Cricut Expression Machines
As previously mentioned, the Cricut Expression Machine is an older machine in the line of Cricut die-cutters that are offered. It is still very popular among the Cricut crafters community, however. It is a well-created machine that is a very good cutter than when taken care of can last a very long time. It is also one of the easiest machines to use. Since the Cricut Expression Machine is one of the oldest offerings of die-cutting machines, a lot of people do not know where it is in the line of evolution of the Cricut die-cutting machines. The Cricut Expression Machine has two different versions, the original as well as the Expression 2. The Expression 2 came after the original Expression machine and it has been known to have a number of really good improvements over the original Expression machines. The Cricut Expression 2 comes before the Explore variations of the Cricut die-cutting machines. The Expression 2 machine comes before the explore 1 machine as well as the Explore Air 1 and the Explore Air 2 machines. The Expression machines rely solely on being able to create images from the use of cutting cartridges. The newer versions of the Cricut cutting machines allow you to now upload your own images and turned them into your own cut imagines.
You may be wondering what the differences are between the Expression and the Expression 2 machines. You may also want to know which one is the best is as far as what you get for the money you are spending. It honestly is a no brainer that the Expression 2 is the better option to choose. The Expression 2 machine has a very large number of important improvements over the Expression 1 machine. There is a small group of people who much prefer the expression 1 machine because it was far easier to use and it is honestly the simplest machine that is still available on the market. Both of these machines however cut equally well. The
Expression 2 machine, however, is known to be much more user-friendly and it does give the user the option to be more creative than the Expression 1 machine allows users to be. The original machine has a small screen and a very large area for a keyboard which requires you to use things like overlays. The overlay allows you to find out all of the capabilities of the machine. The machine also has dials that allow you to adjust the size of an image that you are using as well as the amount of pressure you want your blade to use when cutting your image. The Expression 2 machine, however, has gotten rid of these functionalities completely and is now using a more favorable way of creating images. The Expression 2 machine now uses a favorable large full LCD touch screen. This machine also comes with a stylus-like pen that helps you operate the machine and all of your projects directly and entirely from this one LCD screen if that is how you prefer to use it.
The addition of this LCD touch screen gives you the ability to change the size of your image quickly and easily while also allowing you to rotate and flip your images depending on the type of project you are working on. There is also no need for the keyboard overlays that were a requirement for the original Expression machine which can quickly become annoying when you are trying to get through a project in a timely manner. This also helps you keep your workspace tidy and clean because everything is functional through the LCD screen on the machine rather than having to keep a stash of overlays handy and finding a place to keep them while you are not using them. There is nothing worse than trying to find a specific overlay for the project you are working on and not being able to find it because you have stashed it into the nearest drawer! Cricut definitely works hard to include upgrades to the machines that allow you to create less waste. This is just the beginning of what Cricut has to offer with the Expression machine upgrades.
There are additional bonuses to the Expression 2 machine that are not included in the original Expression machine. Expression 2’s upgraded design also allows you to have a preview of your mat. This function allows you to check and see what your design will look like once it is cut out on the mat. This also allows for automatic pressure and speed actualizations for the most common materials you will be using with the machine. This means that you have the option to select vinyl for your project and the machine will automatically know what amount of pressure to use to make sure it is cutting all the way through the material as well as how fast it can move through the cutting of the project so that you do not end up snagging your material and ruining your project. This also helps to eliminate waste in your materials. You are also saving time because you will not have to set the pressure and speed yourself and continue to start your project over because you are at a point in which you either messed up your material or you did not have the right amount of pressure to cut all the way through your material.
One of the downsides to the older Expression Machine models is that they do not have the capability to allow you to upload and create your own designs and images. You only have the option of using the predesigned cartridges or to buy the digital images that the Cricut Craft Room software has available for your own use. This is also something that is annoying about the older Expression machine models because if you go the cartridge route, you are going to have to maintain a storage space for all of your cartridges because they are physical objects you need to essentially plug into your machine in order to use. This can be very messy because having a different cartridge for every design you want can cause you to take up more space than your actual machine does. With the inclusion of the digital designs, at least you have the option of storing them on your computer so that you do not have a lot of physical cartridges laying around and causing a mess in your workspace. It truly depends on what type of crafter you are, however. A lot of people who are still very loyal to using the expression machines are not bothered by the cartridges and actually prefer them over the digital designs because they are more likely to work in the way that you intend them to work, and you do not have to deal with as many technical difficulties as you might face when you are working strictly with the digital images.
The Cricut Expression 2 comes with the machine itself along with 2 cartridges that are already preloaded with designs you can use right away. These cartridges include Cricut essentials designs as well as a cartridge for the Cricut alphabet. You will also get a 12” by 12” cutting mat to get started. You will find that this mat will be used the most as it fits the needs for most projects you are likely to start out with. Cricut also offers different sizes in their cutting mats, as well as levels of stickiness. The box will also include 3 different port covers to keep any dust out of the spot on the machine in which you will insert your cartridges when they are in use.
You will also receive an LCD screen protector, which is a great way to maintain the integrity of the LCD screen on your machine. It will also help it from wearing out too quickly as you will likely be using it quite a bit. Also, to help keep your fingerprints off the LCD screen is a stylus that will be included. It is just like any other stylus you have seen for touchscreen devices. This will help you maintain the screen as well as making sure you are hitting the exact options you want with precise measure instead of running the risk of “fat fingering” something you may not want to work within your project. The machine will also come with the blade assembly to get you started. This is important because you will need this blade in order to cut your projects.
You will also get a USB cable to connect your computer to the machine when you are using the digital images that come with the Cricut Cutting program. There is a power adapter to make sure that you are plugging into a power outlet source as the machine is not battery powered. Make sure that you are not plugging into an extension cord if at all possible so that you do not run the risk of a fire hazard. There also is a Quick start guide and a user manual included in the box to make sure you set your machine up properly and that it gives you directions on how to make a simple project on your first time using the machine right out of the box. There is very little assembly required and you should have no problem with getting to use your machine right away after purchase and initial set up!