Posts tagged ‘print and cut’

Foolproof Print and Cut with a Silhouette

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 8.29.37 PM

Print and cut on the Silhouette is one of the great joys of life, and if you have a Silhouette and are not enjoying this you are missing out! The idea is remarkably simple: the 3 marks and your images inside them have to be printed at exactly the same size and position as the Silhouette’s eye expects, or your cuts will not match the prints.

In practice, though, there are a whole lot of things we can do to unintentionally foul this up (mostly things that the software should catch but don”t get me started on that), so I’ve attempted to put together a fool proof sequence. Once you learn the basic principle (that the paper has to match the screen exactly) then you will be able to loosen up, but I want you to experience success, so I have included everything I can possibly think of that could trip us up.

I highly recommend that you use plain white card stock while you are learning (or if you are having problems) to rule out paper color/surface finish as the issue (makes it hard for the optical eye to find or read the marks accurately). Also, while 3rd party mats usually work fine, it is best to learn print and cut using a Silhouette brand mat, so as to not introduce another possible source of error. Once you’ve got the process down, there are workarounds for colored/specialty stock and you can feel free to use a different brand mat.

The order of these steps is very important, and what I think has been missing in the instructions coming out of Silhouette America, so step through them sequentially. V2 screen shots have a teal border, V3 screen shots (included only when different) have a white border.

-From a new document in Silhouette Studio Open the Page panel and select your Cutting Mat. In V3 also check Show Print Border and Show Cut Border.

pnc1 pncv3a

-Set your Page Size and Orientation in your Printer’s settings
on a Mac: File>Page Setup select your printer, paper size and orientation and verify it is set to 100%

on a PC: File>Print, select Printer, then Click Preferences, set Page Size and Orientation, then OK, then Apply, then x out. (may differ slightly depending on your printer)


-On the Page panel in Silhouette Studio V2 click Use Printer Setting. In V3 select “Current Printer” from the pulldown menu. You should see the virtual paper on your screen change to match the settings you chose.

pnc3 pncv3b

-On the Registration Marks panel for V2 click Show Registration Marks, and select Auto from the Reg Mark Format box. In V3, select the appropriate style of marks for your machine from the pulldown.
Make sure you have the correct marks for your machine (a square and 2 L shapes for Cameo or Portrait). Click Restore Defaults as it is best to use default positions while you are learning or return to them if you have problems (Especially important in V3).

pnc4 pncv3c

-Prepare your design. I highly recommend you start with a print and cut file from the Silhouette store because all you have to do is place it on the mat. You should have some in your library already. Preparing other types of files is covered thoroughly in other tutorials but basically for a “tag” style (text inside shape), type your text and fill it with a color using the Paint Bucket button (very important), draw tag shape and position, set the tag shape to Cut Edge. Or for a “fussy cut,” Trace Outer Edge to create the cut line. See this video for a detailed tutorial on tracing for print and cut.


-Duplicate and/or position your design(s) on the page verifying that printing does not encroach on the crosshatched area and that the cuts do not extend past red cut margins.
 SS Page Zonespncv3d pncv3i

-Do a print preview to verify that the planned print looks correct.
On a Mac, File>Print>PDF>Open PDF in Preview

Windows users: install a PDF print driver such as Bullzip or PDF Creator if you do not already have a print preview option available.


-Carefully inspect the preview image to check that all 3 registration marks are displaying fully and that all lines and objects you want are visible and complete. Verify that cut lines are not printing.


To correct shapes that are missing either fill them with color (Paint Bucket Button) or check “Print Lines of Selected Shapes” on the Line Styles (button with Black Horizontal lines) panel.


-Do a “cut preview” by opening the Cut Styes panel. Shapes set to be cut will be highlighted by thick red outlines. (If using Advanced settings in V3, thick outlines may be other colors besides red)
Activate/inactivate cut lines as necessary by selecting shapes and clicking the buttons on the right.

pnc7 pnc3e

-Select File>Print and choose print settings to ensure 100% size (not fit to page, etc) and those appropriate for your paper type. Details will vary depending on your printer, driver and operating system. Representative Mac and Windows 7 screens shots follow respectively.



-Load paper into your printer and print.

Important: This is the point of no return. After printing you can not move any objects or change any settings that effect the margins or the mat without jeopardizing your print and cut accuracy. Consider your design frozen and change only settings in the Silhouette Cut Settings panel from here on out. If you need to make other changes you should plan to reprint your file.

-Open the Cut Settings window and set/verify settings appropriate for your media.

pnc8 pncv3f

-Place the print on your mat according to the image on your screen and be sure it is attached firmly.

-Compare the mat/printout in your hands to the image on your screen Did the registration marks print completely? Are the page, design and objects in the proper orientation and relative positions? (Crosshatches and margin lines will not print.)

IMG_3882    pnc9

-Set the physical blade depth according to your material and verify that the rollers on your machine are in the proper position as shown on the screen.

-Verify that Load Cutting Mat(Cameo) or Load w/Carrier(SD) is selected on the machine’s LCD


-Align the mat with the shorter leftmost line on the base of the machine and load the mat (on Portrait use Load Mat button).


-Leave the lid of your machine open and ensure adequate ambient lighting.

-Press the Cut button on the Silhouette Cut Settings panel or click the Send to Silhouette Button.

pnc8-1 pncv3g

if prompted, click to Skip Printing, Continue and Detect Automatically (V2 only).

-If automatic detection fails, try manual detection, following the instructions on your screen.

-Review your results. This should be when the rush of happiness occurs, but if not, don’t give up!

Slight misregistrations are normal and can be hidden with design tricks like printing a bleed area the same color as the outer edge of your design or cutting slightly inside the design. I used this technique on the angel below and cut just inside the black outline.


If your cuts are less than a few mm off, try calibrating your machine according to the instructions in the Users Manual under the Help menu.
If your cuts are 1/4 inch off or more, or get worse as you go down the page, go back though the steps above and/or through the SA Troubleshooting steps.

For really great print and cut tutorials and projects visit Under a Cherry Tree.

May 22, 2015 at 8:38 pm 16 comments

Print and cut rebus valentine


The theme for this month’s Silhouette Challenge was right in my wheelhouse…print and cut. It was hard to pick a project because almost everything I do is print and cut, so I decided to go with a valentine card I was going to be making anyway. This card has all my favorite elements … nerdy wordplay, a robot, matching patterns from Lettering Delights and a wobbly character. The rectangular layers are print and cut, with the robot print and cut with an offset and rising off the page with an Action Wobble. Hard to beat for a quick, easy and fun Valentines card.
Tip: Blank out the center of obscured layers to save ink.


Here’s where to find the images I used in this card

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Print and Cut Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing p&c projects on our blogs today, so have a look-see below for a ton of inspiration, and don’t forget we all appreciate some comment love!

Print and Cut Rebus Valentine Tigger Printable Heat Transfer T-Shirt Love You Valentine’s Jar {tutorial} + Print & Cut Blog Hop Valentine BINGO with {FREE} Printable and Cut File DIY Conversation Hearts Temporary Tattoos {Heart} Dance! Custom Birthday Party Invitations using Silhouette's Print and Cut Milk & Cookies Valentine's Treat Print & Cut Valentine's Day Banner Old wooden box Love Print and Cut Fabric Labels Be Mine Banner Love is all you need - Print & Cut Valentine Journal Cards Free Printable: Snickers Valentine Tag Labor & Delivery Nurse Thank You Bags Valentine Robot Shirt with Print and Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl Print and Cut Fish Valentines 3D Print and Cut Magnets (And Tons More Silhouette Print and Cut Ideas) Baby Month Stickers with a FREE cut file Super Easy Print and Cut Journal Card Valentines Simple Silhouette Valentine Card Valentine Hugs and Kisses Canning Jar Craft Frozen Inspired Tattoos Be My Valentine Mini Album Print and Cut Valentine Pudding Cup Wrappers - February Silhouette Challenge Print & Cut Birthday Invitations

1. Clever Someday // 2. TitiCrafty // 3. // 4. My Paper Craze // 5. Simply Kelly Designs // 6. Little Blue’s Room // 7. Mama Sonshine // 8. Small Stuff Counts // 9. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 10. GiveMeAPaintbrush // 11. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 12. Barb’s Life // 13. GetSilvered // 14. Lil’ Mrs. Tori // 15. Minted Strawberry // 16. unOriginal Mom // 17. Where The Smiles Have Been // 18. Persia Lou // 19. Silhouette School // 20. From Whine to Whine // 21. DailyDwelling // 22. Creative Ramblings // 23. Paper Garden Projects // 24. It Happens in a Blink // 25. Perfectly Fabulous // 26. Adventures in All Things Food // 27. Create & Babble

February 9, 2015 at 10:00 am 17 comments

Part 8 … Tracing Without Tears

Part 8 of the Tracing Without Tears series puts the point editing info from Part 7 into use to clean up a broken line trace, and to manually trace an image that can’t be autotraced. Thanks so much for your incredible support of this series!

And in case you missed Part 1 (intro), you can find it here,Part 2 (threshold) is here, Part 3 (line art) is here , Part 4 (print and cut) is here, Part 5 (filter tech) is here, Part 6 (photos) is here and Part 7 (point editing) is here.

And there’s a playlist here.

May 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm 17 comments

Part 7 … Tracing Without Tears really Point Editing

Part 7 of the Tracing Without Tears series is not really about tracing at all. It’s about point editing, or node editing, which is prerequisite information for cleaning up traced images and so much more. I needed to lay this groundwork so I could answer your questions in the next video. So thanks for bearing with me as we veer off course a bit. Perhaps you’ll find this handy for more than just tracing.

And in case you missed Part 1 (intro), you can find it here, Part 2 (threshold) is here, Part 3 (line art) is here , Part 4 (print and cut) is here, Part 5 (filter tech) is here, and Part 6 (photos) is here.

And there’s a playlist here.

April 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm 12 comments

Part 6 … Tracing Without Tears

For those of you who have been clamoring for a tutorial on tracing photos, I’m happy to announce the release of Tracing without Tears Part 6. I’ve learned so much along the way, and have become impressed at how much you really can do with just the limited capabilities in Silhouette Studio. I thought this would be the end of the series, but I’ve got a few extra tips and tricks that didn’t fit in the other videos so I guess there will be at least one more after this. Thanks again for all your kind comments and encouragement.

And in case you missed Part 1 (intro), you can find it here,Part 2 (threshold) is here, Part 3 (line art) is here , Part 4 (print and cut) is here, and Part 5 (filter tech) is here.

And there’s a playlist here.

March 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm 19 comments

Part 5 … Tracing Without Tears

Part 5 of the Tracing Without Tears series is done, and it answers all of you who’ve been wanting an explanation about the high pass, low pass and scaling controls. It’s a little technical and not that practical, but  is needed background before we move into more advanced tracing projects.

And in case you missed Part 1, you can find it here,Part 2 is here, Part 3 is here and Part 4 is here.

And there’s a playlist here.

March 15, 2013 at 8:35 pm 13 comments

Part 4 … Tracing Without Tears

Today I’m posting Part 4 of the Tracing Without Tears series, which focuses on tracing for print and cut. I go through a half dozen representative examples including a cut file that has already been traced, a decoupage sheet, and several styles of clip art. I also unearth the mystery of the trace and detach button and show one use for the low pass filter. Thanks again for your enthusiastic response to this video series. Keep leaving your comments and keep spreading the word while I keep the videos coming!

And in case you missed Part 1, you can find it here ,Part 2 is here and Part 3 is here.

And there’s a playlist here.

March 2, 2013 at 10:28 am 23 comments

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