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Silhouette CAMEO: How to Cut from a USB Drive

Did you know it's possible to cut from a USB drive with a Silhouette CAMEO?  The cutting feature  was introduced with the Silhouette Cameo 2 machine (and remains on the Silhouette CAMEO 3) allowing the user to cut without a computer, but instead pulls the design from a flash or thumb drive.
 Cut from USB Drive Silhouette CAMEO Silhouette School contributor Becky Dykes is here to explain how and why you might use the USB cutting feature with Silhouette CAMEO.

While it's not something that we would use every day, cutting with a USB drive is useful for those times when using your computer isn't practical or needed. For example, if I am working at a craft fair, I may choose to have preloaded cut files on my flash drive so I don't have to lug out my computer.
We're lucky that the Cameo 2 will walk us through the process of cutting with a USB drive, but let's take a look at a few key points and the process to follow in this Silhouette CAMEO tutorial.

First, open the file you wish to cut in Silhouette Studio and save it exactly as you want to cut it. This has to be specific to size and position on the page, and you cannot have any outlying designs.   When just the part you want to cut is lined up and sized correctly, go ahead and insert your USB drive into your computer and save a copy straight to your USB drive. 

Silhouette CAMEO tutorials how to silhouette studio

If you're more comfortable, you can save to your computer first, then copy and paste a copy of the design to your USB drive. This part is up to you, as long as your final copy ends up on the USB drive.

Next, remove your USB drive from your computer and insert into your Silhouette Cameo 2. There is a port on the right side of the machine, where your cords connect.

Cutting from a USB Silhouette CAMEO 2 Silhouette CAMEO 3

Next, go ahead and insert your cutting mat by pressing the LOAD MEDIA (or LOAD CUT MAT) button on your Cameo's touchscreen.

Silhouette CAMEO 2 touchscreen

After loading your media (or Silhouette cutting mat), your options change. This is the point in which you would send a file over from your computer through Silhouette Studio.  But with a USB inserted, to cut a file from your USB drive, select BROWSE USB.

Silhouette CAMEO touchscreen USB silhouette cameo tutorials
Next, click on SELECT FILE to access the files saved on your USB drive.


Two boxes appear. One is a preview window, to preview the design. Don't be alarmed if this doesn't display in the exact layout that you saved it in. The second box is the file name. This is where you would select the correct file, if you have more than one saved to your USB drive. When the correct file is chosen, push SELECT.

Cutting thumbdrive  Silhouette CAMEO 2 Silhouette CAMEO 3 Silhoeutte School tutorials beginners

You are then taken back to the previous screen, but you'll see that your cut file preview still shows in the preview window. This is how you know your file is selected.  The next step is to choose CUT SETTINGS.


Cut settings follows the same steps that you would in Silhouette Studio - so go ahead and select the material you will be cutting. In this case, I chose vinyl.


After choosing vinyl, the Silhouette Cameo touch screen will default to which cut settings you need. You'll want to double-check them and change your actual blade depth, if necessary. 

You can also select if you want to use the Double Cut or Line Segment Overcut Features. When you are finished with your settings, press OK.


After pressing OK, you are once again returned to the previous screen. Since we have selected the file and the cut settings, the only step left is CUT. Go ahead and push CUT to proceed with cutting your design. Remember that the design will cut exactly how you saved it on the USB drive.

Silhouette CAMEO 3 flash drive USB thumb drive beginners

Your Silhouette Cameo should kick in just like normal, cutting the design just the same as if you had sent the file from your computer!


And when it's all done, it's done! No further instruction needed!


If my design has piqued your interest, come on over to My Paper Craze for another fabulous FREE CUT FILE!
Teacher Life Silhouette CAMEO cut file Teacher Life

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  1. Always wondered how to do this! Thanks!

  2. I had no idea this even existed until now. Thank you.


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