Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cricut Explore - More News (and a change?)

I've been reading everything I can find about the new Cricut Explore.  I haven't seen it in action but there are a lot of photos on the Official Cricut Facebook page showing the many materials that this machine will cut. My friends Joy and Melanie attended the launch event in Utah.  Melanie from Courtney-Lane Designs has some great photos on her blog HERE.  Joy at Obsessed with Scrapbooking has posted a video of the keynote address at the launch on her blog HERE and she will be adding more photos.

Most of the information I have heard and seen has stated that you can upload your own files for designs but that if you want to cut SVG and DXF files you would need to have a monthly subscription plan which also includes access to over 25,000 Cricut images.

screenshot from

While I was looking at the website on Wednesday night, I saw this language:

The Cut What You Want® tool makes it easy to convert your own design into a cuttable image in just a few clicks! Upload .svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, and .dxf files absolutely free. You can even use fonts already installed on your computer.

I have looked at the site several times since the machine was announced and I believe this is different than what I saw before.  I have heard many people complain that they didn't want to pay for a subscription to cut their SVG files and I am not sure if this is an actual change in the lists of file formats that you can upload and cut for free or if it is an error in proofreading.  I hope it is a change from the earlier information provided but this will require clarification from Cricut once their offices are open on Thursday (I saw this late at night on Wednesday as I was preparing my blog post for today).

screen shot from Cricut,com

So - on the first page where this appears on the site the list includes all of the file types previously mentioned as being free (above).

screenshot from

However, when you click to learn more about the Design Space, this is the language that appears.

As with all new products, there are a lot of places on the site where you can find information and it is possible that this is an inconsistency that wasn't caught when the site was prepared,  However, it would make many potential purchasers happy to know that they could use their files in SVG or DXF formats without the need to purchase a subscription.  Many long time Cricut owners have a large library of cartridges so the availability of Cricut images through a subscription is not as attractive as it would be to a new user.

I am a little confused by the people who are upset about whether the ability to cut SVG formatted files requires a subscription - presumably if they own and are using these files, they already own a machine and software that allows them to cut the files.  There is also some confusion about which cartridges and images will be accessible with a subscription.  It could be that the subscription would include enough images that a long time user didn't already own to make it worth their while to get a subscription despite the large number of cartridges on their shelves.  All of this will be clarified over time...

Screenshot from

If you are interested in getting more facts and information about the Cricut Explore, I recommend that you click on the Product Design title and watch the video and read all of the information there.

Screenshot from

You will see a listing of everything that comes with the machine.  I think it is clever that they provide you with some materials so you can literally plug and play - you can make you first project within minutes of opening the box.

Screenshot from

For even more detailed information, scroll to the bottom of the page and download the three white papers.  These documents are full of interesting information about how and why the machine was designed the way it is.  And yes...they do talk about those pesky circles!

My biggest concern is not whether I can cut SVG files (with or without a monthly subscription) but whether I can create my own designs using the new software.  I would love to be able to explore the Design Space/Cut What You Want tool right now and see what drawing and editing tools are available...but February isn't all that far away.

Earlier this month I shared this image of a file I had designed to cut with my Cameo machine.  It is actually four images of a card front design put together to fill a 12 x 12 page.

I did cut it last night and it came out beautifully.  I used very heavy shimmer cardstock and did a double cut with the Cameo. 

The entire design is 5 x 5 inches and you can see the thinness of the lines and the tiny openings at the top.  I'll share a finished card made with this topper tomorrow or Friday.

I am very interested to find out whether I can create my own designs like this in the Design Space or if you will have to design your file in another software program and then upload it to the Design Space to cut.

It does seem like a lot of care was taken by Cricut to build an entirely new machine to meet the needs of crafters.  While there is an emphasis on simplicity of use, if you have been reading my blog for a while you know me - I always have to see how complicated I can make my designs!

It all started back in 2008, when I started using the Cricut Design Studio (the first design software, followed by the Gypsy, the CraftRoom and now the Design Space - Cut What You Want tool...).  One of the first things I made was this doily - using shapes from George, the very first cartridge.

I'll let you know what I find out on Thursday - if there has been a change in file formats that can be cut for free I think it will make a lot of people happy!

It is bitterly cold here but we didn't have a lot more snow.  If you are stuck in a cold and snowy place I hope you can stay inside and do some crafting - that's one of the best things about being snowed in!  If you are in Australia, I am sorry it's so hot!

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  1. Thank you for the update! PC will have to make it clear, or they will probably have a some angry customers. I don't have a Cameo, so this may be of some interest in the future. I have an E, Gypsy, Imagine, and just received the E2 for Christmas. I like to use the Gypsy, but still struggle with CCR, which is why I'm not too interested in the Cameo. Keep us posted with all the new info, and you may make a customer out of me, too! LOL. BethAnn M.

  2. I was trying to find info on the same thing. I noticed the change too. I notice the wording says UPLOAD your files for free. It doesn't say CUT your files for free (similar to some of their other programs where you can SEE and DESIGN with cartridge cuts you don't already have but you have to buy them to actually cut with them). I would love to see more clarification on this. Thanks for such a great post, Cap!

  3. That is a good catch about the ".svg" files. I hope that Cricut would support that format without the subscription. Great information today-

  4. This is wonderful information--I also have many cricut machines, but have waited on a tool to cut svg files which is why this machine has so much draw to me--besides the better scallops and no wonky circles!!! ;) I, too, am dismayed at the lack of concrete information. Thanks for the white page info--I felt like a dolt since I saw mention of them, but had no idea what they were, lol. I am following your further details, and I also have an email in to Provo asking for clarifications. I'm loving your blog! Glad I stumbled on it in the great Cricut Explore google search, lol!

  5. Thanks Diane for these updates. I rely a lot on your comments before purchasing such items. Best, Claire

  6. I can see why you are excited! I have a Silhouette and I can just about guarantee that you will be paying a monthly fee for shapes, that is how they make most of the money....but Silhouette has a bargain where you pay so much a month and get tons, and you pick....Good Luck!

  7. Thank you for all this information, Diane. I really appreciate your thorough coverage of this new machine. I am very curious about it and itching to see how it really works.

  8. Thank you for the update. I also learn a lot from your blog site which I check everyday.



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