Frequently Asked Questions

Silhouette Troubleshooting >> Silhouette Hardware Issues >> Silhouette Machine Cutting Issues

Silhouette Machine Cutting Issues

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A "cutting issue" can mean a variety of things. Thankfully, most cutting issues only require a few easy steps to correct and get your machine working properly! Some of the more common cutting concerns are as follows:

  • Cutting too deeply/cutting through the mat
  • Not cutting deeply enough/only scoring the paper
  • Not cutting at all (moving as if cutting but no marks on the paper)
  • Tearing the paper during cutting process
  • Blade getting stuck/jammed and making a "woodpecker" noise
  • Material sliding/shifting during the cutting process
  • Cutting lines not in the right area/not cutting straight
  • Cutting additional lines that are not in the file
  • Machine not moving to cut, possibly says Cut Complete without movement
    (For this concern, please click here)
  • Print & Cut project not reading registration/not cutting correctly
    (For this concern, please click here)

If you're experiencing any of the above issues, please walk through and follow each section below carefully. There are several components and steps involved with cutting. Each should be checked to ensure proper function.

NOTE: These steps are intended for Silhouette Studio and the following cutting machines:

  • Silhouette CAMEO® 3
  • Silhouette Portrait® 2
  • Silhouette Curio™

Older models follow similar steps. You may continue to follow each section with older models. However, please keep in mind that some instruction may not match your model exactly.

One of the most important factors in a successful cut is the blade. Please perform the following steps to properly set up the blade for use: 

CAUTION: The blade is very sharp. Please use caution when inspecting and handling the blade.


AutoBlade

1. Clean

  1. Use the included multipurpose tool to unscrew the white cap on the bottom of the blade, exposing the blade tip.
  2. Blow on the blade tip, or use a dry paintbrush to clear away any dust or debris.
  3. If any adhesive material is stuck, you can remove it carefully with a pair of tweezers.

2. Inspect

  • While the blade is exposed, ensure the blade tip is intact (no chips or damage) and the blade has a sharp, clean angle.

3. Load

  1. Press down on the blade with one hand until it is fully seated in the holder
  2. While holding the blade down, press in on the blade holder lock. There should be no gap between the blade and the holder.

    You can view a tutorial video of this process here.

Regular or Fabric Blade

1. Clean

  1. Unscrew the white cap using your fingertips on the bottom of the blade. This will expose the blade tip.
  2. Blow on the blade tip, or use a dry paintbrush to clear away any dust or debris.
  3. If any adhesive material is stuck, you can remove it carefully with a pair of tweezers.

2. Inspect

  • While the blade is exposed, ensure the blade tip is intact (no chips or damage) and the blade has a sharp, clean angle.

3. Load

  1. Ensure the black, plastic "fin" piece is facing towards you and the white tip is pointing down.
  2. Press down on the blade with one hand until it is fully seated in the holder
  3. While holding the blade down, press in on the blade holder lock. There should be no gap between the blade and the holder.

Premium or Deep Cut Blade

1. Clean

  • There is no need to perform a cleaning.

2. Inspect

  • Ensure the blade tip is intact (no chips or damage) and the blade has a sharp, clean angle.

3. Load

  • Ensure the blade is loaded fully into the holder with the rim seated flush against the holder. There should be no gap between the blade and the holder.

 

Once all steps above have been followed, please continue to the next section.

The second most important factor in a successful cut is the loading method being used for how the mat or material is being set up and loaded into the machine. Please perform the following to properly set up and load your mat or material:


1. Inspect the Cutting Mat

    1. Ensure a Silhouette brand cutting mat is in use. Third party cutting mat alternatives are not recommended for use with the Silhouette machine as they may result in damage to the machine over time.
    2. Ensure the mat has a strong enough level of adhesive to hold the material in place properly during the cutting process. If you need to clean the mat, we recommend the use of a lint roller to remove any lint or light debris. The use of spray adhesive to re-tack the cutting mat is strongly discouraged as this can cause significant damage to the machine over time.
    3. The presence of score marks on the mat’s surface is normal. However, any area of the cutting mat that is completely cut through cannot be used successfully and should be avoided when placing a design or replaced entirely, depending on the size of the cut area.

2. Load the Mat or Material

Silhouette CAMEO® 3

If loading WITH the Cutting Mat

  1. Ensure your roller is adjusted to the proper position. For the cutting mat, the white roller piece on the right side of the roller bar should be secure in the furthest groove to the right. This is the cutting mat position.

    A video on adjusting this roller can be found
    here.
  1. After this is in position, please line up the left side of the mat with the loading line on the left side of the machine base.
  2. While pressing the mat against the roller bar, press Load on the machine.
  3. Once loaded, you can give the mat a gentle tug and it should not slip out of place.

    A video of this process can be found
    here.

  If loading the Material WITHOUT a Cutting Mat

  1. Ensure your roller is adjusted to the proper position based on the width of your material. The white roller piece on the right side of the roller bar should be secure in the 9" or 12" groove mark, depending on the material width. The goal is to have the roller grip the edge of the material fully.

    A video on adjusting this roller can be found
    here.
     
  2. After this is in position, line up the left side of the material with the loading line on the left side of the machine base.
  3. While pressing the material against the roller bar, press Load on the machine.
  4. Once loaded, you can give the material a gentle tug and it should not slip out of place.

    A video of this process can be found
    here.

Silhouette Portrait® 2

If loading WITH the Cutting Mat

  1. Line up the left side of the mat with the left most loading line on the machine base.
  2. While pressing the mat against the roller bar, press the UP arrow on the machine.
  3. Once loaded, you can give the mat a gentle tug and it should not slip out of place.

    A video of this process can be found
    here.

If loading the Material WITHOUT a Cutting Mat

  1. Line up the left side of the material with the left most loading line on the machine base.
  2. While pressing the material edge against the roller bar, press the UP arrow on the machine.
  3. Once loaded, you can give the material a gentle tug and it should not slip out of place.

    A video of this process can be found
    here.

Silhouette Curio

The cutting mat or embossing mat must be used for any project.

  1. Once the material has been loaded onto your mat, place the mat on top of the platforms (recommended platform number is located in the software - see the Cut Settings section below)
  2. Load the platforms and mat onto the hard base, locking them in place with the snaps.
  3. Slide the base into the machine until the loading notch passes the front of the machine.
  4. Power on the machine by pressing the Power button on the side of the machine, or the load button (arrows) if the machine is already powered on.
  5. The base should then move and adjust to the proper position for cutting to begin.

    A tutorial video on this process can be found
    here.

 

Once all steps above have been followed, please continue to the next section.

One of the most common causes of cutting issues is a problem with the cut settings being used.

“Cut settings” here mainly refers to the following settings:

  • Blade Number
  • Speed
  • Force

These settings are found in the SEND panel of the Silhouette Studio software program. There are other settings that can be adjusted that may affect the cut result. Further information on each of these settings can be found here.

Many material types are listed in the software to provide a starting place for that material type. However, these recommended settings may require adjustment to perform a successful cut. Different brands, textures, or other features present in the material can require setting adjustments. Depending on the design’s complexity or sizing, there may likewise be adjustments required for optimal cutting results.

1. Check the Cut Settings

  1. Perform a test cut using the default settings listed in the software for the material type in use.
  2. If the test cut is not successful, adjust the settings to achieve a heavier or lighter cutting result, as needed.
    • If you find your mat or material is getting caught during the cutting process, making a loud, stuttering noise, or cutting too deeply, you may need to decrease the cut settings.
    • If your material is scoring or not cutting the material at all, you may need to increase the cut settings.

As needed, adjust the Force setting slightly and try another Test Cut. If there is no change, you can adjust your blade number and try again.

When performing testing, we recommend the Test Cut feature to avoid wasting material for testing. A tutorial video for the Test Cut feature can be found below:

 

If you have tried multiple settings and see no change in the cut quality, please continue to the next section.

If confirming all of the above steps did not correct the issue you are experiencing, please compare your machine setup and loading method to the appropriate images below. Discrepancies between these expected images and your setup may point to an issue that is causing your cutting concern.

Blade Loaded

Silhouette CAMEO® 3 - Cutting Mat

Silhouette CAMEO® 3 - No Mat (Material loaded directly)

Silhouette Portrait® 2 - Cutting Mat

Silhouette Portrait® 2 - No Mat (Material loaded directly)

 

If your machine matches exactly with the  expected setup as shown above, please continue to the next section.

If your machine setup exactly matches the picture (above), and you are still experiencing issues, please take a picture of your machine and send it to support@silhouetteamerica.com with the following subject line and information:

Email subject line: FAQ977

1. Machine Model: ______________

**For help identifying your model, please visit www.silhouetteamerica.com/setup

2. Tool Type: ______________

**For help identifying the blade/tool in use, please visit https://www.silhouetteamerica.com/shop/blades-and-mats

3. Silhouette brand Cutting Mat in use? (Yes/No): ______________

4. Material in use (brand and type): ______________

5. Cut Settings in use

Blade number: ______________
Speed number: ______________
Force number: ______________
Number of Platforms (Curio model only): ______________

**These settings are located in the SEND menu of your Silhouette Studio software

6. Software Version: ______________

**In the Silhouette Studio software, at the top of your screen click HELP (PC) or SILHOUETTE STUDIO (Mac), then click About Silhouette Studio. The release number will read X.X.XXX, for example: 4.1.442.

7. Firmware Version: ______________

**For Cameo touchscreen models, press the gear icon on the touchscreen of your machine, then go to About or Firmware. For other models, firmware version is listed in the SEND menu of the Silhouette Studio software. The firmware number should be listed as INT X.XX and EXT X.XX, for example 1.60.

8. Please provide a description of the issue. The more detail that is included, the easier it will be to provide the proper support.

Including all above requested information and copying the code FAQ977 into your email will help expedite a return response and help us to get your cutting issues resolved as quickly as possible!

Please record a video of your process and the issue occurring. Your video should include shots of the following steps:

  1. Loading the Blade
  2. Loading the Mat or Material, if mat is not in use
  3. Sending the job via the software. Please show the design area with your file displayed and the SEND panel showing your selected cut settings before sending.
  4. Front view of the full machine during the cutting process. Continue filming until the issue occurs.

To best expedite this review and give the maximum information needed, please use the photos from the Setup Confirmation section as examples showing the camera angles that are preferred for the video.

For instructions on how to upload and share videos with common hosting services please visit:

Once uploaded, you can include the link to view the video in your email to support@silhouetteamerica.com with the subject line FAQ977.

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