I just purchased my first die cutting machine last week and thought I would give my first impressions and review. First of all I am not a crafter however I am very handy with woodworking and most types of home renovations. I have been interested for quite some time in creating and selling signs made out of wood that display wording. Motivational and happy messages. Some personalized as well. I have a friend who purchased a Silhouette Cameo last year and she has been making personalized wooden growth charts and selling them as quick as she can make them.
I was looking for something that could print off reusable stencils for wording and some pictures and or logo’s. As I previously mentioned I have a friend who had purchased the Cameo and has nothing but good things to say about the machine. So I took the plunge and spent the $260 Canadian Dollars on it. The machine is about as big as two small bread boxes side by side so not very big really. It is very light as well. It comes with software to load onto your computer and you get 50 free designs when you hook your computer up to your Cameo. In the box I also found a gift card to use at the Silhouette website in the amount of $50. I checked the site and their images are mostly about .99 so you can get approximately 50 more images. That’s not a bad start for designs.
First I loaded the software and started playing around. There are many buttons to click on when you have the screen open so instead of hovering over each one with my cursor I decided to check on You-Tube for some instructional videos. There are more than enough video tutorials explaining how to get started and some videos for the more advanced user.
Once done watching some videos I started tackling creating my first motivational sign stencil. It took me quite some time to find the right font and then started figuring out how to space the font as well as spacing the lines as you do not want your font touching. At least I don’t. You might want to and using the Cameo to do this they call it ‘welding’. You might want to check You-Tube for that instruction as well.
When creating your stencil you create it on a 12′ by 12′ base. 12′ is the width of the cutting capability of the machine. I was able to create two 12′ by 12′ stencils which I am going to use to create a 12′ by 24′ wood motivational sign. I have not run the machine yet to cut out my stencils but from inspecting the machine looking at the parts and watching the videos I am confident that the process will be easy and successful.
My overall impression of the Silhouette Cameo system and machine is that the software is filled with just about everything you could ever want to use it for. Probably more than any one person would ever use. It is a bit intimidating but one of those times you just have to go slow and learn what you need to slowly learning more over time.
The machine itself even though it is very high tech for a cutting machine it looks to be very easy to use with a small amount of moving parts.
I would recommend you purchase one of these machines if you do any type of crafting. The uses are endless. Once I create my first stencil and then my first sign I will submit a new review showing more pictures.