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Silhouette CAMEO 4 Matless Cutting Feature Explained

The Silhouette CAMEO 4 will be able to cut unlined materials - such as paper - without a cutting mat.

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While cutting mats will be available for the Silhouette CAMEO 4 - and I would still recommend using them - the among the Silhouette CAMEO 4 features is matless cutting - thanks to a new variable cutting force feature.

On older Silhouette machine models - CAMEO 3, 2, 1 and Portrait machines - materials that do not have a liner must be cut with a mat as the cut areas would otherwise “fall out” while cutting.

So how do you cut unlined materials or cut clear through lined materials without a mat on a CAMEO 4 without the cut areas falling out? When matless cutting is enabled in Silhouette Studio, the blade will cut the majority of the design clear through.

But several very small areas will be cut with less force so they are not fully perforated from the sheet of material during the cutting process. These areas keep the design being cut intact with the full sheet.  After the cutting is complete you can then pop the die cuts out.

I have only seen this feature demoed in a pre-recorded marketing video from Silhouette, but I was left with two big questions about matless cutting on the Silhouette CAMEO 4:
  1. As the material being cut is pulled back and forth under the roller bar, how are the cut areas not going to snag under the roller bar and rip away from the full sheet.
  2. Because matless cutting leaves several small areas incompletely cut through, when you pop them out, the edge of the cut piece may have a small ‘tab’ on it in the area where it was left connected to the main sheet.
So, I decided to try to simulate matless cutting on a Silhouette CAMEO 3 with a series of circles.

The red cut lines will be cut all the way through the cardstock and the very small blue areas are set to a much lower blade and force. Remember this is a manual simulation based on how the CAMEO 4 matless cutting feature has been described to work. 

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I started by just cutting the middle row because, I have to admit, I was very nervous they'd get all caught up and just make a mess of the paper.

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But that was actually not the case.

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You can see - there are tabs left in the areas where the die cut was left attached and cut through at a slower blade depth.

I worked up the nerve to try the full sheet...

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The cutting was a success again...and then it was a matter of detaching the cut designs.

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You can see I have small tabs on my paper - but again this was a simulation to demonstrate how the matless cutting feature on Silhouette CAMEO 4 will work.  We'll have to see how it actually performs when the new Silhouette CAMEO 4 is released later his year.

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  1. So glad I went ahead and bought my Michael's exclusive blush pink colour cameo 3 instead of waiting for the cameo 4. I LOVE it!

  2. Could you explain the advantages of matless cutting? Pros and Cons? and what kind of projects you can do with matless cutting that you couldn't do with a mat. I am assuming using thicker material?

    1. Mats are another consumable to replace as they lose sticky, which means every project ends up costing a little bit more money as it uses a portion of the usable life of a mat. It also takes time to set up a material on a mat to cut, vs just feeding it into the machine. Also, as much as I try to avoid it when taking paper off a mat (even an old one with less stickyness), sometimes I get paper curls or snags.

  3. I'd love to learn how you created the red circle cut, and the blue line to create those small "tabs" ?? How can you change the color of only a small part of the circle??
    I am at a loss hahahaha

    1. Hey there! Check out this tutorial instead:


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