Silhouette CAMEO 3
- Cuts a variety of material including vinyl, paper, cardstock, fabric, and other materials up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long.
- Use the powerful Silhouette Studio design software to create your projects. Features Bluetooth® technology for wireless cutting or plugs into your home computer.
- Features a dual-carriage for multi-tool use and a higher 2 mm clearance to cut thicker materials. Is compatible with Print & Cut and PixScan technology.
- Is the only Silhouette compatible with the self-adjusting AutoBlade.
- Includes Silhouette CAMEO cutting machine, Silhouette Studio software, power cable and USB cable, 12-Inch Cutting Mat, AutoBlade cutting blade
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The Silhouette cameo is the ultimate DIY machine. It uses a small blade to cut over 100 materials, including paper, cardstock, vinyl, and fabric up to 12 in. Wide. The cameo has the ability to register and cut printed materials and is pixscan compatible. What does this mean for you? It is our machine that has the largest cutting space and is most versatile in the materials it can cut. The Silhouette cameo 3 has all of the same capabilities as the previous versions along with some added features. This cameo features a dual-carriage so you can use two tools at once, and it features Bluetooth technology (us, Canada, eu only.) To top it all off, the cameo 3 is the only machine compatible with Silhouette?S new autoblade. Sleek new design -same precise cutting - our 1 desktop cutting machine just got even better. Twice as nice - complete two tasks in one pass with its dual carriage. Just mix and match with our full selection of blades and pens. Deeper cuts - 2mm clearance allows for your deepest cuts yet. Cut thicker materials like balsa wood, foam, chipboard, leather and more. Bluetooth - wireless connectivity allows for more space to make your projects. Create wirelessly by pairing your computer, tablet, or smartphone with your cameo. Fewer wires means more room to work. Autoblade - click and create. Automatically. With the autoblade system, you can let your machine set the correct blade depth for your project. Simply select your material type in the software and let the cameo do the rest. Pixscan - capture it. Cut it. Use pixscan technology to capture an image with your smart phone, import the image, and turn it into a cut file. Limitless design options - find or create the perfect design to customize your project. Choose from 100,000 ready-made designs in the Silhouette design store or create your own designs with our free software, Silhouette studio. White.
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Top Customer Reviews
I have the original silhouette cameo and I've had it since 2012 or 2013. I use it quite a bit, and I'm very familiar with the software. Also, I do not read instructions. My cameo 3 came with one, I think, but it didn't get opened. So take all of that into consideration.
1. auto-blade saves a bit of time and, with my brief experience cutting both glitter paper and card stock, the autoblade settings were accurate.
2. Bluetooth is nice for minimizing cords.
3. Built in storage is nice enough. It doesn't add much to the overall size (and this version is quite a bit larger than the cameo and cameo 2), so it's good they were thoughtful about how to utilize the added size.
4. Cord management built into the machine to direct the plug to either side .
5. Touchscreen menu seems fairly responsive and intuitive.
6. New blade holder. They've switched the old clamp/key turny method of holding the blade (or pen) with a slide mechanism that is SO NICE. I did not expect this to be such a great addition, nor did I realize how fussy and inconvenient the old design really was. This feature is lovely and well thought out.
7. Dual carriage. Ok, I haven't put this through its paces quite yet. I tend to do a lot of straight cutting basic card stock, so I don't often switch to pens, fabric blades, deep cut blades, etc. However, this feature is really well designed and intuitive. It's color coded and laid out very clearly in the software, so you have a lot of control over the settings. I'm working on some designs that will use both cutting and sketching, so I think the dual carriage will be a great help when I do find I need it. That said, it's important to keep in mind the sides don't work at the same time - they're attached and move together. So, one side will cut and then, when it's finished the other side will write. You won't be able to save time by running two tasks silmultaneously.
1. Autoblade isn't really all that "auto". I expected to stick material in the mat and go. Nope. You still select the material from the preloaded list in the silhouette software, and the blade just "auto" adjusts to those settings. It saves a bit of time, but not as much as expected and not quite as wonderful as hyped. There's absolutely no sensing or measuring of what's on the mat; you have to select and change the material settings manually.
2. My Bluetooth was a royal PITA to set up, but I think this may be an ongoing Mac issue with a failure to discover Bluetooth devices and not an issue with the cameo specifically. Turning the Bluetooth on on the cameo end was easy. However, there is an update needed to pair the silhouette software with the new cameo 3, but when you "check for updates" through the software itself, it's not an option. You have to go to the website and look for it, which seems like an oversight they can quickly fix. When there's an update available, I expect the software to at least be able to find it. Fortunately, after the initial set up issues, I haven't had any problems.
3. The touchscreen menu has speakers so you hear a click when you touch a button. This would be awesome, except mine didn't even last two hours. The sound is gone. There's a menu option to turn it off and on, but that doesn't fix the problem. I also tried shutting the machine off and on, but that also didn't fix the issue. While sound was nice, its not worth it for me to return because of this issue. However, I question the quality when a simple feature like speakers or sound breaks almost immediately. Hopefully it's a quirk not representative of the overall quality, but I'm wary.
4. Did it get louder? It definitely didn't get quieter. These things are ungodly loud. You won't be watching tv and cutting things at the same time.
So, is it worth buying? I would say yes, absolutely. Silhouette machines are useful and fun without a steep learning curve. They do what they're intended to do and their software is light years behind competitors. Seriously, the silhouette software was THE deciding factor for me when comparing brands. I've used 3 or 4 different softwares and silhouette is my favorite. It works. It's easy to use. It lets you do what you want, when you want. Although, worth noting, it doesn't let you save SVG files - you can open, alter, and cut SVG files with the designer software upgrade, but anything you save is saved as a .studio file. There are work arounds, but just something to be aware of if you plan to share custom designs with people who use different brand machines.
So, is it worth upgrading? Maybe. Once I got everything set up, I enjoyed using it more than the old, original cameo. The features they've added are nice, even when they're maybe not QUITE as nice or as useful as I would've hoped. The autoblade, Bluetooth, dual carriages, touch screen, new holder clamps, etc, are all features that make it faster and more enjoyable to use, but I wouldn't say they're necessarily nice enough or different enough to justify the price tag, unless money is no object or your work or workspace demands it. If you're currently not able to keep your machine out, for example, because it needs to be within a couple feet of your computer, then perhaps the Bluetooth capability alone would be enough to justify the purchase.
In summary, it's a nice machine and pleasant to use, once everything is set up. The new features are very welcome, but not really as revolutionary as they might seem. I would say, though, the cameo 3 is nicer to use than the original cameo. It's a little bit easier and a little bit quicker. If you use the machine often enough, those improvements may be worth the $250 price tag if you're upgrading or contemplating new vs used older version. However, I don't think any of the features are nice enough or big enough game changers that someone should feel they have to upgrade. At its heart, the cameo hasn't changed much since inception. And, lastly, I'm a small bit wary of the quality and longevity of the cameo 3, given the immediate speaker/sound issues. I'm afraid it may be indicative of larger quality control issues.
I'll update if/when my opinions change.
Update: I've been using it for 2 or 3 weeks, and I continue to have random Bluetooth issues. My computer says it's connected, silhoettes own software says its connected, but still sometimes cut jobs sit in limbo, cued but doing nothing. Clearing it and resending it does nothing. Turning off the machine and closing the software sometimes resolves the issue and then it works totally fine. I don't think this is a mac issue as other times it's totally fine, and it always shows as a connected device. It seems to be a problem with communicating with the machine. If you plan to buy this specifically for bluetooth, perhaps consider waiting until these issues are resolved. Or just don't expect it to work every single time.
I unboxed this machine the minute it arrived and quickly got to work following the instructions at the website listed on the decal that was stuck to the machine. Make sure you register your machine by entering the serial number. Once you’ve registered your machine, you get a $25 download credit via email to be used in the Silhouette Design store. This credit expires one month from the date you enter it, so make sure you use it all up. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Those designs are yours to keep. The firmware actually took the full 15 minutes to download. I had issues getting the software update to download from there, so I went to the Silhouette website and just downloaded the latest Silhouette software update . The Bluetooth wasn't released when I initially wrote this review, but a week after that, I was able to use the Blue Tooth. It was a little tricky to pair it, but you go into the settings on your cameo by touching the arrow on the language screen and then turning the Bluetooth on, and then you go to the settings in your laptop to pair it to the Cameo.
I played with this thing until late last night and then 12 hours today just so that I could test everything out and write an accurate review. As far as the function of the machine, it worked flawlessly for me once I figured out the new features with it. I am uploading a video along with this review to show how I used those new features, if you want to check it out. I was really skeptical about the automatic blade. I’ve never had good luck with the preset cut suggestions working on my selected materials in the past, so I expected this to be the same, but I was pleasantly surprised when it worked so perfectly. I tested it on card stock, heat transfer vinyl (HTV), and outdoor vinyl with and without a mat. I didn’t have to change a thing. I just fed my selected media into the machine, and it worked flawlessly. As you can see in my video, I tested the dual carriage feature using the automatic blade in the red tool 1 slot and a silhouette sketch pen in the blue tool 2 slot. It is important to note that the automatic blade will ONLY work in the red tool 1 slot. The new dual carriages (blade holders) lock and unlock by pushing in and pulling out on the mechanism. I much prefer this to twisting like the previous models, because I know people that twisted just a little too hard on them and broke the blade holder. You can use the ratchet blade and sketch pens in either side. The automatic blade adjusts just after you send your project to the silhouette machine to cut, unless you were using that same media on the previous project, like me in my video. In that case, it doesn't have to auto adjust because it is already adjusted to that setting. When it does auto adjust, it moves all the way to the left side and taps several times until it gets to the proper setting for the material you selected, then it begins cutting just like the previous models. This machine may be a little quieter than the previous models, but the noise has never bothered me, so I’m not 100% sure it is quieter.
Vinyl is the only material that can be cut without a mat, as far as I know. When you cut without the mat, you have to unlock the release lever on the right side, then hold the roller head with your fingers in one hand and then the roller body with the fingers on your other hand and twist them in opposite directions to get it to switch it to the unlocked position. You then slide the entire roller over to the left until it slips into the next grooves, and then twist to lock back into position and flip the release lever back up. When you want to use your mat again, just reverse the instructions. These instructions and illustrations are on the inside of the lid, but I’m mentioning because I found it very difficult to twist mine the first few times. It got better the more times I used it. I think it loosened up after a few uses, so don’t get discouraged.
I checked to see if the my Silhouette America Roll Feeder from the previous model would work with this machine and I’m happy to say it did work great. Unfortunately, the Silhouette CAMEO Tweed Rolling Tote for Scrapbooking and the Silhouette Cameo Dust Cover, Teal from the previous Cameo 1 and 2 models won’t work because this machine is larger. I really tried to stuff the new Cameo 3 in the bag, but I just couldn't get it to go through the zippered opening without ripping the bag. All of the mats, pens, and blades from the previous Cameo models can be used with this machine. You can even use your CB09 blade as well. You just have to manually adjust it, just as you did with the previous models. You just won’t select the automatic blade when using something you have to manually adjust. You will choose the ratcheting blade just as you did before.
My overall impression of the new Cameo 3 is that it is amazing! The automatic blade takes all of the guess work out of cutting the pre-set materials listed in the software. I think the Bluetooth is amazing as well. I lose things right under my nose all the time, especially when they are small, so the extra storage is a much needed addition. I keep my pick and cutter in the drawers located on the front underside of the machine in between projects and I store my extra blades in the 2 blade storage slots located to the left of the dual blade carriage. When I’m done for the day, I just close the drawer. The new mat/media guides are extremely helpful for keeping your mat or media straight as it is fed into the machine. I like that they fold away when not in use, as I don't use them often. I'm use to lining my media up on the line with 2 arrows located on the left front side of the machine.
I feel that this machine was definitely worth the wait and they really improved it over the previous models. The only feature they didn't add that I would have loved to have was a wider cut area. Maybe that will come with the Cameo 4, but I'm completely content with this for now.
I uploaded a video of the different things I tested with this machine, to accompany this review. I hope it helps.
*Update: since originally posting this review, I tested a 12x24 cricut brand mat with the Cameo 3 because it's the only brand I had in that size and I needed to use it. It worked perfectly with the auto blade. Note: someone mentioned to me that using a cricut mat voids the warranty on the cameo, so just do whatever you're ok with doing. I still prefer the cameo mats, but when in a pinch, it might help you as well.
*Update #2: After reading another review about the mat being too sticky, I figured I should come back and offer a little advice that has always helped me when I get a new mat. When you first open the mat, it is very sticky. I always put the mat on my t-shirt a couple of times to reduce the sticky a little. It always helps me, but with paper or card stock, you still need to curl the mat off of the paper rather than curling the paper off of the mat. It gives you much less curl in your paper because the mat has more give than the paper. I hope this helps.