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Silhouette ModelMaker: Design 3D Shapes and Export as SVG with New Software

After months of Beta testing, Silhouette America quietly released Silhouette Model Maker software late Wednesday.  As a beta tester I have been using the software for several months and I have to say - while it's heavily geared toward educational purposes in the (STEM) classroom, there's definitely a use for it in the home crafting space....if you can get over the initial intimidation factor that will likely leave you looking like a wide-eyed emoji.

Many Silhouette paper crafters would love an easier way to design 3D shapes - and Model Maker is it. While the one-time paid software is focused on engineering and model making and - I admit - overwhelming... if you stick to the basics for creating 3D shapes for your crafting needs - you will be fine!

The beauty of Model Maker over Silhouette Studio for 3D designs is that it allows you to easily draw shapes in 3D and then automatically converts them to flat design elements that can be cut on the Silhouette CAMEO or Portrait. That means the fold lines and tabs needed to put 3D pieces together are automatically added in the software. You can cut on your Silhouette CAMEO, Curio or Portrait directly from ModelMaker or you can export as an SVG file and then cut from Silhouette Studio (given you also have Designer Edition so you can import the SVG).

For instance, if you want to design a 3D box card to cut on your Silhouette CAMEO or could easily design the box part of the design in Model Maker and then design the remaining elements in Silhouette Studio.  Or you could add a pattern fill and print and cut the 3D shape on paper.

The same goes with cones, spheres, pyramids, and other 3D shapes that are difficult - if not impossible - for the hobby crafter and designer to create in Silhouette Studio. Not only does Model Maker make it a lot easier to make 3D shapes it's also a lot faster!

In just a few minutes, I was able to use Model Maker to create, print and cut a basic 3D box shape.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing an intro to Silhouette's ModelMaker software tutorial with you including how to install the one time paid software which retails for an individual ModelMaker license at $49.99.

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!

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  1. I think this is something I would like as I do a lot of 3D projects but not sure about the price. I will probably get when there is a good sale.

  2. Looking forward to the tutorial. I think this will be great for the classroom.

  3. Great! I will buy it for sure! :-)

  4. Thanks. Would you please comment on the suitability of the software for making pop-up cards when you give us more details?

  5. Wow… This is it, the software I got several years ago, I even used it with my first machine : the Craft Robot ! Later I bought a new laptop, then contacted the website to ask about the licence. I could reinstall on my new computer. Unfortunately, even if the design appears properly on the screen, the cutting file created was only messy lines ! And I could only do it properly on my older computer…
    No answer from the creators of the website… I guess they have changed their contact, and as I can see : this should be the new version, it looks exactly the same !!! Hope I can get an upgrade…

  6. Melissa, There is a free program called FabLab which seems to be the exact same program as Silhouette's model maker. Have you tried it? Which would you recommend and why?
    Thanks for your help.

  7. Could be very useful for creating bespoke presentation boxes. Very interested in this. Looking forward to the tutorial.

  8. Dear Melissa & C°,

    I just wanted to let you know how happy I am to have bumped into your website, a few months ago, although in English (I'm Dutch speaking).
    Whenever I need some information / explanation, Silhouette School is the place to be!
    And here I can also find out about all the great novelties that will hopefully soon arrive in Belgium as well!

    Last year I lost my job, so at the moment, I'm trying to arrange things to become independant, and then I will make cards, etch glass, print on T-shirts, put vinyl on mugs (you just mentioned this new printable vinyl!) ... well, everything I can do or make with my wonderful Cameo... and then sell it all...
    I really hope things will go well, so I will be able to turn my hobby into my profession and continue doing it for many years to come!

    By the way, this Silhouette U, is it something that is only meant for people who live in your country? I mean, is it worth it for me, since I buy my stuff here in Belgium or in the Netherlands, since the discounts that you offer will somewhat useless for me...

    Anyway, thanks again for all the joy you bring me with your website... :D

    Kind regards,
    Anita De Win

  9. My wife, who is an avid Silhouette user, pointed me at this as I have a 3-D printer I use for metal casting purposes. but I struggle with the model creation software out there. Can you comment on the usefulness of the modelling tool for creating models *not* intended to be transformed to 2D for cutting?

  10. I had no idea what you meant by STEM classroom so I did a search online for it. WOW! That makes so much sense to me. i only wish they had that when my sons were in school. Then I thought if kids can learn this so can a 70 year old grandmother. So I bought it. I had been designing my own 3d items but very slow going trying to figure out the easy way to make all those tabs. I bought Model Maker before I even tried the free download. I haven't had too much time to play with it but I made a simple box, even changing the sizes of the sides within the first 15 minutes. I love the product and cannot wait to make more things with it.


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