If this is the first time you are seeing the word ‘Cricut’, please note that it is not an incorrect spelling of ‘circuit’. You pronounce it the same way as you say ‘cricket’. But there, all similarities to little garden critters and circuit boards end. Below we simplify all you need to know about Cricut by working through some of the most frequently asked questions.
What Is the Cricut Machine and What Is It Used For?
When you do an online search for ‘die cutting machines’ you will see many ads for these, including for Cricut machines. So, a Cricut is a die cutting machine. In the older models, a die was manually operated by applying pressure. Again, note that ‘die’ in this case does not refer to morbidity, coloring products (dyes), or gaming dice. It is a tool for cutting through various types of material and works a lot like a cookie cutter.
The newest generation of electronic machines of this ilk is the Cricut Explore Series. It works with specific cloud-based software and can be downloaded to a mobile phone, tablet, desktop, or laptop (see Cricut Laptops). The software has been named Cricut Design Space and it instructs the Cricut machine. It is simple to master and comes with design project templates and lists of materials. You will need a subscription to access most of them, which is obtainable from Cricut Access.
What About My Own Images?
If you have been a crafter for a while already, chances are that you have collected plenty of your own images that you want to be able to access with a Cricut project. The answer is yes, for free, if the file type is .dxf, .svg, .png, .gif, .bmp, and .jpg. An upgrade fee may apply for other types of images.
What Materials Can I Use with Cricut?
There is a long list of materials that a Cricut machine can cut through. Examples are chipboard, chiffon, denim, burlap, Kevlar, light cotton, and metallic poster board. Stick to the cutting tool indicated (fine point blade, rotary blade, bonded fabric blade, etc.) You should test materials that are not on the list.
How Does the Cricut Differ from Competing Products?
Choosing the machine that suits you best involves answering a few questions to understand your needs. For example, will you have a working Wi-Fi connection or ethernet? Should you get an electronic or a manual one? Do you prefer to buy the machine at a cheaper price, but you have to pay for dies every so often? Would you rather get a machine that costs more but you need not worry about purchasing dies? How simple do you need the machine to be so that you are confident you can use it? Are you willing to learn as you go along before finally mastering your machine? Do you plan to stick to small projects, or will you want to undertake complex projects? Will your materials consist of normal fabrics, paper, and cardboard, or will you explore different and unusual options?
Hopefully now you know what a Cricut is and have a better idea of what you can do with it.
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