The Cricut Explore Air 2 machine is one of the most recent offerings from the Cricut line of die-cutting machines. This is the newest die-cutting machine next to the Cricut Maker machine which is the latest model to be released. When you initially see the Explore Air 2 machine, you might think that it is not something that is worth getting excited over. It is very minimalistic and laid back compared to the older versions of the Cricut die-cutting machines. However, when you take a closer look at the machine, you will quickly discover that this small cutter leads the pack in the home craft cutting marketplace. As an example, this machine is perfectly designed to cut at a speed that is almost twice as fast as the machines that came before it, including the Expression machine line. The Explore Air 2 machine gives you the option of cutting at two different modes, the normal mode as well as the fast mode. All you need to do to get from one mode to the other is to switch the option from one to the other. Switching to fast mode is a great option when you need to make every second you are working on a particular project count. This can be when you are under the gun to get a project done due to client deadlines.
Another great feature of the Explore Air 2 machine is that it comes with a huge library of images all ready to go. This is the new Design Space program offered with the Explore Air line and newer, and it is all digital images rather than having to use the cartridges. The Design Space program is made up of over 3,000 easy to use designs and project ideas that are ready to go in a moment’s notice and can get you on your way to crafting that much faster. Depending on what you are looking for you can either use the preloaded images to get you started in creating your own project or you can use one of the already crafted projects where all you need to do is gather your materials and tools and simply hit go, and let the machine do all of the work for you. This option is great if you are just starting out with a die-cutting machine because you may not know what all you are able to do with the machine just yet.
Once you have a few projects under your belt, you can begin using the Design Your Own Project option to get even more creative. The best part about Design Space is that you won’t have to pay extra for a lot of these designs. They are already loaded and free for use, as many times as you want!
You will also find the Explore Air 2 machine to be cutting edge because of its ability to sync with smart devices. This means that you can use your unit with tablets, smartphones, and PCs, and they are all compatible for use with the machine as well as design space because you can cut directly from your phone to the machine with the Bluetooth connection option. Being a crafter and a designer, this means that you have a lot more freedom to work up your next project when you are on the go. You have the ability to save your projects within design space without cutting them, so if an idea strikes you at any moment, you can simply use the app to bring the design to life and save it for a time when you can get in front of your die-cutting machine and create the physical representation of it. It really is very simple and easy to use. This is the next level of flexibility that crafters need when you are always on the go and need to design something in a moment’s notice. You will eventually find yourself sitting on the subway dreaming up new ideas to cut when you get to your destination, rather than simply wondering when your ride will be over. You can simply turn on your computer and get busy putting on the final touches of a design you can print as soon as you get home.
Regardless of what model of the Cricut you choose, you simply cannot go wrong with the options that are available. If you are someone who is more into the tech side of die-cutting machines, the Explore Air 2 might be the better option for you. We do recommend that you do a practice run project with your machine when you have finished the initial set up. This will help you understand what all the machines can do, and what you are required to do with the machine to make sure you are getting what you want out of it, depending on what material you are using. The Explore Air 2 machine gives you everything you need to get started with at least 1 test project, so we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to work with the materials and tools that are given to you so that you are starting out in a position of comfort when you move onto more personal and intricate projects. We also recommend you investigate the bundle options that are provided on the Cricut website so that you are starting out right away with a variety of materials and tools in a cost-effective manner. There is nothing like receiving your machine and wanting to get started on a project, only to remember you now must go get the materials and tools you need to make it happen.
Once you have picked out your design and you have gathered the materials you need, it is important you make sure that the dial on the machine is set to the correct material in order to make your cut go smoothly. Be sure to make this part of your regular routine. There is nothing like cutting a very detailed project out only to find out you had it on the wrong setting and you will have to run it through the process in order to pull out your desired cut. This means that if you are working with cardstock paper to make a birthday card for a friend, you will want to ensure that the dial is set to cardstock so that it has the proper pressure for the blade to cut all the way through. There is nothing worse than cutting out a card only to find out that it only made it halfway! This is the same for vinyl cutting. If you are trying to create a shirt, for instance, you will want to make sure that the dial is set to vinyl or vinyl + so that it is cut all the way through to easily remove the access vinyl from your cut image.
You will also want to ensure that if you are making a shirt that the option to mirror your image is turned on. This means that Design Space will automatically flip your image so that once you go to iron the project onto the shirt, it is actually the right orientation you want, rather than backward. If you keep your dial set to vinyl when you are working a lot of shirt projects, it is great that Design Space will ask you if you want to turn the mirror option on before beginning a cut. It never hurts to have someone or something looking out for you to make sure you are cutting it right the first time.