Silhouette SD paper and vinyl cutter

Paper Fabrication with Silhouette and ModelMaker

Silhouette SD paper and vinyl cutter

Silhouette (aka Craft Robo) paper and vinyl cutter

I recently stumbled upon a great web site for teaching with paper crafting – is from the Curry Center for Technology and Teacher Education at U. Virginia. The site is mostly about using a Silhouette (aka Craft Robo), a desktop paper/vinyl cutting machine about the size of a small inkjet printer.

Costume CampBells Soup Can

Matt's costume Campbells Soup Can

I have one of these machines and it is currently on-loan to CrashSpace. It does a good job cutting card-stock and vinyl.  One of the Crashers (Matt Pinner) used it to make a Campbell’s Soup costume with vinyl decals. Matt gave a class on using it back in May. I made some simple vinyl stickers for a car window.

Back to the Digital Fab site … they have some good videos and FAQ on the site about using it for teaching kids using paper cutting/folding (aka Kirigami).  One really cool video is this one showing the creation of a rack and pinion system from card stock.

They use a combination of Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw and a neat tool called fablab ModelMaker. The latter piece is a fairly low cost 3d modeler that drives the Silhouette and is targeted at schools/educational market.  They have a nice video showing kids from Punahou School (Oahu) using the machine with an inkjet printer to create ‘cereal boxes’ to learn math (although they may not know it.

I emailed the creators of ModelMaker and learned they are working on a program to roll the software out to a few more Hawaiian schools.  Also the software can create STL files to output to the Fab@School 3D printer.  Since this is the same format used by Makerbot, I’m going to have to experiment with it for both of my machines!

3 replies
  1. melody
    melody says:

    I don’t have one of those machines, wish I did. I am wondering if someone can tell me how the the can itself was made…under the label. My daughter wants to be a can of spinach for halloween.


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  1. […] some Carl Perkins funds, we have purchased a three dimensional paper fabricator for students to “tinker” with as they learn about design. This will be a new student […]

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