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How to Cleanly Cut Cardstock with Silhouette: Line Segment Overcut Tutorial

If you're among the large majority of us who've experienced bad Silhouette cuts on cardstock...fear not! Today we're sharing the one click trick to cutting cardstock cleanly with your Silhouette CAMEO or Portrait!

Silhouette School contributor Becky Dykes is here with the answer to all your torn, ripped, and tattered paper problems!

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As a papercrafter, snagged and ripped corners quickly became the bane of my crafting existence. When I first began, I actually avoided sharp corners altogether because my Silhouette just seemed to destroy them, especially when cutting cardstock.

I tried new blades, I tried point editing, I tried offsets... pretty soon I just accepted the fact that I wasn't going to get nice, sharp corners with my (cheap) cardstock. I had heard that the secret was purchasing the more expensive cardstock, but the truth is, this was happening on some of my more intricate vinyl projects, too.

Well, thankfully, Silhouette America heard our pleas and gave us an updated cutting function along the way with Version 3: Line Segment Overcut.

Now you're probably asking: what the heck is Line Segment Overcut? Well, let's take a look at the project I'm working on today.

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At first glance, it doesn't look that complicated.  BUT, see those holes along the top of the notebook paper and the small triangles for the tip of the pencils?  I just knew those were going to give me a headache, so I almost avoided the project altogether. But I decided to try using the Line Segment Overcut and it saved my project and sanity!  

To put it simply, turning on Line Segment Overcut from the Cut Settings window tells the blade to slightly overcut the corner by picking up the blade, rather than turning (hence dragging the paper). So instead of a 'v', the blade is almost cutting an off-centered 'x'. The blade will cut past the connecting line (such as at a corner) by a very minimal and unnoticeable amount.   

For example, let's look at a closeup of the top of that notebook paper for the front of the card. The black lines represent the cut lines, see how the cut is just past the edge of the corner? Then the Silhouette will pick up the blade, place it back down on the connecting line, and continue cutting. So instead of forcing the blade to cut a corner and by turning, the machine will make a corner by cutting the two intersecting (overlapping) lines while picking up the blade at that corner.
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Now that you see the beauty in the Segment Overcut do you access it?
To turn on Line Segment Overcut, you first set up your design (of course).  When you are ready to cut, go ahead and select the Cut Settings menu and select the Material Type.

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Once your Material Type has been selected, scroll down to access the other options, under the blade settings.  You want to change Line Segment Overcut from OFF to ON.  The next step is to bump up the Start Ext. and the End Ext. to 0.1. This makes just the tiniest overcut.

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To jump back to the project I'm working on today, I went ahead and cut with Line Segment Overcut OFF and ON, for comparison. So now let me give the disclaimer that the Silhouette doesn't always rip or catch corners, but it could happen (and happens to me pretty often especially on paper), so just keep that in mind.

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For the next example, I bumped up the Start Ext. and the End Ext. to 0.6, not because I needed it, but to more easily show you what is actually happening when you have Line Segment Overcut turned ON.  This is a "real life" example of the diagram I produced earlier, where the lines are cutting slightly past the intersection or corner.

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So with my Line Segment Overcut turned on, my card turned our perfectly, with no ripped corners or recuts.  If you want more information on the card itself, jump on over to My Paper Craze for the run-down of this adorable little craft.

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Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!
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