Please let us first briefly explain a little about Craft Robo.
‘Robomaster’ is not backward compatible. There have been 3 generations of the machine itself (CC100, CC200 and now CC300)
If you are having problems opening the files, then please could we ask you to check the version of software you are using? It can be found on the software disc that came with the machine, or you can briefly see it on the popup screen when you open your Craft Robo to start using it.
V5.1 is actually more comprehensive than v2.4 or even v4.4 and will work on Craft Robos CC100-20 and CC200-20 as well as the CC300-20.
Please note that if you have a 64 bit computer (almost all computers sold now are 64 bit operating systems) then you can get the 64 bit driver from the same graphtec site.
(You can check whether your computer is 32 or 64 bit by clicking on the Windows start button (at the bottom left hand side of the desktop). Then click on 'Control Panel'. Then click on 'System and Security'. Then click on 'System'. Look at the 'system type' details and it will tell you '64 bit operating system' or 32bit.
Since Graphtec have purchased the Silhoutte brand and now sell them as Craft Robo Silhouettes, it has left some of you with Quickutz Silhouettes in the lurch. In order to use our templates you will need to have Robomaster for Quickutz Silhouette version v5.01 for them to work.
If you have one of the Quickutz Silhouettes then here is what you can do.
You can use the new Silhouette Studio software It is available for free from Graphtec GB ltd
It will work on both the Quickutz Silhouette and Quickutz Silhouette SD.
We know that some of you are more comfortable with Robomaster (better the devil you know) so if you have the original Quickutz Silhouette (the one with the hand wheel carrier sheet feeder) you can still use Robomaster v5.1 which is free from Graphtec GB ltd. You will need to set the 'preferences' on the first time you use it.
Our standard CDs work with the Xyron Wishblade software (Create and Cut™) version v4.1.
Graphtec gave a license to Xyron in the USA to build their version of the Craft Robo. Whilst it is basically the same machine, the software versions are not named exactly the same as the Robo. Some importers started bringing in the US cutters and selling them here in the UK, but the UK websites for the Xyron Wishblade are quite restricted. We have not yet been able to ascertain whether you can get the upgrades of it's software for free as in the cases of the Silhouette and Craft Robo. Therefore, in order for our cds to work on your older Wishblade and software, you may have to buy the upgrade from Xyron.
If you don't have version v4.1 and you don't want to pay for the upgrade, we have had feedback from a customer that the new Silhouette Studio software does actually work on the Wishblade. We don't have a Wishblade ourselves so we can't confirm that it works, but you can get the software for free from Graphtec GB ltd
I'll start with the paper thickness. 0.1mm is usually said in microns when talking about card. There are 1000microns to 1mm. So 0.1mm is 100microns. You can convert gsm to microns by multipling it by 1.25 approx). So 160gsm is (160x1.25) approx 200 microns (or 0.2mm).
Now for the trickiest question. The speed and force settings. There is no simple answer. Even card of the same thickness can vary in its quality. We have tried 240gsm and it cuts with ease and we have tried 200gsm and it cuts badly. If your cut is not clean then reduce the speed. The robo can't maintain the downforce because of it and you get a grasshopper effect, with some missed through cuts.
Here is our guide:
The Craft Robo has a variable cutting speed from 1mm per second to 10mm per second. The
speed can be adjusted by means of a slider control. Generally, the default speed of 10mm per
second works fine, but if you start to notice a significant amount of tearing at tight corners,
you may want to dial the speed down to 5mm per second or even 2mm per second. Slower
As with speed, the force setting can be adjusted to any value between 1 to 33. The blue,
yellow, and pink blade caps control the amount of blade exposed, but the force setting
determines the amount of cutting force exerted upon the blade. The default value depends on
The "Test Cut" button is used in conjunction with the "Blade Position" control buttons to cut
out a small 1cm x 1cm area. The cutting is performed at the blade's current position, and the
150-160gsm = 200microns
170-180gsm = 230microns
210-240gsm = 280-300microns
270-290gsm = 350-380microns
385gsm = 500microns
460gsm = 580microns
550-590gsm = 750microns
Even if the seller states that their card is a particular weight, they in fact may have substituted the stated card with something thicker. For most crafters that would be a bonus, because thicker card is much more expensive. This is not the case for us Craft Robo users. They may have substituted with a card that is simply too heavy/thick for our cutting machines.
Therefore we need to be able to quickly check that what you have received is cuttable.
The solution is simple. Just use your kitchen scales (digital ones would be perfect). Weigh 1 sheet of A4 card in grammes and then multiply that figure by 16 (because there are 16 A4 sheets in 1 square metre). So for example if your 1 A4 sheet weighs 11 grammes, then 11 x 16 = 176 gsm. That would be perfectly fine.
We actually weigh each supply of card and then put that in an A4 container with the weight shown on a label. We know then whether we need to cut once or cut twice.
We have used the same carrier sheets for hundreds of cuts and they are still useable.
1st of all, don't throw them away when the stickiness goes. Just clean the sheet. We use baby wipes to remove the fluff (usually from our sleeves) and any surplus adhesive. Then use a spray on 'repositionable adhesive'. We use KRYLON EASY-TACK and it is wonderful......sadly there is now a problem with the purchase of it.
We have questioned the seller that we bought ours from and then asked Krylon in the USA to respond. Apparently you can buy the Krylon from anywhere in the world now....USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South America, etc.......ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD...........EXCEPT the European Union!!!!
The can will last you for years, but you will need to use it regularly (perhaps every week if you use your Robo every day). Don't overdo it and we leave ours overnight when sprayed. This is not essential, but it seems to work better that way.
We have now had customer feedback of another product 'Plasti-kote spray adhesive repositionable'. We bought ours on Ebay.
We have tested both the Crafters Companion and Plasti-kote for about 3 months now and both are fine.....with problems. Both sprays work OK with undue damage to the carrier sheet. Neither have the same fine mist sprays as the 'now banned' Krylon. Which means that both the products can leave some areas of the carrier sheet with built up areas of adhesive if not sprayed carefully and evenly, which make the sheet tackier in some parts than others.
The Plasti-kote is the far stronger bond. We think that you could actually spray a brick wall with it and then stick and your partner to the wall. The problem is then how to part the 2 without damaging the wall. It also leaves residue on the back of the card and that makes the card tacky and messy too. We now get a piece of scrap card (but we know that crafters never have scrap card....every bit gets re-used) and then press the card against the carrier sheet several times to get rid of the excess build up. Then we can use the carrier sheet in our Robo.
We are lucky in that we still have a can of Krylon which will last us another year or 2, so we plan on using that until we have to change. It wins hands down.
I have found that the maximum I can get on an A4 sheet is a cutting area 190mm x 290mm.
Occasionally you may find that your Craft Robo cuts the card outline first and then sometimes the cut card moves on your carrier sheet during cutting. First check that your carrier sheet is tacky enough (see 'repairing carrier sheet' on this page). Secondly make sure that you are using a card weight that Craft Robo can easily cut ( see 'Card type, sizes and Robo cut settings' on this page).
Finally you can actually make Robomaster cut the card outline last. Just follow these instructions .
Robomaster recognises colours when defining cutline settings and so we are going to change the colour of the card outline to differ from the rest of the card design.
Open the card template in Robomaster. As a safety precaution, we 'group' the entire design together, so the 1st step is to 'ungroup'. On the side toolbar, choose the 'select' tool. Click anywhere on the design and then go to the top toolbar and click on 'ungroup' (If you hover your mouse over each tool a written description of its purpose will show).
Click anywhere outside the design to deselect. Then click on the card outline only. Only that part of the design will then be highlighted. On the bottom toolbar, click on line settings. On the popup box click on modify. Another colour palette box will appear. Choose any colour that you like from the colour palette and click on Ok. Click on OK again and then deselect the highlighted card outline. You will then see that it has changed to your chosen colour.
You now need to tell Robomaster that you don't want to cut it at the time you cut the rest of the design.On the top toolbar, click on 'output settings' and then on the'cutline settings' tab. Again you will see your chosen colour with a tick in the box to its left. Click on the tick to remove it. Click OK and then Robomaster will ignore anything that is in your chosen colour (ie the card outline).
You can then output the design to your Craft Robo and it will cut everything but the card outline. When it has finished cutting do not unload the carrier sheet, just leave it there. Go back into the 'output settings' and then 'cutline settings' and deselect the red and blue colours and select the new colour. Output your design to the Craft Robo once again and it will now only cut the card outline.
The files on the CD are 'read only' protected and so you will have to save your file as another name on your computer, so you can use the settings again in future.
Remember that if you buy an envelope for your 5"x7" card, you will need a 5 1/4" x 7 1/4" (130mm x 180mm) envelope. Same applies for an A6 card. You will need a C6 encelope, which is larger than an A6 card.
Doing print & cut templates is the most difficult thing to do on your Craft Robo/Silhouette. It doesn't matter whether you are using Robomaster or Silhouette Studio, the causes are the same.
(Old style blades)
It is always a good idea to have a spare blade. There is one type of blade for the A4 Craft Robos and each has 3 different coloured caps (not applicable for Silhouette Cameo). The only Robo that has different blades is the Craft Robo Pro. Blades do last a long long time, so if you aren’t getting a clean cut, it may be another solution we need to find.
There are 3 different coloured caps that come with the Robo. They are for different depths of cut.
We hear of lots of people who just leave the pink cap on. That cuts the deepest and is the easiest solution. BUT you will find that you go through a lot of carrier sheets and can also cause premature failure of the blade. Both you will find are quite expensive.
(New style blades-adjustable)
We have had mixed respnses to the new adjustable blades. They seem to last from 3 weeks to 3 months. We haven't had our Cameo long enough to check for ourselves, but we have noticed some major factors that may be a contributory factor to the reduced blade life. The old blades with the coloured caps were manufactured in either Japan or Germany and so the quality was to be expected. The new blades are manufactured in China to a budget. The new blades are less than half the price of the older blades, but as they can last much less than the older ones, they actually would appear to be more exepensive overall. We have had feedback that the tip breaks off if you use too high a depth setting, so follow these tips to improve the life of your blade.....and always keep a spare.
The manual provides blade settings as follows:
We always use the test cut feature. It cuts a small square and triangle at the corner of your card. If the first test cut isn't acceptable then you can do it again, by using the arrow keys on your Cameo to move the blade over a bit to a new position.
Always set the blade to the lowest recommended setting and then adjust higher if neccesary.
Cut quality can be affected by a build up of paper dust and fragments getting trapped between the blade and its holder. With the old blades you could just screw the cap off and blow. With the new blades you first try blowing and then Graphtec suggest a pin, but be careful not to chip the blade and remember that the blade may be small, but it is sharp.
Curling is always caused by the tackiness of the carrier sheet. When a carrier sheet is new, or if you have resprayed it recently with repo spray, or if the card is too thin it will curl when you peel the card off.
We also use Hand Hippo who do a well priced 220gsm range of coloured cardstock that cuts really well.
We have just started using cards from Quickdraw supplies. They are on Ebay or you can go directly to their Quickdraw supplies shop where their prices are a little cheaper. Their choice of colour is brilliant and they sell in colour batches of 25. Their card is 225gsm and cuts really cleanly.
We have had some lighter weight card from Ebay. We have had mixed success. We got a really good 160gsm white card for our popup inserts. When we went back to order (in a much bigger quantity) it was absolute rubbish. Either they changed their supplier, or it could just have been from a different batch.
Be careful when you buy cardstock. Sellers can specify a card weight, but then substitute a thicker card weight. As you know the thicker card is much more expensive, so ordinarily they would be doing you a great favour. Unfortunately the card weight is critical when using a Robo. Always check that you have received the card weight you ordered.
We always check every batch we receive (see other tip).
How to open one of our CDs in Silhouette Studio. (2 options)
Option 1 (This will make SILHOUETTE STUDIO the permanent program used by your computer to open GSD templates (unless you change to another option later)).
Right click on top of any GSD template file icon. Click on 'OPEN WITH...'. If the Silhouette Studio icon is not already showing in this popup window, then click on the 'BROWSE' button. Click on the 'DESKTOP' option at the left of the new window. Now scroll down the main window and click on the 'SILHOUETTE STUDIO' icon. At the bottom of the window click 'OPEN'.
Please note that this is the procedure in Windows 7. For other Windows versions it may differ slightly.
Option 2 (This option will need to be done each time you open a GSD template).Load one of the CDs that has the GSD files on into your computer’s CD/DVD drive.
Double click the desktop icon to open Silhouette Studio.
Click on the 'FILE' option at the top left hand side of the screen and then 'OPEN' on the dropdown window (or the 2nd icon in from the top left (OPEN) which is the shortcut for opening files).
At the bottom of this drop down window you will see 'FILES OF TYPE’. Change that to 'ALL FILES' and then navigate to your computer’s CD/DVD drive from this window.
To navigate to the GSD files from this window, look at the left hand side of this window and you will see the ‘COMPUTER’ command and the computer icon. Click on it. Make sure that you have already loaded our CD in your CD/DVD drive. You will then see several icons. One of which will be your CD/DVD drive, which will show the name of the CD you have in your drive. Click on this. You will now see the contents of that CD. Click on the GSD file you want to use and then click on ‘OK’.
The GSD file you want may be within a folder, so click on the folder until you get to the GSD files.
Silhouette Studio was designed to work happily with '.STUDIO' files and '.GSD' files, but if you create a file in Silhouette Studio, it will only save it as a '.STUDIO' file.
Please note that before you cut a GSD template, make sure that you have selected the cutting mat size that you will use. Open the page tools window (Top toolbar and 4th icon from the right). Cutting Mat options are at the bottom of this window. If you are using the 12"x12" mat then the option is shown on the first page. If you are using an A4 cutting mat then click ADVANCED OPTIONS at the bottom of the window and then select the A4 mat option from the new window.
This way you will see the correct orientation of the card on the cutting mat and the correct way to load the card/mat into your cutting machine.
How to save a GSD template to the Silhouette library and how to import templates from a GSD CD to the Silhouette library
If you have already opened a GSD template in your Silhouette Studio, then follow the following steps.
Now if you want to access the Silhouette library.
If you want to import a GSD template from a CD to your library then carry out the following steps.
Please be aware when importing GSD files straight into your Silhouette library. When you subsequently open the file from the library, the orientation, postion and registration mark settings may be incorrect and so we really wouldn't recommend using the following technique although the Silhouette Studio software does have this facility for you.
We have often been asked which electronic machine should you buy? We don't have any links to any cutting machine sellers and this is our own personal opinion and may not be the same as others who have expressed any preference. It is an overview only. If you would like more in depth information then please contact us with specific questions. We are here every day of the year.
We hope that we haven't confused you, but please come back to us if you want any more help with your choice.
When you open a GSD template in Silhouette Studio, the template may look to be as one, but in fact, it is lots of unconnected geometric shapes that make up the template. This is one of the quirks of GSDs in Silhouette Studio. So that in order to re-size the entire template (or in fact manipulate it in any way. e.g Copy, move, rotate, mirror, etc.), you will first need to select the entire template (or element) that you wish to re-size. Unless you do this you may just be re-sizing part of the template and not the whole of it.
Use the SELECT tool (top of left hand side toolbar) to select the entire template (or element). That tool is the one that Silhouette Studio defaults to each time you open it. Move the cursor to just outside one corner of the chosen template and then (holding down the left mouse button) drag a Marquee (rectangle) to the opposite corner diagonally and then release the mouse button (e.g. top left to bottom right). That way you will have selected the entire element. Once you have it selected then you can resize it, (or move it, mirror it, rotate it, etc) in it's entirety. Don't use the GROUP command as that may change some of the cut line settings. Any dashed lines (folds) may become solid cut lines and the embedded copyright information may change from NO-CUT lines to CUT lines.
Once you have the selection made you will see boxes around the selection. These are called control points and you can drag any of them to re-size the selected element. If you use the corner control points then you will retain the aspect ratio. To get an exact size, you can click on OBJECT on the top toolbar. The dropdown menu will give you the options.
To move a selected templare/element, move the cursor over the selected area until the cursor changes to a HAND. Then you can drag the selected element around the screen.
The first thing that struck us when using Silhouette Studio was some of the jargon and measurement units that are set as the defaults.
As the Silhouette Cameo and Silhouette Studio are both designed in the USA, then naturally they explain everything in terms that apply in the USA. Only in The USA, and a couple of countries such as Bolivia and Venezuela do they specify cardstock in lbs. They also call it COVERSTOCK too. However as the rest of the world uses the GSM (Grams per square metre), then here is a useful conversion from the USA measure to the most popular GSM measure.
As a rule of thumb....and this applies for CARD only.... then 1lb (USA) is 2.7gsm.
So that for example 122lbs is the same as 330gsm, which is near the maximum capacity for the Cameo.
By default, when you go to the cut screen in Silhouette Studio you will see the preset options stated in lbs, but you can change this to show GSM if you wish. But be aware that gsm is a metric measure and so the units will change to metric too.
Here is how to do it:
Go to the File menu (PC) or Silhouette Studio menu (Mac) and select Preferences > Measurements. Selecting one of the metric measurements will prompt the program to display the paper weights in GSM rather than in LBS.
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