Your Silhouette cutting machine comes with free shapes to get your started. They are stored in the machine itself. So we’re going to open the software and hook up the machine to bring them into your library. We’ll do your first projects with some of these free shapes. If you haven’t yet installed the software, do that before continuing in this lesson. (To Start with Lesson 1 of the Software Basics series, go here.)
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Step 1 – Open the software
We discussed this in Lesson 1, so check that if you don’t remember how to open the software.
Step 2 – Go to the Library area
We talked about the library in our previous lesson. Click on the Library tab in the upper right to open your library of images now.
Step 3 – Sign in to your account
Double check to make sure you are signed into your Silhouette account in the Library. Just check the upper right corner and make sure it says “Signed in as…” If you aren’t, click on where it says you aren’t “signed in” and put in your email address password. You don’t need an active internet connection add the free shapes. They are in the machine itself and have nothing to do with the Silhouette Design Store. But this is the first step in getting your library syncing with your Cloud account. It’s okay to skip this step if you don’t have an active internet connection right now.
Step 4 – Hook up the machine to your computer
First, connect the Silhouette to your computer with the USB cable. Then turn the machine on. As it powers up, the software detects the machine and puts the images into your library. If it asks you if you want to add the free images to your library, answer yes.
If you that doesn’t happen, turn the machine off and unplug the USB cord from your computer and machine. Leave the library open. Then plug the USB cord back in to both the computer and machine and turn the machine on. The software should recognize the connection and load your free shapes into the Local User>Library>Recent Downloads area at the top of the library. Don’t worry if you don’t see that Library>Recent Downloads folder. It may just be condensed as we discussed in our last lesson.
Click on on the words “Local User” to expand that area to show the folders. Notice how I created a folder called “Cameo 3.” I’ve moved the free shapes that came with that machine to that folder from the “Recent Downloads” folder.
If for any reason your computer is having trouble finding the connection with your machine, check here for Windows or here for Mac. The “Could Not Connect” issue happens with some computers even when the machine really is connected. Work through the steps listed, and if you have any more problems contact Silhouette.
Step 5 – Check out the free shapes
Look around at the free shapes. With a Cameo 3, all your free shapes are regular cut images. On some other machines, it’s a mix. If you aren’t familiar with the various types of images, see this post on the Silhouette Design Store in the Before You Begin series. We’ll use some of these shapes in the Successful Beginner Projects.
Move the shapes to different folders
I showed you in our last lesson how to create some folders in your library. Now that we have the free shapes, you can sort those into the folders. It doesn’t matter a ton right now when you just have a few shapes, but it will as your library begins to grow. Look through your free shapes and add some folders that make sense for those. Animals would be a good one. If you like, you could create subfolders in there such as Dinosaurs or Sea Creatures.
Once you have some folders, hover over the thumbnail of a design. Then click and drag it onto the top of the folder name. You should see the number in that folder go up by one. Click on the folder to open it and make sure the design is in there.
Do that until you’ve got them sorted as you like.
In our next lesson, we’ll start adding some of those images to your design area and learning how to manipulate them.