Are you looking for a cutting machine for your crafts? If so, then you will love to get your hands on a Cricut machine. Don’t know what it is and what it does? In this post, you’ll know everything there is to know about a Cricut machine – from how it works to how you can use it.
What is a Cricut Machine?
The Cricut machine (pronounced as “cri-kut”), is a cutting machine that you can use in your arts and crafts. It looks a lot like a printer but instead of printing on paper, it cuts paper. The Cricut machine doesn’t just cut paper though; it can cut all sorts of materials, from cloth, cardboard, to vinyl.
What about leather and wood? Can the Cricut machine cut harder materials? Unfortunately, not all Cricut machines have that capability. However, the Cricut Maker can cut through as much as 100 different materials! Compared to the other machines that can only cut half the number of materials, the Cricut Maker can cut through wood and leather.
Another notable feature about the Cricut machine is that newer models have more than one tool holder. Therefore, it can hold different blades for cutting.
How Does a Cricut Machine Work?
How does a Cricut machine work? If it is a lot like a printer, can you use it in the same way? Yes, you can but you still can’t print images on the paper.
A Cricut machine works by using a program on your computer that will load the design to the machine. When you’ve loaded the design, you just have to start the cutting process by clicking “Make It’ in the program. The machine will trace the loaded design onto the material and cut it right after.
A Cricut machine uses several different blades like a tiny or large blade, a rotary cutter, or a scoring tool. Usually, there’s just one type of blade found in a machine, but you can change it by buying different blades from the same manufacturer.
Beginner’s Guide on Using a Cricut Machine
What exactly should you do so you can start the cutting process? Here is a step-by-step guide that you can follow to have seamless cutting.
1. Setting Up
Should you do the design first? No, because you have to set up the whole thing first. This means that you have to have the workspace for you to place the Cricut machine and your computer.
When knowing where to put the machine, look for a spot that has a fast internet connection because you will be connecting the Cricut to your laptop or your desktop. You should also look for a large flat surface to place your Cricut machine. Yes, it has to be a flat and straight surface because you don’t want the machine to cut wrongly because it’s placed on a sliding table.
When you’ve found the right spot, plug the machine to a power outlet, and place your laptop just beside it.
2. Using the Design Space
Have you found your workspace already? If you have, then you can now download the Design Space software. Design Space is the program to make all your designs that will be loaded to the Cricut machine. Unfortunately, this is the only platform you can work on if you want the Cricut to print your artwork.
You can download Design Space straight from Cricut’s website. This program is compatible with all Cricut versions. They’re also compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. It’s also uses the same program for your tablet, iPad, or smartphone. If you want to switch from one device to another, just save it in the cloud and link the other devices.
3. Link the Cricut to Your Laptop
The next thing you have to do is connect the Cricut and your laptop. No, you won’t be using wires here because you’ll be connecting via Bluetooth. This is a great plus because you don’t want to have a lot of wires distracting you from your crafts.
To start, make sure that the Cricut is turned on. Then, turn on your Bluetooth connection in the laptop; it should be able to detect the machine right away. Click on its name from the Bluetooth device list and connect.
Prompted for a password? Don’t panic, just type “0000”. If there’s a problem with not finding the device, you can check out the troubleshooting options in the manual.
4. Create Your Design
If you already have Design Space, you can now start being artistic! Release your creative juices to create pictures, shapes, letters, and other objects for your art.
Fortunately, Design Space has a lot of features that can help you create your ideal design. You can download images and fonts right into the program. It’s pretty intuitive to use, so you don’t really have to be an expert to be able to make beautiful designs.
If you plan on working offline, make sure that you save your project and turn on the offline access. Your files will be stored in the cloud anyway, so they won’t be lost.
5. Load Your Material
Done with your design? You can now place your material right into the machine. There’s a tray right in front of the machine that fits 12×12 sheets of paper, board, vinyl, etc. When putting your material, make sure that they’re aligned. There are rulers on the side, so you don’t have to think twice if the positioning is straight or not.
If your material is too big, try to cut it to a smaller size so it fits the tray. Unfortunately, this is something the Cricut machine can’t do for you.
6. Start Cutting
And finally, you can now start to cut. Once the material is ready and you’re sure of the design, all that’s left to do is to click the “Make It” button on the upper right-hand corner of the Design Space. When you click the button, the Cricut machine will immediately start cutting.
Depending on the design, cutting can take less than a minute to a few minutes. To prevent delays and errors, make sure that your laptop is near the printer so the Bluetooth connection doesn’t get cut off.
Benefits of a Cricut Machine
Do you really need to buy the Cricut machine? Well, if you can cut your designs perfectly, then you don’t have to. However, that’s just too time-consuming especially when your designs are complicated and have a lot of detail.
A Cricut machine is something you’ll find useful especially when you plan on making a lot of your designs and cutting them using different materials. Even if you have blades at home, cutting them on your own is still not the best way to go about your crafts. Besides, who wants to give themselves a hard time when there’s a machine that can make everything for you?
Another benefit you’ll have when you buy the Cricut is that it comes with a design program. Gone are the days when you have to trace or draw on paper. With Design Space, you can create your designs straight from there.
There are many things you can do with a Cricut machine. You can create cards, album designs, scrapbooking materials, and other home decor items with it. It’s versatile and useful once you try using different designs and materials with it.
What Cricut Machines are in the Market?
Cricut has made several models of its original cutting machine, Cricut Explore. Cricut Explore is the first line of cutting machines produced by Cricut. It has three different models – Cricut Explore One, Explore Air and Explore Air 2. As the first models, all of them had only one or two tool holders. If you plan on using different cutting tools, then this might not be the best model for you.
Don’t worry, there’s another machine that you can buy – the Cricut Maker. Cricut Maker is one of the more popular models because it’s so powerful. Compared to the first models, this can cut 100 different materials. This is best used for heavy-duty use since it’s also more durable. Needless to say, it has added features, too.
Lastly, you have Cricut Joy. Cricut Joy is more like a smaller version of the Cricut machines. It’s very portable and it’s made for those who want to cut small designs. Don’t underestimate this though, it’s also very powerful.
Are there other cutting machines that aren’t Cricut? Yes, there are and most of them have the same features as the Cricut. Of course, each brand has its special features that you won’t find anywhere else. But if you’re looking for a popular and trustworthy cutting machine, Cricut is definitely one of those brands.
The Cricut machine is easy to make. If you’re just starting to explore your crafting skills, then the Cricut machine is an ideal starter tool. It is user-friendly and it comes with a design software so you don’t have to shift to different programs when you want to print your design.