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Silhouette Cameo 2 - How long will it last?

ZiftyZifty Member Posts: 19
Had a small problem lately with print and cut, but thought I'd also ask in general what the useful life expectancy of a Cameo 2 might be.

I've done conservatively 4000-4500 print and cut jobs with on 110 lb index and 110 lb cover stock.  I use aftermarket blades and holders.

At first I was thinking maybe one of the motors is starting to pooch out, but after rethinking it, seems like it's a registration reading problem.  my horizontal cuts all seem to be on a slight decline from left to right.  On a 6 inch cut I might have at much as 1 - 2 millimeters of rise from start to end of the line.  Doesn't sound like much, but enough to fail my QC for my paper model kits.  Could mean a crooked house, lol.

It's also cutting slightly above the horizontal lines.  My cameo always used to cut about 1 millimeter below so on all my artwork I always added a bleed to the bottom edge of the design.  Lately I've been doing all my artwork with a bleed on all sides, that way I can rotate at anytime if I need. 

So anyways, I trouble-shot a lot.  Kept the firmware/software up to date.  I have always been able to overcome any problem in the past, some large some small, but this is slightly new.  I am wondering my maybe my motors are wearing out and that's causing registration to produce a skewed map for the pathways in the cameos brain.

A few months ago I picked up a second Cameo on Amazon on sale so I could have a backup machine fir a time like this were I simply exhaust all avenues of problem solving.  I have got WAY more than my money's worth from my first cameo, thats for sure.  So I've retired my original now.  By the way, the replacement is WAY quieter too and cuts perfectly straight.  I did not change the mat either, so the problem couldn't be blamed on that.

I kept the old one pretty clean too.  Used compressed air on it once a week and cleaned the rollers.  My average cut time is 6 minutes, so that's 450 hours of continuous cutting (a lot of perforations too).  Average 250 perforations per job, so that's 1,125,000 times that blade holder repeatedly went up and down.  Rain man moment there.

I dunno, what do you all think?  Like I said, the new machine, no problems.  Maybe the housing for the laser reading the reg's is shifted finally or something.

Anyone else ever ran a cameo into the dirt before?


  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 10,063
    edited November 2017
    @Zifty - I would suggest you are running your Cameo the way a small business would, and those machines are definitely not of commercial grade. Besides the fact that the motor that is used would have a limited lifetime to it (whatever that is, Silhouette hasn't posted any info in that regard that I am aware of), there is also the belts that are used, over time like the belts used in a car engine, they are going to stretch out and wear out, which causes slippage. This would be manifested in inaccurate cuts. The optical eye as well would have some type of a limited lifespan as do all things. Just nobody asks those questions when they purchase items like cutters, nor likely would the manufacturers answer them :) - they probably don't have much a of clue and it would likely just be speculation.

    The answers to your questions are likely best addressed by Silhouette America. Let us know what answers they give you!
  • ZiftyZifty Member Posts: 19
    I agree wholeheartedly with your comments.  I didn't considered the belt stretching.  I am tempted to relay this to Silhouette technical support, but I don't expect anything to come of it but more "useful tips" copied from their own FAQ page, lol. 

    Esther who used to work at Silhouette was extremely helpful in the past for a couple of issues.  She really took the time to write lengthy and helpful replies.  She even once took the time to reply from her personal email when something about a problem occurred to her on the weekend.  But she's long since moved on.

    I might just copy my first post and email it to them and see what happens.  But I am not overly concerned right now.  You pretty much confirmed my suspicions that every time with enough moving parts things break down, even if slowly.  It's best now to retire it before things get worse and stress myself out.

    You're totally right, it's not commercial grade.  But it got more than enough of the job done in its time.  I factored in a replacement cost of 0.12 cents per cut job, but in reality it worked out to 0.06 cents which was great.  But I will continue to work off the higher estimate.

    100 lb digital cover paper is pretty tough too I imagine.  If I were a vinyl person maybe the machine would last much longer.

    Here's an example of one of the kits I do, just as a visual for the type of work I do on it.  Not going to post links or were to find them so I don't violate any rules.

  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 10,063
    @Zifty - Very cool, I used to love miniature stuff when I was a kid, it fascinated me. I think a lot of the cutter manufacturers today that appeal to the home craft hobbyist are making their machines with a planned obsolescence of about 2-3 years max and they are introducing new machines it seems like every 18 months. People want faster and more features, but they don't want to pay for it.
  • TitaniumTimTitaniumTim Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2017
    Zifty...Have you tried calibrating the machine? I ran across this procedure while searching some other info on my Cameo 2 on you tube. I did not know you can test and manually calibrate the machine.
    Post edited by TitaniumTim on
  • ZiftyZifty Member Posts: 19
    I've done a calibration test every 2 months or so.  It always held the same results.  Well actually come to think of it from the get go a couple of years ago I noticed the horizontal cut test when centered in the middle of the line, did seem to cut right to left at an almost undetectable upward slant, such that when centered (more or less) the cut would start at the bottom edge of the line and intersect it ending up at the top of the line.  The printed line is less than 1 mm thick so I didnt think much of it.

    I like to think I have very good vision for close up acute detail, hence my love of Z scale models, so it did strike me as odd.  I never got a second opinion and it never seems to have any negative affect on any of my projects.

    The vertical cut would follow a straight path from end to end.  my new machine does not have the same affliction.

    Perhaps the machine was always slightly a lemon and over time reached a tipping point.

    I haven't invested much time investigating.. maybe its a simple fix.  Something is obviously telling the stepper motor that controlled the mat position to move when it shouldn't be. 

    I wonder if the printer quality of the registration marks may have played a factor.  I was getting a slight bleed with black ink in the last few weeks.  I blew out the nozzles the other night and prints nice an crisp again.  If the reg marks were slightly blurry maybe that threw the readings off somehow.

    Anyways, the old Cameo is in the spare parts bin now and life goes on!

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