What is a Silhouette Curio?
A silhouette curio is a light-duty machine which at its core is designed for cutting purposes, but it also has the ability to perform several different tasks such as engraving, debossing, embossing, drawing, piercing, and welding. Even though this silhouette curio is marketed as an accompanying machine for other cutters, this lightweight standalone machine can carry its own weight and can be used by DIYers and crafters to achieve most if not all their projects. The machine is able to do all the previously mentioned activities on materials such as foam, rubber, leather, and wood. The machine typically weights at about 210 grams, which is quite impressive given the power and performance it exhibits.
The Curio is extremely compact resembling an everyday printer and brags a rather boring boxy design with several rounded corners. It is obvious that the manufacturer of the Curio did not put much thought into its appearance, but the machine’s clearance, cutting capacity, and overall performance reveal that thought was put into ensuring that the machine did not compromise on functionality. The design of the machine is such that it is equipped with a ratchet that is used to set the depth of the machine’s standard blade, consequently saving on much-needed space. However, the downside to this is that unlike other cutting machines, the Curio cannot be used with the AutoBlade, and therefore, a user must wholly depend on the standard blade.
Feature of the Silhouette Curio
The silhouette curio brags several features including:
A dual carriage: The dual carriage is a handy feature that a lot of die cutters lack. This feature allows users to use two different tools at the same time, making it an extremely significant tool that helps users save on the amount of time spent creating crafts and DIYs. Because of the dual carriage feature, crafters can, for example, sketch while cutting, pierce while embossing or even draw using two washable pens at once. This feature takes away the need to halt an ongoing process to change the tools being used if a user wants to, the function. The dual carriageway facilitates creativity amongst the silhouette curio users as they can experiment with several different designs and accomplish projects quicker.
5mm Clearance: The Silhouette Curio has a 5mm clearance that allows for users to work with thick materials. Most electronic die cutters including the Silhouette curio are usually limited in cutting space, and hence the clearance availed with the curio is extremely crucial. Thanks to the clearance, users can do several things such as sketch on the wood and draw on a canvas, which is not necessarily possible on other cutting machines.
Inbuilt storage: As previously mentioned, the focus of the Curio was placed on its functionality. Part of its functionality includes the four storage slots distributed on two different sides of the machine, thus ensuring that the machines weight is well spread out.
Silhouette Studio Design Software: Most cutting machines rely on their software to determine efficiency, working speeds, and convenience. The Silhouette Curio is no exception as it relies on its cloud-based software system to be able to conduct most of its activities. And even though the Curio’s software is cloud-based, it can be used without internet unlike other machines such as the Cricut Design space whose software requires internet for operation. The Silhouette Studio design software facilitates the importation and exportation of files in SVG format, which is the ideal format for cutting files. Users can usually subscribe to the software and use it free of charge for a month before they have to upgrade and start paying to access all the benefits of the software.
Stippling & Etching: The Silhouette Curio is quite unique because users can even use metal sheets on the machine. The stippling and etching feature allows for users to draw using many specks/dots and engrave on metal sheets.
Pros and cons of the Silhouette Curio
- In comparison to a lot of the cutting machine, the Curio has four highly unique features, namely; embossing, debossing, stippling and etching which cannot be said for other machines.
- Users can easily create their own designs on the software which they can later emboss and etch.
The Curio is capable of cutting all materials that the Cameo 3 can work with and so much more.
- With its deep cut blade, the Curio can aptly cut into materials that are 2mm thick, and it can also be used for surface projects using materials that are 5mm thick.
- The Silhouette Curio lacks several vital things, including; an AutoBlade, Bluetooth capabilities, and the larger base and mats.
- Users of the Silhouette curio must purchase the stippling and etching tools individually as they are not included as part of the machine’s package. This only adds to a user’s total cost.
- This machine requires a lot of patience as learning how to uses it is not easy. Even though the Silhouette studio design software is easy to use the learning curve of the Curio is extremely steep as the machine has a wide variety of tools and thus users need to invest time to study how to operate each of them.
- The embossing mats of the Curio get ruined rather quickly and easily, meaning that they have to be purchased frequently.
- To access the various designs that can be used for a project, users must connect the Curio machine via a USB connection; otherwise, they cannot use it or access the designs and patterns.
- As with other Silhouette machines, the Curio shares the moderately weak cutting ability, which means that aside from thin materials such as vinyl and paper, cutting other materials will be a challenging task.
The Silhouette Curio is not the most ideal electronic cutter, but it gets the job done and is, therefore, something worth considering. This is because it gives users the liberty and flexibility; they may need to uncover a whole new level of opportunities and let their creativity run wild. Even though the Curio can be used by itself, it functions way better as an accompanying tool for larger cutting machines that are easier to uses and are more accommodating in terms of size.