Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New! Cricut Print-then-Cut

I'm seeing a lot of excitement coming in from the Cricut groups on my Facebook feed. Cricut has released their Print-then-Cut feature(PtC) for the Cricut Explore! The Silhouette's Print-and-Cut (PnC) is my favorite thing to do with paper and I am happy that the Cricut fans can now enjoy it too. I have been playing with the Cricut Design Space for the last few months and while personally, I still prefer using Silhouette Studio (version 2.8.16d! I'm still not liking v3.1.417), I am curious how the Cricut's PtC compares to Silhouette's PnC.

Here's a video from Cricut that explains how their Print-then-Cut works:



If you have already tried out the Cricut's Print-then-Cut, do share what you think of it. You can post in the comments below or on my Facebook page.

My Cricut Explore has been sitting on the floor since early June. Despite my increasing frustrations with Silhouette America (deteriorating customer service and lousy software upgrades), I have been happy with my Cameo machine and what I have been able to make with it. There simply was not a good reason to try out the Cricut Explore.

Perhaps the time has finally come to give it a shot.









26 comments :

  1. I can't wait to read your opinion of the machine.I had a Cricut and went to a Cameo....I don't know that I want to turn back... :D But I do always love reading your honest reviews of things and seeing all of the amazing things you come up with!!

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    1. Thanks, disfamof3! :) I'm still trying to learn as much of the software as I can but I will post more info on the blog once I'm ready. Stay tuned. ;-)

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  2. I will also be interested in reading your opinion. Also, can any image be brought into the Cricut Design Studio? And do you have to have a web connection to use it? Do your projects become property of Provocraft?

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    1. You need to have an internet connection in order to use the Cricut Design Space. The software is free and you can try it out even without the machine. You will need the Cricut Explore in order to cut out the image. You can buy an image from the library or upload from your computer. I have been testing the software with my LD files (both graphics and SVGs). You can also use images from the Cricut cartridges but you must link them to your account first. Click for more info HERE.

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  3. I'll be curious to see what it does with the LD files. I have quite a few and never had a whole lot of luck getting them PnC cleanly with the Silhouette. My Silhouette lately has had issues maintaining calibration PnC and the last project I tried it wouldn't correctly print the registration marks and could never figure out why. I've worked my way through a few Cricuts, including the fiasco that was the Imagine even though mine never had issues. I've always preferred their ease of use. I'm headed to Michael's on the way home to see if they have the Explore in stock to give it a go. I can't wait to see what you do with it!

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    1. Did you upgrade to Silhouette Studio version 3? I have heard a lot of complaints about the print-and-cut not working properly after the upgrade. Try uninstalling and reinstalling version 2 to see if it fixes the issue. Here's a tutorial that can help you with that -->> http://underacherrytree.blogspot.com/2014/04/how-to-uninstall-silhouette-studio.html

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    2. I actually didn't ever upgrade after reading your posts on FB with the first update to v.3. I'm still running v.2 but when it started having the issues was after they released the second v.3 update that I didn't install.

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  4. GASP!!! You have both an Explore and a Zing in boxes??? Oh come on Jin, you must do a review on them both! If MTC worked for Mac, I think I'd buy the Zing because it can cut through thicker material. I currently ask my beloved Sil to do 3 passes at 25 force to ensure my cuts go through 80lb cover stock cleanly.

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    1. I'm so terrible, Cecelia! Too many machines, too little time to play!

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  5. A Cricut with digital content? No more cartridges? Is this something new or am I just way behind. I haven't paid one bit of attention to Cricut since I've gotten my Silhouette. I am so anxious to read your review of the Explore. I've loved my Silhouette, but am so tired of all the headaches with their software updates.

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  6. Jin, I have both a Cameo and an Explore, and have many years of experience with the Cameo and several months of experience with the Print then Cut feature on the Explore.

    Print and Cut with the Cameo is no where close to being as easy as with the Explore. The Silhouette software is not well designed and leaves too many things open to user error. Many people have had very inconsistent results in that it works one day and simply doesn't work at all the next. I can't tell you how many times I have tried to cut a full page of something and by the time the Cameo gets to about two thirds, it seems to forget what it's supposed to be doing, and that was also with version 2.

    I worked with Cricut to test the PtC function since early July and never once did it fail the way the Silhouette software sometimes fails, and that was in testing mode. There were things to fine tune obviously, but the software was rock solid. The Silhouette software still fails despite several updates to fix problems. I know that many people have given them long lists of things that should be fixed.

    Yes, there are things to be added to the Explore Print then Cut feature, such as larger print sizes, the ability to fill with patterns, etc., but those are coming. Pattern fill is scheduled for early 2015. I prefer to have a product that works the way it should instead of having features that don't work properly. Print then Cut on the Explore works extremely well. I know how much testing went into it! If it takes a little longer to get the features, so be it. At least they work properly.

    The Explore can cut through shrink plastic (Shrinky Dinks) in one go so that means I can now print on them and cut them. I tried that with the Cameo and even after 10 tries, it could not cut through the Shrinky Dinks.

    The first time I spoke with Ashish Arora (the new CEO at Cricut), he asked me to tell him about the things that made me unhappy with my Cricuts. He wasn't looking for adulation or pats on the back -- he was looking for problems so he could fix them.

    He and his team have done an excellent job with the Explore, but also with building up confidence in Cricut by caring about what their users are going through.

    In the end, you don't need classes to learn how to work with the Cricut Explore Print then Cut function. All you need is a couple of videos (if that) and you are off and running.

    There are people who have been trying to learn the Silhouette software for months and still have a hard time with it.

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    1. I have also had the same issue with Silhouette stopping mid cut for no reason. I was cutting some vinyl a couple of weeks ago that it just went over all four (very detailed) items and didn't cut them at all. I had just test cut them on cardstock 10 minutes before with no issue to make sure my sizing was going to work. I sent the cuts again and the second time it only cut the top two images and cut the top halves of the bottom two images. Again, I am still running the last update to version 2.

      My Explore is on it's way and will be here on Friday. I can't wait.

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  7. Jin,
    Open the Explore…I only wish I had one:)
    Maybe one day I will take the plunge. I still
    have aftertaste from the Imagine. But the Explore
    seems to be covering all the bases. I have a Cameo
    but never up-grade the software because I don't
    need headaches. When I craft I like things to go
    right the first or at least the second time not the tenth…
    I have heard nothing but great reviews for the Explore
    Take the plunge and open that box:)

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    1. Ok! I already have a Zing sitting in the box in the garage, I can't do the same to another cutter. I will open the box!

      Eventually. haha... ;)

      p.s. Seriously, I will open the box soon. I must try out the print-then-cut. :)

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  8. Jin, please open the Zing first!!! I would love to learn more about it than the Explore as I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the Cricut fiasco. I'd much rather have a machine with 3rd party software capability!

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    1. I agree with Cindy! There are enough bloggers out there who are comparing the PnC between SC and E. Despite the advances/advantages CDS claims they have, I'm certain its MTC they are going after as the superior design program vs. SDS. Support MTC - please open the Zing.

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  9. Jin, I have looked at your tutorials for Print and Cut and am still having a problem. I want to use an oval from the side bar and place my sentiment inside that. I have done all the proper steps, I think, and still when I send it to printer all I get is registration marks. Are you able to help me or can you direct me to a tutorial that doesn't use a shape from either the library or anywhere else. I just want to make a word inside of an oval and print and cut.
    Thank you in advance
    Myrna
    myrnacochrane@gmail.com

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    1. Did you fill the words with color? This tutorial covers a lot of the basics of print-and-cut and I think it will help to answer your question -->> http://underacherrytree.blogspot.com/2014/03/silhouette-tutorial-print-it-cut-it.html Let me know if you have further questions. :)

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  10. Do LD cut/graphic files work with the Explore? I have a ton so that would be a deciding factor.

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    1. You can use LD graphics and svgs with the Explore but they come onto the Design Space virtual mat at a very small size. This will not be a problem for most files but for those that need to be at a specific size (e.g. cupcake wrappers SVG), it will be a bit troublesome to use. You will have to figure out the correct size and re-size the image manually in order to use with the Cricut Design Space. I spoke with Cricut customer service about this and while they are aware of the issue, they don't know when they will have a fix for it.

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  11. I downloaded version 3, can I go back to the previous version without losing anything?

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    1. Are you referring to Silhouette Studio? As far as I know, you will not lose anything from your library. Go to the link and scroll down to see what other folks are saying about their experience -->> http://underacherrytree.blogspot.com/2014/04/how-to-uninstall-silhouette-studio.html

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  12. We saved and saved and finally got an Explore yesterday.

    We can't use it because it demands an internet connection and contrary to popular belief that's not as everywhere nor as reliable as it sounds. And when we did get it hooked up the design studio was a bit overpowering and insane. I got the explore so I could do a paperdoll line, and to feel comfortable with such an expensive investment I want to be able to work with my cutter when the internet is down or even (something people don't think about anymore) after the Design Studio is no longer supported.

    Not... this.

    I was so upset I cried. We researched very hard before getting this sheep machine for a machine that could cut shrinky dinks. It was the only one in the store, too. Not worth it.

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    1. The Explore can cut thicker media (like shrink plastic, as you mentioned) but folks should also consider the limitations of a web-based software. Your post made me feel sad but I appreciate that you stepped up to share your experience. You made several good points about the machine/program that I hope folks will take into consideration when they are shopping for a new cutter.

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  13. I tried to send a comment to you last. night, then decided to email and got a nasty message. I sent you an invite and told you about Julie and Christors debate about the Explore. Rob usually posts it on YouTube. toight Christopher did a step by step demovof Print then Create. Also Kreativeken has some excellent videos on the Cameo and Explore and a comparison between the two. I've been impressed and I certainly not a PC fan. But this definitely a new PC.

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    1. Hi Brenda, was that from the MTC Webinar? I wasn't able to attend it but I will go look at the recording. Btw, thanks for trying to send me an invite. I'm sorry that you received a nasty message in return. Did you send the email to a wrong address? I checked my in-box and I didn't find any emails from you. Anyway, my email address is jin @ underacherrytree dot com ( in case you need it for next time). :-)

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