Installing Silhouette Connect for Illustrator on OSX

I have a Silhouette SD (recently replaced by the portrait). Its a great little paper/vinyl cutter, but the software it comes with (Silhouette Studio) isn’t all the great for working on complex designs. I much prefer to work in Adobe Illustrator, and until recently I had a pretty good setup working. Then came OSX Mavericks…

Silhouette SD, Adobe Illustrator, and OSX (pre Mavericks)

While it isn’t advertised, it turns out that the Cutting Master 2 plugin (download here) for Illustrator works with the Silhouette SD. This means you can directly cut from Adobe Illustrator! After a little trial and error, I found that you just have to pretend like you own the CC300-20 cutter.

UPDATE: Oh look, and now they advertise this works. I wish they posted this 2 years ago.

Silhouette SD, Adobe Illustrator, and OSX Mavericks

After upgrading to OSX Mavericks, Cutting Master 2 stopped working. No big deal, this happened with Lion. I’ll just download the latest… Oh, and that doesn’t work either.

In the mean time, Silhouette Connect was released! Its actually a much nicer version of CM2. The interface is great, and it has the same cutting settings that Silhouette Studio offers and the layer and color settings of CM2. Woot! Well worth the money.

Silhouette Connect can’t find Illustrator

I have all my Adobe software installed into a folder called “Adobe” inside of Applications. This is not the standard location and sadly the Silhouette Connect installer can’t be pointed at it directly (lame). No problem I thought, I’ll just create a symlink from where it would normally get installed. No luck ūüė¶

Yup, another win for Silhouette America. Why am I always hacking their products to get them working?

After much debugging, which included modifying dtruss to redirect its output to a file of my choice (wow strace is nicer (ye, yes, ¬†dtrace is even more badass)), compiling a program that maps .vol files to their normal path, and compiling a program to create hard links, I was able to figure out and solve the problem.¬†It turns out that the installer lists all the contents of /Applications/ looking at their filetype and symlinks are only being seems as “symlinks” instead of being resolved to their src directory. So what we really need is a hardlink.

  1. Copy and paste the hardlink code from this stack overflow answer into a file called hardlink.c
  2. Open the Terminal App and inside it run:
  3. > gcc -o hardlink /path/to/hardlink.c
  4. > ./hardlink /Applications/Adobe/Adobe\ Illustrator\ CS5 /Applications/Adobe\ Illustrator\ CS5
  5. Re-run the Silhouette Connect installer. It should find Illustrator this time!