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Friday, March 18, 2011

A post about the Silhouette SD

Today is something a big different for my blog.  I was asked a few questions on the Silhouette SD so I'm writing up a review!
**Update (there is now a plug in for the Silhouette for MTC that makes it even easier to use, and you can even use print and cut with it as it uses the optical eye, very cool! )  I like to use Make-the-Cut quite a bit, I have more creative control with it.  I got the Silhouette SD up and running with MTC.    What does this mean to you and me?  Well the ability to EASILY cut SVG's and MTC files on the Silhouette!  I found that in Studio I could not use all the SVG files I have (a lot!) on my computer.  And then Lettering Delights starts this super cute line of SVG's they sell, and they are super cheap.  So of course I need more options lol!  So all my Silhouette fans, keep MTC in mind if you want to use it for SVG's!  May want to check out Lettering Delights as well... Just sayin...
So here is the post I did with pros and cons on the Silhouette machine, for my Silhouette friends, and for those that support MTC and maybe looking for another cutter. 

I got the Silhouette originally because of the amazing downloadable designs that were offered for the machine. And they roll in at, get this, a mere $.99 each! Better yet, you can buy a subscription and for around $16 a month I get almost 150 downloads! (some files are licensed and cost $1.99) There are other options for subscriptions depending if you want more or less downloads each month. Now that I’ve got my Silhouette working with Make-the-Cut I will also be able to use all the MTC files I already have, as well as SVG files to!

The price for the machines isn’t that bad either, I’ve seen them around $180 for just the machine.

Pros on the Silhouette machine:

Works with Make-the-Cut! There is a great tutorial here on setting up the Silhouette machine with MTC here… http://www.creativedesignscakes.com/photo_6.html

Does an amazing job with the mini gel pen holders to draw or write journaling, even on fine details and is less jerky then on some other machines.

Cuts vinyl, you can even add a vinyl roll to the machine and skip the mat, and will cut up to 36 inches in length this way.

Has cheap downloads available in singles, no pricey cartridges and no designs you don’t want! They have a lot of designs from companies like Hero Arts, Cosmo Cricket, SEI, and KI Memories. There are also licensed designs like Peter Rabbit and the Little Miss, Little Mister line.

Does a great job at print and cut when using the Silhouette Studio software and an optical eye. You print our your image with registration marks in your printer, then put the image into your Silhouette machine which will read the registration marks and cut your image.

Has loads of rhinestone template downloads thru the Silhouette store.

Cuts a perfect circle!

Very quick, but of course you can slow down the cutting speed if you need to.

The Silhouette SD comes with an SD slot to save your designs in for on the go use.

Customer service is very helpful. There are yahoo groups that can help with small issues and answer any questions. These ladies have always been super helpful to me.

Fantastic blog put together by the Silhouette team that gives tons of project ideas and great tutorials. http://silhouettemachine.blogspot.com/

Cons on the Silhouette machine:

Only cuts to 8 inches in width.

Lacks a lot of pressure, some thick cardstocks like Bazzill may need a double cut to cut all the way through.

Will not cut chipboard.

Blades and mats are pretty pricey. But there are 3rd party companies that make cheaper blades and you can always resticky your mats a few time.

Around me I need to shop online for the blades and mats as I haven’t seen them in any stores. They are easy to find online though.

All in all a good starter machine, or a good machine for someone that likes well priced downloadable designs for purchase and doesn’t want to search the internet for files to download. Very small and very portable.

Here is a layout I did using the Silhouette to do the journaling on my page, look how nice it draws with the Chomas Creations mini gel pen holder!  The book was also drawn with the mini gel pen.

You can use the Studio software that comes with the Silhouette to do awesome print and cuts!  You can use their files, or any jpeg you have on your computer.  The doggy and fire truck are both print and cuts done with the Silhouette.  The chain link fence background was done with the Chomas Creations mini gel pen holder and the title was done with the Chomas Creations mini gel pen holder and Copic markers.

Like what you see? Leave a comment to let me know!


gale said...

Thanks for the review. I wanted to mention that I was able to cut through the paper trey ink 110# cardstock, which is pretty thick, with one pass on my silhouette. I have not tried Bazzill yet but the Bazzill I have feels a lot thinner than the PTI or even Stampin Up (which also cut in one pass). Thanks for the info about designers in the silhouette store. I had no idea!

gale said...

me again. I can't find the cosmo cricket designs in the silhouette store. Last summer Nichol Magouirk had a blog post about it but then mentioned that there was a design issue. I guess they haven't put them back in yet. I did find American Crafts and Samantha Walker in addition to the ones you listed. I really wish the store menu had a page with all the designers listed.

Amy Chomas said...

You have one powerful Silhouette! Most people take 2 cuts for Bazzill that I know! I want the power you have lol!
And funny on the Cosmo Cricket, they aren't there anymore. I have a bunch of the designs myself in my library, over 20! But they are all gone from the store. What a bummer cause they are cute.
In the new Silhouette software, there is a category across the top that says browse artists, that is where I found some.

Maria said...

WOW! That journaling is fantastic!!! And your title with the Copics is great :)

Weeksie50 said...

I feel like a doofus but I just bought the silhouette and I am having a hard time figuring out the software. I haven't even made my first cut yet because I don't really understand what to do.

Do you have any advice for a newbie??


Anonymous said...

I love what you did with the pens.I haven't seen them before got to try and find some for my cricut. any ideas where I'll find them thanks so much cathy potter

Amy Chomas said...

Cathy they are available for sale on the right hand side of my blog!

Anonymous said...

Hi Amy. Im a new scrapbooker and have been debating what machine to get. I was leaning on get the Cricut but now I think I want to get the Silhouette SD.
The one feature I like about Cricut is that you can create a shadow to give your cut out a more 3D effect. Would I be able to get the same effect with the Silhouette?
Thanks for your post!!!

Amy Chomas said...

Jessica, with the Cricut the only way you can shadow is if that feature is built into the cartridge, which isn't for every image.
With the Silhouette there is a feature called "offset" which is the same as a shadow, and you can pick how big or how small you want your shadow to be.

entropy said...

Is this machine able to take custom designed vectors? That is.. can I make my own SVG files ( I know how ) and feed them to print? Having a hard time answering this.