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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Silhouette "How did you do that?"

I'm just popping in today with a few little hints for using your Silhouette machine.  If you are new to the machine, or if you are afraid to cut detailed projects...I have some suggestions for you, so that you can succeed in doing this in a clean easy way. You can do this!  I promise!

When I first started using my Silhouette, I thought that it couldn't cut thick cardstock like Bazzill...but...that was because I had my settings all wrong. I was frustrated to say the least. Oh...and one other minor thing was effecting my results...and this is where I'll have to let you in on my dirty little secret...I actually purchased my Silhouette SD machine used. Gasp! I know...I design for them...I should have bought a new machine.  However, I'm very budget aware...some may call that cheap...I call it being frugally smart.  (All my friends who know me are laughing...and shaking their heads up and down...because they know I like to buy a lot my things used...like clothing, home improvement stuff...and what have you...it's just me.) I finally discovered that it wasn't the machine that was causing my frustration...it was my blade... it just wasn't sharp. Also...my mat was well-used and almost out of "sticky." So I was set up for a bad experience from the get go.  But...once I changed the blade, and got a new mat...I was a very happy camper, because my machine turned into a slick system...cutting everything like butter.

So my point with all of that above stuff...make sure you are cutting with a sharp blade, and a sticky mat free of debris. Otherwise, you will run into the same frustrations that I did.  It makes sense, doesn't it?

Next thing you need to be aware of...If you are using thick paper or card stock to cut a detailed design...which I like to do because it strengthens the design, screw on your pink cutting cap (the 0.3mm one). That's the cap designed for cutting heavier papers.  After the pink cap is nicely attached...then go to your Silhouette software.  Make sure that you set up your machine so it knows you are cutting heavy cardstock...in the settings menu on the right side, select the (heavy 80lb.) This will automatically adjust your paper thickness to 33, and your speed to 3. I did a test cut on one of these boxes with my heavy cardstock at these settings.  It wasn't quite enough for the detail in this design...it cut...it just didn't cut all the way through in a few areas, so the designs didn't entirely "release" when I lifted it off the mat. So I made a few small adjustments.  I lowered the speed to 2. It's always a good idea to lower the speed when you get into a detailed design... AND I put the settings on "double cut."  That setting does just that. It cuts the design twice as it goes along.  By making these minor little adjustments, the results were perfect.  The design released effortlessly from the mat, having cut every little detail the way it was intended.  Now that makes me happy...because if you are familiar with any of my designs...you will quickly realize that I love little details.
This week I have several new designs that have loads of detail in them...don't be afraid to try these!  They take a little time for the machine to cut, but the machine does all the work...you can choose what you want to do while the machine wizzes and whirrs around on the paper...be that folding laundry, surfing on the net, talking on the phone, or eating a bowl of ice cream. Or...if you want...you can stair in amazement as the machine "does it's thing" until the design has been cut.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info on how to change the settings for different card stock. I am new to the silhouette and loving your designs
    Val

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  2. I totally love these! Thanks for sharing - wish I had a sihouette! Now I have to figure out how to make these with my cricut :)

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  3. I love the detail in your designs! A sharp blade and the right settings really do make a world of difference when cutting those gorgeous little details. I was like a kid in a candy shop this week with all of new Samantha Walker files they released!

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  4. These are really pretty Samantha.

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  5. I know what you mean by "frugally smart". I like to get my Silhouette designs for free, or make my own. But after seeing these and the bag in the post before this, I may just have to do a little shopping. Gasp!

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  6. Samantha, these are GORGEOUS!! Oh, being thrifty is a good thing these days. I save coupons for my paper crafting tools. I'm afraid it's addictive, isn't it!

    Happy Crafting!
    Diane

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  7. Samantha, those pin blades with the screw on caps are history. There's a completely new blade system for all Silhouette machines called a rachet blade. They are now being sold at some Michaels stores. The mats are all new and better now, too! It is amazing what a new mat and blade will do for an "ailing" digital cutter!

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