I'm not new to these machines, having owned and used a Graphtec Craftrobo for years - but I wanted to upgrade to a new machine that would let me cut wider areas, yet still have an optical scanner. Unfortunately I couldn't justify the cost of a professional vinyl cutter/plotter, but the silhouette cameo seemed like a good compromise, offering an optical sensor for recognition of registration marks, but allowing me to cut just that little bit wider than my Craftrobo.
I use Illustrator for everything, and my Craftrobo has a great plugin so that I can cut directly from this software. I knew the Silhouette Cameo didn't have an Illustrator or Coreldraw plugin supplied by Graphtec (why oh why doesn't it?!), but there was software available, called Cutwizard, which would supposedly allow you to cut directly from illustrator.
Unfortunately, once I'd bought the Cameo and tried cutting from Illustrator with it, I found that the Cutwizard software was useless, or at least certainly on my set up. I'm using Win 7 and Illustrator CS5 (full version), but although the software should work with this combination of Illustrator and operating system - it doesn't.
Exporting files from Illustrator as .dxf and opening in the Silhouette Studio software is so error prone, it's not feasible as an alternative. The Silhouette Studio software might be great in its own right for other users, but I'm afraid I'm just not interested in learning to use new software that can't do as much as the software I already have.
So... I'm afraid my new Silhouette Cameo is going back.
If Graphtec ever happen upon this review, I would beg them to write their own plugin for this machine in Illustrator and Coreldraw - I think they really missed a trick not bothering to provide this.