Rising Star: Reviewing the Cameo 3
When shopping for your next die-cutting machine, you might be in the market for a dark horse candidate. Are you looking for something that a professional would use as a secret weapon, or one that flies in the face of conventional name brands?
The Cameo 3 by Silhouette isn’t the most popular name when you ask anyone who uses a die-cutter machine on a regular basis. Bigger brands are out there, but the performance of the Cameo 3 will convince you that this is something to remember.
PC and Mac
22.5 X 8.5 X 6 in.
What Makes the Cameo 3 Stand Out?
It takes a special kind of die-cutting machine to carve out its own space among the competition. With the Cameo 3 you’re getting a great balance between professional and user-friendly. One of the biggest perks right out of the gate is the ability for you to create custom designs. It won’t have all of the advantages you get with larger and more expensive commercial models, but you’ll still come away impressed by the options in this machine.
Simple usability is the other feature you’ll appreciate when you get started with this die-cutting machine. Even if you’ve never worked with die-cutting before, investing in the Silhouette machine is a fantastic choice.
You’ll get an LCD touch screen, which makes this easy to work with if you’ve used pretty much any mobile device ever. Right on the fly, you can switch between color settings, languages, and any help features you might need before you get started.
Do you have an idea captured on your phone that you want to turn into a project? You’ll love the compatibility of the Cameo 3 with your mobile device, letting you turn a picture into your next die-cutting creation.
You won’t have to worry about using cartridges with the machine, which lets you come up with an idea completely from scratch. If you have never used anything resembling a die-cutting machine before, the blank slate might be your introduction to a brand-new world of art.
Using the Silhouette model, you can simply print and cut everything you need. If you already have an image to work with, all that’s required on your end if putting your drawings in with the included software. If you don’t plan to use a lot of pre-created images, the Cameo 3 comes with a ton of stock designs that you can manipulate to your liking.
What Are Some Details about the Features of the Cameo 3?
- Cuts a variety of material including vinyl, paper, cardstock, fabric, and other materials up to 12...
- Use the powerful Silhouette Studio design software to create your projects. Features Bluetooth...
- Features a dual-carriage for multi-tool use and a higher 2 mm clearance to cut thicker materials. Is...
How useful are all of the included perks of the Cameo 3? You’ll find something to love about all of the extensions and design choices inside the Silhouette’s premiere die-cutting machine.
Even in an introductory-friendly machine like this one, having a dual-cartridge setup is a huge benefit. You’ll have to open the cutting settings inside the software to access this feature. When you have activated it, you’ll be able to wield two tools simultaneously, instantly making you feel like a professional.
This will let you skip the process of switching tools and eating up the precious time you need to devote to the rest of your project. You’ll be able to spend more time crafting and communicating with potential clients if you’re doing this for business.
Thanks to both cartridges, you can cut several varieties of material with the different settings included. For different blade settings, this is fantastic, especially if you anticipate needing extra time for multiple stages of one project.
When you get into the settings, you can choose between Standard Mode and Advanced Mode. Standard will limit you since the left tool holder always claims the first priority with this machine. Should you need to work faster and more quickly, the only thing you’ll need to do is have Advanced Mode activated. From there, the machine will be able to do everything you could possibly want.
Are you interested in ink that uses several different colors at once? Look into the included stippling feature inside this die-cutting machine. The Cameo 3 is exactly what you need if you plan on diving into the world of stippling.
To use stippling, you can open the feature inside the settings. On the top right of the screen, you can find the feature you need. When you tap Stipple Fill, you can open a wide array of stippling options. You can choose from scallop, wave to chevron, zigzag, stripe, and metal plate.
Even with all of these at your disposal, you might not get through everything you can do with the stippling function. Thanks to the customization options in the Advanced Features, you’ll never be out of ideas with this machine. Keep in mind that the Cameo 3 is the only one in Silhouette’s lineup that includes this feature, so you won’t find it in earlier products.
The included PixScan software lets you use a cutting mat with some templates you can use for creating images. It’s a great choice for those who are just starting out in crafting and need some pointers on where to begin. If you have already worked with print and cut (more on that below), it’s very similar, but you won’t be doing the printing portion on your own.
To take full advantage of PixScan, you need the latest version of Silhouette Studio software. Currently, version 4 is the latest release. You’ll find the PixScan option in the top-right corner of the window. Once you import the file, you’ll go through a few easy steps given by the software. As soon as you are done, the image will replace what you already see on the window.
That’s all there is to it – you’re ready to cut and/or trace the image however you wish.
Print and Cut
This has been an established pattern (no pun intended) with earlier models of the Cameo. Silhouette has made it incredibly easy to capture images and videos through the included Studio software. You will need to remember that a tiny registration mark will be included in one of the far corners. This is automatically placed to prevent copyright theft and protect you as the author/creator.
When you print out the material, it will directly transfer from the Cameo. The machine will decode all of the included registration marks and understands that it can eliminate any unnecessary parts of the image, including the registration. You won’t need to make any extra effort to cut out the extra part of the image.
Thanks to this feature, using the Cameo 3 is a breeze when it comes time to start crafting your images. You should definitely make use of this feature, but not before making sure your sizing is correct. You don’t want to end up cutting off more than you wanted and find a cropped image as your end product.
What Advantages Do the Cameo 3’s Blades Contain?
In the Cameo 3, you’ll find three different types of blades that you can work with.
Most of the time, you’ll find this referred to as a black ratchet blade. Any time you plan on splicing, this is the kind of blade you’re looking for. You’ll tinker the blade’s length on a scale of 1 to 10 for different units, with 10 being the deepest and 1 the shallowest. With the exception of fabrics, you can use standard blades for just about anything, including vinyl or stencil.
Deep Cut Blade
Using the deep cut blade, you’ll find this to be two times as powerful as the standard version. You can adjust the settings on this one all the way to 20 for a deep cut. You can manually adjust this one, too, which means you won’t have to worry about using a ratchet. You also won’t find a fin, so you can lock the blade into the machine however you want.
This blade is exactly what it sounds like. Unlike the other two that come with the Cameo 3, you won’t have to do anything to adjust the process. Simply select your material type, and how you want the software to work with the auto blade. Once you click Send to Silhouette, the auto blade will acclimate to the settings needed for the provided material.
Using the auto blade is amazing when you don’t feel like doing any blind attempts at settings. If you’re using a material you haven’t worked with before, the auto blade can take care of any details you might not have considered.
How Does the Cameo 3 Perform During Crafting?
With all of the included features discussed in the Cameo 3, it’s no wonder it ranks as an incredibly diverse machine. You may find, however, that the cutting power is a little lacking. Despite having three different blades to choose from, it underperforms when using leather and other resistant crafting materials.
Even though not everyone needs an industrial-strength die-cutter, it would be nice to know that the Cameo model is capable of giving amateurs the same tools as the pros. This machine gives you just that, but at the cost of some brute force. As long as you’re working with a material that doesn’t put up any fight against the blades, you’re in good hands.
For beginners, you’ll find no issue with the Cameo and all of its included help. Designing some of your first projects with this machine is a breeze. If you are someone who has worked on die-cutters in the past, you will recognize what you have learned before.
Are There Any Problems with the Cameo 3?
The one thing that should be pointed out about the Cameo is its lack of portability. You won’t find any handle to carry it, which means you’ll need to load it into a box or bag if you plan on taking it somewhere.
The cutting ability of the machine is no big issue, but if you’re looking at other methods of crafting, you may want to consider other machines. Piercing, embossing, or engraving are not this die-cutter’s strong suits. If you intend to make this your go-to machine, you need to remember that it isn’t the most versatile out there.
Where Can I Purchase the Cameo 3?
Fortunately, the Silhouette Cameo 3 is widely available at all major craft stores. You can find it at any of your local stores, as well as big-box retailers like Michael’s. Because it isn’t the most popular machine out there, you shouldn’t have any problem finding it in stock.
If you plan to purchase online, Amazon stocks them, either on their own or through verified third-party vendors. Check on the amount of shipping, as it could add up if you purchase a 12-pound die-cutting machine and need to pay to have it shipped.
Final Thoughts on the Cameo 3
You’re not going to hear “Cameo 3” as the first response to “Which die-cutting machine should I buy?” if you ask someone who has been working with these machines for a while. It doesn’t have the rawest power, and your options for crafting are limited by the weak penetrating power of the blades.
That said, the extensive features for beginners make this a big recommendation for newcomers to crafting. With an average price of $200, it won’t set you back like some of the higher-end machines also available.
If you are just using this for your personal time and don’t plan on expanding your business, Silhouette’s latest Cameo is a good choice.
That said, the extensive features for beginners make this a big recommendation for newcomers to crafting. With an average price of $200, it won’t set you back like some of the higher-end machines also available. If you are just using this for your personal time and don’t plan on expanding your business, Silhouette’s latest Cameo is a good choice.
Before you become a professional and go on to better things, this newest Cameo is a great launching point. You’ll feel like an expert with all of the tutorials and tips included, and this will help you become an actual professional once you practice enough. The only thing that could make this better is something to make it a bit more portable, but that doesn’t prevent it from being a perfect starting point.
Keywords: Cameo 3