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The Cricut Maker is a digital pattern cutting machine that boasts an impressive array of features. Both faster and more precise than many predecessors and sporting plenty of extras, it represents a serious upgrade for many hobbyists.
Unlike many die-cutting machines, the Maker is not limited to fabric or paper; plastics, foam, leather, and even balsa or basswood can all be added to the user’s projects for maximum crafting creativity.
There are two carriages for the cutting elements, making for a faster project than single-carriage machines and reducing the need to stop and swap tools. Multiple distinct tools are included and can be easily stored in the built-in compartments.
Cricut includes a handy slot to hold a phone or tablet on top of the device, allowing a user to see their design as it prints or watch a movie while they wait for it to finish. A charging port is included as well, so there’s no need to worry about running down the battery.
Maker is Bluetooth compatible, allowing user to print designs with no need to plug into a computer or removable media. A feature called Print Then Cut allows for printing the design on a piece of paper or cardstock, then cutting it with the Maker.
All patterns will need to be fed through a computer, using the included Design Space software. This program comes preloaded with several suggestion patterns and allows a user to create or upload their own with relative ease.
Design space is compatible with both Windows and Mac systems and is fairly straightforward even for beginners. An Android app for the same program is also available, although there are reports that it is still in the beta stages.
Cricut Maker Review
Who’s It For
The Cricut Maker’s many tools and broad capabilities make it a fine choice for someone planning an intricate project. Users that frequently require a lot of detailed cutting need look no further than this machine.
At a little more than three hundred seventy-five dollars, the Maker might be out of reach for more casual artists. Those in need of simpler designs or less frequent use should look for a simpler alternative.
As it is digital, the Maker is not for those without a computer or convenient power supply.
What We Like About The Cricut Maker
The Maker is tremendously versatile, bringing a selection of precision tools to any project and capable of cutting minutely detailed designs into many different materials.
What We Don’t Like About The Cricut Maker
Maker requires a computer to use and is an overkill for simpler projects. It has a sizeable price tag that keeps it out of reach for the casual buyer and is hard to transport and set up.
Apart from the machine itself, the Cricut Maker includes both the rotary blade and fine point blades and their drive housing, and a fine point pen for detailing a project before you begin.
There are two cutting mats, each at twelve inches square, and a small portfolio of materials to help get you started including a fabric square and two pieces of card stock in white and blue.
All requisite cables come with the machine, as well as the Design Space software’s basic offline edition. Online or upgraded versions are readily available from Cricut.
The Maker comes with a maintenance handbook and a year-long warranty. The warranty is only available when purchasing from Cricut or an authorized reseller.
Overview Of Features
The Maker is roughly twenty-three inches long and seven wide, and stands a little more than six inches tall on your desk. It tips the scales at fifteen pounds, making it neither astoundingly heavy or a featherweight.
Design Space, the Cricut proprietary software that powers the Maker, is included with the machine and is a powerful tool for the aspiring artist.
Along with fifty preprogrammed suggestion patterns, it includes cloud sharing to find ideas online and a scanning feature to upload your own patterns.
Although only two tools are included, the Maker is compatible with older Cricut tools as well. Several alternate tools are readily available from Cricut or authorized retailers.
Cricut has improved the cutting drivers as well as the tools, upping the cutting strength to nearly ten times what it was. This will allow the Maker to easily score or cut balsa, leather, and plastics along with card stock or fabric.
Cricut has included a speed-cut mode in the Maker, making use of the double carriage to finish a job much faster. This mode is recommended for simpler patterns and will be louder than normal cutting.
All blades and other tools can be stored in the included compartments, two of which are lined with silicone to prevent damage to the blades.
A larger, unlined compartment is suitable for holding pens, fabrics, or other supplies that might be handy to keep near your machine.
Although not strictly necessary for a project, the mobile holder and charging port are a nice touch, adding even more use to a machine that already does an impressive amount.
Although it is not quite an all-in-one, the Maker comes close, cutting many materials with precision and speed well beyond the last generation of pattern cutters. A parcel of extra features and powerful design software make it enjoyable for any stage of a project.
For the serious hobbyist, the Maker is a solid choice that should speed up any craft project. More casual users may be somewhat overwhelmed, and a thrifty buyer would be advised to look elsewhere.
Those with more detailed projects, and especially an established craftsperson, will find in the Cricut Maker a reliable and versatile friend to hurry along work with any project or pattern they choose.