A million dollar question. A common question in most printing related forum, Facebook groups and other printing community here in Philippines. Fortunately I have Cameo and Cuyi and I can share to you my experience of these two cutter plotter.
Specifically, I’m have Cameo 3 and Cuyi MC630. I went for Cameo 3 and I’m using it for 2 years as my first cutter. The reason of buying for buying Silhouette Cameo 3 is because of being user-friendly. I’m a self-taught for this business and according to other reviews, this cutter is very easy to use especially the included software to integrate with. Cameo is also good for cutting small-size subject.
As for Cuyi, it’s capable of cutting bulk subjects in large dimension. This makes the cutter fit for large task.
That are common answer you will get from Came and Cuyi users. Well as for me, I will tell you my exact experience having both. I categorize every factor and write down my experience for both plotter so we can simply compare it from same angle.
User Integration – The time I started printing business I don’t have knowledge and I worried that I’m not able to operate advanced cutter/software. Keep in mine that everything can be learned. The fact is, though that it seems Cameo 3 is easy to use, but enough practice, for now, Cuyi is more easier for me. Maybe because I’m always using it but the point is there. It will get easier too, sooner or later.
The point that most people saying that Cameo 3 is easier to use, is because Cuyi seems complicated. Cameo is using a self-made software, Silhouette Studio. Cuyi can be run by either SignMaster and FlexiSign which the system is based from Corel Draw. When you heard it you will imagine how complicated it could be. But that is wrong. There are lots of tutorial in Youtube on using SignMaster, FlexiSign or even Corel Draw. Actually you don’t need knowledge in Corel Draw if you only want to use the cutting feature of what Cameo also offer. The only thing is that, SignMaster offers a lot of features that you can access if you have knowledge in Corel Draw but if not, that’s ok. Anyway our main purpose here is to cut.
I mentioned that Cuyi is easier for me. Well easy as it comes convenient to use as well. I’m using SignMaster. It’s a paid software but the store gave me as package. In SignMaster software there features that will make your task easier. For instance, the color separation. Here you don’t need to open tab for every color in your project. Just one project and there are options there where cut different color separately in one tab. Corel Draw is using vector based image and so SignMaster. When it comes to vector image, you can edit and do stuff with much freedom. With so much things to learn it will improve you not only as a cutter but also as a graphic designer using vector based software.
Performance – Most people say that Cameo is good for intricate cut which is not possible for Cuyi. In my case I’m using Cuyi MC630 which is actually for small contour. Although the price of MC630 is twice as Cameo 3 but if you are really into small details cutting, MC630 will do the job and not the MK models. Performance also means accuracy. Yes I can say that Cameo 3 is far good accurate compare to Cuyi. I used Cameo 3 for years and I didn’t experience any problem. While in Cuyi, the time I received the product, it is not accurate as it should be. The blade is not as sharp as it should be. So yes you need to calibrate the cutter. In calibrating, it deserve a different post to discuss. Now for speed, I don’t consider it that much. Cuyi is much faster. I’m rooting for accurate result. But even in the slowest setting possible, I still consider it as decent speed for my task. There were also issue in Cuyi that the cut especially in circle is not complete or accurate. This is a common issue for Cuyi and this can be fixed. I will also include it in my next post in solving common issue on Cuyi. While in Cameo 3, out of the box, it is accurate and ready to kick in without further calibration.
Verdict – If you love challenge and learning more possibilities, there is no reason why venturing for a long term investment – Cuyi. The potential of Cuyi is viable even in medium business while in Cameo 3, you need to cut manually, place it in mat and then cut. The optimal cutting dimension is 12×12 or if you are lucky enough you can cut up to 12×24. So if you have a big project you need to do it several time. Imagining it makes me tired for real. haha. But it is really tedious for big project to cut using Cameo 3. While in Cuyi you can cut in 24 inches x xxx. You can consume the whole vinyl roll without messing up. The only disadvantage in Cuyi is that you need to give 3 inches allowance on every cut which is actually a waste (3 inches x 20 inches). Though I do trick by placing mat to save more inches but it still a waste compare to Cameo 3 that you don’t need to spare allowance. So I can say that for small project Cameo is always good to consider. Now, for how long that this small business will stay before it grows? In the end, go for long term investment. Cuyi all the way.
Yes I have Cameo 3, while Cameo 4 is recently released in market. How about this new model can outclass Cuyi now? Well I don’t think so. I noticed from different printing group in Facebook and forum, there are several Cameo 4 users are selling their unit. Again for new comers in this business, better get long cutter for long term investment. Don’t worry if you are first timer or having difficulty in integrating with the machine. There are lots of tutorial in Youtube or even in forum. Plus I’m here, I will share to you my knowledge on using Cuyi as well as properly calibrating the cutter in case this bother you.