With the Silhouette system, there are two ways you can get shapes for cutting or sketching. One way is to purchase them in the Silhouette online store. This is a great and cost-effective way to get shapes, as most shapes cost $0.99 and can be used as many times as you want. (Compare that to the $60-100 cartridges that are required by competitor’s machines and may contain as few as 50 shapes and you’ll understand why Silhouette is a favorite in the crafting world.) However, you may not always be able to find the exact shape you are looking for, or you may want to design something purely from scratch. If this is your case, then you will want to use Silhouette Studio software to draw a custom shape yourself. This is always free to do.
Silhouette Studio software comes free with the Silhouette electronic cutter. However, if you intend to do a lot of custom shape making, or are an experienced graphic designer, you will want to upgrade to the paid version of Silhouette Studio software. Introduced in 2010, this software is available for Mac and PC and includes much more sophisticated drawing capabilities than the free software version that comes with the machine. For the maximum customization ability, upgrading to Silhouette Studio Designer Edition will really help you take your projects to the next level. Another great feature of the software is the “carrier sheet” that allows you to load a small scrap of paper on the carrier sheet, run it through the machine, and indicate where on the carrier sheet the paper is positioned. This allows you to save paper by not using an entire sheet of paper every time you need to cut a shape.
When you buy shape files from the online store they will be filed in the library of your Silhouette Studio software. This library is searchable just like the online store so you will always be able to put your fingers on the right shape when you need it. There are tons of other great features, such as the ability to change the background to your favorite color and a setting that allows you to double cut through thicker materials such as stencil blanks and cardboard.
Due to these features and more, Silhouette Studio software is just one tool that makes the Silhouette Cameo line of products the best choice for your arts and crafts cutting needs.