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Testing the CURIO Embossing Tips in the Silhouette CAMEO

Every time I mention the Curio blades and tips on the blog or on Silhouette School's social media sites I get questions about whether or not they can be used in the CAMEO and/or Portrait.  The fact of the matter is the Curio tips and blades can physically fit in the Silhouette CAMEO and in the Portrait. However, it's more about how they perform in those machines than their size - and it's not all about the blades, you have to consider the mats as well.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette Cameo, embossing tips

Regular Silhouette School contributor, Becky from My Paper Craze, is here this week with the results of testing the CURIO embossing tips in the Silhouette CAMEO. 
Last week we experimented with Embossing with the Curio and today we have a follow-up today to answer the burning question: If embossing is successful with the Curio, what if I used the Curio tools in the CAMEO?

Now remember that we already gave you the basic introduction to the Curio in the Silhouette Curio for Beginners: A Great First Project. We know, it's been a while, so go ahead and refresh if you need to. Then we did a basic embossing project on just the Silhouette Curio.

The Silhouette CAMEO and the Curio share the same size motor, so if I put the embossing tip into the CAMEO I should get the same results, right? Not exactly...because in addition to the embossing tip, you also need to use the special embossing mat which has a sponge-like top and sits on a platform and base in the Curio.

So, first let's look at the Curio embossing mat. You'll see that the Curio embossing mat is actually two separate pieces: (1) the embossing mat and (2) a size #1 platform. So, after debating what I would do if I ruined my embossing mat, I decided to go for it and pulled them apart (I'm not recommending you do this at home!)  I'm fairly confident this is not a Silhouette America approved experiment, so keep that in mind before you start tinkering with your own tools because you will void your warranty. Plus, I've already tried it and as you'll see the risk is not worth the reward.
Silhouette Curio, Silhouette Cameo, embossing tips 

With two separate pieces in hand, I slapped the embossing mat onto my regular CAMEO cutting mat. I made sure that the corner and edges matched up with the upper left grid of the Cameo cutting mat.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette Cameo, embossing tips, embossing mat 

Feeling semi-sure in my experiment, I used the same file as I used when I embossed on the Curio and decided to give it a go. Before I connected the CAMEO, I checked the thickness settings that the Curio uses, which is all the way at 33.  Once I connected the CAMEO, I updated my cut settings to thickness 33, locked my fine embossing tip in the blade housing and hit Send to Silhouette.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette Cameo, embossing tips 

The results were... less than encouraging. Even with thickness at 33 and using the same embossing mat, the embossing tip barely made any indention into the cardstock.

Silhouette Curio, Silhouette Cameo, embossing tips 

On the positive side, I feel that this experiment did help to explain the platform system that seems to be such a headache with the Curio. To be honest, when I first started playing with the Curio, I thought Silhouette America was crazy for having this platform system. But let's look at the results of the full extent of the testing:
  1.  The Curio is able to emboss cardstock using the embossing mat, with platform system, and embossing tips.
  2. The Cameo, given the same set of tools, cannot perform satisfactory embossing on cardstock, even though the motors reportedly have the same power.
  3. It is then assumed that the platforms are to credit for embossing success, since they offer a solid backing to support the embossing mat whereas the Cameo mat is too flexible.
  4. The Cameo cannot accommodate even a size #1 platform for support because the height capabilities are not there. The Curio was manufactured to accommodate a greater height of material, which is where the platforms come into play, adjusting the height based on the thickness of the material.
I know, that's quite a few leaps for such a simple project, but once you think about it, it all starts to make sense and all of a sudden the platforms will have a clear purpose... to lift the media to the correct height and supply a solid support backing for different capabilities. It was like a mini-epiphany that I just had to share!

But back to this experiment... it was a total fail in my book. If you want to emboss on cardstock with any success with a Silhouette machine - it's going to be with a Curio and even then my impressions are mixed.

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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  1. Simply put, the Curio embossing tips are too short for the Cameo. For best results with the Cameo you need an adjustable height embossing tool (serves the same purpose as adjustable platforms on the Curio), but, as you point out, embossing from either machine is disappointing due to their low downforce.


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  8. Is there a way to emboss/etch leather with the cameo 4?


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