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Silhouette CAMEO Hack: Self Weeding HTV Designs!

Cutting distressed fonts and designs on HTV can be a real challenge to weed.

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I recently had this epiphany moment realizing I could actually force the distressed areas to self weed when cutting with my Silhouette machine. And the best part is this works on Mandala designs as well!

This takes a little set up in Silhouette Studio, but it's so worth it to not have to weed out all those distressed areas.

I will tell you this is easiest with a Silhouette CAMEO 3 where you two tool carriages, but it is definitely possible with a single carriage machine as well.

Start by getting your design set up, sized, and mirrored (right click > flip horizontally...or wait select this option in the Send panel)  in the Silhouette Studio work area. I am using this distressed RAD DAD design from So Fontsy's May bundle.

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Now release the compound path and ungroup (both found by right clicking) if necessary so you can access the distressed areas separately from the main part of the letter.

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If your design is filled with a solid color before you release the compound path, it will completely fill in after you release it - like this. Don't panic.

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From the Fill Color tool on the Quick Access Toolbar, change the fill to "Transparent" and the line color to any visible color.

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Select all of the distressed areas and group them together.

TIP: The easiest way to get all of the distressed areas selected is to actually select EVERYTHING then hold down Shift and use your mouse to DESELECT the larger areas of the font.  Group what remains selected.
 
Change the line color of the distressed areas to something other than red. In this case I made all the lines for the distressed areas blue.

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Move to the Send panel. Instead of cutting from the Simple panel, we want to cut by Line Color - this is why we gave the distressed areas a different line color.

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The red cut lines - or the main part of the letters - will cut with the standard HTV, Smooth cut settings and your choice of blades. (See image above). You can go ahead and place that blade in the red/left tool carriage. 

The blue cut lines on the distressed area will be cut by the tool in the blue/right carriage. This tool (Ratchet blade or Premium blade ideally) will have different cut settings that will cut completely through the HTV and the carrier sheet.  Start by changing the Material Type to something like HTV, Flock. Then adjust the cut settings to Blade 7, Speed 5, Force 33, 2 Passes. Manually adjust that tool and place it in the right carriage.

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Place the HTV on the cutting mat and load the cutting mat into the Silhouette CAMEO.

From the Send Panel send the design to cut. Don't forget, if you have not yet flipped your design, take that option before sending to cut.
 
This is what it will look like while it's cutting...those areas are already being self-weeded out because they are being cut completely through the HTV and carrier sheet.


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Once the cutting is finished, rip up the HTV from the cutting mat - like a bandaid.



The majority of the distressed areas should stay behind on the mat and whatever didn't should easily pop out or use your finger to easily rub off.

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Now just weed away the remaining HTV around the main part of the design and you're ready to apply the distressed heat transfer vinyl.

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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!


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8 comments

  1. Is there something similar for adhesive vinyl?

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW! What a game changer, now if I only had a 3 instead of a 2...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you have a model with only one tool carriage, you enter a break/pause between the two Colors and adjust the Settings, I do it like that all the time.

      Delete
  3. Wow!! Thank you! I use a lot of Grunge fonts. This is awesome ๐Ÿ‘

    ReplyDelete
  4. So how would you do it with a single blade? Is there a pause function between cuts to change the settings?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Pretty groovy, Melissa! Sounds so logical. Can't wait to try.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You are awesome in your knowledge, and sharing it!

    ReplyDelete

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