So. . . Exciting news for anyone who makes artwork in illustrator and cuts with Silhouette. Silhouette has a plug-in for that. Now you can cut directly from Illustrator or Corel Draw using Silhouette Connect!
It’s quite convenient. I spent a total of 20 minutes designing, cutting and ironing Penelope’s little heart decal last week. It’s a much faster process! Also, the software detects the size of your artwork and sends everything to the cut program in-tact. No resizing necessary.
There are a couple of bugs that need to be fixed with the software: no where on the cut settings does it tell me at what position I should adjust the knife (I end up opening the other silhouette application just to get that information or I guess) and there have been a couple of connectivity issues where I have to turn off and on my machine and disconnect and reconnect the USB in order for the software to detect the machine. Annoying? Sometimes. Dealbreaker? No way.
This month’s promotion, we’ve been asked to highlight the print and cut feature. I don’t like it, to be quite honest. I wasted several hours trying to get my printer and silhouette to play nicely. And all I got out of it was 1 alright fake return address label out of it. Here’s the breakdown of my personal experience (please pipe up if you’ve had a great experience with the print & cut feature! I really hate to dwell on the negative around here):
- 1st sheet: Didn’t cut all the way through, even though settings were for “printable foil”- I also discovered that the Silhouette doesn’t cut anything outside the registration marks (good to know)
- 2nd sheet: I accidentally printed the cut guides (user error)
- 3rd sheet: Silhouette didn’t line up at all with printing. Even with adjusted cut settings, still didn’t cut through gold foil paper
- 4th sheet: Registration marks weren’t printed all the way by my printer, so cutter didn’t detect cuts properly
- 5th sheet: Registration marks and printing came out perfect on kraft sticker paper. Cutting started off right, but then got slightly off as the cutter continued down the page.
My studio has been a disaster zone full of half-completed projects, so there may have been some serious yelling and throwing of paper and craft supplies at that point. The mechanics of the feature were easy enough to figure out without the user manual (although it can help with troubleshooting), but I couldn’t trust the precision of either printer or cutter to get anything spot on. I want pixel perfection!
Despite all that negativity, I still love my Silhouette cutter. Why? Because I don’t tend to use that feature in my projects. I’m sure I could think up something more clever than return address labels if I ever get out of my creative slump, but knowing how frustrating this whole process has been to get one half-decent label will likely squash anything clever that comes along. I may keep trying to get that perfect recipe of machine harmony to try and get this feature to work together. Until then, I’m going to continue doing my happy dance that I can cut directly from Illustrator for everything else.