Finding correct cut settings for materials (Test Cut feature)
There are several cut settings that can be customized in the SEND panel of the Silhouette Studio software.
IMPORTANT: The key to successful cutting results is to find the lowest possible setting levels (blade and force setting combination) where the Silhouette is still able to cut your material successfully.
Basic Cut Settings
- Blade Number – This setting indicates the amount of blade exposed from the blade tip in 0.1 mm increments. The higher the number, the more blade that will be exposed, and therefore the deeper your cut will be. If your cuts are too deep, you can reduce the blade number and decrease the exposed blade tip.You will want to ensure the correct tool is selected in the SEND panel as well. If using an AutoBlade, your AutoBlade will automatically adjust to the number displayed in the software. All other blade models need to be adjusted manually to the recommended or selected level prior to loading them into the machine.
- Speed – This setting controls the speed at which the machine operates, meaning the left/right movement of the blade carriage as well as the in/out movement of the roller bar feeding the mat/material in and out of the machine. Faster levels are available to make the overall cutting process to go faster. You may wish to lower the Speed level if you are finding that certain parts of the design are tearing (most often in the corners of the design), or if the material is being lifted from the backing during the cutting process.
- Force/Thickness – (This setting is labeled as “Force” for software version 4.0 and above. It is alternately labeled as “Thickness” in lower software versions.) This setting controls how hard the blade is pressing down. If your material is tearing and cutting too deeply, you will want to reduce the Force. If the blade is not cutting all the way through the material, or just scoring the surface, you can increase the force to achieve a better result.
Additional Cut Settings
- Passes/Double Cut – (This setting is labeled as “Passes” for software version 4.0 and above. It is alternately labeled as “Double Cut” in lower software versions.) This number tells the machine how many times it should cut the design. It has a default setting of “1” for most materials. For some thicker materials, such as Chipboard, it may be increased as needed. If you are cutting a thicker or denser material and it is not cutting through after increasing other settings, you may wish to increase the number of Passes in order to provide a cleaner or more complete cut.
- Line Segment Overcut (Triangle icon) – By default, this setting is OFF. While off, the blade will cut each shape without lifting. The blade tip rotates to accommodate corners and curves. If you are using a material which requires weeding (such as vinyl or heat transfer), or the corners of the design are slightly torn or not cutting through, you may wish to turn ON Line Segment Overcut to achieve clean-cut corners. The blade will begin cutting 0.01mm before the line begins, lift between each line, and end the line 0.01mm longer. This Overcut is very small and usually unnoticeable. The intention of the Overcut function is to create a clean cut corner for each point where two lines meet.
Use the Test Cut feature in the SEND panel to find the optimal settings for the material in use.
This feature will cut a small square and triangle in the upper left corner of the material to test the settings. If additional testing is needed after adjustments are made, you may use the arrow keys to feed the material in or out, or move the blade left or right to test in a different position.