Are you a passionate crafter searching for an easy-to-use and highly versatile instrument to seamlessly bring your craft project ideas to life and purchased your first Cricut machine for that purpose? Or perhaps you got a Cricut machine as a gift on your birthday or as a Christmas present, but have been struggling to get started with your brand new crafting machine? Or perhaps you saw loads of wonderful craft project pictures on “Pinterest” and thought, “How are those complex drawings cut with such exquisite details and perfection?” And most importantly, you wondered how you could do such beautiful craft projects of your own? Or perhaps, you learned about Cricut from a friend or on some social media, and you are wondering, “What is Cricut, and what can it do for me?” In that case, you have got just the right guide to help you get started with Cricut machines and master the creation of highly artistic craft project ideas right from the inception of your idea to its actual manifestation into an artwork.
The “Provo Craft & Novelty, Inc.” (also referred to as “Provo Craft”) headquartered at Spanish Fork, Utah, launched home die-cutting machinery or cutting plotters to simplify the creation of scrapbooks and a variety of craft projects under the brand name “Cricut.” The Cricut machines can be used to cut paper, fabric, vinyl, felt, and even fondant icing for cakes and baked goods. Cricut is the leading electronic die cutters heavily utilized by paper craftsmen, greeting card manufacturers, and scrapbook makers.
The first Cricut machine to hit the market comprised of 6 by 12 inches cutting sheets, while the bigger “Cricut Expression” machine supported cutting sheets of 12 by 12 inches and 12 by 24 inches. The biggest Cricut machine was able to create letters ranging from as small as 0.5 inches to as high as 23.5 inches. To use the “Cricut” and “Cricut Expression” machine, you would require matting and blades that could be modified to allow cutting through different kinds of paper, fabric, vinyl, and several other sheet products. The “Cricut personal paper cutter” was designed like a desktop printer and operated as a simple paper cutter on the basis of cutting parameters specified by the user. The “Cricut Cake” could generate cake fondants with desired styles, which could be cut into a variety of shapes using sheets of fondant and were used by chefs and bakers to prepare and adorn cakes for special occasions.
Latest Cricut Machines
The Cricut machines have been upgraded to allow the use of a variety of materials and accessories intended to make “Cricut” as a one-stop-shop for all your crafting needs and to give life to your artistic ideas. Let’s look at the current Cricut models available in the market today and how they can be used to meet your crafting requirements.
Cricut Explore One
The “Cricut Explore One” is a wired model of the Cricut cutting machines with a single tool slot and resembles a printer in appearance. However, rather than printing your patterns on paper, it utilizes an extremely precise blade and a number of rollers arranged in a specific order to cut out almost anything that you can think of. When people hear first about the “Cricut,” they assume that it is just a machine targeted toward scrapbook makers. It is capable of cutting beautiful paper shapes and fonts that come loaded on cartridges included with the machine. The “Cricut Explore One” differs from the legacy Cricut machines. You are able to access a huge library of cut files rather than just using the cartridges. It allows you to upload your own images and patterns and edit them to cut desired shapes. Their software can be used on your desktop and tablets in online and offline modes. It is capable of cutting over 100 different types of material. It also enables drawing, scoring, and engraving of desired patterns and images.
You can design anything that you would like to cut using their proprietary software called the “Cricut Design Space”, put the material on the cutting board, verify your configurations, and you are all set.
- Use “Design Space” with your laptop, phone, or tablet.
- It can be used wirelessly by installing a wireless Bluetooth adapter.
- Upload your own designs for free or choose from the “Cricut Image Library.”
- Supports fonts installed on your local computer.
- The “Smart Set Dial” allows auto-selection of the required cut setting.
- Equipped with convenient tools and accessories holder.
- Works with “Cricut” Cartridges.
Cricut Explore Air
The “Cricut Explore Air” is another line of Cricut die-cutting machines and an upgrade to the “Cricut Explore One” machine with a wireless connectivity model. This also has a printer-like appearance, which allows you to design your projects on your desktop, and then cut them using high precision blades of the machine. ⠀ It is capable of cutting through “paper, vinyl, fabric, craft foam, sticker paper, faux leather, among other materials.” The “Cricut Explore Air” is capable of cutting up to 12 inches wide using a small precision blade installed in the machine. In reality, you could even use Cricut as a standard printer to print graphics on your chosen material. The device has an accessory slot, which allows you to insert a marker and use the Cricut machine to actually “draw” your design. The “Explore series of Cricut” devices support an enormous digital library of “cartridges” rather than using physical “cartridges.” This is ideal for achieving a beautiful handwritten look and perfect for people who are not confident in their artistic handwriting skills. This implies you can add any texts or designs from your personal library using the “Cricut Design Space” and cut them out by simply transferring to the Cricut device. ⠀
- First Cricut device with embedded Bluetooth technology.
- Supports dual cartridge to cut, write, or score at the same time.
- Compatible with a variety of picture files such as .svg, .jpg, .png, .gif, and more.
- It can cut 60 different materials.
- Supports all “Cricut” cartridges.
- Equipped with integrated storage components.
Cricut Explore Air 2
The “Explore Air 2” was released in early 2017 as an upgrade to the “Explore Air” line, in 3 new exciting colors, namely, “Mint Blue, Rose Anna, Giffin Lilac.” The “Explore Air 2” boasts a “fast mode” that is capable of cutting through and writing on card stock, iron-on, and vinyl as well as specialty materials such as bonded fabric and cork, at twice the speed as the “Explore Air.” However, if you are not under a time constraint, you can use the “Precision Mode” to create more intricate cuts with fine details. Needless to say, like all “Cricut” machines, this model is super easy to learn even for art beginners and allows you to
cut, write, and score the top 100 materials used in craft projects. You can connect any of your devices like laptops, tablets, and phones through Bluetooth, so you don’t have to deal with unruly cables. With the “double tool holder,” you can easily access your pens and cutting blade. This will allow you to easily switch between cutting the material to quickly decorating it with a written note.
- High precision to cut intricate designs.
- Create handwriting style cards and crafts.
- Choose from more than 370 different font styles.
- Use Scoring stylus to fold boxes, envelopes, cards, acetate, and create 3-dimensional paper projects.
- Fast Mode offers twice as fast cutting speed.
- Work with more than 100 kinds of materials.
- Wireless cutting with Bluetooth technology.
- Use of “Cricut Image Library.”
On 20 August 2017, the “Cricut Maker” was launched as a brand new line of products designed for the purpose of cutting thicker materials like “balsa wood, basswood, non-bonded fabric, leather, and felt in just a few clicks. Only “Cricut Maker” offers a distinctive, commercially-developed technology that allows control on the direction of the blade and the cutting pressure that is best suited for the desired material. Moreover, it has 10 times more cutting energy, which will allow you to cut more materials than ever before. “Cricut Maker” has been thoughtfully designed to further simplify and enhance your “DIY” experience and now offers more built-in storage to keep your tools and accessories organized and easily accessible. It is also equipped with a docking port for your mobile devices and tablets, along with a USB port so you can recharge your devices as you use it to bring your creativity to life.
The “Cricut Maker” is the first and only device from “Cricut” that can be used with a “Rotary blade” to directly cut fabrics. It is also equipped with a “scoring wheel” that can exert varying pressure to allow scoring of thicker papers. It provides the most diverse variety of tools to cut, score, write, and even decorate; so you can truly bring your dream projects to life. Moreover, the company is looking to add even more tools that can be used with “Cricut Maker” and easily switched to continually support your creative growth. With the versatile housing slot, you can just press the “quick release” button on the device to mount any desired tip and kick start your craft project.
- Fast and precision cut creating a rotary blade.
- Use the knife blade to cut thin as well as thick materials.
- Use 12 x 12 inches cutting mats with fine point pen.
- It offers a number of digital sewing patterns.
- Use your own designs.
- It comes with a device docking slot.
- Equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology.
- A USB port allows charging your mobile devices while in use.
Though small in size, the “Cricut Mini” can cut up to 8 x 12 inches deep materials as well as shapes and fonts from 0.5 to 11.5 inches in size. It is designed to be light and extremely portable so you can take it with you when you are on the go. All you need is a laptop to connect with the “Cricut Mini” through the Internet to design and cut your craft projects. (Note – This model is no longer available for purchase from “Cricut”)
The “Cricut EasyPress” family is designed to help with your “heat transfer” craft projects, providing even heat distribution from one corner to corner, unlike traditional clothing irons. It is also equipped with smart safety functions and easy to control and manage console. The “dual heating elements and ceramic-coated plate” allow for fast, coherent, and ultimate professional dry heat transfer to every corner of the fabric. The “Cricut” website offers an online “Heat Transfer Guide” that allows you to select your “EasyPress” device and then choose the base material or design and type of transfer fabric you are working with to provide you with the “proven time and temperature settings” for all your projects. The “Cricut EasyPress” machines are available in four different dimensions for a broad range of applications – from large and noticeable images to smallest of the text targeted for areas that are hard to reach.
Cricut EasyPress 2
The “Cricut EasyPress 2” is an upgrade to the “Cricut EasyPress” and designed to provide quick, simple, and professional quality transfers from baby suits to larger products such as shirts and banners, right from the convenience of your home. ⠀
The heat plate design was taken to the next level with a more robust ceramic-coated surface and two uniquely designed heating elements that are capable of generating heat from border to border for professional-looking heat transfers.
With the “Cricut EasyPress 2,” you will be able to precisely control the transfer temperature of up to “400°F or 205 °C”. You can use their “online heat transfer guide” to simply select the suggested time & temperature settings for your “HTV or Infusible Ink projects.” It also boasts advanced safety features such as an insulated base which can protect your working surface from heat damage and the auto shut down function that will turn your device off if it is sitting idle for 10 minutes. The “Cricut EasyPress 2” can work in coordination with other “Cricut” cutting devices. So you can design, cut, and transfer desired graphics and pictures using the “Circuit” family devices. ⠀
Cricut EasyPress Mini
The “Cricut EasyPress Mini” is another heat press, which is so small that it can easily fit in your pocket but is still packing the power of a regular heat press to allow heat transfer of even the smallest and unique materials. It is only 1.92 inches broad and 3.25 inches high and offers an optimal tip and edge control to position the heat precisely where it is needed. The unique design of the “Cricut EasyPress Mini” with an additional layer of protection on the surface of the plate, which allows you to seamlessly glide on the bases to stick any design. It is also equipped with three different settings for controlled heat transfer. It can easily become your preferred heat press to transfer your creative design to any base material. As a promise of any “Cricut” device, the “EasyPress Mini” also has advanced safety features like an insulated safety base, which will protect your work area and the auto shut down function that will turn your device off if it is sitting idle for 13 minutes.