A better open-source extension for Silhouette Cameo, Inkscape, and Ubuntu

This post demonstrates how to configure the open-source inkscape-silhouette extension on Ubuntu 18.04.

My previous method is documented here.

Even now this post is out of date, as Ubuntu 20.04 has almost certainly been released at the time of writing (though I am far too lazy to go check). It may also be out of date because I don’t see a lot of Silhoutte merchandise at the local craft store anymore. Is there a similar way to interface with the Cricut?

System and dependencies

Do the usual system prep before adding the software upon which Inkscape and the Silhouette extension depend:

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sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Ubuntu 18.04

Just as with a conventional printer, the Silhouette Cameo requires some drivers be installed before it can work with Ubuntu.

Open your System Settings:

[Open System Settings]

Select Printers click Add:

[Add printer]

Select your device and press Add:

[Add your device]

You may see this:

[Searching for drivers]

Generic text-only driver automatically installed:

[Text-only driver]

Inkscape

The Inkscape vector graphics tool has an extension that enables you to send your own SVG files to the Cameo.

Add the Inkscape repository and install:

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sudo add-apt-repository ppa:inkscape.dev/stable
sudo apt update
sudo apt install inkscape

Run it from the command line to make sure it works:

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inkscape

inkscape-silhouette extension

These steps are adapted from the inkscape-silhouette wiki.

This extension depends upon python-usb:

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sudo apt install python-usb

Next, you’ll need to download a copy of the extension’s latest release. At the time of writing, you could obtain it from the command line like this:

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cd ~
wget https://github.com/fablabnbg/inkscape-silhouette/releases/download/v1.22/inkscape-silhouette_1.22-1_all.deb
sudo dpkg -i inkscape-silhouette_1.22-1_all.deb

Try it out

Execute inkscape (from the command line, if you wish):

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inkscape

Load the SVG file you want to cut and navigate to Extensions > Export > Send to Silhouette:

I leave the settings for you to play with. I only cut vinyl, so I go with the extension-provided defaults:

When ready, press Apply and watch your Silhouette Cameo spring to life.