Silhouette Curio

When I have the time, I usually make all my Christmas card.  My first card I made was in 1996 using CorelDraw V3.  Recently, the cards have been getting more and more elaborate.  No matter what I do to the card, the background and inside writing is usually done with CorelDraw.

The idea for the card came early this year.  The background is already done.  The problem is to complete the idea will require a lot of cutting and embossing.  And, I never done embossing!

I decided to purchase a machine to do the cutting for me.  I looked a many models and decided on the Silhouette Cameo.  What I liked about it was, the software it came with, Silhouette Studio, I could use it with SVG files (for an added cost), and I could used it with .CDR files (for even more cost.)  It had decent reviews, so I waited and considered this purchase.

Then I saw the newer model, the Silhouette Curio.  It has more functions, like cutting thicker media.  I may need that.  It embossed.  The only things the reviews didn’t like was the smaller cutting mat and the instruction manual was difficult to read.  The cutting size wasn’t a big deal since it would be my first machine, something to learn on.  The reviews were correct about the manual.  It is difficult to read.

You can find my experience with the Silhouette Studio software here.   In this posting, I will continue with the review the device.

The Curio comes with: USB cable; power cable; two blades, cutting and embossing; print and emboss squares; Software CD; base with cutting mat and embossing mat; material fasteners; replacement snaps; and instruction book.

Setup of the machine was easy, basically just unbox it, install the software, and plug it in.  However, the USB Cable and Power Cable plugged into the right-side of the machine.  If your PC is located on the left-side of the machine or located on the floor, the USB cable may not be long enough to reach it.  You may want to consider getting a USB Extension cable.

Loading the mat into the machine took some figuring out.  The instruction manual was not clear, but it was helpful in recommending to remove out film from cutting and embossing mat.  To load the cutting/embossing boards on the mat properly, refer to the Cut Settings in the Silhouette Studio software.  You will need to turn off the Curio every time you load and unload the board from the machine.

Cut Settings

Cut Settings

The cutting blade needs to be adjusted according to the cut settings.  This is done by using the cap to turn the blade setting.  The blades loaded into the device as expected.  I turn the knob to insert the blade, then I turned it again to secure them in place.

Each cut and each emboss, I am learning more about the device.

Silhouette Studio – Opening the Box

The Silhouette Studio software comes with the Silhouette cutting machines (Cameo and Curio).  Since I purchased the machine, the software installation was a simple process.  Place the CD in drive and follow the prompts.  After the installation was complete, the Silhouette Studio software launched.

Silhouette Studio Start Screen

Silhouette Studio Start Screen

I wasn’t expecting this screen.  To be honest, I am not sure what I was expecting.  I knew if I clicked Design it would let me design a graphic for cutting.  Also, if I clicked Open it would prompt me to open a previous saved design.  I assumed that if I clicked Library, I would see some graphics.  That was the second surprise.  There wasn’t any graphics in the Library.   I thought that was odd, maybe it was something that you could download.  I clicked on the Store.

TheStore

The Silhouette Design Store wanted me to sign in, or create an account.  So, I signed in with the account I created when I registered the Curio.

TheStore2JPG

It appears that the store wants to charge you for everything.  After looking over the store, I remembered the cards that came with the Curio title “1 month free.”  I followed the instruction on the card and it provided a month subscription and $25 credit.  I am not sure yet of the benefits of a subscription, but I will figure that out as I explore more.

After looking over the store, the problem still remained.  The Library was empty.  Being the Techie I am, I decided maybe the software needed to be update.  Off to http://www.silhouetteamerica.com I went.  You don’t need to remember that URL or save it as a favorite.  If you are into the Silhouette Studio software, it has the link listed under Help.

silhouettewebsite

It took me a while to find where the Software Update was located on the site.

  1. Sign into your account; it is the same one you created when you registered the machine.
  2. Click Support, it is listed next to the Sign in.
  3. Click Silhouette Studio then scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.  There you will find the update and download.
  4. Select one to download.  You do not have to run both the update and the download, because they are the same file.
  5. After the software downloads, run it.

After I went through all these steps below, I realized you can check for software updates from the Silhouette Studio software.  Look under Help > Check for Updates.

I went through the process of updating the software to see if any graphics would appear in the library, it was still empty.  I occurred to me “Maybe the $25 created was so you could select your own graphics.”

Back to the Silhouette Design Store to get some graphics with my credit.  The store had some very impressive designs. I selected a few for testing but adding them to the shopping cart.  When I went to check-out, it told me that these designs were for personal use only.  What I liked about the entire store, since I have credit it did not ask for my credit card.

My adventure with Silhouette Studio will continue…