More Silhouette Cameo Problems and Solutions

Hi, folks. I’m back with more on the Silhouette Cameo.

One of my readers is ready to pull her hair out in frustration over the problems she’s having with her Cameo. Sound familiar? So, I thought I would share the note she wrote to me and my response to her. Hopefully, it will help some of you who may also be experiencing problems with your Cameos. If you have any other ideas or solutions that might also help, please leave a comment so we can all learn, together.

The reader said: “So, I just bought the cameo, and I am so upset.  I bought it for some big projects coming up and the mat is slipping everywhere.  The glue on the mat is so strong that my paper sticks to it each time and tears up when I try to remove it.  On top of that, It wont cut through, the mat slides all around and even when I try to adjust the rollers, the one on the right wont move.  It is in the grove so tight that it wont come out to slide it over.  when i adjusted the settings, it cut straight through my mat and it scratched it. i initially bought it so i could make rhinestone names on shirts but now, I cant even get it to cut through vinyl, let alone something else.  Help”

My response: Hi, I just read the comment you left on my blog, Globug Ideas, and I can really feel your frustration. I decided to write to you, one-on-one, to help you find a quick solution.

I had all the same issues with my Cameo. Thankfully, there are solutions.

Cutting mat too sticky:

After a few uses, it loses a lot of its stickiness and you may even find it’s not sticky enough…but there’s a solution for that, too. However, Silhouette America should be including some basic tools to help users remove the cut-outs from the mat. I bought a little kit at Walmart for $10. It’s the one for the Cricut, but it’s the exact same tools you will need for your Cameo. In the kit there is a little spatula which you slide under delicate cut-outs for easy removal…without tearing! The kit also includes a few other tools that you will also find useful.

Mat sliding around:

The Cameo is pre-set at the factory for the 12-inch cutting mat. You can change the width of the rollers by flipping the little blue handle on the right side of the roller bar. When the blue handle is in the down position, it allows you to slide the white roller toward the left so you can smaller sized media. Once you have the white roller set where you want it, be sure to push the blue handle back up—this locks the bar in place so that your cutting mat (or vinyl) won’t slip around. As a note, however, you can use smaller pieces of paper on the 12-inch cutting mat without adjusting the rollers. For example, sometimes I just want to cut out one bird image or a name. In this case, you would just use the settings in the software to choose the paper size.

Here is a YouTube video that illustrates how to change the roller width. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thCTcsujDHc&feature=related

Blade problem:

You mentioned that you adjusted the settings. The setting for the blade should rarely be used at higher than 2 or 3 for cardstock. For vinyl, the blade should be set at 1, speed at 9, thickness at 8. For regular 80-pound cardstock, such as Stampin’ Up Whisper White, the blade should be set at 3, speed at 3, thickness at 33. Works perfect every time.

 

When the blade is set higher than needed, the tip of the blade chips. Once the blade is chipped, it will no longer cut. The only solution is to buy a  new blade. Silhouette American doesn’t do a good job of explaining all the little ins and outs of using the Cameo, and hundreds of my readers have had this experience. It happened to me, too.

So, the good news is that all of your problems can be fixed. The bad news is that you will have to get a new blade. Call Silhouette America and explain your problems. I spoke with them on several occasions and they sent me a new mat and a new blade. In fact, over a period of a couple of months, they sent me three new blades, until finally, one of their support staff explained to me about the blade settings. Since then, I have not set my blade above 3 (3 is the perfect setting for heavy cardstock).

I hope this helps.

Thanks, so much, for contacting me. Good luck!!

Gloria

P.S. Please let me know how it works out.

 

Silhouette Cameo–get ready to cut!

Blade problems? New information!

Hi, folks! I am sure there are many crafters who are thrilled with their Silhouette Cameos. But, judging by the number of crafters who write to me every day, there are many who are still enduring a love-hate relationship with this potentially amazing piece of equipment.

Okay, so what’s happening? Well, the BIGGEST frustration is that the blade isn’t cutting or isn’t delivering a clean cut. What everyone wants to know is WHY, WHY, WHY!

Based on my own experience with the Silhouette Cameo and the thousands (yes, thousands) of crafters who search my site and/or write to me every month, in the hopes of gaining some insight, here is a summary of the issues and some potential solutions. I hope this helps!

1. My Cameo is not making clean cuts.

You probably have either a defective blade or your blade is chipped. Let me explain. When the Cameo first hit the market, it was shipped with a defective blade. According to Silhouette America, whom I spoke with on several occasions, the original blades were set at an incorrect angle, making it impossible to achieve a clean cut.

So, if your blade has never given you a clean cut, call Silhouette America and they will send you a new blade.  Even more good news, Silhouette American had all new blades manufactured and started shipping them at the end of February.

If your blade cut fine for a while and then started tearing the paper, it is quickly likely that your blade tip is chipped. This can happen when the blade setting is too high. Generally, your blade should be set at a 2 or 3. For example, Stampin Up Whisper White or Very Vanilla cardstock is 80 lb., which calls for a blade setting of 3, thickness 33 and speed 3. If you are doing a very intricate cut, you could even slow the speed down to 1 or 2, to ensure cleaner cuts. Do not, however, change any of the other settings.

Setting the blade higher than called for causes it to reach down further and, consequently, chip the end. Once that happens, your only solution is to buy a new blade.


 Here is a screenshot of the control panel. Notice the speed is set at 3 and the thickness at 33. As the medium, I chose 80 lb. cardstock. This is the setting you will likely use most of the time. Notice the “Change Settings?” option…clicking on this allows  you to select new settings for media, thickness and speed.One thing to remember, however, is that once you select the medium, such as cardstock, paper, vinyl, etc., your Cameo does the rest. It automatically selects the speed and thickness. Could it be any easier?
Here’s an example:I selected “Print Paper (Light)” as the medium. Cameo automatically turned the thickness down to 10 and the speed to 10. This lower speed setting slows down the cutting process to give the blade time to make clean cuts on delicate paper or on intricate cuts.The thickness setting of 10 tells the Cameo that the medium is lightweight paper.

The blade setting of 1  means that the blade will only come out of its casing far enough to cut the thin paper, but not far enough to chip the end of the blade.

IMPORTANT: Remember, although the Cameo automatically sets the blade  on the screen, you MUST physically set the blade before you begin to make the cut. Remove the blade from your Cameo, and change the setting accordingly. Then, replace it, making sure it is pushed down all the way before locking it in with the blue lever.

2. My Cameo is cutting, but not all the way through the paper.

Here’s a trouble-shooting checklist:

— Check that you have selected the correct medium. For example, if you are using Stampin Up Whisper White 80 lb. cardstock, be sure you select “cardstock, 80 lb.”

—  Be sure to take your blade out and physically turn it to the right setting as indicated in  your on-screen settings.

— Sometimes the “double-cut” setting is necessary to ensure that your cut goes all the way through the paper, without having to increase the blade setting.

— If you check all your settings carefully, and your Cameo is still not cutting all the way through, there is a possibility that the end of your blade has been chipped and is not long enough to reach through the paper. (And, even if your chipped blade did reach through, it would just tear up your paper, anyway).

TIP: When experimenting with new media and settings, do a Test Cut, first. It only takes a minute and will save you a lot of time, paper and frustration in the long run.

Just a thought, before I sign off…we are all so lucky to be part of a global crafting community, where we can share our experiences, problems and solutions. I have heard from Cameo owners on every continent, all with the same joys and frustrations, and all seeking to find and/or share solutions to common problems.

If you have any Cameo tips that you could share, please leave me a comment and I will publish them here, at Globug ideas.

Thanks, crafters. I hope you’re getting closer to solving your Cameo cutting issues.