Now you can create your own custom designs out of plastic with the Silhouette Alta 3D printer.
I got a new crafting tool recently and I’ve been having so much fun with it that I decided I needed to share all about it with you. This is Silhouette’s newest machine, a 3D printer! Imagine being able to make all kinds of shapes out of plastic. It’s a crafter’s dream with infinite project possibilities. Let me introduce you to the Alta and all it can do.
Thank you to Silhouette America for sending me a machine to review.
How Does A 3D Printer Work?
Basically, you can download or design any 3D shape and the machine will make it out of plastic. The Silhouette Alta feeds a spool of plastic filament into the print head (the part that melts the plastic… kind of like a glue gun). The print head moves around following the data from the software and shoots out the hot plastic until the shape you told it to make magically appears. Here is a screenshot of the software:
The brown gear shape in the middle is the 3D design I selected and the circle grid is the available work space. You can change the properties of the gear (like making it taller or wider or whatever). If you click the cube shape in the upper right hand corner, you can move it around to see the object at different angles. Once your design is perfected, you send it to the machine, just like you do with your Silhouette Cameo. It takes a long time for the machine to make things, just FYI. A really large project could take a few hours.
The biggest question I had when I got my 3D printing machine was, “Will I actually be able to design in 3D?” The answer is YES!
Luckily, Silhouette has made the software incredibly easy to use, especially if you are comfortable with Silhouette Studio (the software for the Silhouette Cameo cutting machines). The coolest part is that you can use the cut file designs you already own in Silhouette Studio! You just open the file in the 3D software and this menu will pop up:
The software will automatically turn your cut file into a 3D object! How cool is that?!
When you purchase the Silhouette Alta, it comes with everything you need to get started, including:
- Silhouette Alta
- Power cable & USB cable
- Loose filament spool (white, approx. 60 g)
- Filament spool holder
- Platform (with applied Platform Tape Sheet)
- Replacement Platform Tape Sheets (10)
- Two different sizes of hex keys (for machine adjustments)
- Nozzle cleaner tool
- Spatula tool
- Keys (to lock/unlock the case)
- Silhouette 3D software
- 25 exclusive 3D designs
You can buy extra filament and it comes in a few different colors. You can also paint the plastic after creating a shape.
This little gear was the first project I printed, but don’t you worry… there’s lots more where that came from. I have some awesome tutorials coming soon!
So what do you think? Can you see yourself using the Silhouette Alta for crafting? Stay tuned for upcoming Alta projects.