I love creating 3-D design with Silhouette!
However, taking a 2 dimensional cut file and then assembling it into a 3-D project can be a bit intimidating. And I’ll tell you that for anyone, even experienced users, not all projects work the same each time. But, I’ll show you a few tips on how I assemble a design today.
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First, let’s start with the design. I needed a small pinecone for a project, so I chose this Pinecone 3D Miniature file by Snapdragon Snippets – Design #279267.
The first thing I do is look to see if the designer has included a link to instructions for the file. Not all designers do, but in this case, there is an instructions button to click on.
Find those instructions HERE.
The link includes instructions for several of the 3D files that can be combined to make up a whole decor project. Today, I am just using the pinecone, so I scrolled down to those instructions.
I assembled the original pinecone exactly as those instructions showed.
But, I need my pinecone to be a LOT smaller. At first, I was feeling bummed that it wasn’t going to work for my project. Even though this design turned out exactly as it was supposed to, it didn’t work for my purpose. I just wasn’t sure that I could make it smaller and still get it assembled properly.
What did it take to change my mind? A quick discussion with my husband, 1 comment from a member of my Facebook group, and a nights sleep – where all I did was think about this project. By the next morning, I was itching to try it again.
One of the great features of the Silhouette software is the possibilities are pretty much endless! Want a smaller design, no problem!
Using the Scale option, I can take the original design and decrease the size. I knew I needed small scale, so I tried 33% of the original size. This is found under the Transform Panel – Scale Tab or at the top of the software in the Quick Access Toolbar.
For the “baby” miniature pinecones, the center stem and the spacers were not going to work or be needed at that size. I right clicked on the design and ungrouped it, then deleted the pieces I did not need to cut.
Make sure to delete the numbers and text that is not needing to be cut.
With all the numbers and text removed, I moved the pieces around on the cutting mat to cut out of cardstock.
Then I cut this out of a brown cardstock using the Cardstock Textured setting. I find this works well for me on almost all cardstock. I do prefer to cut smooth cardstock as textured can be a bit of a headache.
Check out this video on cutting and then assembly of the pinecone at 33% of the original size.
Note the video speed has been increased for cutting and assembly.
More tips following the video.
Tips for cutting & assembly
Cut the cardstock down to size.
I use a paper trimmer to cut all my materials down to size, so then I am only using the adhesive under the area of my design and not peeling a full sheet of material from the cutting mat. I find that this saves my adhesive on the cutting mat and makes my mats last longer.
More tips to getting the most out of your cutting mats HERE.
The right adhesive can make all the difference!
For the original 3-D Pinecone Miniature Design, I used a clear, liquid glue called Liquid Glass.
But, for the file reduced to 33% of the original size, I used hot glue. This helped for both adding a little bit of space between the layers to give the “baby” pinecone dimension as well as gluing it together.
When using the hot glue, thread the piece onto the wire first before applying the glue or it can cool before you get it in place.
I bought this fine tipped SureBonder hot glue gun and love it.
This fine tip glue gun made the “baby” pinecones achievable.
Sticky cutting mat
If your finding that cuts are not connecting or pieces are peeling up, you might want to try a new cutting mat after desticking it a bit.
You will notice in the video above, that I had 2 spacers that did not cut right and it was because my mat was very well used and the cardstock did not stay stuck down.
I find that this can be a big issue when cutting lots of cardstock.
While my mat may “feel” sticky to me, it may not be good enough to hold down all the pieces of the cardstock while it’s being cut, in order to connect the cuts.
If that cardstock moves at all, it may lead to a mis-cut.
Recut pieces as needed
To follow the sticky mat, you may need to re-cut a piece or two here and there. That is not a bad thing. I just copied what I needed and moved it to a new area on my cutting mat and re-cut it. I did cut a couple extra… just in case!
Don’t give up!
If you have never done a 3-D design before – try it out!
If you have tried one and it didn’t work out – try again!
I will fully admit that the first one I made, turned out great, but it was too large for what I needed. It took a little advice & rethinking to reduce the size and alter the design for my purpose.
Here are the babies.
This is the original 3-D Miniature Pinecone file reduced to 33% of the original size.
And here is the original 3-D Pinecone design along with the “babies”.
I have a very special project for this coming up and cannot wait to show you.
Stay tuned for that!
The Silhouette Design Store has an entire section dedicated to 3-D designs. Keep in mind, just like any site you get files from, some are more complex than others.
There are some that even as an experienced paper crafter, I have yet to tackle.
One of these days I will conquer this LowPoly Paperman, but for now, he will stay on my future to-do list. The biggest thing that these designs take is … time.
Want a few suggestions to get started on 3-D files?
Try a rolled flower such as Design #225639 by Lori Whitlock.
Check out this tutorial on Lori Whitlock’s site for tips on assembly HERE.
I find the first time you do this, you may not think you like it, but the more you do it, the better it gets.
Another flower type is one that the petal layers are stacked on each other, like this
Poppy Flower by Echo Park – Design #249937.
A Favor Box by Lori Whitlock – Design #237376.
Or a layered card like this Dragonflies Shadow Box Card by Carina Gardner –
Whatever you choose to get started, just get started!
And I would love to see what you create.
Feel free to post photos or questions on my Facebook group at
Silhouette Secrets with EllyMae.
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