Silhouette Alta Overview

Silhouette Alta Overview

The Silhouette Alta® is an easy-to-use 3D printer. It can create models out of PLA plastic filament (1.75 mm) and is great for a variety of customized projects.

Click here for details and pricing for the Silhouette Alta®, as well as any offered replacement parts.

Print Specifications

The Silhouette Alta® can print at a maximum speed of 80 millimeters (mm) per second. The maximum printing area is 124 mm in diameter and 130 mm tall, which is about 5 inches around and 5 inches tall. Layer height can range from 0.05 mm to 0.5 mm with a minimum layer height of 0.05 mm.

3D Designs

Silhouette America®offers 25 free designs with the purchase of the Silhouette Alta® machine. Once the machine is received and registered, these designs are automatically added to your account and can be found under the Free with Machine folder in the Silhouete 3D software library. Click here to setup and register the Silhouette Alta®.

The Silhouette 3D software allows access to your existing Silhouette image library. You can choose several designs from the Silhouette Design Store and create a 3D project using one of the following automatic import options:

Extrusion Cookie Cutter Jewelry Box Stencil box Stencil Wax Pendant

To create one of these project types with an existing image in your library, go to LIBRARY, double-click a design, then choose one of these options from the pop-up menu. Sample images are included in the pop-up menu to display each import type.

Additionally, we offer a variety of specific 3D designs on our Silhouette Design Store, with new designs added regularly. Click here to view these designs.

The Silhouette 3D software can also import STL and OBJ file types. 


What are Snap Kit designs?

Silhouette America®offers a specific line of 3D designs called Snap Kits. These include a small bundle of related designs that may "snap" together in the software to customize the project for printing. For example, one of the free designs that is included when purchasing the machine is called Design a Duck Kit. This gives you a duck model for the base and a number of accessories that can be added to the duck prior to printing, such as a bow tie and top hat.

Some designs will print all pieces as one model while others may print each piece separately, to be adhered after printing. If your design is printing in separate pieces but you would like it to print as a solid piece, you may do the following to group the design together:

Open the design(s) of choice in your work area Snap the pieces together as desired Click and drag the mouse to select all desired pieces Right-Click and select Group

Alternatively, you may go to Edit and click Select All (CTRL + A), then go to Object and click Group (CTRL + G).

Click here to view and purchase available Snap Kit designs.



The Silhouette Alta® 3D printer uses a PLA plastic filament material. Once loaded, the print head heats the filament to a temperature of 180°C - 230°C (356°F - 446°F) which softens the filament allowing it to feed through the print head and create your project, layer by layer. 

The Silhouette Alta® machine comes with a sample of white filament to get started. You may also purchase a larger roll of filament on our website, currently offered in the following colors: black, white, red, yellow, green, blue, and pink. A 500 gram spool of filament can be purchased here.


PLA plastics do not contain BPA. PLA is a bioplastic that is potentially recyclable, but no separate recycling system currently exists for it. However, PLA is biodegradable.

PLA is made from corn and is generally considered safe to use with food. PLA filament is not dishwasher safe. All projects should be hand washed only.

What is the Filament Tube?

The Silhouette Alta® machine comes with a Filament Tube in the box. This tube should be applied to the filament prior to feeding the filament into the machine. As the tube is curved, it keeps the filament from bending or kinking, allowing easy feeding through the machine during your print job.

To use the filament tube during loading:

Place the filament spool on the top of the machine. When using loose filament (included with the machine), first apply the included filament spool holder, then apply the filament to the spool holder Feed the end of the filament through the eye located on top of the machine Slide the end of the filament into either side of the tube until it has gone through and come out the other end Proceed to load the filament into the machine

Click here to access the the Silhouette Alta® User Guide, which contains further loading instructions.

If you need to replace your filament tube, you may purchase a new one on our website here. 



Machine Setup & Tutorials

After receiving your Silhouette Alta®, we recommend using our setup guide to complete all the necessary steps to get your machine up and running quickly. Please click here for these instructions.

You will be prompted to create an account, if you don't already have one, and register your Silhouette Alta® machine. If you have an existing account, please make sure you sign in to your account before beginning the steps. Once your machine is registered, the free 3D designs (25) will be automatically added to your Silhouette account. These are accessed through the Silhouette 3D software library. You can download the free Silhouette 3D software on our website.

To learn how to use your Silhouette Alta® machine and Silhouette 3D software, please use the resources below:

Silhouette Alta® Quick Start Guide User Guide for the Silhouette Alta® machine Silhouette 3D software manual