My Silhouette Cameo 3 arrived a couple of weeks ago. In the middle of our English Summer heatwave. I had my husband’s help to unbox and setup, and we videod the process. Sadly, it’s too awful to show you. Most of the time I kept getting in my own way, and we chose the hottest day and I look a complete duck!
It’s much better when I stick to what I know; a few photos and screenshots with commentary. This time I wrote a script, to make sure I stayed on topic and I’ve included that below, complete with links to the websites I used.
My verdict so far? I love it! It’s going be smashing to use and so much easier to use the proper settings with the Autoblade.
And I can’t wait to experiment properly with the Sketch Pen.
Silhouette Cameo 3 – Unboxing, Setup and First Cut
Hello everyone, Jane here with the unboxing and setup of my Cameo 3. There was actual video footage of all this but well, it was a hot day, and I don’t do heat very well. The result was a bit rubbish.
I’m having random technical issues with my video not exporting properly too, so I’m sticking with a format I know works –
some arty images and informative screenshots. I even wrote a script to keep myself on track.
I ordered my Cameo 3 from Craftelier on Sunday evening, 24th June. My order was confirmed Monday morning, 25th June, and despatched that afternoon. By Friday morning, 29th June, this lovely package was sitting on my floor, having travelled all the way from Barcelona.
That little package on top is the Silhouette Mint, which also found its way into my basket before checkout. Look out for Mint videos, coming to this channel in the next few weeks… when I’ve worked out how to use it!
It’s my first time ordering from Craftelier and I am very happy. I made one error; I assume because they ship to the UK and have prices in GB£ that the electronics will have UK 3-pin plugs. My Cameo and Mint have only 2-pin plugs. Ian worked around that by using my original Cameo 2 power cable, and finding a spare kettle power cable to fit the Mint. If you don’t have a husband who saves random power cables “just in case” or have a previous Cameo lead you can use you will need to buy a 2-pin adapter for the power cable.
Once the Cameo is out of the box I followed the steps on the Silhouette America website for setting up and registration.
If this is your first Cameo machine this process will also set up your Silhouette America account, used for the Silhouette Design Store and for any upgrades to the basic software, for example Designer or Business editions.
As I already have a Silhouette America account I signed in before opening the registration page, found on the Frequently Asked Questions page on the left hand side.
Your language will be automatically detected, if not choose from the list provided and click Continue.
Choose your machine from the Silhouette range; that’s Cameo 3 for me today!
Fill in all the necessary details, and don’t forget the check box for newsletters if you wish to receive them. Click Submit Registration when the form is complete.
This step gives you a reminder to check your box for all the components, and to remove the tape and foam used for packing the machine in transit. We did all that earlier; in fact we almost missed the little piece of foam so it’s good to follow these steps.
The final stage of this initial setup is to plug in the power cable and switch on the Cameo. The instructions here say not to connect the USB cable but we did because I remember reading that it’s important to update the firmware.
Getting Started with Silhouette CAMEO: Take It Out of the Box also has all the steps for setting up your new Cameo.
Here’s the important reminder to update the firmware. Skip back to the Silhouette America website and the Support Page and find the Firmware Updates link.
Under the relevant machine, Cameo 3 for me here, choose either PC or Mac and download the firmware file. The file will need unzipping; I use Windows 10 which has a built in extraction tool.
Select the folder and click Extract. In the next window choose Extract All.
Choose the file destination and if you want File Explorer to show you the files imemdiately following extraction. This is handy if you can’t alway remember where you chose to save the file! Click Extract and another window should open.
To start the firmware update click the blue circle with the Silhouette symbol to open the Firmware Update Tool.
We followed the on screen instructions, with a couple of places where you have to fiddle with cables.
There’s a bit of trickery with the hands here that I had Ian help me with. Hold down the power button and connect the power cable at the same time.
The Cameo’s LCD panel will turn lots of lovely colours, starting with this lovely teal colour. The time-consuming part is where the update is sent via the USB cable, that takes longest. Time for a cup of tea!
Ooh a nice mustard colour, rather like Colman’s English if I’m not mistaken.
Eventually you’ll see the screen saying the image update is complete and to press OK. This is the quick part, sending the update and suddenly the LCD screen turns dark blue and you’re done.
If you haven’t already got Silhouette Studio design software downloaded now is the time to do that. You can follow the instructions from Silhouette America or Silhouette School blog.
I didn’t need to do that step because I already have the software so I skipped to putting in the Autoblade to get ready for a test cut.
Ian did this for me, and it seems easy enough. The Autoblade goes in the left holder only, with the red circle.
When pressing down the blade to ensure it’s seated properly, with no spacing pop your finger under the tab so it doesn’t press down too far.
There are two grooves in the back of the blade holder, not easily seen on my black Cameo, sorry! These correspond with two raised lines on the Autoblade to help you get it in the right way.
Gently push back the tab to lock the blade in place.
For the test cut I drew a simple rectangle and circle. This isn’t print and cut, the colour is so you can see them on the screen. I’m just using plain white printer paper to cut out the shapes.
In the Send Panel I changed my material to Copy Paper, medium and used the settings suggested by the Silhouette software. I added an overcut of 0.02mm.
I put the paper on the cutting mat, with the arrow towards the top. Line up the mat with the white line guide on the left of my Cameo and push it forward until it meets the rollers.
Pressing Load Mat on the LCD screen starts the mat rolling a short way into the machine and then stops ready for the actual cut job.
I made use of the Test button to see if the settings were going to work, and this was my first listen at the new Cameo doing its thing…
The blade does a little up and down dance. I think this is where it sets the blade depth. The test cut is quick and when the LCD screen tells me Job Complete I press Unload Mat and have a look.
I have a perfect little square and triangle! No need to alter the settings for cutting my usual HP printer paper. I decide to carry on with the larger rectangle and circle anyway, and they are perfect too.
As the Cameo 3 is new it does seem quieter than my Cameo 2 – and also a bit quicker, but maybe that’s just because these are simple shapes.
Next morning I quickly tried a Sketch Pen in the other tool holder, marked with a blue circle. I combined it with a photo so I could also check the print and cut result, in case the machine needed calibrating.
I need practice. The Sketch Pen works brilliantly, but I had set the Fill and Outlines with too much density so the pen kept drawing over the same place far too many times. When I work out the proper settings, which I expect will change with the font or design I choose I’ll do a proper tutorial.
I was very pleased to see that everything lined up properly. The Sketch Pen even drew a black line around the arrow, and that’s when I knew that the photo would cut accurately.
I had a simple banner around the Cameo 3 title, a square photo and the basis for a bit of a mess about page in my Traveler’s Notebook.
You know I’d read a few horror stories about the Cameo 3, the Autoblade and recent software niggles and did worry I’d made a huge mistake buying the machine. Now I’m happy; I think overall this will improve my use of the Cameo because switching between paper and card will be easier, something that’s always put me off a bit fro mworking in my Traveler’s Notebook. And I can’t wait to really get to grips with the Sketch Pen, lots of scope for fun there!
Thanks for watching, do leave any questions below and I’ll try to answer them and I’ll see you again soon.