Tips for your cutting machine

  • Always make sure the settings in your machine are appropriate for your material

    • Most machines have automatic settings that default when you input the material you are cutting. However, these settings often need to be readjusted. For example, you may need to slow down the speed for very intricate designs or decrease the force if you are beginning to cut your mat.

  • Keep up with your mats

    • The last thing that you want to do is waste time, material, and money. This can happen if you are not properly taking care of your machine and its parts. As you may know, the mats that you lay your materials down on provide a stable platform, but over time, the mats get dirty and no longer adhere to the material. Not cleaning or replacing your mats can mean that your material slips and the whole cut is ruined.

  • Keep up with your blades

    • The same can be said with dirty or old blades. After cutting for a while, sticky residue from vinyl can ruin the effectiveness of the blade. Old, worn down blades will make uneven, jagged cuts, and the combination of old and dirty blades is a recipe for an unclean, lifting cut.

    • If you have a silhouette machine, opt for an auto blade. They are easier to use than their manually adjustable blades and easier to clean as well. However, they are a bit pricey.

  • Update your software

    • It is always nice to keep up with software updates that correspond with your machine because they are less likely to crash and you sometimes you get newer features with newer versions.

  • Understand there is a learning curve

    • I cannot stress this one enough! So many people will give up on their machine simply because they do not know how to use it. They have unrealistic goals for how their machine is “supposed” to work. It takes time to understand the software and finally be able to manipulate your designs in the way you want. Virtually anything that you can think of can be done once you learn how to use the software.

  • Use an SVG software to edit and create your designs

    • This is more useful for those who have a Silhouette machine and do not want to pay extra for their top tier software. One option you have is to edit your SVG files in a free software (which you can find here) and then upload the edits into your silhouette studio basic edition. Remember the point above regarding the learning curve this will take time to learn, but you’ll save money. The Cricut Design Space is free and has lots of functionality, but it wouldn’t hurt to see if using an SVG specific software to edit your designs is helpful.