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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Video Tutorial: How to Print-and-Cut with Make-the-Cut and the Silhouette SD

It's here! So many of you have asked for a Print-and-Cut tutorial and I have wanted to do one since when the beta for the MTC-Silhouette Plug-in was released. I decided to wait until the final version of Make-the-Cut v3.3.2 was released before proceeding to publish one just so as to avoid confusing everyone. The tutorial is finally ready! Thanks so much for all your patience. :-)

In this tutorial I will be using the Silhouette SD and the Lettering Delights' Chicken Fat and Alley Cat GRAPHIC set. This set is one of two Sneak Peeks of the Month and is currently available for purchase at 50% off the retail price and offered to the LD customers during check out.

The concept of print-and-cut is actually very simple:
1. First, trace the image. 
2. Next, import with textures. 
3. Print the colored image out with registration marks. 
4. Cut

And that is exactly what I am going to show you in this tutorial.

With the new MTC v3.3.2 comes 4 ways of tracing an image, including 3 new methods: Alpha-tracing, Palette-tracing, and Color-tracing. Since we are all most familiar with Pixel-tracing, that is what I used for this tutorial.

This is the video tutorial for you. Please scroll down to see the written tutorial.



1. - Click on the Trace button:

2. - Locate your graphics file and select the image.

3. - Using Pixel-trace, adjust the Threshold to 165, reduce the size of the image to 36%, and check the box next to Texturize Path.

4. - Click Apply Changes, and Import.

5. - Click No to finish tracing.

Since the trace also include the layers with the white borders, I had to fix the image after bringing it to the mat. Please read on to see how I did that.

6. - Click on the image to select it. Break the image by using CTRL+B.

7. - Click on the "+" sign to expand the layer view so that all the layers show.

8. - Delete the Trace Shape layers (1), (2), (4), and (5)

9. - At this point, the image should look like this on the virtual mat. Notice that the white border is no longer there. Now I am ready to print.

10. - Click on File, then Print Options, and check the boxes next to "Print Registration Marks" and "Silhouette SD Style". Click OK.

11. - Now click on File, then Print Setup. Make sure that the correct printer is selected and that the orientation of the paper is Landscape. Click OK.

12. - It is always a good habit to do a Print Preview (Click on "File", then "Print Preview"), before printing for a print-and-cut project. If the preview looks good, load the printer with white cardstock and click "Print".

13. - Once the image has been printed, just put it onto the Silhouette cutting mat.

14. - Before loading the mat (and printed cardstock) into the cutter, make sure that the LCD screen reads "Load w/Carrier". If not, just scroll the left/right arrows until it shows that.

15. - Now load the mat into the Silhouette SD.

16. - Back in MTC, click on the blue scissors button to cut.

17. - Select "Print and Cut" and check the boxes next to "Using Carrier Mat" and "Blade Offset". Click "Start."

18. - At this point, the Silhouette SD will start to scan the cardstock for the registration marks and once it has detected all three points, it will start to cut the printed image out.

19. - This is how my cut out look like.

20. - Once the image is cut out, just use it to complete your print-and-cut project. In my case, I made a quick card with the cat.

Print-and-Cut is really simple once you get the hang of it. Just play around with the trace settings, especially with using the new Alpha or Color tracing and find out what works the best for you. Also, you can try tracing the different parts of the image and print-and-cut those parts out so that you can add even more dimensions to your projects.

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  1. So cute Jin! You're really making me want to buy a Sil..... But you told me to wait so I am! But I don't promise to wait forever if you keep posting adorable print and cut cards!!

  2. Haha! I was going to do it yesterday but figured that it was more appropriate to post it after this pnc tutorial. Wait just one more day, my dear. The post you are waiting for is coming. ;)

  3. Haha ok... I shall stalk again tomorrow :) I need to get a Sil for my mom too! She still has a C-that-shall-not-be-named! Yuck.

  4. I want to upgrade to the new version of MTC and need to know where I can find the written instructions on how to use it with my E. I know I saw it somewhere and cannot remember where. Have not conned dear hubby into a new cutter yet. Working on it. Great tutorial. patnbobcuddy at gmail dot com

  5. Great tut Jin!!!! And ain't the new MTC grand. Love my Sil SD and my BC 13" Oh Kitty.

  6. this is getting bookmarked immediately. thank you thank you thank you!!!!

    -rachel w k

  7. Thanks Jin! Your tutorials rock. I appreciate the written ones with pictures because I learn better that way. :)

  8. Hi Jin, Finally a tutorial that I understand! Thanks soooo much! I've looked a while for a way to use my LD graphics. Can't wait to try it out. Best, Myrna

  9. What a cute card & Love your tutorials :) I love how you make them so easy to understand and the step by step pics helps alot thank you :)

  10. Thank you so much! Great instructions and graphics. Video excellent!!!

  11. I have only had my silhouette and MTC for about a week and even I could do a PNC today with your instructions. Made cute little tooth pick/skewer toppers for Muffin Tin Dinners in honor of a birthday boy tonight. LOVE IT.

  12. Great tutorial Jin!! Thanks-I don't have the SD, but I still learned about bringing the image in to MTC so that was very helpful! Cute card too!

  13. Thanks Jin.
    I see the little white line on the cat's tail where it didn't cut exactly. I was having that same problem. I contacted the support team at Silhouette and they suggested I use the Calibrate tool in Silhouette Studio. It made a HUGE difference for me. I don't know if MTC has the same thing or if using it in Studio would have an effect on the line up between MTC and the cutter, probably not. Just thought I would mention it in case it helps you or others as I know it helped me tremendously with my cutter.

  14. Thank you, Jin. Using your tutorial, this is the first time I could get the PNC to work. I'm so thrilled.