Sunday, April 7, 2013

Silhouette Cameo Won't Cut Mylar

So I spent a good part of tonight combing through the Silhouette Cameo user manual. I think I can now pretty much say it won't cut mylar stencils, but the information you need to know this is not available until you actually buy the machine. So now I feel like it's my job to make the information available for other folks considering this unit.

The user manual says, ". . . the Silhouette can cut [with] up to 230 grams force." (This manual is available with the software, so you don't have access to it until you buy the unit. I even went to the Silhouette website and searched around for different search terms to find it; I failed.)

I dug around for a while tonight for information about the force needed to cut the different thicknesses of mylar.

One material recommended for stencils is a paper-backed mylar so you can feed in the plastic without the cutting mat. There is a seller selling the stuff on eBay. Its description says, "Clear-Cut 5B™ is a 5 mil clear Mylar® polyester stencil material on a heavy kraft backing with BR-3 adhesive. . . Requires a minimal 350 grams of down force."

So, it is not surprising that my attempts only etched the mylar.

So, there you have it, the Cameo will not cut reusable stencil mylar (5 to 7 mil or thicker). It would have been great to know this before I bought it, but at least now I can provide a service and help others avoid the wasted money if what you want to do is cut reusable mylar stencils at a reasonable cost.

I guess I need to explore some of the other thinner quilting plastic options suggested. And I should still be able to use it to cut fabric. But I am now very disappointed with this purchase.

30 comments:

  1. That sounds disappointing and frustrating. Especially after being so excited about it. Good luck with the thinner quilting plastic.

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    1. I use the Cameo to cut my 7mil Mylar. Here are the setting that I use
      Blade "3"
      Thickness "33"
      Speed "1"
      Double Cut "No"

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    2. I have tried your settings and sorry to say they do not work.
      Thanks
      Debbie

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  2. So sorry for all that effort and disappointment.

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  3. I looked up the difference between mylar and vinyl (I was curious) and I found this by accident

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dt15VbKx9w

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  4. What a bummer! I'd be so disappointed.

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  5. How frustrating. I can imagine the hope you had invested in this machine, especially when I consider how finicking it is to cut stencils with an X-Acto knife. How do you plan to tackle the stencil work going forward? And is there any chance you can return the machine and get your money back?

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    1. I actually looked into returning it, but I bought it from Amazon. Because it has been used, they will only give me 50% (at best) and charge me for return postage. Hardly worth it. I will get some use out of it, just not enough to justify the high cost.

      And there is always doing stencils the old fashioned way, with heavy waxed cardstock, I suppose.

      And I will still explore thin mylar, like 3-mil. Even though they won't be durable stencils, with how easy they are to cut, I can make several for each project. And the thin mylar should be pretty inexpensive.

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  6. If you can cut fabric with it, you could use it to cut applique bits to make matching pillows and quilts. :)

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    Replies
    1. True, I thought of that. I tested fabric yesterday. I'll post about it once I get the post written.

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  7. Can't you double cut the mylar? Just set the machine to multiple cuts?

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    1. I did double cut. Every attempt. And it couldn't get through the material. It just doesn't apply enough pressure to break through mylar.

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    2. That sucks so bad. I'm sorry it's not doing what you want. They are great machines for what they're designed for. YOu might look at a Black Cat Cougar. They're expensive, but they exert 900g of force. I think they run about $700. YOu likely can sell your Silhouette for no loss since you barely used it. People are always looking for them.

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  8. I want to buy a plotter that cuts mylar also. Anyone have a idea of which affordable plotter to buy that will defiantly cut mylar. I have been ordering my stencils from a lady for years and my last order I sent her and paid for on February 5th and it is now 3 months later and I still have not got my order…. So any ideas out there on a plotter that will cut mylar for sure that I can afford. I also need it to cut endless length.

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    1. I did look into cutters that would cut mylar though I haven't yet bought one. There are quite a few options sold at the U.S. Cutter website. They have many relatively affordable options that exert enough pressure to cut mylar. Though I don't have any information about how long they'd hold up.

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  9. How about the mylar without any sticky backing? Like this: http://www.stencilease.com/db/display.asp?input=1989 I'm looking for a good way to cut my own stencils for face painting, so won't use the adhesive kind. Thanks, Jan

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    Replies
    1. This is actually the mylar I've been using. You can see how it worked.

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  10. I do not know what you are using the stencil for (I assume quilting?!) but you should check out a product called Dura-Lar by Grafix. It comes in different weights and I have successfully cut several stencils that are .005. I've seen several YouTube videos where they cut the same product at the .007 thickness. Dura-Lar is a film that "combines the best features of acetate and mylar". It might be a solution for you.

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  11. Have you tried cutting with thinner mylar?

    I have the same cutter and i cut 0.125 micron stencil mylar a4 sheets, cuts really easily

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  12. I cut through those transparency sheets that they used with the projectors when I was in elementary school. I have a Sizzix Eclips and it cuts through them just fine. They are quite thin, but I was able to get my stencil done at least. I am sure if the Eclips can cut it, then the Silhouette can!

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  13. Um, this blogger found a way to cut stencils on her Silhouette. http://www.allthingsthrifty.com/2012/08/how-to-make-stencil-without-exacto.html

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  14. You might have better luck with a product called Lexan. My friends cut stencils on a Roland GX24 plotter with it all the time. I don't know how your unit compares. Good luck!

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  15. Hi, I wished I had read this before I purchased my Silhouette Cameo 2. not on any settings even when adjusting does it cut Mylar, nor does it do much of a clean cut on fabric. I have cut the same design over 5 times on the same sheet, without unloading and still it does not cut.
    This is an expensive machine & right now after attempting to cut stencils, for which I purchased this machine for, I am ready to chuck it in the bin!!
    I have searched YouTube & any tutorials I can find & no ones advise has been any good.
    Totally let down!!
    Debbie

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    1. Umm you do know that silhouette now sells their own stencil paper right?

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  16. Yes, they do sell their out stencil paper. But it isn't cheap. Also, you are restricted in size. I was hoping to be able to cut Mylar stencils from a roll. Still trying to see if this is possible. Haven't given up yet....

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  17. I am not sure if this will help you out, but tyvek works great in the machine to make reusable stencils, just not sure if that is to thin for your needs.

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  18. I have cut stencils, 7 mil with my Silhouette Cameo. It takes a few cuts but it works.

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    1. Hi Theresa...what setting are you using to cut your mylar? I've tried with no success :(

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  19. I was kind of excited when I got the Silhouette Cameo to cut my mylar (10 mil) until something went wonky and it started to cut my matt. It cut clean through the mylar the first time, but now I can't replicate it. The first cut had to be stopped, so I didn't get the full cut I was going for...Oh well...

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  20. I just found this chat.Am also strugling a lot with 190milar sheet on cameo 2
    Is heart breaking i bought it for stencils but is very disapointing will just no go through it i gave up on it looking to learn how to use a lasor cutter

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