Silhouette, Uncategorized

Cameo Pro Tips – Must Have Tools & Materials

So now the new Cameo Pro has been released and I know many of you have been waiting on this!
Now what?

With the release news of this new 24” cutting machine, I have a few tips to share after testing it the last few weeks. I found that there were several tools that came in handy when using it.

Affiliate links may be present in the following blog post and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tools to have on hand

Cameo Pro machine – if you are in the market for a wider cutting machine.
Find the Cameo Pro 24” cutting machine here:
Grab it at Michaels HERE with FREE shipping too!
Pre-order from Swing Design HERE
they are estimating shipping beginning at the end of November to beginning of December
Pre-order at Heat Press Nation
or check at Silhouette America HERE.

Wider materials – now that Pro can cut up to 24” materials, you may need to find a vinyl supplier that carries larger materials.

The two companies I have been ordering from are U.S. Cutter and H & H Signs. As with many other things in the world right now, some colors of vinyl have been unavailable, but hopefully we are starting to see that turn around.

Check out U.S. Cutter HERE

Check out H & H Sign Supply HERE

I would suggest seeing who has the items you need in stock. I found it didn’t take me long to hit the free shipping threshold at either company.

Larger blanks – will you be making signs? Where will you get the larger wood blanks? Or just larger blanks in general. I grabbed them from Hobby Lobby and Home Depot. Whether you buy them premade or make them yourself, it is something to think about.

Weeding tool – a good weeding tool is a must when working with vinyl big or small. These reverse tweezers by EK Success are my favorite and I have several pairs in my studio just in case one finds a very “safe” place to hide. Each user will find the tool that works best for them. I like these because they have a sharp point and then I can grab the vinyl.

Tape measure – this is a must have when working with larger projects. This will come in handy to measure the blank you are working with.

Scissors – handy to have to cut quickly or trim up pieces of vinyl or transfer tape.

Rotary cutter & cutting mat – while not a necessity, these 2 items can come in handy when working with larger sections of materials

Quilting ruler or acrylic ruler – another nice tool to have to go with the rotary cutter and cutting mat

Vinyl Clips – these can come in handy to hold the vinyl rolls together as you are using them and swapping out colors.

Tips

Space for the machine to be setup – you will need space to have the Cameo Pro setup. And you will want to keep in mind the clearance on the front and the back of the machine.

If you are using a 24” cutting mat, you will need an area that has 24” clearance on the front and 24″ on the backside. You will also need a workspace that supports the 24” cutting mat completely and does not leave it hanging down over the edge. If the mat is hanging down, because of gravity it can cause your cuts to be off as it cannot pull the mat in correctly each time.

If the mat is hanging down over the edge of the table like the photo above, it can cause the cuts to be off because the machine is working against gravity to pull the weight of the mat in. This can affect not only the cut accuracy on materials, but also the accuracy on print and cut projects. For best results, have the mat rolling in and out the back of the machine as flat as possible.

If you are using a large roll and cutting large length sections, you will need to have the clearance out the backside for the vinyl to roll out.

Space to work – working with large sections of vinyl, you will also need to have a flat work space with enough space to maneuver weeding the vinyl and applying the transfer tape. I will admit in my house, there are not many flat, clear surfaces, so having a dedicated space for me was a must. 

Practice – while testing this over the past few weeks, I found that even though I’ve worked with these materials for a few years, it still takes practice when working with the long sections of vinyl and transfer tape.

Patience – take time to learn the machine and start off small. Or at least give yourself a break and be prepared to go through some materials if you do start off with a large project. I’ve gone through a lot of vinyl in testing this machine and have to say that a lot of the sections I’ve had to toss have been because of user error.

Test cuts – test cut, test cut, test cut! I cannot say that enough. Not only is each machine different, but you also have the blade life, material differences, color difference within materials, etc. There are several factors that play into the cut quality. And then you also have human error! Make sure to double check your cut settings before you send them to the machine and do a test cut. Especially if you are using the feed option and having the vinyl feed out the backside to the cross cutter after the cut – there is no going back for a re-cut when you do this.

Advance the vinyl just a bit after loading – this will help especially if the end of the roll is curled. Press and hold the down arrow on the Cameo touch panel and it will feed the vinyl in just a bit. This will help you save more materials in the long run versus the curled vinyl catching in the machine and causing the cuts to be off.

Vinyl storage – think about where you will store these larger rolls of vinyl. I actually do not have an answer for you on this. You will need to find what works best for you. Right now, mine is still sitting in the shipping boxes as that is where it is the safest.

Check out this video cutting with the Cameo Pro – I have sped up the video as it was a cut that took about 8 minutes.

Keep in mind that this is an 8-minute cut that I have sped up to a video time of 2 minutes. The sound you are hearing is it cutting but also sped up as well.

Silhouette Studio software tips

Update the Silhouette Studio software.

If you currently have a software version installed, you may need to update to the most current version that is available at the release time of the Cameo Pro. This is so that the software can recognize the new machine. You will need to use a software version of v4.4.281 in order for the Cameo Pro to be recognized. I would recommend updating direct on the Silhouette America website HERE.

Choose the Cameo Pro in the machine selection menu on the Send tab.

Change the cut preferences to minimize the roller movement.

On the Send tab, click on the gear icon in the bottom right corner.

Then choose “minimize roller movement”. This will help in re-ordering the cut order to minimize the machine pulling the material in and out more than it has to.

Change the text cut lines to Cut vs the default of Cut Edge.

With the release of v4.3 software version, text now defaults to Cut Edge vs regular old Cut. This makes it appear bold red fuzzy on the Send tab and doesn’t mean you necessarily have to manually weld it now. However, in some version of the software, it does affect how it cuts. It will still cut, but when you have a design and text, the Autoblade will reset the cut settings between cutting the design and cutting the text that is set to Cut Edge.

This can be problematic if you have a large decal and it has cut the design first, so it’s rolled through the entire length of the design and then it has to roll it back to the beginning in order to adjust the Autoblade again before it will cut the text that is set to Cut Edge.

Again, this is a bug and should be fixed in later versions of v4.4+, however, if you select all the text and change it to Cut on the Send tab before you send the design to cut, you can eliminate this possible issue. I learned this the hard way when I sent a group of designs that was 90” in length to cut and it went all the way to the end of the 90” and then rolled it back into the machine to adjust the blade for the text.

Change the feed option for long decals and use the cross cutter on the backside

Under the Preferences in the bottom right corner – gear icon – change the Feed option to Feed and it will then feed out the backside of the machine after the cut. This allows you to use the cross-cutter in the backside and get a straight cut on the vinyl.

There are a few things to note here:

No 2nd chance for a recut.

If you feed it out the backside, there is no way to reset the design and recut it if it did not cut the first time.
Test cuts will be very important here!

Watch where the end of the design is before you use the cross cutter.

You do not want to cut through the design, so double check that it has fed out far enough so the cross cutter does not cut through the design. If needed you can use the down arrow key on the Cameo touch panel to advance the vinyl a little bit more to have a clearance.

Then use the cross cutter to cut the vinyl straight.

Make sure to flip the cross cutter back up after use.

If it is left down, you will have feed issues on the next cut.

And make sure to change the feed back for other projects or the software will remember it the next time.

Feed distance bug

Currently there is a bug if you adjust the feed distance. It may feed out excess vinyl and you cannot roll it back into the machine before using the cross-cutter. To get around this, I would suggest leaving it at the 0.00 distance and then advance it with the arrow key on the panel as shown above. This should be fixed soon in the coming releases of v4.4+.

24” cutting mat tip

When using the 24” cutting mat and the materials are less than 24” wide, make sure to look at the cut border and the on-screen prompts. You will place the material ½” from the left edge so it does not roll under the roller.

In the software when you click on the Send tab, you will also see pop up reminders of this new materials designation. While you can choose for the software to not remind you each time, I would suggest leaving it on for a bit of time to get used to it.

Using other size cutting mats in the Cameo Pro

The Cameo Pro can accept all the other sizes of the cutting mats as well. When you go to load the cutting mats you will choose the inner line that the arrows point to since the mat is shorter than 24″. This should then line up with the cutting grid on the Cameo mat and design screen.

I would recommend that if your material is smaller and fits on the smaller size mats to use those vs wrangling the 24″ x 24″ cutting mat each time.
However, I do love the option of the 24″ cutting mat for larger projects with larger materials.

I hope that these tips help to get you started creating with the Cameo Pro a bit easier!

I would love to see and hear about what you are creating on my Facebook group at 
Silhouette Secrets with EllyMae.

Save this for future reference by pinning the image below.

Enjoy!

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**This post may contain affiliate links. What that means is that I may receive compensation if you purchase through the links I have provided. The price you pay for the product or service is not higher but I may get compensated for sharing.

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