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RevRico PowerDork
5/21/19 9:30 a.m.

I'm looking to add a vinyl cutter to my collection of tools gathering dust this year.


Is the silhouette cameo still the entry level go to?

I'm looking specifically at the Cameo 3 with Bluetooth(why not wifi?), one of the starter packs on Amazon that comes with tools and 40 sheets of 12x12 vinyl.

I'm mostly looking to make small, hand sized, stickers for now. I have no interest in making my own shirts.

Oracal vinyl sheets seems to be a bit more expensive than rolls, but also easier to use for smaller designs. Transfer paper throws me off though as there seem to be endless types, textures, colors available.

Anything to look out for our keep in mind? Do the "auto adjust" blades actually adjust or is a fixed blade a better option if you're going to be using the same medium all the time?

Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/21/19 11:35 a.m.

This is relevant to me. I've had one in my Amazon shopping cart for months now and never taken the plunge. If you buy it, do a thread and let the rest of us know. 

Edit: Mostly looking at the Cameo because of the thickness of material it will cut. Cutting gaskets sounds like a win win to me. 


Duke MegaDork
5/21/19 11:46 a.m.

I got DW a Cricut Maker for the holidays.  It will cut some pretty heavy stuff, like up to 3/32" basswood.    You're limited to about a 12" x 24" piece, though.  It also cuts fabric, vinyl, leather, etc. and can write / draw with a pen.  You can also print images on your printer and then cut around them if you want.

I'm getting ready to make DD#1 some magnetic vinyl autocross numbers with it.

AWSX1686 GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/21/19 11:54 a.m.

I have a friend that got one and she seems to like it. If you do take the plunge, would you mind sending me the link to what you want before you buy it so I can test out making a referral link?

AWSX1686 GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/21/19 11:56 a.m.
RevRico PowerDork
5/21/19 12:11 p.m.

In reply to AWSX1686 :

I looked at those ones. They get expensive fast when you stay adding options.

A week or so ago I did a Google search here and found Mazdeuce and a few other members have the Cameo. I've got stickers from Deuce before, so I think it's what I want, I guess I'm just looking for some more confirmation. 

Mndsm MegaDork
5/21/19 1:25 p.m.

Relevant to my interests. I would like a cutter as well. Maybe some E36 M3 to make shirts. I dont like anyone elses shirt?

Appleseed MegaDork
5/21/19 1:31 p.m.

So...we aren't talking about this?

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
5/21/19 1:40 p.m.

I still cut a lot of stuff on mine five years later. 

paranoid_android UberDork
5/21/19 2:04 p.m.

If I could figure out which Cricut et al models can be run straight from a computer, I’d probably pick one up in the 12x24 size.

As info on the us cutter models, you should be able to forgo their software if you are comfortable with Inkscape.  There is an add on called Inkcut that will run a plotter, and it’s all free.

akamcfly Dork
5/22/19 8:12 a.m.

I'll have a Cameo soon too.  I'm doing some painting at my aunt and uncle's place and she offered me hers as she's getting a cricut. Her daughter has a cricut and she will be able to get more/better coaching if they have the same one.

Win for me :D

Duke MegaDork
5/22/19 8:44 a.m.

In reply to paranoid_android :

In order to drive the Cricut products, you need to use their DesignSpace software, which is breathtakingly mediocre (even for free).  But it will import .svg files (among others) so you can use the vector design tool of your choice to create the artwork, then import it into DesignSpace for production.

xflowgolf SuperDork
5/22/19 9:05 a.m.

S-10 Cameo kit looks the part.  :)  

Patrick GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/22/19 9:26 a.m.

I have 34” us cutter machine with their software, i like it but I need to speed up my learning curve.  It only seems limited by my lack of time to learn 

Grizz UberDork
5/22/19 9:44 a.m.

In reply to Appleseed :

I clicked this thread thinking I had another name for Camero but no

paranoid_android UberDork
5/23/19 11:44 a.m.
Duke said:

In reply to paranoid_android :

In order to drive the Cricut products, you need to use their DesignSpace software, which is breathtakingly mediocre (even for free).  But it will import .svg files (among others) so you can use the vector design tool of your choice to create the artwork, then import it into DesignSpace for production.

This is good to know, and far more info than I could get from their website.


AWSX1686 GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/23/19 12:32 p.m.

I made some affiliate links here if any of you do end up purchasing a Cameo. 


RevRico PowerDork
6/29/19 2:43 p.m.

My Cameo showed up today. I've just done the intro cuts so far, and honestly I'm more confused than anything, but it works. 

thought it was supposed to cut the vinyl and backing paper to make a nice easy thing. Turns out, it is only supposed to cut the vinyl, not the backing. I printed 2 hearts, with half the backing on each one being cut, then I turned the force up a little bit for the third one, and it only cut the vinyl. I also readjusted the blade between cuts and I think that might be the culprit. It doesn't have a positive "click" or anything when it's in the whole way, so it's easy to miss the mark. 

The bluetooth connection doesn't gel with the built in bluetooth on my laptop*, which makes me sad that I have yet another tool that won't get used because it need wants a computer on USB the whole time. I mean, I'll still use it sparingly, but wireless would be a big big plus. It's part of why I don't use my 3d printer much anymore. It does have a port labeled "USB Memory" but all I have in that flavor is 1-4TB harddrives. I guess thumb drives are cheap though ($5.99 at best buy and on amazon). 

I went with the Cameo 3 Teal starter pack from Amazon for $239, came with 26 sheets of oracal, a cutting mat, a hook, a scraper, auto blade, cross cut blade, and a roll of transfer paper. I wanted black but that was up to $289, and who really cares what color it is. Meanwhile, on Silhouettes website, the bare cutter is listed at $299. 

*Windows 8.1 laptop with Bluetooth 3.0 or 3.1, I can find the cameo by name searching for bluetooth devices, but sitting 4 feet from my computer, I can't connect inside the Silhuoette program

paranoid_android UberDork
6/29/19 8:26 p.m.

So does that one only cut vinyl that fits on the mat, or will it feed from a roll of vinyl?

RevRico PowerDork
6/29/19 8:31 p.m.

There's a cheap roll feeder available, cheaper than the software upgrade reequired to import SVG files. 

It came with a 12x12 mat, there's a 12x24 available as well, I think it can up to 10 feet long accurately. 

I'll probably get a roll of white and that feeder down the road, but I kinda like the color sheet pack it came with, and it's good to practice with. 

RevRico PowerDork
7/2/19 5:04 p.m.

Letters are hard to weed out. Really hard. The skull was supposed to have teeth, but yea, not patient enough. 

So lesson learned, put the machine on a flat surface, not the top of the box it comes in.

RevRico PowerDork
7/10/19 7:39 p.m.

I'm starting to think the auto blade it comes with is a piece of a E36 M3.

I printed 6 of the same thing on a 12x12 sheet. I got ONE usable, weedable sticker. 

I've turned the pressure up, the speed down, made sure everything is clean and aligned, and yea, it just doesn't cut properly through no matter what. It's scoring the vinyl, making almost notable in the right light marks, but not cutting through the vinyl, so tears, stretches, little bites all over the place.

Guess I'm getting a standard blade sooner rather than later. 

I've done close to 24 designs so far, with about a 20% success rate. Everything is on a flat, hard, level surface, I'm putting everything onto the mat properly, picking my specific vinyl and cross referencing the settings, and just not getting good results. It's not picking a favorite side either, seems random on where in the layout it works and where it doesn't.

Got a roll and roll feeder in today. I'm going to try getting that setup so I can quit wasting all of my colored sheets.

RevRico PowerDork
7/11/19 1:07 p.m.

Roll feeder properly setup has made one hell of a difference as far as cutting goes. Much better and more consistent cuts through the vinyl. 

I bought the cheapest tracing table Amazon sells, $16, A4 sized. It's not very helpful for weeding but beret than nothing. I have it on a TV tray with an LED lantern on its side, this has made the cut lines visible at least. 

paranoid_android UberDork
7/13/19 7:37 p.m.

In reply to RevRico :

Did you change the blade as well?

im still trying to gauge whether the cameo is the answer as a vinyl cutter.

RevRico PowerDork
7/13/19 7:54 p.m.

In reply to paranoid_android :

I have now got a ratcheting blade for it. It's better sometimes.

The problem I'm seeing with both is that the tool holder doesn't hold the blades tight enough, so when the adjustable blade adjusts it moves too far, and the fixed blade moves if the vinyl isn't perfectly flat. 

Plus, the fixed blade has no notches or anything to line it up either. There are indents in the tool holder that are essentially useless, but help line up the auto blade. 

I'm going to try wrapping the blades in vinyl to see if they'll stick in the tool holder better.

It's frustrating. From what I'm reading online, my problems aren't that common, go figure, so I'm on my own to solve them. 

It seems I'm having more trouble with designs I create myself vs things I borrowed from the internet to trace and cut. 

It's capable, it's competent when it wants to be, way better of a situation than my $200 3d printer, but I find myself wondering if I should have held out for something bigger from a business closing down. Which sounds great, except that wide vinyl is considerably more expensive and for smaller stuff like I'm doing, extremely wasteful. 

Aside from some skimming I've ignored all of the learning and training resources available to me, so it could just be user error. All the packages on Amazon come with access to all kinds of instruction videos and helpful stuff I just haven't watched. 

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