When I took the laser cutting class a couple of months ago, one of the maker space members told me about another machine that they had come across that was more affordable than a laser cutter if I only wanted to cut paper. He told me to look into a Silhouette. I did check it out and it was in the back of my mind as I explored other options. I have been struggling with the inability to create my own paper cuts and have been on the search for the perfect laser cutter either to purchase, use in another maker space, or hire someone to make my cuts for me. All of them had their disadvantages.
Laser cutters are expensive, especially if they are of high quality. Plus you have to have a space to run them in and ventilation for the fumes to escape. I remember one morning when my sone came upstairs to my studio space. "Mmmm. Mama, it smells like a campfire," he shared as he took in a another deep breath through his nose. That smell was only from me bringing home my stack of laser cut pieces. I can only imagine what it would smell like in our house if we were to do the actually cutting in my studio space and I'm really sensitive to smell. The garage is not really set up for a large piece of expensive equipment either because of the dampness, lack of security and just overall disinterest in being outside this time of year in Oregon. So that option was out.
I have tried ordering my laser cuts from other services, both locally and out of town, and neither one of those has panned out either. The local guy that runs a laser cutting business simply has not gotten back to me after sending an inquiry via e-mail. I know I should follow up, and probably will, but I am not sure I want to give business to someone that is unreliable. I tried several times to order cuts through Ponoko but it seems that every time I send them something the file is done incorrectly, which just gets frustrating after a while. Plus, they charge for shipping which will add up over time. Maybe I'll work with them if I have a large order but for now I am just discouraged form using a service to do the work for me.
Plus, I LIKE the cutting. It is part of the process and you know I am all about process. I love seeing my file go from a computer to being cut in front of my eyes and then sliding the paper off of the base to then be sorted and assembled.
So, I gave in this week. I went back to the Silhouette website and researched their options for a couple of hours. When I finally clicked on the "proceed to checkout" button I was filled with excitement and anticipation for my new machine! The Silhouette Cameo 3 was on it's way and would be here in two days (thanks Amazon Prime!). I got it yesterday around 1 pm and have been testing it out since then...I am finally able to get my designs made and see the cut version in just a few simple clicks!