January 29, 2013

Tuesday Tips - Silhouette Cameo!

Hi Folks...

Now as some of you already know I love my Silhouette Cameo!  Boy do I love it!  An awesome work horse when it comes to cutting the same shape a billion times.  Well maybe not a billion but you get my drift...  Just recently I was helping my Niece-in-law to be with her Wedding Invites and RSVPs.  As she loves butterflies and they are part of the theme she has picked for the wedding, we came up with this...

Isn't the Butterfly on the side gorgeous!  Isnt' the design intricate, there is no way I would hand cut something like that, let alone do it fifty odd times...lol. Cue the Cameo!!!
Now when you are doing something as important as Wedding Invites, using electronic equipment you make sure you had spare parts on hand, right... just in case... even though you know nothing could possibly go wrong...  let's just say I'm glad I did *wink*.
So I set up the cut file in the Silhouette Studio software so I would get 5 cut images per page.  As we had RSVP and Wishing Well notes, that meant we had to cut 20 pages altogether = 100 cut images...  Wow that's a lot of cutting by anyone's standard.
Everything was going smoothly and we had almost finished the RSVPs when my Cameo stopped working properly...EEEEEK!  It had cut half a page then skipped part of the design, then it would cut a bit, skip part of the design until it thought it had completed the job.  I was thinking maybe a software issue, so Cameo and Computer were turned off and back on. I tried cutting again with the same result...
I tried not to panic, instead I jumped on the net and Googled the issue. Thank goodness for Google what did we do before it :).  Anyway I found lots of articles on what to do if the images did not cut all the way through.  Most of this advice was to set the blade depth higher or do a double cut or replace the blade but no one seemed to mention the Cameo skipping parts of the design.  Still not panicking, but I was not enlightened at all as to what the problem was.  My options were to use a new mat and/or use a new blade.  I did both and hey presto my Cameo was back online and cutting properly.
But what was the issue?  Questioning minds need to know?  Firstly a new mat is super sticky which meant all those little itty bitty cut out bits from the design we used stayed on the mat...YAY!  I was not convinced it was just a not so sticky mat that caused the problem so I took a good look at the blade.  It wasn't until I compared it to a new one that I saw the problem. 

As you can see in the photo there is lots of little bits of paper in and around the blade. Paper fibers have become caught and compacted in the blade housing.  Doing so many little cuts on a not so sticky mat meant lots of loose paper fibers = a jammed blade.  No wonder the poor thing couldn't cut the design properly. 
Tuesday's Tips -
1. When you have a lot of cutting to do made sure you have a back up mat and blade. 
2. If you are cutting a design that has lots of little cut out pieces, remove the blade from the machine and blow out any paper fibres that may have collected on a regular basis.
3. If your Cameo skips or misses part of a design, change the blade and mat if it is not a new one.
Hope these tips help someone else if they have the same problem.

Have a great day!

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