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Use the Silhouette Studio Nesting Tool Like a Pro

Nesting tool, Silhouette Studio, pro, Silhouette tutorial
One of the added features you get when you get the free V3 upgrade of Silhouette Studio, if you also have Designer Edition, is the nesting tool.

The nesting tool is one of the coolest features and one that will actually save you money in the way of supplies and materials.   The tool takes all of your designs and 'nests' them in the smallest surface area possible without any overlapping - minimizing waste.

It's really easy to use, too! I used the nesting feature recently while cutting out the numbers for a ruler growth chart.  I only had a scrap piece of white vinyl but by nesting, I was easily able to fit everything on the scrap piece.

All you have to do is create your design or type out your font like you normally would in Studio.

Nesting tool, Silhouette Studio, pro, Silhouette tutorial, numbers

When you're finished designing select your design elements > click the Nesting tool icon. When you do this you'll automatically get a blue border around your work area. Keep 'Use Media' checked then just hit "NEST".  This is the result if you DO NOT check the align box as shown in the left window.

Nesting tool, Silhouette Studio, pro, Silhouette tutorial, icon

But watch what happens when I check the align box...that same design is put into an even smaller space!  It's just slightly smaller, but sometimes that's all you need to fit on a scrap piece!

Nesting tool, Silhouette Studio, pro, Silhouette tutorial, align box

But wait...what if my scrap isn't 2.6 inches's closer to 1.5 square inches.  No problem..just ungroup your font or design and group into smaller groups.  You can see here I've grouped my numbers into two 3-digit groups.

Nesting tool, Silhouette Studio, pro, Silhouette tutorial, ungroup

Then select all the groups and nest again...

Nesting tool, Silhouette Studio, pro, Silhouette tutorial, groups

How do you prevent wasting materials? Leave a comment below to share your tricks to stretching your supplies. 

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I received 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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  1. I've had my Silhouette for 1 year & never knew this. A big THANK YOU!!! I'll use this feature as of today. you get so knowledgeable??? :)

  2. I hope this isn't a duplicate comment. I commented and it seems to have vanished.
    Thank you for this information!
    I have saved supplies by scanning a scrap on the pixscan mat and then positioning what I want to cut on the scrap showing on my workspace. Great helper!

    1. Wow, Teena! Hadn't thought of using the Pixscan that way. What a great tip!

  3. This will save me so much time. I've had my sil for over 2 years and cannot wait to try this out! thanks! love your blog!

  4. Hi, I have updated my software and have DE, but I don't have the nesting feature anywhere. Is there a way I can get it?

    Thanks in advance.

  5. Hello,
    Since I've updated I haven't been able to get my letters or even images to nest properly. They still have big gaps. Any suggestions would be great.

  6. I agree with previous posters -- as of the past few weeks, the nesting feature isn't working properly. Do you have any insight as to what's happening or how to repair it?

  7. Concurring with above. Has anyone figured out a fix for the nest issue? When I am nesting smaller objects, like little hearts, the nesting feature seems to work fine. But if I try to nest more complex images like sharks or cats, etc. it nests images on top of one another, or in collage style, askew and on top of each other. Thanks in advance for any tips!

    1. I am having the same exact issue and am here to try and figure it out! When I nest, it leaves big gaps no matter where I set the padding, and tells me some images won't fit when there's clearly space. It doesn't seem logical at all and it's making me crazy!!

  8. It overlaps some of my letters while leaving gaps elsewhere! I feel like I'm missing something......

    1. Did anyone figure this out? This is making me nuts! :)

  9. I have V3 of Silhouette Studio (3.7.227ss), and I do not have the Nesting Tool showing in my toolbar... it is nowhere.. (so sad)


    1. I've also got the same problem. I just found the perfect thing to use it for and it's not coming up as an option?!?!

  10. Melissa please HELP! Has Silhouette removed this feature in the free V3? I stumbled upon your blog post and have a project which I could really use the nesting feature on.
    Why is it not shoeing up? :(

    1. OK, I guess i misinterpreted what you meant when you said "when you get the free V3 upgrade of Silhouette Studio, if you also have Designer Edition,"
      I took it as 'With the free version 3 upgrade AS WELL as Design Edition'.
      My Bad.. :(

  11. Can you explain the "padding" and "rotations"? I've been using nesting for a while, but these options confuse me.


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