Cameo 3 vs Portrait vs ScanNCut

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What is it? Cameo 3 vs Portrait vs ScanNCut

Cameo 3
Silhouette Cameo 3 is DIY die cutting machine for home use.

Silhouette Portrait is a portable and affordable electronic cutting machine for home use quite like the home printer.

The Brother ScanNCut is an electronic die cutting machine with integrated in 300 DPI scanner.


What does it do? Cameo 3 vs Portrait vs ScanNCut

Cameo 3
It is PixScan compatible and can register and cut printed materials. The machine has the largest cutting space and offers unparalleled versatility in cutting different materials.

Portrait is cost-effective and perfect for occasional and budget crafters in digital die cutting. It connects to a PC or Mac with a simple USB cable, providing the freedom to cut any font and download thousands of designs from the Silhouette Online Store, or design desired shapes with its software.

ScanNCut scans practically anything, including images and stamped images, hand-drawn designs, and magazine cutouts into the scanner and the machine automatically creates cut lines. The design can be saved to internal memory or external USB drive. The integrated touch screen manipulates and moves images, and does not require a computer or cartridge to work. It also cuts fabric.

Compare Features: Cameo 3 vs Portrait vs ScanNCut

Cameo 3
Silhouette Cameo 3 has an integrated AutoBlade that doesn’t need adjusting and works with the Deep-Cut Blade. All the extra blades and tools can be stored in one easy-to-access storage compartment. Cameo 3 has a dual carriage – with red circle on the left and a blue on the right. Tools such as the AutoBlade and sketch pen can be inserted into the corresponding tool holders in the Cut Settings in Silhouette Studio and the machine performs two functions in one cut job. With an increased clearance level (2 mm) and the Deep-cut Blade, it cuts thicker materials. The Silhouette Design Store has 85,000 plus downloadable designs that belong to the user once bought. One can build a personal digital design library and use it any time. There’s no need for expensive cartridges or access to shapes that will never be used again.

The software has an innovative design for any cutting system and features similar to high-end illustrating software. It’s simple, easy to use, free for Silhouette users, and gives endless possibilities of customizing a project. PixScan technology cuts precisely around a printed design and positions cut lines in a precise location on the material with a scanner, camera, or smart device. Cameo can recognize specially-designated registration marks on the PixScan cutting mat. The technology makes it possible to save any scanned or clicked image to a digital media library and can turn a hand-drawn sketch into a custom cut file.

Cameo 3 is Bluetooth-enabled and features a sleek look with full-color LCD touch screen under its lid with mini tutorials for easy use and navigation. Repeated cut jobs are made easy with the barcode scanning feature. The blade holders are push-release. Various media sizes can be accommodated in the adjustable slide bars including 12” wide items. The crosscutter on the back cuts materials fed directly from a roll. It has roll-feeder compatibility, integrated optical scanner for Print & Cut applications, USB port, power-saving sleep mode, matless cutting, and fiberglass-reinforced synchronization belt that ensure precision.

Portrait cutter has cut and draw feature and Print and Cut feature whereby you can send the images to the printer and print it in full color. The cutter detects the registration marks printed around the sides of the image to recognize where to cut. The machine has 8″ x 12″ cutting area with mat. It can cut up to 10’ with vinyl and similar-lined media. It engages cutting force of 210 grams. At 3.5 lbs, it’s great for taking to travels. The PixScan technology places images on a special mat and lets you take a picture with the camera or smartphone, and upload to the Design software for cutting. The Drawing feature allows you to sketch designs and sign cards by purchasing the Silhouette Sketch Pen Starter Kit or the Silhouette Pen Holder.

ScanNCut features an integrated 300 DPI Scanner that scans and cuts designs, creates custom shapes, and saves .JPG files so that you don’t need a bulky computer. The scanned image is displayed on the Full color LCD touch screen and with a stylus you can manipulate designs to precision without the use of a computer or measuring. It has a USB Drive input to save files and download new designs. Custom designs and basic shapes, borders and fonts are stored and preloaded in the internal memory. The Welding feature combines shapes, drawings, fonts, etc. directly on the touch screen into one piece before cutting.

Built with fabric in mind, ScanNCut has seam allowances in ¼” increments so that you can sew fabric pieces together for quilts, clothing, etc. The erasable pen creates sewing guidelines on the designs to assure virtually perfect placements of your stitches. It’s possible to create unique designs with just the push of a button and has 12″ x 12″ and 12″ x 24″ cutting mats to cut and draw designs as small as snowflakes to wall quotes. The cutting mats can be used as scanning mats, too.

ScanNCut has space-saving capabilities that ensure optimal use of the material. The background scan option scans material into the machine, which quickly appears on the LCD touch screen. One can then see the exact placement of the designs on the material before cutting them so that one can utilize the smallest scrap. ScanNCut also scans documents, files, artwork, photographs that can be saved to the USB for future use.

The lightweight and stand-alone machine is versatile and combines illustrations, text and other design elements to make tote bags or customized and hand-decorated tumblers. It can cut fabric and is preloaded with 140 built-in designs and 5 fonts.


Compare Cut sizes: Cameo 3 vs Portrait vs ScanNCut

Cameo 3
Up to 12” wide and 10’ long

Up to A4 size, 8″ x 12″ (20.3 x 30.5 cm)

Varied sizes from as small as snowflake and as large as wall quote


Compare Scanning Area: Cameo 3 vs Portrait vs ScanNCut

Cameo 3
Cameo recognizes specially-placed registration marks with the PixScan algorithm on the cutting mat. PixScan saves scanned or photographed image in the personal digital media library and turns a hand-drawn sketch into a new custom cut file.

Portrait is the PixScan technology like Print and Cut. However, the images are placed on a special mat after which a user can take a picture with the camera or smartphone.

The 11.7” wide scanning and cutting area accommodates large projects. ScanNCut eliminates the need for a computer. The 300 DPI integrated scanner scans practically anything into the machine to be saved as a cut file. Opening the cut design and moving it over the desired area with a stylus gets a perfect cut. ScanNCut scans documents, artwork, files, photographs, drawings, and save to the USB.


Compare Blade: Cameo 3 vs Portrait vs ScanNCut

Cameo 3
It has a Standard and Deep cut blade each, and AutoBlade that automatically adjust by “punching” up and down in the corner of the material till it achieves the right depth.

Portrait cuts heavier materials with its ‘double cut’ feature.

ScanNCut has a regular blade and a deep cut blade to cut thicker materials and come in color coded holders.


Compare Material it can cut: Cameo 3 vs Portrait vs ScanNCut

Cameo 3
Paper and Cardstock of thickness up to 350 GSM, vinyl, tissue paper, iron-on transfer, cereal box chipboard, craft foam, lightweight fabric, and rhinestone template material

It cuts a variety of materials such as cardstock, fabric, tissue paper and magnet paper, heat transfer material, rhinestone template material, transparencies, paper, vellum, and adhesive vinyl.

It is designed to specifically cut fabric with ease.


Compare system requirements: Cameo 3 vs Portrait vs ScanNCut

Cameo 3
Cameo 3 is dual voltage compatible and can work in any country on a 100 to 240 Volt system. It is the most powerful design software and boasts of features found in high-tech illustrating software. At the same time, it’s simple, easy to use, and absolutely free to Silhouette users. Using the new Silhouette Studio 4 software, it provides endless ways to customize a project.

This electronic cutter is simple to use and has plug and play ease with just a USB cable linked to a PC requirement. The software is compatible with Windows Vista and higher and Mac OSX 10.6.8 and higher. It also works with other design software, including Make the Cut, Sure Cuts a Lot, and Inkscape.

ScanNCut doesn’t connect to a computer, but has free cloud-based software – ScanNCut Canvas – for the machine. The software includes select designs and fonts ready to use and one can import other file formats such as .JPG and .SVG that are convertible to .FCM for downloading to a USB drive and uploading to the machine. It’s more complicated to trace
JPGs than shown in the video, though, there are online tutorials.


Compare Designs: Cameo 3 vs Portrait vs ScanNCut

Cameo 3
The Silhouette Design Store is a marketplace of ready-made shapes with over 85,000 downloadable designs created by artists. On purchasing, the designs belong to the user and the personal library can be used whenever one wants. The Silhouette Design Store ensures that the user only pays for the designs they want and eliminates the need for expensive cartridges or shapes that will never be used.

The design software can be used to cut any font on the PC, download shapes from the Silhouette Online Store, or draw one’s own designs. The machine doesn’t support heavy use like cutting balsawood. With the Studio Design Software one can create, import, and purchase own designs. The basic version is free and needs an upgrade to use the more advanced features.

It can scan, cut, and draw, including hand-drawn designs or fonts. The pens and pen holder need to be bought. The pen set has limited color. The full color LCD touch screen allows for manipulation of designs, and with a single touch, displays shapes, designs, borders, quilt patterns, phrases, etc, for even when you’re mobile. The integrated 300 DPI scanner scans images into the machine from a number of places. After scanning, the machine detects the scanned pattern and creates cut lines. It then cuts the traced designs, or one can save the designs to internal memory for cutting on different materials. You just need to select a design and cut out on the preferred material. Scanning an image gives more variety and unique design.

Compare Quilt Patterns: Cameo 3 vs Portrait vs ScanNCut

Cameo 3
With the PixScan algorithm, Cameo recognizes specially-placed registration marks on the cutting mat


PixScan™ cutting mat, 8.9″ x 13.5″ cutting mat

Either 12″ x 12″ cutting mat (included), or 12″ x 24″ cutting mat (available for additional purchase)

Compare Max Material width it can handle: Cameo 3 vs Portrait vs ScanNCut

Cameo 3
Up to 12” in width

Up to 31.5 mils (0.8 mm)

Not found


Compare Accessories: Cameo 3 vs Portrait vs ScanNCut

Cameo 3
Cutting machine, Studio software, Power cable and USB cable, 12” Cutting Mat, AutoBlade cutting blade, crosscutter, one month Subscription to the Silhouette Design Store, and 100 digital designs

Electronic Cutting Tool, Adjustable Blade with ratchet cap, Power Cable: 100-240 volts AC adapter, High-speed 2.0 USB Cable, 8” Cutting Mat, 50 exclusive digital cutting design files, $10 downloadable gift card for more digital designs from the Online Store, Silhouette Studio design software, and Instruction manual.

Standard Cut Blade and Holder, Deep Cut Blade and Holder, Standard Mats 12″ x 12″, Low Tack Adhesive Mat 12″ x 12″, Spatula, Stylus, 2 High Tack Adhesive Fabric Support Sheets and Iron-On Fabric Appliqué Contact Sheets each.


Compare Price: Cameo 3 vs Portrait vs ScanNCut

Cameo 3




Compare REVIEW: Cameo 3 vs Portrait vs ScanNCut

Cameo 3 REVIEW

Silhouette Cameo 3 review states that it was used once and while installing their firmware update, the machine broke.

Silhouette Cameo 3 review complains that it’s expensive. The firmware update as instructed failed and the machine refused to switch on.

Silhouette Cameo 3 review exposes that the Bluetooth is dysfunctional and constantly disconnects and pauses while cutting, making the project useless.

Silhouette Cameo 3 review reveals that the installer doesn’t work; hence, the new firmware cannot be installed. The blade holder is very weak. The carriage constantly jams when a 100lb card stock is inserted to cut. On cancelling the project, the blade stays in the card stock and rips through, cutting and ruining the mat.

Silhouette Cameo 3 review says that it doesn’t read registration marks for cut and print. Bluetooth for MAC and Windows doesn’t function. Silhouette Support is unhelpful. Circuit has size restriction.

Silhouette Cameo 3 review calls it a poorly-designed unit. The roller system is the biggest flaw and clamps down to destroy the media. It does not hold firmly enough making the page slip and ruin the cuts.

Silhouette Cameo 3 review states that the AutoBlade isn’t automatic. One cannot stick the material in the mat and go, but needs to select the material from the preloaded list in the software, and the blade only adjusts to that setting. Though it saves time, its features are hyped. One cannot measure the material on the mat. It needs to be selected and the material settings need manual changing.

Silhouette Cameo 3 review reveals that it’s extremely loud.

Portrait REVIEW

Portrait review reveals that the unit was broken, the blade was jammed, the blade size changer knob was covered in wax, and the mat was covered in vinyl backing and unusable.

Portrait review rues that it was delivered un-calibrated. It makes different cuts each time, even if the material is placed in the same spot. On trying to calibrate it, it doesn’t register the changes or process the first few steps of calibration. The sizing on the screen and the cuts are different. For instance, circles cut like ovals, and the cuts are between .25 to 1” further down on the mat than what’s displayed.

Portrait review states that it doesn’t accept calibration and randomly cuts on the page, right through the parts that want to be cut out.

Portrait review discloses that the unit works well but the software is awful. The cutter works with the software but they don’t connect.

Portrait review says that rebooting, reinstalling, changing versions, etc does not make the additional Silhouette Studio Connect work. The Support only reads a list of reprogrammed responses but does not actually fix problems. Even after two months the cutter was used only a couple of times, because it does not work on any computer.

Portrait review quotes its real issue as the quality of the mat and the customer service. The mat lost its stickiness after cutting 20 pages of cardstock and had to be stored with the wax paper covering to keep it safe from debris.

Portrait review claims that the machine fails to cut letters smaller than 0.5″ and if one letter fails to cut or come out, the entire project is ruined. Trying to line the letter looks unsightly. One must steer clear of cutting vinyl. The cut mis-aligns and wastes material.

Portrait review says that it broke down one fine day, after only 2 months of using.

Portrait review says that it seemed like a low-budget cutter but the adhesive property of the mat was lost in 5 uses. The defective blade did not make a single clean cut. On trying to cut about 35-40 pieces of expensive cardstock, 95% of them was destroyed beyond repair.

Portrait review states that customized designs created on a computer are never close to the outline. It’s also difficult to get items, especially very small, off the mat.

Portrait review says that it didn’t give a good cut even after 20 times and destroyed the cutting mat and blade.

Portrait review calls it user-unfriendly and adds that it has poor support. After their advice about cutting a frame using only the outside lines without the inner part , it did cut out both.

Portrait review warns that it only cuts very thin materials, cannot locate the registration marks, and only manages when it’s run repeatedly. The cuts are off-mark.

Portrait review points out that it uses generic printer drivers and conflicts if any other type of printer is used. It needs better developers and Q&A and separate drivers.


ScanNCut review says that the paper slips in the middle of the cut even with simple shapes and circles, though all instructions are followed and rolling and pressing tools are used to stick the paper on the mat. One needs to use tape around the edges of the cardstock, which is time consuming and still comes off and rips. The blade gets dull quickly.

ScanNCut review reveals that in spite of the instruction manual, the machine is difficult to decipher and its panel is not user friendly. It doesn’t cut, jams constantly, and is not ready for primetime. It was difficult to load the mat that wouldn’t go in straight, nor cut the entire image. For using patterns different from the pre-loaded ones, one needs to convert the files for the machine to read them on a USB drive. The cut is not accurate if the line in a drawing is broken or unconnected.

ScanNCut review complains that the screen is too small to display the cut lines from the scanned design. Excessive pixilation makes the cut uneven and different from what’s scanned.

ScanNCut review says that even after reading online tutorials and trials, the fabric results were dissatisfactory. The mats need improvement for use with fabric and lose stickiness after only one use and are impossible to clean.

ScanNCut review accuses the machine of being designed to cheat people. Older files are no longer supported on the Brother website. If there’s no internet, ScanNCut does not work. If the manufacturer website is changed, the files break. The cutter is useless without the website. After a lot of adjusting, cutting pressure, speed, etc. to lessen damage, the machine doesn’t work on a number of materials. Fabrics with variable thickness don’t cut. Applying pressure to cut the fabric cuts the mat. The fabric also seems dubious with an expensive but thin piece of plastic and substandard spray. The machine cuts through the fabric and gets fuzz on them, which takes a lot of work to maintain and clean. Trying to remove it rips it into little pieces that need to be scrapped off the sheet, which is quite tedious.

ScanNCut review states that it does not have enough written instructions. It doesn’t cut fabric too well. Peeling the backing of the fabric is troublesome with sticking and fraying the fabric piece, which gets it out of shape. ScanNCut works for basic designs but not intricate ones. Using fabric needs a stabilizer and starch. Then one needs to figure out the depth and pressure to be applied when cutting. No marker pens are included.

ScanNCut review divulges that its scanning is substandard. There’s no proper software available for digitizing designs. Clean cuts are a problem because the blades dull and the mats lose their stickiness. One has to clean them and then opt for adhesive alternatives.

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