This guide provides a description of the Silhouette SD Digital Craft Cutting machine and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
The Silhouette SD is a digital cutting tool for personal use. Similar to the functioning of a home printer, it cuts paper and other materials like vinyl with a blade instead of printing onto it. With the machine connected to your computer, you'll get access to all of the fonts on your PC plus the thousands of cuttable designs found on the Silhouette Online Store. No cartridges are required! The Silhouette can be used for many purposes, scrapbooking, home decorating, party decorating, glass etching, rhinestone appliques, quilting, fabric appliques and so many more.
The Silhouette SD can cut a variety of materials from vinyl, transfer paper, vellum, craft paper, cardstock and more. You can cut images from .25" to 39". The maximum cutting area is 8" wide x 39"; length. Weighing in at only 4.4 pounds the Silhouette can be taken anywhere, including scrapbooking crops, shows, fairs, parties, job sites, etc.
There are no cartridges to buy ever! The Silhouette comes with a built in SD memory card reader which allows users to cut files directly from a SD memory card even if you are not connected to a PC.
The Silhouette SD has a registration mark reading sensor allowing you to print designs using a standard desktop printer and then contour-cut those printed designs. It's perfect for cutting out stickers, t-shirt transfer sheets, scrapbooking and card embellishments and more.
The Silhouette SD machine ships with the following important items:
- Silhouette SD machine
- Silhouette Studio Software for Windows XP/Vista/Windows7/MAC including 50 ready to cut digital designs
- Power cable, USB cable
- Thin media cutting mat
- Thick media cutting mat
- Cutting blade, blade holder, and 3 adjustment caps
- $10 gift card to the Silhouette Download Store, which gives you access to thousands of die cuts, pen drawings, rhinestone templates and more! Plus use promotion code FOTOBELLA to get 10% off an annual subscription.
- 1 year warranty
The Silhouette SD is the latest and greatest Silhouette. The Silhouette and Craft ROBO have been combined to create the Silhouette SD. It is manufactured by Graphtec and distributed by Silhouette America.
Silhouette has launched updated software! The updated software includes native MAC support and a ton of new features! I always recommend that you download the latest version of the Silhouette Software from the Silhouette Support site, since they are coming out with new updates all of the time!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I draw my own images with the Silhouette?
You are able to create your own images to cut with the Silhouette software. There are simple line drawing tools built into the Silhouette software that will allow you to do so from within the Silhouette program.
What file types can the Silhouette SD cut?
The Silhouette Studio software included with the Silhouette can cut Silhouette Digital Download files, true type fonts loaded on your computer, STUDIO files, and GSD/GST, DXF files. The software can additionally import a variety of other common image file types (such as JPG and BMP files) and then trace the image using an auto-trace function to create cut lines. Please note, however, that Silhouette does not guarantee the quality of results of images not created by them.
You may also draw your own images with friendly drawing tools found within the software programs.
Will the Silhouette SD cut SVG files?
The software that is included with the Silhouette does not allow you to cut SVG files (although it does allow you to import and cut GSD and DXF files). That said, there is third party software that allows you to cut SVG files. Both Make-the-Cut and Sure Cuts A Lot allow you to cut SVG files with your Silhouette.
How can I cut thicker cardstock with the Silhouette SD?
When cutting thicker cardstock, we first suggest making sure the cap you are using is the pink cap. Blade cover selection and blade placement are usually the most common issues with customers not being able to cut well through thicker cardstock.
If concerns are encountered with cutting thicker materials, you may wish to unlock and remove your blade anyway to ensure the cap is screwed on tightly and when placing the blade back into the blade holder, that the blade is seated all the way in the holder while it is locked into place.
When cutting thicker cardstock, we suggest using the "Thick Cardstock" setting. The optimal settings are:
Cap – Pink
Speed – 3
Thickness – 33
If cutting on thicker textured cardstock, you may also opt to flip the paper over and cut on the non-textured side. Doing this may not require as much thickness force and give you a better cut when using textured papers. However, if you are cutting on the non-textured side with this method, you may wish to select your image prior to cutting and right-click to select the Mirror option. Doing a “Horizontal Mirror” will flip your image and make sure that it is usable from the textured side.
If you find for any reason there are areas not giving a clean cut, you may also wish to select the "Double Cut" option. Doing this will have the Silhouette cut your image twice, thus ensuring any problem areas are given an extra pass during the cut job.
Please note that the thickest material the Silhouette will cut well would be 80 - 90 lb weight cardstock, such as Bazzill brand cardstock.
How long should a Silhouette mat typically last?
The cutting mat for the Silhouette should last for over 100 full 8 ½ x 12 sheets worth of cuts (if you were to cut the same exact job repetitiously in the exact same area). We are unable to provide an exact time-frame for how long the mat should last as this will depend on the types of materials being used. We do recommend keeping your mat well covered when not in use to prevent dust or other particles from collecting on the adhesive surface. This should help the mat retain its adhesive quality. Also, please note that select materials that are more lint-based or fibrous in nature may wear down the adhesive quality faster and degrade the mat. The mat should not need to be replaced unless papers or other materials you are looking to cut are not held firmly in place during the cutting process.
Can the Silhouette cut fabric?
You may cut select fabrics (depending on their thickness of course) with the new fabric interfacing. This product is ironed on to your fabric and then the fabric with the interfacing is placed onto a “Thick Media Mat” with the interfacing side down (fabric side facing up). You would then use the pink cap at a speed of 3 – 5 and cut at a thickness of 25 – 30. Depending on the fabric, you may want to double cut your design. One you have cut your design in the Silhouette, you would then take scissors or a craft knife to quickly trim any threads which may be connecting your cutout design to the rest of the fabric.
The new fabric interfacing will be offered in two varieties: Clean Cut and Sewable. Silhouette Clean Cut Interfacing has a thicker adhesive that irons on to fabric allowing you to cleanly cut designs in your Silhouette. Silhouette Sewable Interfacing has a thinner adhesive that irons on to fabric allowing you to sew your cut-out design.
Can the Silhouette cut chipboard?
The Silhouette cannot currently cut chipboard.
Can the Silhouette SD cut without being connected to a computer?
The Silhouette SD does have the capability to cut without being hooked up to a computer. You may save images in a cut file format to an SD card on your computer (requires an SD reader on your computer) and then insert the SD card into the Silhouette SD machine. You may then use the machine's LCD screen to scroll through the file names you have saved and cut your pre-created images. A power outlet would be required for the Silhouette SD, but no computer connection would be required to cut directly from the machine once you have your files saved on your SD card. NOTE: The Silhouette SD does not come with an SD card, but they are easy to find. You can get one at your local camera store, drug store, office supply store, or computer supply store.
What fonts can the Silhouette cut?
The Silhouette can cut true type fonts (TTF) installed on your computer. You do not need to download these into the Silhouette software. True Type fonts installed on your computer in your Windows "Font" directory will show up as an available option for cutting letters once the Silhouette software is opened. Please note that some fonts may not be designed for optimal cutting, so we cannot guarantee that every true type font will cut well with the Silhouette.
While you may obtain TTF files from many online locations. Silhouette does offer fonts also through their online store. You may access the store and search for "fonts". You should find a selection of fonts offered that have been selected to be optimal for cutting purposes and which may be purchased and downloaded to your computer. These fonts once purchased and downloaded will be immediately available in the Silhouette software.
What are the measurements for the Silhouette machine?
The Silhouette measurements are:
Width: 16" (allow 18" of desk space to accommodate the plugged-in USB and power cords)
Height: 4.25" (8.25" with lid cover open)
Depth: 6" (allow 12" clearance in rear and front to accommodate the cutting mat as it feeds through the Silhouette when cutting)