Are you looking for cutting and drawing machine? Has the Silhouette Cameo done an upgrade to its popular Silhouette Cameo 2? In our Silhouette Cameo 3 review, we shall give you definite and objective answers to these and more questions so you can make an informed purchase.
We shall also give you a comparison between the Cameo 3 and other similar products in the market, analyze its benefits and downsides, and our honest conclusion as to whether you should buy one.
The Silhouette Cameo is known for its high standard digital cutting machines. One of its best models, the Cameo is very popular but are its features also synonymous in the Cameo 3? The answer is both yes and no. The new model has received some very significant advanced design and performance features. The Cameo 3 power levels make it suitable to work on vinyl materials and other types of paper.
Some of the upgrades installed in the Cameo 3 includes an improved Silhouette Studio software that has a customization feature, touchscreen interface, Bluetooth connectivity, and dual carriage.
The Silhouette Cameo Studio Designer comes in several editions. The Basic Edition is free but with limited features. However, if you prefer the advanced versions, you need a software upgrade. The Designer Edition has all the features of the Basic Edition with additionals like access to SVG files, knife and eraser features, nesting feature, sketch conversion, and basic rhinestone conversion tools.
The premium edition, which is the Business Edition offers all the features in the previous versions plus extra features such as tiling, multi-cutter support, and advanced nesting feature.
If you want to export designs you have created in your PC’s Adobe Illustrator without having to convert them to compatible formats; you can get the Silhouette Connect although at an extra fee.
The features of the Silhouette Cameo 3 include:
- Bluetooth connectivity
- LCD touch screen
- PixScan compatibility
- Matless cutting feature
- Mac computer compatibility
- Dual carriage
- Cross cutter
- Spare blades storage unit
- Cutting width: 12 inches
- Cutting clearance: 2mm
Compared to the Cameo 2, Cameo 3 has a very dependable and convenient carriage feature. Its dual carriage function enables users to use multiple colors for drawing simultaneously. When working with the Cameo 2, the machine would have to stop before interchanging the pens.
With advanced technology, it would be considered ignorant to have to cut materials with defined shapes by hand. The cutting feature of the Cameo 3 enables you to get the desired shape and number of cuts for your gift card, labels, and stickers.
You can also customize your designs using the Silhouette software, print them out using a separate printer and then feed the printed material into the Cameo for cutting. The device also has an automatic feature that identifies the registration marks collected during the design and printing step and cuts them out from the final product.
The PixScan technology, which is ideal for stamp, fabric, and hand-drawn designs, enables you to place the image on the mat with the registration marks. You then proceed to take a clear shot of the picture with your phone and upload it on the Cameo system for cutting. However, using the mat for regular cutting may reduce its lifespan.
Another feature in the Cameo 3 that has simplified the cutting process is the Autoblade. When dealing with different material sizes, it offers an automatic adjustment as per the paper depth. This automation eliminates the need to remove the blade and adjust it to the required extent. You are also assured of concise edges on the cuts because the Autoblade readjusts itself before working on a new material depth.
This readjustment happens when the Autoblade taps at the corner of the machine. To get absolute cutting depths, make sure the Autoblade gets into the right lock position when fixing it into the carriage.
The depth is not the only changeable feature of the Autoblade, but a variety of blades can also replace the Autoblade itself. These include a Standard Blade, Premium Blade and Fabric Blade where all have a blade length of 0.1mm to 1mm. If you are working on larger materials, you can use Deep Cut Blade which has a maximum blade length of 2mm.
The Standard Blade is useful for most jobs and has a ratchet adjustment. The Fabric Blade is similar to the Standard Blade but is only ideal for fabrics. This makes them last longer. The Premium Blade can, however, last much longer while still performing on a wide selection of materials.
The dated button has also been replaced with a touchscreen pad. Some of its features include mat loading and unloading, displaying the user’s manual on-screen and audio enabled navigation feature.
The Silhouette guys also considered that it would be such a mess to have your tools lying around or create an inconvenience of having to get a separate storage container, so they made built-in storage compartments. The left side of the machine houses the blade compartment while a sketch pen slot is placed at the die cutters rear side.
There are also two extra compartments for keeping your cross cutters and spatulas located beneath the machine.
Another distinctive feature of the Cameo 3 is the Roll Feeder. This attachment is built to work on materials that go up to 10m long. It makes the machine ideal for cutting out long banners. It works by holding the material while feeding it into the cutter in subsequent motions. This protects the content from cluttering.
However, you may have to part with some extra cash if you need the Roll Feeder.
The fact that you can create unique designs with Cameo’s Studio software also makes this a sellable feature of this popular brand. The design and graphical work are often easier for graphic designers, but beginners may need to watch some tutorials before designing.
Apart from customizing your designs, this software also enables you to import art designs from other devices via Bluetooth. You can then prompt the machine to cut out the design as per its outline. If you are looking for newer sketches, you can wait for the weekly free designs or spend a few bucks on others on sale at the Silhouette Design Store.
These purchased designs can be stored on your online account and retrieved whenever needed, quickly. If you prefer a subscription to the Silhouette designs, you can enroll in a subscription plan that gives you unlimited access to its designs.
The Cameo 3 comes with a one-year limited warranty for the machines domestic use only. This policy covers the device and connecting cables.
How the Silhouette Cameo 3 Compares to Similar Products in the Market
|Silhouette Cameo 3|
|Cricut Mini Cutting Machine|
Let’s now see how the Cameo 3 compares to other digital cutting machines in our Silhouette Cameo 3 review.
With an insignificant difference in the pricing, the Cricut Mini Cutting Machine comes in much compact and lighter design. Compared to the Cameo 3, it requires an internet connection to get files from your computer.
The Sizzix eclips2 has a higher cutting force of 600g. Its accuracy levels are top-notch as well as the cutting depths. However, the machine is quite heavy and only comes with a three-month warranty period.
Pros and Cons of the Silhouette Cameo 3
We have seen some of the notable features that make this Silhouette model different from the Cameo 2. These new features add to the benefits of using Silhouette products, but it still has a couple of drawbacks.
Even though the Cameo 3 comes with a double-cut feature that helps to cut thicker materials, its 210-gram cutting force is not suitable for thin metallic materials or wood. The best choice of materials for this energy level are regular paper, vinyl, craft foam, tissue paper, and fabric.
Downloading large SVG files can be detrimental to your machine. It may slow down your software, but this is also true for advanced drawing and cutting machines.
In conclusion to our Silhouette Cameo 3 review, it would be misleading to state that it is the best craft machine for an array of projects. However, it would be right to say that this an ideal tool for working on thinner and shorter materials. If you are working on lengthy samples, you may be required to purchase a Roll Feeder.
Its wireless connectivity and upgraded software for design customization within its price range make it a good purchase.
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