I have been using the Silhouette Portrait for a few weeks and love it! Here are 4 things that I learned that would help a new Silhouette Portrait users.
1. Built In Rachet Cap
I have blogged about this tip before in this post. A rachet cap is needed to change the blade depth. I lost my rachet cap after my first project and ordered a new blade so I could get another rachet cap. I had to wait several days to receive the blade and couldn’t do anything with my Portrait during that time. A few days later, I noticed the built in rachet cap all the way to the left side of the machine.
2. Load Buttons
There are two buttons on the Silhouette Portrait for loading into the machine. The top button is for loading a mat and the bottom button is loading media.
The load media button doesn’t load the mat into the machine as far as the load mat button. What happens if you use load media to load a mat? The machine starts cutting before the edge of the paper and results in cutting through the mat as seen below.
I hit load media while trying to load a mat during one of the first few times I used my Portrait. I was lucky that I could still use my mat.
When I did my first print and cut project, my Portrait cut just out my project just slightly to the left of where it was should. I thought I had to live with this small offset but then I discovered that you can calibrate your machine. The calibration is accessed through the menu File->Calibration. This simple process involves printing out the paper from Silhouette Studio and making some test cuts and adjusting the placement of the rulers in the calibration window. Full details on the calibration process are detailed here. The entire process only took about 5 minutes to complete. This is how my Portrait is calibrated.
4. Loading Mats
This next tip will help with the longevity of your mat. There is an arrow on one side of the mat that indicates how the mat should be loaded into the machine highlighted by a white circle below.
One day I realized that the distance between the paper area edge and the top of the mat is the same on both ends. The yellow square is the same size as the green square. The mat can be loaded in the other direction (the green square side) as well. Most of the time our designs are grouped at the top or the left side of the cutting mat so this will help make the mat last longer. You can tell on this mat that I have cut more by loading the mat in by the side with the arrow.
I hope these tips have helped you! Feel free to look around the blog and take a look at my Silhouette projects.