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What the Silhouette Can and Can't Do

Can I draw my own images with the Silhouette?
 
You are able to create your own images to cut with the Silhouette software. There are simple line drawing tools built into the Silhouette software that will allow you to do so from within the Silhouette program.
 
Can the Silhouette cut chipboard?
 
The Silhouette cannot cut chipboard.
 
Can the Silhouette cut fabric?
 
We do not officially claim the Silhouette is able to cut fabrics. We have found limited success when cutting thinner fabrics when a starched backing is applied, or in cutting specialty fabric papers. However, most fabric types are either too thick and/or fibrous in nature to be cut with a blade, or are not able to be held rigidly enough in place during the cutting process and so cannot be successfully cut. As such, we do not currently claim the ability to cut fabrics.
 
Can the Silhouette cut fun foam?
 
The Silhouette cannot cut fun foam. Fun foam is too thick for the Silhouette blade.
 
Can the Silhouette cut without being connected to a computer?
 
The Silhouette SD does have the capability to cut without being hooked up to a computer. You may save images in a cut file format to an SD card on your computer (requires an SD reader on your computer) and then insert the SD card into the Silhouette SD machine. You may then use the machine's LCD screen to scroll through the file names you have saved and cut your pre-created images. A power outlet would be required for the Silhouette SD, but no computer connection would be required to cut directly from the machine once you have your files saved on your SD card.
 
What file types can the Silhouette cut?

The Silhouette Studio software included with the Silhouette can cut Silhouette Digital Download files, true type fonts loaded on your computer, STUDIO files, and GSD/GST files. The software can additionally import a variety of other common image file types (such as JPG and BMP files) and then trace the image using an auto-outline function to create cut lines. Please note, however, that our company cannot guarantee the quality of results of images not created by our company.

You may also draw your own images with friendly drawing tools found within the software programs.
 
What fonts can the Silhouette cut?
 
The Silhouette can cut true type fonts (TTF) installed on your computer. You do not need to download these into the Silhouette software. True Type fonts installed on your computer in your Windows "Font" directory will show up as an available option for cutting letters once the Silhouette software is opened. Please note that some fonts may not be designed for optimal cutting, so we cannot guarantee that every true type font will cut well with the Silhouette.

While you may obtain TTF files from many online locations, we do offer fonts also through our online store. You may access the store and search for "fonts". You should find a selection of fonts offered that have been selected to be optimal for cutting purposes and which may be purchased and downloaded to your computer. These fonts once purchased and downloaded will be immediately available in the Silhouette software.
 
What materials can the Silhouette cut?
 
The Silhouette is designed to cut film materials (such as vinyl), paper and cardstock materials (up to 90 lb weight), and can cut up to a thickness of 0.3 mm. The Silhouette will cut patterned paper, most cardstock, vellum, iron-on transfer paper, vinyl, overhead transparency film, and sticker paper among other materials. Individual results may vary.

NOTE: Certain materials that are more dense (such as shrink plastic, crafting foam, chipboard) or fibrous in nature (such as fabric) cannot be cut by the Silhouette, even if they fit within the thickness range noted above. You should never attempt to cut multiple layers of material at the same time.
 
What paper sizes can the Silhouette cut?
 
Though there are standard pre-defined paper sizes in the Silhouette program (such as 8 1/2 x 11 "Letter" size), you can define custom user paper sizes with the Silhouette software to fit the media type you're working with. The smallest recommended size of paper would be at least 3 inches width by 3 inches length (8 cm x 8 cm). The largest size of paper when used with the cutting mat would be 8 1/2 inches width by 12 inches length (21 3/4 cm x 30 1/2). When cutting vinyl or other longer materials that have their own adhesive backing, you may cut lengths of up to 39 inches (99 cm).


Consumables and Accessories

How long should a Silhouette blade typically last?
 
The blades for the Silhouette should typically last up to 6 months depending on usage and the type of material being cut. Please note that thicker materials will wear down the blade more quickly and the average life for heavy users will be closer to 2 - 4 months. The thickest material the Silhouette will cut well would be 80 - 90 lb weight cardstock, such as Bazzill cardstock. Attempts to cut thicker materials or certain materials the Silhouette is not designed to cut that are more dense (such as shrink plastic, foam, chipboard) or fibrous in nature (such as fabric) may ruin the blade or result in the blade dulling very quickly. Additionally, certain papers with bits or particles of foreign objects (such as glitter chunks), may immediately impair the blade. We strongly recommend against cutting materials with additional foreign objects embedded into them which may harm the blade.

Replacement blades are available for purchase.
 
How long should a Silhouette mat typically last?
 
The cutting mat for the Silhouette should last for over 100 full 8.5" x 11" sheets worth of cuts (if you were to cut the same exact job repetitiously in the exact same area). We are unable to provide an exact time-frame for how long the mat should last as this will depend on the types of materials being used. We do recommend keeping your mat well covered when not in use to prevent dust or other particles from collecting on the adhesive surface. This should help the mat retain its adhesive quality. Also, please note that select materials that are more lint-based or fibrous in nature may wear down the adhesive quality faster and degrade the mat. The mat should not need to be replaced unless papers or other materials you are looking to cut are not held firmly in place during the cutting process.

Replacement mats are available for purchase.
 
What is the difference between the different mat options offered?
 
The thin media replacement mat for Silhouette SD are intended for thinner media/material types (such as printer paper). The level of adhesive quality on these mats is a lower grade to prevent more delicate materials from ripping as they are removed from the mat.

The thick media replacement mat for Silhouette SD are for the Silhouette SD and are intended for thicker media/material types (such as cardstock). The level of adhesive quality on these mats is a higher grade adhesive to ensure thicker materials are able to be held in place during the cutting operation.

The mat type does not dictate the ability to cut thinner or thicker materials, but rather ensures your material is being held in place properly for the material type being used.
 
What type of SD cards are compatible with the Silhouette SD?
 
The Silhouette SD is compatible with SD cards only, not SDHC cards. Please note that though SD and SDHC cards are similar in appearance, they are differently formatted devices. SD cards are generally 2GB or smaller while SDHC cards are generally larger than 2GB.

(This is similar to DVD format discs versus Blue Ray discs where while very similar in nature, Blue Ray discs will not work in regular DVD players due to the different format.)
 

Silhouette Compatibility

Is the Silhouette Macintosh compatible?
Yes! The Silhouette is Mac compatible and our software Silhouette Studio will work with Mac operating systems (OS X 10.5.8 or later). No plug-ins or additional software is needed.
 
Is the Silhouette software compatible with Windows 7?
 
Yes, the Silhouette is compatible with Windows 7. You may run the latest software for a compatible version. This software does not require the use of a driver.

If you wish to install a driver in order to quiet the Windows plug and play requirement noting new hardware has been found as the Silhouette is powered on, you may install the driver for 64-bit devices.

If you have already downloaded the 64-bit driver, unzipped and run the program, but did not find the driver installed, you may need to manually install the driver. To do so, please perform the following steps:

1. Go to your START menu
2. Open the Control Panel
3. Select the “Printer” option
4. Select to “Add a printer”
5. When the printer wizard opens, select to add a “Local Printer”
6. When prompted for a port, select any open USB port (which is not already assigned to another printer device)
7. On the next screen when asked to locate the driver, click on the “Have Disk” button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen
8. In the window that pops up click on the “Browse” button
9. At this point, locate where you had saved the unzipped version of the driver and open the folder
10. Continue to open the sub-folders until you find “GPCR”. This is the driver. Select it and “Open”.
11. When back on the “Install from Disk” screen, click on “OK”
12. Back in the printer wizard, select “Graphtec CC330L”. Then click “Next”.
13. If prompted, opt to “Keep existing driver” and continue
14. If prompted, allow the have the printer name that is filled in for you
15. If asked, do not select to use as the default printer
16. If prompted, do not share the printer on a network
17. Finally, if prompted, do not print a test page

You should now be able to finish the printer wizard and have the driver successfully installed.
 
Is the Silhouette Vista compatible?
 
The Silhouette is Vista compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.

You may download a full copy of the software program which is compatible with Vista from our website here.
 

General Overview of the Silhouette

What are the measurements for the Silhouette machine?
 
The Silhouette measurements are:
  • Width: 16" (allow 18" of desk space to accommodate the plugged-in USB and power cords)
  • Height: 4.25" (8.25" with lid cover open)
  • Depth: 6" (allow 12" clearance in rear and front to accommodate the cutting mat as it feeds through the Silhouette when cutting)
     
    What are the System Requirements for the Silhouette?
     
    The Silhouette does require a computer to connect to. An Internet connection is strongly recommended for obtaining software updates and enabling you to be able to download additional images to your library.

    The Silhouette is designed for crafters who:
  • Have a PC with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
  • Have an Internet connection
  • Want to cut out designs and computer fonts in multiple sizes
  • Don’t want to worry about cartridges

    Specific system requirements are:
  • Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7
    NOTE: The Silhouette software is not compatible with Windows 98, Windows ME, or Windows versions earlier than Windows 2000
  • Pentium III 600 MHz or faster
  • 128 MB of RAM (256 MB recommended)
  • USB 1.1 Port (or higher)
  • Approx 186 MB of memory (not counting additionally purchased images)
     
    What is included with the Silhouette?
     
    The Silhouette SD comes with the Silhouette software, which includes 50 pre-loaded shapes. It also includes the following: USB cord, power cord, one cutting blade with 3 different blade caps for cutting varying types of material thickness, one cutting mat, and a Silhouette quick-start guide. So, all necessary components to get started (with the exception of material to cut) is provided with purchase. With the Silhouette software, you will also be able to access all of our Silhouette images available for additional download.
     
  • Silhouette Questions and Answers