Silhouette Alta Overview
The Silhouette Alta® and Silhouette Alta® Plus are easy-to-use 3D printers. They can be used to build models out of PLA plastic filament (1.75 mm) and are great for a variety of customized projects.
Click here for details and pricing for the Silhouette Alta®, Silhouette Alta® Plus, filament, and replacement parts.
The Silhouette Alta® Plus model has all of the same capabilities as the original Alta model, as well as the following updates:
- The Alta Plus includes a built-in fan, which improves print quality over the original Alta.
- The Alta Plus has updated manual turn screws on the Delta arms that hold the printer head. This allows the machine to be calibrated by hand, making the calibration process easier and more precise.
- The Alta Plus has an updated printer head providing an easier method to remove and replace the heating element
- The Alta Plus model is grey, whereas the original Alta model is white. This helps to quickly identify the different models from each other.
The Alta and Alta Plus can print at a maximum speed of 80 millimeters (mm) per second. The maximum printing area is 124 mm in diameter and 130 mm tall, which is about 5 inches around and 5 inches tall. Layer height can range from 0.05 mm to 0.5 mm with a minimum layer height of 0.05 mm.
After receiving your Silhouette Alta®, we recommend using our setup guide to complete all the necessary steps to get your machine up and running quickly.
You will be prompted to create an account, if you don’t already have one, and register your Alta or Alta Plus machine. If you have an existing account, please make sure you sign in to your account before beginning the steps. Once your machine is registered, the free 3D designs will be automatically added to your Silhouette account. These are accessed through the Silhouette 3D software library. You can download the Silhouette 3D software on our website.
To learn how to use your Silhouette Alta® machine and Silhouette 3D software, please use the resources below:
Silhouette America offers 25 free designs with the purchase of the Silhouette Alta® machine. Once the machine is received and registered, these designs are automatically added to your account and can be found under the Free with Machine folder in the Silhouete 3D software library. Click here to setup and register the Silhouette Alta®.
The Silhouette 3D software allows access to your existing Silhouette image library. You can choose several designs from the Silhouette Design Store and create a 3D project using one of the following automatic import options:
- Cookie Cutter
- Jewelry Box
- Stencil box
- Wax Pendant
To create one of these project types with an existing image in your library, go to LIBRARY, double-click a design, then choose one of these options from the pop-up menu. Sample images are included in the pop-up menu to display each import type.
Additionally, we offer a variety of specific 3D designs on our Silhouette Design Store, with new designs added regularly. Click here to view these designs.
The Silhouette 3D software can also import STL and OBJ file types.
Silhouette America® offers a specific line of 3D designs called Snap Kits. These include a small bundle of related designs that may “snap” together in the software to customize the project for printing. For example, one of the free designs that is included when purchasing the machine is called Design a Duck Kit. This gives you a duck model for the base and a number of accessories that can be added to the duck prior to printing, such as a bow tie and top hat.
Some designs will print all pieces as one model while others may print each piece separately, to be adhered after printing. If your design is printing in separate pieces but you would like it to print as a solid piece, you may do the following to group the design together:
- Open the design(s) of choice in your work area
- Snap the pieces together as desired
- Click and drag the mouse to select all desired pieces
- Right-Click and select Group
Alternatively, you may go to Edit and click Select All (CTRL + A), then go to Object and click Group (CTRL + G).
Click here to view and purchase available Snap Kit designs.
The Silhouette Alta® and Silhouette Alta® Plus 3D printers use a PLA plastic filament material. Once loaded, the print head heats the filament to a temperature of 180°C – 230°C (356°F – 446°F) which softens the filament allowing it to feed through the print head and create your project, layer by layer.
The Alta and Alta Plus machines come with a sample of white filament to get started. You may also purchase a larger roll of filament on our website, currently offered in the following colors: black, white, red, yellow, green, blue, and pink. A 500 gram spool of filament can be purchased here.
PLA plastics do not contain BPA. PLA is a bioplastic that is potentially recyclable, but no separate recycling system currently exists for it. However, PLA is biodegradable.
PLA is made from corn and is generally considered safe to use with food. PLA filament is not dishwasher safe. All projects should be hand washed only.
The Alta and Alta Plus come with a Filament Tube in the box. This tube should be applied to the filament prior to feeding the filament into the machine. As the tube is curved, it keeps the filament from bending or kinking, allowing easy feeding through the machine during your print job.
To use the filament tube during loading:
- Place the filament spool on the top of the machine. When using loose filament (included with the machine), first apply the included filament spool holder, then apply the filament to the spool holder
- Feed the end of the filament through the eye located on top of the machine
- Slide the end of the filament into either side of the tube until it has gone through and come out the other end
- Proceed to load the filament into the machine
Click here to access the the Silhouette Alta® User Guide, which contains further loading instructions.
If you need to replace your filament tube, you may purchase a new one on our website here.