Silhouette Cameo, Curio, Portrait or Mint and Glowforge Love

Continuing the discussion from Etched Glass - Not Laser Made:

@mztngheidi, I just got my Cameo last week and haven’t had time to work on it much. Here’s a new topic to assist each other in some awesome making. Have you upgraded to Designer Edition of Silhouette Studio? I use Inkscape for my vector work so I’ll be able to have designs that work with both. But I am not sure how the designs needs to be tweaked for their proper output machine. So far I have only cut some card stock. Would be glad to work with you as we go along and assist as I can.


I just unpacked my new Cameo last night. Can’t wait to unlock the possibilities.

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I started with a Cameo. It was my gateway drug to lasers. That’s why I am here now, I wanted to cut thicker stuff.


I’ve been using Cameo with the Illustrator plugin for years. Personally, I found that the standalone Silhouette software was really clunky and an extra step I didn’t need.
With the plugin I can do all my work in Illustrator and send it straight to the Cameo with very little fuss.


That’s good to know. The Silhouette software makes me think of Windows 95 in color scheme and icons. Still bewilders me that you have to pay extra to import SVG. I just hate that feature lock model.


I have not upgraded to the Designer version yet…just never found the need to do so.I JUST downloaded Inkscape today so looking forward to working with this more!

I DID find a way to get my Silhouette designs into Inkscape…it took a little tweaking and it was unusual but it did work.
#1) I pulled up one of my designs in Silhouette, then did a “Print Screen”.
#2) I pulled that print screen file into this generic paint program that came with my computer (mine is called GIMP). I pasted the printscreen there. Then saved it as a .png file.
#3) Then opened the .png file in Inkscape.

Worked like a charm! I’ll keep working with this to see if I can find a faster/better way. Overall I was just happy that it worked in a program I didn’t have to shell out extra dollars for.


I have no idea how that verbage above came out in bold letters, sorry about that!


I’ve had good luck designing in Inkscape, save as .DXF, then open the .DXF file in Silhouette Studio. It may be export and import instead of save as and open. The advantage of using DXF is that you maintain the vector information in Silhouette Studio.



I`m not sure if I found this page on this forum or somewhere else, but taking a design out of the silhouette software, for example one you bought at their online store to illustrator can be done like this:

It`s better than the screenshot, copy paste technique, which I have been doing for a long time as well, simply because it results in a way better quality image.

I normally use photoshop for designing, but when I want to cut it with the cameo, I just save it as a high quality jpg/jpeg, open it with the studio and trace it there. There is a button to the top right that lets you trace the image. I can write it down in detail if you want me to and there are videos from sihouette on youtube as well.


This is extremely helpful, Thank you!

I have a Cricut Explore Air, a Brother Scan-N-Cut, and a KNK Force. The Force is the most capable of the three w/r to cutting a wide range of materials. Still learning all three… Inkscape is my vector program of choice.

I’ve been using a Silhouette for the last 4 years. I do have the Designer Edition and I love it. I like the Rhinestone feature and the Nesting feature. Often you can find the Designer Addition for $25.

If you are looking to export your .studio files to another format such as a jpeg, png or pdf, I use a program called “PDF Creator.” I just have to click “print” and select the PDF Creator as the printer. Next, I select the file output I want to save to and my .studio file is converted.

I have over 8000 Silhouette cutting files. I am hoping to convert them so that I can use them with my Glowforge. I would appreciate any advise on how to convert the cutting files if anyone out there is knowledgeable.

I’m happy to answer any questions about the Silhouette–Heidi


@dominicwgv and everyone: No need to make screen shot and vectorize again the designs, or even convert in dxf.

There is an application that directly convert Silhouette Studio files into svg in 1 second! - you can get the svg file and use it with Inkscape or others.

This apps is free for 10 files a day by computer. It works by IP address, so if you have several laptops you can use you can multiply the conversion by day.

I do that for the moment to cut my Silhouette files on my Cricut Explore Air and it perfectly works!


Awesome–thanks for the link. I really need to educate myself on laser cutting–I did not realize that SVG is a cutting file that works with a laser cutter. PDF Creator will save in the SVG format and it is free–I use it to save printable designs that I create using the Silhouette software, but mainly for jpegs, pngs and pdfs.

I’m really looking forward to utilizing my Silhouette files on a laser cutter. The possibilities are going to be amazing.

Thanks for your help, and I am willing to answer questions about using the Silhouette if anyone needs help.


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I have a Silhouette and a Curio too.

Do you wish to also cut paper with the Glowforge?

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I’m a little concerned. I have had the Cameo for three weeks now and have only spent a little time on it. We got it for the office and folks are awaiting a tutorial from me before they jump in and start cutting stuff. That means I have to learn how to use it first! Thursday should clear up and I’ll take some time to cut some big letters out of construction paper.

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Does cutting paper on the silhouette require you to stick it to a base layer? If not how does it work? I own a vinyl cutter and have been contemplating cutting paper and or light cardstock. But I need to be able to stick it to some base layer to be able to feed through the machine.

You can always direct them to Silhouette`s youtube channel. They do a lot of tutorials there.

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Yea, you need to stick paper and cloth to the cutting mat the silhouette cutter comes with. At first its very sticky, but apparently it becomes more manageable in some time. I have only used it a couple of times and mostly cut vinyl as well. You dont need the mat for vinyl…

I have read you can use something like a pillowcase on the cutting mat to add a layer of lint to make the matt less sticky. I just kept using mine until it wasn’t sticky anymore.

If you have a roll of vinyl you wont need the mat, but trying to fit a sheet without a mat I could not get the correct margins. For me that is the most frustrating thing is getting everything to fit and register in the margins.