The Cricut Maker Machine: Everything You Should Know

The Cricut Maker Machine

Introducing the Cricut Maker Machine: Everything  You Need to Know

Have you heard the big announcement? Cricut just announced their AMAZING new machine – the Cricut Maker – and I am here to give you all the details.

First off, I am at the Cricut Mountain Make-a-Thon. I heard whisperings that there would be a big announcement made, so leading up to the conference, I have been waiting on pins and needles.

The CEO of Cricut (who is amazing!) started the presentation saying he would make three product announcements.

First, he started off with the Cricut BrightPad, which was released last month.

Cool, but not mind blowing.

Next, he announced the Cricut EasyPress. I thought this was the big announcement – because it is pretty amazing…and I can’t wait to use it!

However, we soon realized that there was something even bigger and better…

Enter the Cricut Maker.

The Cricut Maker Machine

This machine has been in the works for over three years, and it totally blows any other cutting machine out of the water. I was sitting here listening to them talk about it thinking, “More? There’s more?” every time they announced something new about it.

You guys – this machine is the ultimate crafting machine. It does SO Much.

I mean, the Cricut Explore line is pretty powerful. I’ve loved mine. But this Cricut Maker…it’s created a whole new level of amazingness.

I’ve had the opportunity to try out the machine, and it really is wonderful. There is so much attention that has been paid to details, and it opens a whole new world of crafting and sewing.

S0, here is everything you  need to know to get started with the Cricut Maker!

 

What comes with the Cricut Maker?

Right out of the box, when you purchase the Cricut maker you will get:

  • Cricut Maker machine
  • Rotary Blade + Drive Housing
  • Premium Fine Point Blade + Housing
  • Fine Point Pen
  • FabricGrip Mat 12″x12″
  • LightGrip Mat 12″x12″
  • Welcome book
  • USB cable
  • Power adapter
  • Cricut Access free trial membership
  • 50 free ready-to-make projects, including 25 sewing patterns
  • Materials for your first project

You get 50 free projects that come with your Cricut Maker – sewing patterns, quilting, paper projects, iron-on images, vinyl decals, and two complete parties.

How Much does the Cricut Maker cost?

Ah yes, the million dollar question. Fortunately, the Cricut Maker is not a million dollars (though maybe it will help you become a millionaire ;-).

It is a bit expensive though. At $399, it is definitely the most expensive Cricut Machine…but when you hear about what it can do…you’ll understand why it’s around $400. It’s a powerhouse.

What is new with the Cricut Maker?

This is where it gets fun – this machine is especially amazing for sewists – and people who wish they could sew better but get stuck with all the details (the cutting, the pinning, etc.). It’s also amazing for anyone who has wanted to cut more with the Cricut Explore – but felt limited by the hundreds of materials it could already cut 🙂 You can read my Cricut Maker versus Cricut Explore Air comparison for more details.

First off, there are a couple of new blades.

The Rotary Blade. My jaw about dropped when I heard this.

It can cut fabric beautifully – and fabric of all kinds. There is a new mat specifically for fabric that works beautifully with it.

And even better…this machine can cut patterns. Cricut Design Space is partnering with Simplicity and Riley Blake Designs to bring us HUNDREDS of amazing, digital designs. I’m obsessed with the designer fabric Cricut is now selling, as well as their quilting kits.

No more cutting patterns (well, within reason – the mat is only 12×12). I know that cutting patterns is something I despise, so being able to use the machine to cut out my patterns with perfection directly into the fabric is mind. blowing.

A traditional pattern can take over an hour to cut – and if you are like me, it’s not always cut perfectly.

With the Cricut Maker, you can get your patterns (and mark them) in just about 15 minutes. They have a new washable marking pen, and from what people have said, the ability for the machine to mark your patterns is basically the best thing EVER.

And yes, you can upload your own patterns. The only thing to keep in mind is that you need to make sure the dimensions are correct.

Something else to keep in mind is that patterns are projects – not images. They are locked so you can’t change the sizes. There are also PDF instructions that show you exactly how to put the project together.

They are also offering the Cricut sewing kit – it comes with sewing scissors, a pin cushion, tweezers, seam ripper, leather thimble, and a measuring tape. It is priced at $29.99. Love mine!

What I love is that this opens up sewing and the Cricut to so many new people – people who were intimidated by the prep work. People who only sew and didn’t find any use for a Cricut machine in the past. People who don’t even know where to start with sewing. It’s really a machine for everyone.

Next, the knife blade. 

Have you ever wanted to cut something thicker than what your Cricut Explore can do? Then you will be THRILLED to hear about the knife blade.

This blade has been developed to cut through materials as thick as 2.44 mm thick…which is incredible.

So we’re talking about thick leather, balsa wood, thick chipboard and more.

This blade won’t be released until December, but it will definitely kick your crafting up a notch!

You will be able to create puzzles, model projects, and so much more.

The knife blade is 10 times more powerful – exerting 4 kilograms of force through materials.

Something that is amazing is that this machine optimizes the blades for each material it cuts – it optimizes the pressure, creates the cleanest cut possible, and in the end, this optimized the life of the blade.

Oh, and Print Then Cut! You can now print on colored and patterned paper. Yay! That opens up all sorts of possibilities with Print then Cut.

Adaptive Tool System

Something about the new machine is that it is an adaptive machine – it grows with you and with Cricut. It works with all the old tools that you’ve been using with your Cricut Explore, and it will work with any of the future tools that Cricut will release.

I know for me, that’s huge. These machines aren’t cheap, and it’s not something you want to feel like you have to update every year when a new model comes out.

From what the people at Cricut are saying, there are even more incredible things to come in the near future. You can rest assured that if you buy the Cricut Maker, you will be able to take advantage of those new and innovative ideas.

What else is new?

Beyond the addition of the sewing features and deeper cuts, the Cricut Maker has some really great functional and design updates.

First off, there is no open button! I’m kind of excited about this because my sons always go into my office and constantly push the button. Not a huge deal, but it’s nice to have that temptation gone 😉

There is a holder where you can put your smart phone or tablet, which is great news for those of you who use these devices.

The dial is gone! I was a little sad about this at first, but I totally understand why they removed it. Because it only had a few items on it, people often get stuck in the mindset that it is all the machine can do. But since it has limitless possibilities now, the dial just didn’t keep up with the machine.

A charging port was added – yay! The machine is more portable than ever.

There are now two tool cups. The one in the back is deeper, which is good for pens, weeding tools, etc. The first cup is more shallow for small projects. Both of the cups are lined with a thin sheet of rubber, which prevents damaging tips, blades, etc.

The tool drawer has gotten an upgrade as well. It’s much larger and deeper now, so you can fit more in there.

In addition to the functionality, they’ve made the machine look even sleeker than ever – the inside lining of the drawer is a diamond pattern, and the lid has a real edge metal, and it’s diamond polished!

What’s Happening to the Explore Line?

After the announcement, I’ve had a lot of people express concern (and often, frustration) about if the Explore line will still be relevant.

YES. The Explore Line will still be a huge part of the Cricut family. Projects will still be released, tutorials will still be done, and the Explore machines will not be phased out. I know that there is some frustration from people who just bought the Explore Air 2, but please keep in mind that it is still an amazing machine. I would imagine there will be a trade up program (but don’t quote me on that :).

Make sure you read my Cricut for Beginners post to help you with all things Cricut!

So there you have it – an introduction to the Cricut Maker. I’m super excited about this machine, and rest assured, I will be sharing plenty of tutorials and Q&As in the future. Please let me know if there’s any questions you have that I can answer in the coming future!

The Cricut Maker / Cricut Maker / New Cricut Machine / Cricut Machine / Cricut Explore

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76 Comments

  • I would like to know if they are phasing out the cricut cartridges and going to digital cartridges only. What do you do with the ones we have?
    • As of right now, I haven't heard that they are phasing out cartridges. So you can kee using them as of now :-) I will definitely keep you updated though.
  • I'd love to know if we can import our own patterns and cut those with this one? I design my own children's patterns and it would be great if I could just have them cut by this machine. It would definitely be worth the investment!
    • Hi, Reyna! I know that you can definitely use your own designs - the patterns are just images that have been put into Design Spaces and turned into projects. I talked to one of the people at Cricut, and she said that the only issue is that you need to make sure it's being cut the right size. So long as you are able to import a file that is compatible with Cricut Design Space, I think you should be able to do this!
    • Unfortunately the rotary blade and the knife blade won't work with the Explore line :-( The machines just aren't capable of using them. The good thing about the Maker is that all future products and developments will work with it, but I know that doesn't help much! The Explore is still a great machine, and I would imagine there will be a trade up deal at some point if you decide you do want the added capabilities of the Maker :)
  • Will this new Cricut be able to cut polar fleece? I sew stuffed animals using polar fleece and not having to cut a pattern with scissors would be such a time-saver!
    • Yes! We had cushions that we were sitting on at the event, and some were made with polar fleece. I plan on doing a post all about fabric once I get it where I'll cut all sorts of kinds so you can see it in action :) Let me know if there are other materials you are curious about!
  • Will the new cricut maker be compatible with android in design space? I'm a non Apple user and it would be nice to use design space on my android tablet.
  • Will the new knife blade cut a beveled edge on the mat board or does it just cut a straight edge? This would be an awesome feature for making mat boards for pictures.
  • Hi Katie, I enjoyed your Cricut Maker newsletter and video. I signed up for future newsletters. Do you know if the Cricut Maker will fit in the current machine tote? I haven't been able to find any info on that.
    • I actually heard some Joann's stores already put them out. I'm not totally sure of the time, but I would imagine early - around 8 MST? I will let you know if I find out. I think the HSN special is in October - though I'm not 100% sure :)
  • Hello, I'm not a Cricut user yet, but am very very interested in possibly purchasing some sort of Cricut machine. I have had my sights set on the Cricut Explore Air 2, but now that The Cricut Maker will soon be available, it just provides that much more choice definitely. One thing I wish to re-clarify -- it's mentioned that The Cricut Maker will be able to print and cut patterned and coloured paper, such as coloured or glitter card paper stock. What of the Explore line? Only white paper is allowed? No patterned or coloured? Being somewhat of a 'newbie' to Cricut, I'd appreciate a response to the above question. Thank you.
    • Hi, Lisa! With the Explore lime, the sensors aren't designed to cut patterned or colored paper. I know some people were occasionally able to make it work, however, the precision and accuracy isn't really there. Because of improvements they have made, it is now!
  • I'm almost convinced to get a Maker but I have 2 questions. Is it able to scan in an image instead of importing the image as a file? What is the size of the machine? A smaller footprint than the Explore II would be an advantage in my crowded craft area.
    • I don't believe that you can scan an image. The machine is about the same size as the Explore II. SO sorry for the delayed response - I didn't realize there were a few comments still hiding out :)
  • Can you scan in art work in various colors and will the machine separate the colors and cut out the shapes. I think it is called pix scan or something like that.
    • Hi! I'm sorry this comment took so long to respond to. In case you didn't find your answer, Pix scan is a feature for the Silhouette machines, I believe :)
  • So, if we purchase the new Maker, we should not have to purchase another machine in a few months? This is one frustrating aspect I didn't like about Cricut the past few years even though there machines have been awesome. I've purchased 4 machines, all of which weren't cheap. The Imagine machine if you remember was a $500 machine when it first came out! Still have it. I purchased the Cricut 2, another old one, sold it outright, the original Explore machine and then had to get the wireless adapter and the handheld Gypsy. As you can see, I've spent a lot of money only to be disappointed with new machines consistently coming out. If I purchase this machine, I Don't want to have to buy another!! What is your opinion on the new one and upgrades?
    • Hi, Mary! I totally understand your frustration - I'm a pretty cheap person, and I buy things to last - not just to be replaced. From what I understand, the way the Maker was designed was so that it could expand with new offerings and innovations. Does that mean they will never release another kind of machine? I don't think so. However, it is the machine they will be expanding in the future with new features. As far as my thoughts on the new one...I had an Explore Air 1 before (I didn't feel the new updates on the Air 2 were really worth upgrading for). So not only do I get to have the faster cutting (which the Air 2 had) and I really love, but I am getting to use the Rotary Blade, which is amazing. If you do very much sewing - or you want to - I would say it's worth getting for that. If you aren't a big fabric cutter, don't mind backing all of the fabric you need to cut (which is what you would do with the Maker), etc., then it might not be worth upgrading yet. I have not used the knife blade yet, but I'm really, really excited to. It is like an x-acto knife, so it's ability to cut through thick materials will be wonderful. However, beyond those two things, the main updates are just appearance-wise...and I wouldn't upgrade for those :) The Air models are still awesome machines, so if you don't need the added functionality that I mentioned, I probably wouldn't upgrade. I hope that helps!
  • Are power cords for explore compatible with the maker? I need to move a lot to change cords and it would be easier if I could use the same cord
  • Hello I don't have a Cricut YET I have been reading and reading on the new one I am wanting to put designs on shirts (iron on) and I want to be able to make stencils Will this be possible With this cricut
  • It would be nice if they had adapter to use cartridges there is a lot of time there is no internet use at crops. And out in the country there isn't always high speed internet. And all the money that we have bought over the years for them.
    • Good news, Brenda! They have a cartridge adapter that will be released in December :-) https://shop.cricut.com/en_us/essentials/accessories/maker-accessories/cartridge-adapter.html
  • Ok...I'm new to this Cricut thing...don't have one yet but this looks interesting. How would I be able to upload and cut out an 8-1/2" square that I would normally cut using a 8-1/2" ruler? Thank you!
  • I have a favorite apple stamp that I've designed. I've cut copies out for years to compete teacher's gifts. Can I cut copies out on any of the Cricut machines.....which ones?
    • Copies of the stamp? What kind of material are you using for the stamp. It would definitely depend on the thickness of the material. If it's thicker, I would say the Cricut Maker with the Knife Blade (which should be released in the next few months) would be ideal.
  • What would you say the must haves are for someone who is buying this and doesn't have any previous supplies or experience? What accessories are needed? I'm excited about using this for all kinds of projects!
  • I am new to the cricut products and am really excited about the maker and your article answered a lot of questions that I had about it. But one question that I have is can I do any project in the design space even if it says it was designed for the explore?
  • With the Cricket "Maker" is it possible to cut squares from the edge of the material to the edge of the material. eg If I have a 12 x 12 piece of material can I cut so as to have nine 4 x 4 squares? Thank you
  • Hi- Is the lid of the Maker gold or silver? I can't tell from the pictures, and couldn't find the info with a Google search. Thanks! :)
    • You know, even looking at it, it looks different in different light. I was at Jo-Ann's when I saw your comment, so I looked there, and it looked silver. However, when I was just down in my basement, it has a goldish tint. So I think I would officially go with silver.
  • Hi there, I just purchased mine and love it already. The only thing that I am wondering about is the knife blade. I have been searching on line so that I can purchase it. so far I have not been able to find it. From what you said it was suppose to be available in October and it is November. Do you know anywhere that I can purchase it? Thank you and have a great day.
    • Hi, Vickie! I need to update this post - originally it was going to be available in October, but it has been pushed back and the projected date is December :) Make sure to signup for our newsletter, because I will be sending out an email as soon as I get word that it's available!
        • Hi! For thicker wood, yes, you will need to wait for the knife blade. However, you can get certain wood that is around 1/32 or 1/16 thick right now. I have a post on Clarks Condensed that talks about this :-) https://www.clarkscondensed.com/diy/cricut/how-to-cut-wood-with-cricut/
  • Quick question- I just entered the cricut world - been researching the last 24 hrs. I’m looking for machine that will cut letters to apply or stencils to make sign boards! Which is the best machine! Size range for print letters, length of stencil, for example a 3 foot sign - would I need to create 3 different stencils and put together on the board. Locally I see 2 cricut expressions for sale and 2 personal cricut. I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. Thanks for your advice!
    • Hi! I don't have a ton of experience with the Expression, but a lot of it is just going to depend on the size of the mat. The Expression does require the use of cartridges, so you would use those rather than make designs in Design Space. The largest mat for the Cricut Maker and the Cricut Explore Air lines are 12x24, so you would likely have to cut out separate stencils :) Either of those machines should be able to cut out stencils and cut letters :)
  • Hi Katie, I'm so glad I found your site. It's very informative. Thank You. I'm going to call the co directly on this but thought you could offer some input and advice. I've never used this type of machine before. Ever. I did the research and feel the new Ultimate Machine is the one I need for what I'm looking to do. Instead of ordering from a company I plan on making my own labels for a product I'm selling. It's pretty intricate and I might be better off going that route but I love all the other things I can potentially do with this machine. Advice please: I'm looking to cut out a pineapple shape and I'm not to concerned about that part. But, I need to add additional images inside the pineapple and words too. Like a couple of paragraphs actually. What I can't seem to get a clear understanding of is this: I need to print on both sides and would like to use multiple colors as well. At least 4 or 5. And, I'm looking to print on something other than just paper even if it's sturdy paper.I know that's a mouth full but trying to give you a clear idea of what I need to make. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thinking I might need to buy a separate printer that prints on a variety of materials like the ones this machine cuts. If so, any advice on what machine to look at? I basically have an idea that I'm trying to create. I have zero experience with any of this but want to create, create, create! All said, I'd be disappointed if I purchased this machine specifically for this 1st particular project only to find out I can't produce it as I exactly need it done. I'd buy this even if I need a special printer too if I can ultimately produce what I need between the two.Thank you so much and apologize for this lengthy post. I desperately need guidance on this and I'm trying to find the right people to ask. You seem like that person. Maybe I should just go to a print shop, sigh, but I'd much rather produce myself.. All advice is welcome! Thanks again!! Fingers crossed... Sue
    • Hi, Sue! I'm so glad you found my website. I'm happy to help as best I can. Let me make sure I understand you correctly. You want to create a Pineapple Design is Cricut Design Space (their design software), and it will have a front and back to it. Are you wanting to use the Cricut Machine to cut out the design after it's printed (using the print and cut feature). If that's the case, I would imagine you could do this - however, it might be tricky getting the front and pack to line up correctly in the printer. However, if you are able to get them to line up, I think it could work. I am asking a few of my friends if they have done this. With the Maker, you should be able to be successful with cutting different types of materials. I don't have a recommendation for a printer, but I do like my HP Envy, which may be a good option for you. Please let me know if you have any questions and I'll let you know what I find out about the double sided :)
  • So glad I found your site and see you actually reply and help people! I've never used any type of Cricut. I make wallets, server books, and other fabric accessories. I'm looking for something that I can create my own pattern pieces in and it appears that it is possible with the Maker. I think the only question I haven't found an answer to is can I apply my interfacing (mostly Pellon 931TD and 808) to my cotton fabric and then have the piece cut by the Cricut Maker? Thank you for so much information on this machine!!
    • Hi, Patty! Thanks for your nice comment. There shouldn't be a problem adding your interfacing to the cotton and then cutting it. I would suggest doing a test cut, though, just to make sure you don't need to adjust the pressure :)
  • Hi Katie, Thanks so much for the quick response! I'm unsure if I want to create the pineapple in their design software or if I'd upload my own design. Being that I don't own this machine yet I'm unsure what would be best, how the software even works and what it's capable of. This is probably way more of a complicated concept for someone who's never done this before and to attempt as their first project. Hoping not though :) From doing the research I agree that trying the print and cut feature would be very tricky for what I'm looking to do. Yes, you're correct in the fact that it would have print on both sides. Not to mention any potential detail to the pineapple itself. Being that I'm new to this whole die cutting arena it's easy to see my idea in my minds eye, but in trying to configure the actual application, not so much. It doesn't need to be 3D but does have a layered look, sort of. It needs many colors too. Imagine a pineapple. Not just the shape but with its color and detailed crisscrossed type of skin pattern. Then in the middle of it, and covering that portion of the pineapples skin, is a shape (circle, whatever) with writing inside of it. Like placed over and covering it, thus a layered look, sort of, lol. I hope I'm making sense! The other side may or may not be set up the same way. Sorry if tmi and long winded but I'm so happy to have found your site, your expertise and willingness to help. Truly and thanks so much. All that said, I feel like I should perhaps print my double sided design separately and then use the machine for the die cut pineapple shape. If I'm right, time to research a printer that prints on a variety of materials.Things like thicker stock paper, leather, pleather (Balsa Wood ?) and etc.. Unsure how thick I want this hang tag to be or what material it will actually be but it needs to have some substance, presence and end up being a potential keepsake type of ornament. I could easily upload my design, send it off to a printer and have them print it in on a rectangle tag with the pineapple design on it. But I much prefer the die cut version I've described. Much more personality and hand made to boot! Which is exactly what the vibe of it needs to be. Any input, advice, suggestions and etc... is greatly appreciated! Would love to figure this and then send you one. That would mean I did it! Thanks in advance! Sue **To wait or not to wait for any potential Black Friday deals... another dilemma..oy
    • Hi, Sue! I just love reading your comments because I feel like I go through similar dilemmas - and I'm supposed to be the "expert". I definitely have lots of ideas - some of them work out, others not so much :) However, I can see what you are saying you want to do. I think that the best thing you could do would be to print out one side, and then the other side, and then adhere them together somehow. You could use sticker paper, or even the Cricut printable vinyl (I just used it on a project, and I really love it!). If you wanted to use balsa wood (which, I am publishing a tutorial on tonight - you can cut Balsa currently, though the knife blade will make it even easier, which you will need the maker for), you could have the basic pineapple shape cut out of that, and then you could maybe print off the two sides of it with the printable vinyl? And then stick that on the pineapple - and then print off another piece of a vinyl to go on top of the basic pineapple picture....if that makes sense? That way, you could have the thickness from the balsa wood, but the details you want would be on the printable vinyl. Does that make sense at alL!? Please let me know how it goes! I think there will be some black friday sales for sure, but I'm not 100% what for :) I'm also hoping to put out some kind of mini-cricut course to put out right after Christmas. If you have any input on what might be most beneficial to put in that, I'd love your input!
    • Oh, and in regards to what design program to use - I personally don't love designing in Design Space. Too limited. However, it's really easy to upload your own images and use the. I have a tutorial here: https://www.clarkscondensed.com/diy/cricut/upload-images-cricut-design-space/
  • Hello! Sorry if this has been answered already! Will the cricut maker work with all older cartridges including imagine cartridges? Thanks for your help!
    • Hi! There is an adapter, which the website says is supposed to be released in December :-) https://shop.cricut.com/en_us/cartridge-adapter.html
    • The Maker doesn’t have a cartridge space, however, an adapter will be released soon that will allow you to use it :-) https://shop.cricut.com/en_us/cartridge-adapter.html
  • Hello, I'll be new to the cricut family and wanted to know, with the cricut maker, will I be able to cut multiple sheets at one time since it could cut through thicker materials?
    • I have not done this, but I think the issue would be keeping the materials together as it cuts. If they aren't properly secured to the sheets beneath it, they would shift during the cutting process.

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