Are you new to Cricut? Do you find yourself unsure about how to navigate through the software that comes with the equipment? Beginners in Cricut’s Design Space application need to learn the use of several basic tools before they can experiment with and play on their projects. One of those basic tools is Weld and Unweld, which would be incredibly useful when pursuing several arts and crafts.
If you’re new to Cricut and want to navigate through this new system, here’s what you need to know:
What is Welding and Unwelding?
First of all, welding is a technical term used by Cricut users. Simply put, it means putting two images together so that they form one image. For example, you created the word “Dream” using Font X and then created the word “Big” using Font Y. These are two distinct images and if you want to combine them into just one picture – you’ll be using the Weld Function.
But why is Welding so important? If the image you see on the screen looks like one big picture, wouldn’t it be printed that way? Well, not exactly. Cricut will view those as separate images and will therefore cut them separately. This is why it’s important to use the Weld function as it would remove the divide between the two images, creating a perfect and seamless phrase.
So what does Unwelding mean? Unwelding allows you to detach the previously Welded materials together. In the given example, the phrase “Dream Big” has been welded together. The Unweld function allows you to separate them again as if nothing has happened.
How to Weld an Image
Welding in Design Space has three primary uses. It can create new shapes, unite the shapes, or join textual designs of different fonts. Now, these may all seem basic – but these functions are actually the hallmark of any good design. Here’s what you should do when trying to Weld via Cricut’s Design Space.
Step 1: Create the Images
Start by creating or importing whatever image you want to weld with each other. Again, this function is often used to combine texts together. So let’s follow the previous example wherein you create the texts “Dream Big” using a different font for each word.
Step 2: Arrange as Needed
Once you’ve got those images, move them around using the drag and drop function of Design Space. Place them wherever they need to be placed, adjust their size, and so on.
Step 3: Incorporate Colors and Other Edits
The text or image must be edited before welding is done. If you want to infuse color into the letters, do so at this point because you’ll have a hard time doing that once the images have been Welded together. This is especially true if you want to make each letter a different color, thereby making it necessary to separate each one far enough to prevent color migration.
Step 4: Select All and Weld
Once you’ve got the final product, you can now select all the images using your mouse. Just drag across the screen and you should be able to get this lined box that covers all images you want to Weld together. Once done, just hit Weld and you’ll get a solid single image for whatever purpose you find it suitable.
Unwelding a Welded Image
Here’s the bad news – there is no Unweld button. You cannot Unweld an image once it has been Welded together. This is why when combining two different images, you’d want to make sure that all the images are placed exactly where you want it before hitting the Weld button.
So the general rule is that you can’t Unweld an image once it has been Welded. Is there an exception to this rule though? Of course. If the last step you did was to Weld an image, then you can simply click the Undo button to Unweld it.
So let’s say you Welded the words “Dream Big” together. After you did this, you decided to color the word “Dream” into red. Once you do this, there’s no way anymore for the phrase to be Unwelded so you’ll have to start from the top. If you don’t color the font however – or make any other action – then the Undo button can work for you. You can also try using the shortcut keys for this. With Windows, the shortcut for Undo is “Ctrl Z”. For Mac users, the shortcut is “Command Z”.
Uses of Welding and Unwelding in Cricut
In the above example, we talked about using Weld for textual design. Note however that this isn’t the only use of Weld. By picking this function, you can also “delete” inside lines of two overlapping images.
To illustrate, let’s say you want to create the image of a house. To do this, you create one triangle shape from Shapes as your roof. Next, you create a square shape and then put one on top of the other. To get the house, you make sure that the bottom line of the triangle overlaps with the topmost line of the square, creating a seamless blend.
If you select both these images and hit the Weld button, the overlapping lines will instantly be deleted, leaving you a clean silhouette of a house. This therefore lets you create all kinds of images by simply blending together different basic shapes. With Weld, you can create a Christmas Tree from several triangles or perhaps create a Star of David following the same process.
Unwelding Using Slice
Slice is often viewed as the opposite of Weld in that it allows you to carve images out of other images or perhaps crop images you don’t want. Slice is the function you use if you want to cut out the words “Love” in the middle of a heart.
With some imagination however, you can also, technically, Unweld an image using Slice. For example, let’s say that you already created a “Dream Big” Weld but found that the “Big” font is not to your liking. How do you solve this problem?
You create a black rectangle and use it to completely cover the word “Big”. You then push the button for Slice and on the rightmost portion of the Design Space, you’ll find two slices of an image which would be: Dream and the black rectangle. Simply select the rectangle and delete it. Start over with the word “Big” and Weld it again when you’re happy with the results.
Welding vs Grouping vs Attach
Don’t be confused about these three functions. Grouping is a function that helps you edit multiples images quickly. In the example, let’s say that instead of Welding, you chose to Group the words “Dream” and “Big”. Once grouped, you can move these two images around, change their size, and change their orientation through one singular action. Once you’re done however, you can choose to Ungroup them again through the handy button. Grouping therefore allows each image to retain their independence.
As for Attach, this function is primarily for pinning designs on the mat. By using Attach, you can tell the Cricut machine exactly where to cut or write in relation to how the material is placed on the mat. It is therefore very different from Welding.
Common Problems with Welding
Since Welding is a fairly basic function, there aren’t many problems you can encounter with this system. Once you master Welding, it’s easy enough to proceed with other projects you want to play with.
This happens during textual projects. You put words or letters close together so that the lines tend to overlap. Once you hit weld, the color migrates to the other letter so that you don’t get the design you want anymore. For example, in our “Dream Big” scenario, the “D” is red while the “r” is done in orange. If you place the “D” and the “r” too close together and hit Weld, the “r” could suddenly have the same color as “D”, completely ruining whatever design you want.
To solve this problem, simply hit Undo. Always check if you’re happy with the Welding result before proceeding to another function.
Another common issue is when you put the letters too far apart when placing them together before a Weld. Make sure to check carefully and do not perform any other step until you’ve ascertained that this is the space you want for the Weld.
Failure to Unweld
One good technique for erroneous Welding is to simply make sure you always have the rough version saved in your PC. This way, if you make a mistake, you can go back to the saved version to correct the mistake without starting from scratch.
Cricut is a wonderfully efficient equipment that’s beautifully paired with an equally effective software: Design Space. Understanding the different elements and function of this program can help you create all sorts of arts and crafts projects – especially with Cricut working for materials like fabric, wood, vinyl, paper, and more. Continue learning about this software and pretty soon, you’ll be able to enjoy some of the exquisitely made art projects.