click on the Send tab in the top right corner of the Silhouette software.
Choose the Material type.
I am using the Staples brand Sticker Paper and the preset for Sticker Paper – White works well for me.
Tip: If cutting a new material, use the test cut feature to test that material before you send the entire project. This can save you lots of headache on mis-cuts.
Once you click on the Send button on the bottom of the screen, the Cameo will then read the registration marks and begin the cut.
Perfect print and cut!
Troubleshooting Print and Cut
Did it not cut accurately or did you get a registration error? Here are a few things to check when you do run into an issue.
- Do you have the correct registration marks chosen? Type 1 should be used for the Cameo, Portrait or Curio machines.
- Did the registration marks print on the page? Make sure on the Page Setup Panel – 3rd tab – Registration marks that they are turned on.
- Did the registration marks print completely? I often see the bottom left registration mark did not print completely because it was outside of the printer margins. Check to make sure it printed completely and if not, then either move the registration mark slightly up or increase the Printer margins under the Printer Setup.
- Is the design in the cross-hatched areas of the print and cut? This will interfere with the optical eye and can either result in a registration error or inaccurate cut around the design. Move the design away from the cross hatched area and reprint on copy paper until you get an accurate cut.
- Did the registration marks get moved? Each printer will vary in how far out the registration marks can be moved and still read accurately. Click the Restore to Defaults and use those as a test to get an accurate cut. As you become more familiar with the process and your printer capabilities, you can move them out and test how far the limit is.
- Were changes made to the file after the design was printed? This will result in inaccurate cuts because the design is no longer in the same place it was when it was printed. Re-print and do not move the design after printing.
- Did the printer feed multiple pages through at a time? Or did you print more than one copy at a time? For best results, I suggest feeding one sheet of material in the printer at a time. Multiple copies printed can result in the paper being pulled in too quickly and then the print is off on the page and not accurate.
- Is the printer low on ink? Ink quality can interfere with the optical eye reading the registration marks accurately.
- Was it printed at high quality? Printing at a low quality can also affect how the optical eye reads the registration marks.
- Still getting a registration error? Start over on a new design mat and go through each step again. Then print a test print on copy paper.
I hope these tips help you have a successful print and cut experience.
I would love to see what you create – feel free to post on my Facebook group at
Silhouette Secrets+ with EllyMae.
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