Silhouette Portrait Desktop Cutter

Introduction: Silhouette Portrait Desktop Cutter

The Silhouette Portrait is about the size of a loaf of bread. This powerful little machine has the ability to cut many different materials, paper, fabrics, vinyl and many more. This is a quick tutorial on using the Trace feature to cut out an imported or in this case, scanned image. I have barely gotten started with the Silhouette Portrait and this Instructable was made on my first day using the machine. Open and read the instructions to set the machine up.

After setting the blade to " 4 " drop it in the blade holder and turn the lock.

I watched the videos to get my interest spiking and found even more ideas for projects.

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Step 1: Select and Import Your Image.

I printed an image I found on Google and placed it on my scanner/printer.

Hit the "Scan" tab and your image will appear in the drawing window.

Step 2: Rotate Your Image.

You may need to rotate your image, this is done by opening the "Rotate Window"

Click on the image and the grid will appear, then click on " 90 deg. CW " to rotate the image.

Step 3: Registration Marks.

Open the "Registration Window" and select " Type 1" for Cameo or Portrait machines, this will place the markings on the drawing area. I resize the image at this point because the registration area is smaller than the regular drawing area. Just click on the image to move it into place. Then click on a corner to resize to fit inside the red lines.

Step 4: Select Area to Trace.

Now you must select the area you wish to trace , open the "Trace" window and click on "Select Trace Area"

Now drag a box around the image and click on "Trace Outer Edge"

Step 5: Verify the Outline.

By clicking on the image you can move it off of the outline "red" and see if it looks right.

You can restore the image location by pressing ctrl/z to Undo.

Step 6: Save to Library.

Now name and save your drawing to your library.

Step 7: Load to Print.

Load your printer with Cardstock and select "Send to Printer" to print.

Step 8: Place Print on the Cutting Mat.

Align the edge of the print with the line on the arrow end of the cutting mat and press lightly.


It is easy to forget to place the page on the mat in the excitement after your image prints with the registration marks. Not using the mat may cause damage to the blade and is not recommended for this material.

Some Vinyl has its own backing and can be run without the mat.

Step 9: Load the Cutting Mat.

Set the cutting mat against the 2 white wheels then press the feed button "top" this will pull the mat in slightly.

Step 10: Cut Settings.

Open on the "Cut Settings" window and select "Cut Edge" and verify the material selection.

The advanced setting tab will show you your blade setting to verify this too. ( Cardstock = 4 )

If everything checks out click on "Send to Silhouette" and it will begin.

The machine will first read the registrations and then begin the cut returning to the home position when done.

The Mat will move outward and you then push the "out feed" button to remove the mat.

Step 11: Peel and Enjoy.

Now peel out your cut out keeping a low angle, more like lifting it off the mat.

I found a hard angle exerts more pressure when removing the cardstock causing it to stick more.

I can see how the Silhouette Portrait will get loads of use in my shop and makes a great addition to our makers space, Geekspace Gwinnett.


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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool! That looks like a handy tool to have for many kinds of projects.

    As you get familiar with it, it would be great if you shared more tutorials on how to use the different features! I think people would really appreciate that. :)

    Scott M Kelley
    Scott M Kelley

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thank You.
    That is the plan, I will be posting more about the Silhouette Portrait as I get different materials to work with.


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