Are you hoping to find a Silhouette Cameo 3 underneath your Christmas tree this year? Or did you take advantage of the Black Friday sales and are already having fun with your new machine? Whether you are brand-new to the Silhouette world or an experienced user, the Cameo 3 has several great features that you may have overlooked.
1. Pull-out storage drawer
The Cameo 3 is larger than previous models, but makes great use of the space available. This handy little drawer provides just enough room to keep small tools such as pens, tweezers, weeding hook, etc. easily accessible and right there when you need them.
2. Fold-out support arms
Designed for use with the 12” x 24” mat, the fold-out support arms provide stability and help prevent materials from becoming loose when the front of the mat is allowed to hang loose. I often use these even with my standard 12” x 12” mat.
3. Cross-cutter track & tool
Wondering why your Cameo 3 came with a letter-opener? While you might be able to use this tool for some really small envelopes 😉 , it is in fact a vinyl cutter (known as a cross-cutter tool). It fits into a slot on the back of your machine and allows you to quickly and evenly remove vinyl that’s been cut on the roll (rather than using a mat).
When using the cross-cutter tool, there is no need to unload the entire roll of vinyl once it has been cut. Simply advance the cut area of the vinyl past the channel, insert the cutter into the channel, and slide it across the vinyl. This will give you a clean, straight edge to load the next time, with much less waste.
4. Bluetooth removal tool/blade tool
Hopefully, you’ll never need to remove your Bluetooth dongle, but if you do, you’re going to need this tool. In the meantime, it can be used to adjust your blade (all types) or remove the cap of the blade for cleaning.
5. Storage tray
I’ll admit that until recently I didn’t know this one existed either, but it’s quite ingenious. This long, narrow tray will hold small tools, extra blades, or sketch pens (as many as 12!) and keeps everything hidden from view when the lid is closed.
6. Cord storage channel
Depending on where you use your machine, the cords can be a real nuisance. On the rear of the machine, underneath the cross-cutter channel, you’ll find a slot designed to keep the power cord tucked safely out of the way.
7. Built-in blade adjuster
While this feature is not new to the Cameo 3, there are still many users who don’t know what it is or what it’s for – especially if they’ve never used anything other than the AutoBlade. The built-in blade adjuster can be used for either the ratchet blade (insert the blade and then use a twisting motion to adjust to the desired setting) or the AutoBlade (insert the blade and use an up-and-down plunging action to adjust to the desired setting).
8. Adjustable spring-loaded rollers
Not only is the right pinch roller much easier to unlock and adjust than on previous models, but the Cameo 3 now includes completely adjustable spring rollers. This feature is especially helpful when cutting materials such as fun foam where the rollers tend to leave track marks on the media.
Want a different color scheme for your LCD screen? Tired of hearing a click every time you push a button? Need to adjust the length of time before your machine goes to sleep (or disable that feature all together)? All of these settings (and a few more) can be changed in your machine preferences. Touch the gear icon in the top right corner of your LCD screen and the Preferences menu will appear. From there, choose either “Theme”, “Sounds”, or “Sleep Mode” and the available options will pop up. Choose your option, then touch the arrow key on the bottom left of the screen to return to the Preferences menu. Touching the arrow key once more will return you to the Welcome screen.
10. On-board tutorials
Also in the Preferences menu, you’ll find access to quick tutorials on such subjects as loading materials, adjusting the roller bars, cutting via USB, etc. No need to search the internet or consult a manual!
I hope this post has helped you learn a bit more about the Cameo 3. As you can see, it’s packed with features that go way beyond its cutting abilities. Were you surprised by some of the ones shown here? Do you have a favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Until next time,
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Lycia is a lifelong crafter whose goal is to help others find value, confidence, and joy in whatever they create. She geeks out on using technology to supercharge craft projects with Silhouette Studio, Design Space, Glowforge, sublimation, etc.! Lycia teaches these skills and more through online tutorials and videos as well as in-person classes at both the local and national levels.