The Cricut Maker Machine: Everything You Should Know

The Cricut Maker Machine

Introducing the Cricut Maker Machine: Everything I Know So Far

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.

So, without further adieu, here is what we know so far. I promise, I will be doing live demos as soon as I can get one in my possession. But hopefully this will help you decide if you are going to want on (Christmas is coming up….hint, hint).

When will the Cricut Maker be released?

The machine will be released on August 20th – you guys, it’s coming SOON. I have a feeling this will sell out quickly, so make sure you have a reminder on your phone around that time.

What comes with the Cricut Maker?

The machine will come with the new rotary blade (more on that soon) and a fine point blade, as well as with two mats – one of which is specifically for fabric.

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.

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 🙂

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

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.

There will also be a Cricut sewing kit – it comes with sewing scissors, a pin cushion, tweezers, seam ripper, leather thimble, and a measuring tape. It will be priced at $29.99.

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 October, 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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  • 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.
    • 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!
  • 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 :-)
  • 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.

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