Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Silhouette SD Review (part 2): Print-and-Cut


The one thing that I noticed when I was researching the Silhouette SD was the large number of reviews that mentioned how well it can do Print-and-Cut through the Silhouette Studio software. I was intrigued. Amongst the three cutters that I bought to review, the Silhouette SD is the cheapest ($189 at Overstock.com, and $199 on Amazon.com) but it also has the most positive reviews for Print-and-Cut. That was a major factor that made me decide to buy this cutter.

Even before the machine was delivered, I knew that the first thing that I will have to cut it is a print-and-cut piece. Once taken out of the box, I hooked up all the necessary cables, popped in the Silhouette Studio CD into the CD drive of my laptop and followed the instructions to install the program and register the machine.

That part was easy.

As soon as the program launched and the virtual mat appeared before me, I realized that I missed MTC. :-( All the icons looked so unfamiliar! I took a moment to shake that thought off and forged forward.

Silhouette Studio
  
(Note that the machine can only cut to a width of 8", which means that if you need to cut wider widths, this machine might not be for you.)


I clicked on a few buttons to figure out what they were for and most of the tools were pretty easy to figure out. There are a few tools that I was particularly excited about including a Line tool which I can use to cut a line which at this time, MTC is still unable to do (it cuts a skinny rectangle instead of a line).

After a few minutes of mindless clicking, I headed to youtube and found this video tutorial on print-and-cut. It was very helpful but I found that it had left out some useful tips which would have helped a newbie like me even more.

So here is my video tutorial for the new Silhouette Studio user. Let me show you how I did my print-and-cut with the Silhouette SD:



The doll image that I used is from Lettering Delights' Let's Play graphic set. I printed it on Georgia-Pacific white cardstock (110lb, 150 sheets, available at Walmart for $6.xx) and cut at 3.5" using the YELLOW blade cap. I couldn't have been more impressed with how precised the cut was.




Next, I cut a second doll a half-inch shorter at 3" tall.



I decided to go one step further, I got the machine to cut the inside smaller pieces for layering.


Look at the eyes! They are miniscule! And ROUND! Like circles are supposed to be. ;)


Print and cut with the Silhouette Studio was so straightforward I almost cried at the simplicity of it. I did not spend $500 dollars for a machine that takes up a lot of room and limits what I print to what is available on cartridges. I did not have to do a trial and error placement of paper and no funky adjustments of anything or whatsoever.. This was a FIRST cut on my FIRST try. Print-and Cut with this machine was so easy I felt ridiculous. 

Here is the finished card that I made by printing and cutting through the Silhouette Studio software. The graphics are from Lettering Delights' Let's Play graphic set, the background papers are from the Let's Play Background Paper Pack, and the font used is SNF Playground.

This may only be the first card that I've made with this cutter but I already know that this one's a keeper. I love the compact size and the light-weight. I love how little room it takes compared to the Cricut Expression. I love that there are very few buttons and no cartridges or overlays and most of all I love how it prints and cut. Unless the Gazelle, or the Lynx can do a better print-and-cut job, at this point I'm pretty sure this baby is staying.

(Note that the machine can only cut to a width of 8", which means that if you need to cut wider widths, this machine might not be for you.)

I am still testing the cuts made by this machine and tomorrow I will show you some non-print-and-cut cutouts made by the Silhouette SD.




22 comments :

  1. Thanks Jin, I am also looking for another cutter at this time.....look forward to hearing about the other machines too.

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  2. WOW, very impressed with the print n cut of this machine!

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  3. Great tutorial. It was impressive. Does it work with Mac? Are you saying that you don't use SCAL or MTC anymore? Looks like a top winner to me.

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  4. Jin, this is awesome i was leaning towards the silhoutte machine (but i will wait till i see the rest of your reviews) i am a bit confused though, how do you use MTC with this machine?

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  5. Jin,
    I purchased this machine also when I was looking for something besides that other unnamed machine. I was also forunate enough to be able to purchase a 13" BC Cougar.
    This small machine is a powerhouse for PNC and if it isn't used for anything else, it is well work the money just for PNC.
    Thank you for all you do to keep your readers aware of papercrafting questions, issues, and concerns. I know that I reallly appreciate all the information, tips, and examples that you so generously share with all of us.
    It is so easy for me to say, "Your Blog, Is My Favorite Blog." I can't wait each day to see what you are going to share with us.

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  6. I am leaning toward purchasing this and your review is very helpful!

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  7. I'm still trying to decide on what new machine I'm going to get...I want a wider format machine, but am so impressed with this one so far!
    Does the Silhouette Studio import SVGs? Is that how you brought in the LD graphics? I'm so excited about the options with other machines! So glad I'm not tied to the other machine anymore!

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  8. I've just noticed you've crossed out 'Cricut' - it amused me!

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  9. Awesome, thanks for this. I have been flirting with the idea of adding this machine to my scrapbook family. You are definitely making me want it even more.

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  10. Jin thank you for these reviews. The PNC today was amazing. Your card is adorable!!!

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  11. Jin, I am loving these videos and tutorials. So far I am loving this machine (except for it not cutting 12x12) I only make cards, so I am sure I can live with that. :) I also use the Walmart cardstock. What a great deal that is. I look forward to tomorrows video.

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  12. I like that the software is compatible with Mac. How is the mat that comes with it? Is it thicker or thinner than the cricut mat? I'm impressed with that print and cut. That's worth the $200 right there if it does it that well. I don't care about the 8" limitation because I have a 24" machine, but it's nice to have something portable and easy when you want to do something quick... I was never really clear, does it work with MTC?

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  13. Oh, crap. I was doing just fine, telling myself I don't need (actually don't have the money for) a new cutter. I almost had myself convinced. Thanks, Jin! LOL. Seriously, though, this is amazing! I am stunned.

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  14. Wow, Jin! You're really dedicated to this experiment, aren't you? You're awesome for doing this for all the folks out there addicted to MTC and SCAL. I have owned the Silhouette SD for almost a year now and have yet to sue it to print-and-cut! I will definitely be trying that now that I have seen how easy it is. I do love my machine and the simplicity of its use and I also love that I can purchase single designs rather than having to buy an entire cartridge of images or font that I will only use a portion of. I still love my Expression too but it has so many limitations that the other machines like the Silhouette don't have.

    Now, the real reason for my visit today. I have selected you to receive the Versatile Blogger Award. You can pick up your award on my blog whenever it's convenient for you. I'm looking forward to reading your reviews of the other two machines and I really appreciate the information on the SD. I actually learned something new today! Congratulations and happy crafting!

    Anne (anniebeescraftroom.blogspot.com)

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  15. Ooops! That was supposed to say USE not sue! LOL!

    Anne

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  16. Super cute card Jin! The Silhouette looks so simple-I'm like Kim V. - getting tempted LOL!

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  17. Jin, I use the print and cut feature of my Silhouette all of the time and love it! If you can, please tell how you separated out the pieces of the graphic to print out the layers - I'm not sure how to do that. With that versatility, I can just use the graphic sets rather than the SVG's right?

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  18. That PNC is just amazing! I do believe with all the frustration I've had using the other machine this one would be worth it for that feature alone. Thanks so much for sharing this as I am looking around for something new even though I can't buy one yet. The only drawback I see to this one is the size limitation. Can't wait to see your reviews on the other machines!

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  19. Are you not using MTC with this? I'm confused.

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  20. I am so glad I just found your blog! I just got a new Silhouette and I love it so far. It seems like every time I open the software or watch a tutorial I find more things you can do with it! Your tutorial video is great.. thanks so much for sharing!!

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  21. You are so amazingly talented and you're kinda of like my crafting drug pusher, I never thought I would want the print and cut feature but NOW I do!

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  22. Thank you so much. I just bought the silhouette cameo and was trying to figure out how to trace a jpeg to get an outline rather than a box around my graphic for my cupcake toppers. Your tutorials and talent are amazing. Thank you so very much.

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