Silhouette Alta Overview
Silhouette Alta Overview
The Silhouette Alta® and Silhouette Alta® Plus are easy-to-use 3D printers. They can be used to build models out of PLA plastic filament (1.75 mm) and are great for a variety of customized projects.
Click here for details and pricing for the Silhouette Alta®, Silhouette Alta® Plus, filament, and replacement parts.
About the Alta Plus
The Silhouette Alta® Plus model has all of the same capabilities as the original Alta model, as well as the following updates:
The Alta Plus includes a built-in fan, which improves print quality over the original Alta.
The Alta Plus has updated manual turn screws on the Delta arms that hold the printer head. This allows the machine to be calibrated by hand, making the calibration process easier and more precise.
The Alta Plus has an updated printer head providing an easier method to remove and replace the heating element
The Alta Plus model is grey, whereas the original Alta model is white. This helps to quickly identify the different models from each other.
The Alta and Alta Plus 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.
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.
You will be prompted to create an account, if you don't already have one, and register your Alta or Alta Plus 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 will be automatically added to your Silhouette account. These are accessed through the Silhouette 3D software library. You can download the 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
User Guide for the Silhouette Alta® Plus machine
Silhouette 3D software manual
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:
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® and Silhouette Alta® Plus 3D printers use 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 Alta and Alta Plus machines come 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 Alta and Alta Plus come 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.
Clearing a Jam
If the nozzle is moving but no filament is coming out there are a few possibilities. Please follow the steps below to correct this issue.
1) If the filament gets stuck near the top of the print hose, the gear that moves the filament in and out of the extruder may have worn down part of the filament and caused it to stay in place rather than feed through the machine properly. To fix this, simply pull out the filament, find the section that is worn down (it won’t be as smooth or as thick as the rest of the filament), and cut off that part. Then reload the filament into the machine and attempt a print.
2) The filament on the spool is may be tangled. It is easy for the filament to become tangled, and it may snag and not come off the reel easily. To untangle it, you’ll have to remove the filament from the machine, unravel the filament from the reel until any tangles are removed. Carefully place the filament back on the reel and take care not to let it tangle again. Then reload the filament into your machine.
3) it's also possible the nozzle head is clogged. You can use the nozzle cleaner tool (the small tool with the thin metal piece and the plastic handle) to poke it inside and up through the nozzle head a few times to try and move around any plastic that may have solidified. Also, check outside and around the nozzle head because sometimes the plastic will coat the entire shell of the metal extruder portion of the nozzle head. If fixing those two things doesn’t solve the problem, you can remove the hose attachment from the extruder head by pressing down on the gray ring as you pull up on the tube and use the rod that came with your machine to push the filament out. If nothing comes out and you are still experiencing issues, you can attempt to manually heat up the print head and perform the action wtih the rod again.