Using multiple Silhouette machines simultaneously
One of the great features of the Silhouette Business Edition upgrade is being able to run multiple Silhouette machines at the same time. The Business Edition upgrade has many great features and you do not have to have a business to use it or have a need for it. However, if you do have a business it has several features that may come in handy.
Check out the Silhouette Edition Comparison chart for all the features that are available with each software upgrade.
Now let’s jump in to how do you use multiple machines at once.
First, plug all the Silhouette machines in to the computer and then turn them on. With the Business Edition upgrade active, the software will recognize the machines that are plugged in.
Set up the file(s) you want to be sent to the Silhouette machines.
Once it is ready to go, then click on the Send tab in the top right corner.
The file that is active on the design mat is what will be sent to the machine selected.
Click on the machine icon in the bottom right corner of the Send tab.
Note: depending on the software version being used, the machine icon may be farther on the right side of the tool bar. Screen shots are in v4.2.279
This will bring up a list of all the Silhouette machines that are recognized by the Silhouette software.
There are 2 connection designations – Bluetooth or USB.
There are several more things that you can see here too.
Status – Under the machine name, it will tell you the status of the machine – Available, Unavailable, Ready, etc.
Firmware – what version of firmware is on the Silhouette machine.
Choose the machine that you want the design on the screen to be sent to.
The machine menu will disappear and the machine selected will now be the active machine.
Another neat feature is that you can name the machine. This is very helpful if you are running multiple machines and trying to keep track of which a job is being sent to.
Double click on the name above the machine photo and it will allow you to type a new name or right click and choose Rename from the menu.
I am sure you can come up with a cool name for your Cameo. I was in the middle of a big project when I named mine and just went with the color of my machine. One of these days I’ll rename it something different, but this works to help me keep track of which machine I am sending my job to.
Next, verify that all the cut settings are how they should be, do a test cut if needed and it is ready to Send the job to the Pink Cameo.
If you are cutting the same design and want to change to another machine, click on the machine icon again to select the next machine and verify everything is set up properly and click Send. You can do this for as many machines as you have ready to go.
Don’t forget to load your mat or material in the machine before you click on the Send button.
Tip: If I am using a mat, then I cut my materials down with a paper trimmer to the size I need, this helps extend the life of my Silhouette mats as I’m not covering the full adhesive and pulling a material off of it each time. Check out this post with more tips on Getting the Most out of the Silhouette mat – HERE.
The above works if you are sending the same design to multiple machines, but what if you want to send different jobs to different machines?
Sending a new design to another Silhouette machine
I mentioned above that the design that is showing on the design mat is the one that will be sent to the machine selected.
If you want to send a different design job to a new machine, click back on the Design tab in the top right corner, open a new design mat & place the design on it, set it up how you like and click back on the Send tab. Repeat the steps above.
Now, a difference here is if when switching between a Cameo or Portrait and the Curio. Currently, the software is set up that the machine that is selected on the Send tab, is the current Page Size and Cutting mat selection options on the Page Setup Panel.
This is changing with the upcoming v4.3 software updates and it is in Closed Beta testing now.
I love having this option to send to multiple machines with the Business Edition because I can set up one job to etch on my Curio and while it’s etching, I can still be using my Cameo, Portrait or even another Curio.
There is no numerical limit to the number of machines that you can running with the Silhouette Business Edition, however, you may be limited by the processing power of the computer. Keep in mind that each design sent to cut is sending data back and forth the Silhouette machines, the more files that are working equals more data being sent.
For instance, when etching a file, that has a lot more data involved than just a regular cut job. If the computer can handle the amount of data being processed, then you are all good. If it gets bogged down, you may experience the Silhouette machine stuttering or slowing down. Most times this will still cut or etch just fine. However, if you reach a certain point and the computer is maxed out, it could lead to a software crash. Make sure to save the file often. The only way to know what a computer can handle is to test it.
When you do an etch or sketch fill, each of the red lines is now the equivalent of a cut line, the more cut lines (etch lines) the more data is in the file. For best results when using the Sketch or Emboss features, save often.
For tips on getting started with your Curio, check out this post –
The Curio – Getting Started.
This is amazing for large projects like wedding favors, cutting for classes or events like the All Things Silhouette Conference.
Note: in the process of writing this blog post, I did find that there is no difference when you are using the same type of Silhouette machine. However, the mat size does change to the current machine selected when you switch to a different machine. For instance, when I switched to my Curio, my cut border changed to the Curio cut border on all the projects open in my software. Even if I had already sent the file to be cut, it changed the cut border & the project did not cut outside of the border.
In the past, I have never had an issue with this and used my Curio & Cameo both simultaneously. But, it is something to make a note of because it could affect the way a Cameo cuts a project, if a smaller machine is activated at the same time.
The good news on this is that a solution is coming to this issue with the release of the v4.3 software, which is currently in closed Beta testing.
This is a time lapse video of using multiple Cameo 3 machines at the same time to cut cardstock. This works great when you have 100 wedding favor boxes to cut out.
These 2 projects below were created simultaneously from 1 computer with the Silhouette Studio v4.2.279 Business Edition upgrade.
American Flag of United States by Echo Park printed on ColorJet III Dark Printable Heat Transfer Paper by Specialty Materials
Home of the Free Because of the Brave by BasicGrey
Sunflower Mandala by Sweet Afton
Have you tried cutting with multiple machines? Did you know you could?
What would you use this feature for?
Feel free to post your comments and questions below or on my Facebook group at Silhouette Secrets with EllyMae.