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How to Load Vinyl Into Silhouette CAMEO 4 So It Cuts Straight

The best way to load vinyl or a cutting mat into a Silhouette cutting machine is to use both hands to ensure it loads - and then cuts - straight.

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This was much more challenging to do prior to the still little known mat sensor on the Silhouette CAMEO 4, CAMEO 4 Plus, and CAMEO 4 Pro.  Using this relatively new feature you can more easily load the mat and/or materials into the Silhouette CAMEO 4 machines so they cut straight! Read on for how...

Here's how the mat sensor basically works: The sensor is the small square found in front of the left roller on all of the Silhouette CAMEO 4 machines.  

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When you press the load button on the control panel it will flash and give you 5-7 seconds ... 

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...so you can hold the mat or material with the edge to the rollers (covering the mat sensor) using both hands, the sensor will then detect the mat or material, and then the rollers will feed in the material. 

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The reason this is important is because it allows you to use both hands - one on each side of your material - to hold the material straight and even as it's loaded.  

When the mat loading sensor feature is not used you are forced into basically one of two situation: 
  • Try to hold the mat and material up to the rollers then stretch your pinky to the load button (not really possible to reach when using the CAMEO Plus or Pro
  • Hold the mat with just one hand while you use the other to press the Load button
Both of these loading "techniques" risk the mat being loaded unevenly with one side, edge, or corner being loaded before the other and/or the left edge of the mat being loaded too far to the left or right. 

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When this happens the mat is loaded unevenly, therefore feeding through the rollers unevenly as it cuts, and ultimately risking coming out from under either of the rollers.  

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So to load vinyl into the Silhouette CAMEO 4 so it cuts straight...press the Load button FIRST then hold your mat or material up to the rollers with both hands and let the rollers feed it in evenly. 

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If you continue to find your right roller is coming off the edge of your mat or material, pull it in towards the center so even if the material slips slightly as it's cutting, the roller will continue to hold the material in place rather than slipping off the right edge. 

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 comment

  1. Holding the bottom side of the mat with one hand and pressing it towards the rollers worked always well to me, while my other hand could operate the load button. However, without mat or by the Pro this is just would not work.

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