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Silhouette cutting settings

Correct cutting settings are very important to ensure that the pattern is cut accurately. However, selecting them may seem hard at first. Check out our tips and see that it's not that difficult!


Step 1: Sample Silhouette cutting settings

The Silhouette program lists materials with manufacturer-defined settings. On our blog you will also find a test of papers, and when you buy a set of papers from our offer in the package you will also see a sheet with suggested settings. It is worth looking for settings to start with just these cutting parameters.

Keep in mind, however, that the list of settings in Silhouette Studio is tailored primarily to the manufacturer's or tested materials. They may differ in thickness or texture from the ones you have, so it is necessary to adjust the settings from step 3.

And why might the settings not work perfectly in your case even if you use exactly the same paper? The settings are very much influenced by the wear of the blade and mat, or the detail of the pattern, among other factors. Below you will find tips on how to deal with these cases.

Step 2: Paper cutting test

Before you cut the entire pattern using the settings you have chosen, do a small test in the corner of the paper. You can use the Test option in the program or simply draw a small square and cut it out. Such a test should be repeated after each change of settings until you find the right ones.

Krok 3: Dostosowanie ustawień cięcia w Silhouette

If the test cut wasn't perfect, correct the settings using these tips:

Paper cut is too weak

To begin, verify that you have the correct blade extension. It should extend from the holder to a length equal to the thickness of the material being cut. To do this, remove the blade from the holder, apply it to the material and compare their thickness. It is also worth knowing that 1 dash on the blade scale corresponds to 0.1mm.

If you have a good extension of the blade start gradually increasing the force by about 3-5 units and perform tests. If this does not allow you to cut the paper, add additional passes or increase the blade extension once and restore the lower force. Then test cutting again by increasing the force.

For papers over 200g, a minimum of 2 passes is almost always needed.

Corners are not cut in the pattern

This can happen especially when you have an openwork pattern and are cutting in thicker paper. In this case, it is worth turning on the corner cut option, so that the plotter will cut it 0.1 - 1mm further in each corner. The overcut value is 0.1mm by default, but you can change it by clicking More and then Overcut Line Segments.


The pattern is uneven, jagged

The most common cause of such cutting is too high a speed. It should be adjusted according to the complexity of the pattern: you can cut large and simple patterns at high speed, while small and detailed patterns at lower speed.

When cutting mirror paper, it is important not to set a high speed, but leave it at values of 1-5.

Plotter stutters

If you hear unusual sounds when cutting similar to "skipping" or tapping, and the cut is shifted or jagged, it means you have set the setting too powerful. It is imperative that you reduce the power and extension of the blade, and add an extra pass instead. Cutting with settings that are too strong can damage the blade, the mat and even the plotter!

You can see cuts on the mat

When cutting, there is always a trace of the cut shape left on the mat. However, it should only be lightly scratched in the glue. If you see deep grooves in the mat reduce the extension of the blade.

Problems with paper cutting in Silhouette

If you are still unable to adjust the correct cutting settings it is worth checking a few things.

Dirty blade

When cutting, small fragments of paper can collect in the blade, making it unable to align or rotate properly. Clean the blade from time to time, similar to this video:

Unscrewed nut on the blade

When cleaning the blade, the nut on the bottom of the blade is loosened. It can also come loose when cutting or transporting the plotter. Check that it is securely fastened. However, do it gently to avoid breaking the blade holder.

Blade placement

Check that you have correctly placed the blade in the holder


Weak glue on the mat

If the adhesive on the mat has already weakened, the paper or other material may shift during cutting under the pressure of the blade. In this case, it will be necessary to purchase a new mat or recondition with Odif 404 adhesive.

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Made by: Michał Desol