Question Are Cricut plotters ok? Asking for granddaughter.

jnyreno

New Member
Granddaughter wants for cutting shapes and t-shirt transfers. I have high end plotters but know nothing of the Cricket. Anyone have any experience?
 

Texas_Signmaker

Very Active Signmaker
Granddaughter wants for cutting shapes and t-shirt transfers. I have high end plotters but know nothing of the Cricket. Anyone have any experience?

I dont personally but know of some church friends that have one. I saw one in action and it looks like it cuts well. The software looked easy to use too. They are popular and cut just fine.
 

john2k20

New Member
i think its ok i have had a cameo 4 its same category. but i think in the end you are way better of buying a new or even second hand roland or summa cutter somewhere.
its worth the extra money.
 

ikarasu

Active Member
Personally I'd get her a roll cutter. Even a cheap uscutter option - Cricuts limited in sheet size... Unless you want to cut all your vinyl down for her, get her at least a 24" roll cutter.

https://www.uscutter.com/28in-MH-Vinyl-Cutter for $300 its worth it. Cricuts are what... $230? You'd save the $70 it'd cost on vinyl on your first roll.

It's not as "cute" and there is a little bit more of a learning curve... But Thats not a bad thing. Cricuts are the apples of the world... Theyre pretty, over priced, and just "work". get her a MH Cutter... Then when she learns to use it properly, she can come work at your shop on weekends and help you out, without messing up your high end plotters.
 

Reveal1

New Member
I'm imagining what my wife would do to me if I suggested getting my granddaughters a plotter. Then again, tax deduction for grandpa, so maybe a flatbed Summa?
 

Stacey K

I like making signs
I agree with Texas, many people have them and use them for small projects, seem to work very well for this type of thing! I don't have one but I know a lot of women who do and never hear anyone complain. A teacher at our school has one and she uses my old scraps for various sayings and the such for around the school.
 

WildWestDesigns

New Member
I agree with Texas, many people have them and use them for small projects, seem to work very well for this type of thing! I don't have one but I know a lot of women who do and never hear anyone complain. A teacher at our school has one and she uses my old scraps for various sayings and the such for around the school.

At one time Cricut (they still may, it's just hard to find on their site now, so I don't know if it's been discontinued) had a "commercial" version that was a grand or two (in that range). I remember seeing them at the local apparel trade show (I was shaking my head at first as I was thinking it was just a consumer line and thus not having the warranty that people that were in business (I'm assuming in business as it was a business trade show, not a consumer one)), but that has been a few yrs.

If I recall correctly, like most home machines (and if they still have the "commercial" version available, I think it would still apply) the file format is proprietary. So if it's a pattern made in their own software, it will only cut on their own machines. I do think you can bring in SVGs etc into the machine and it will convert on the fly to the desired format, but if it was created from the ground up in their software, it will be locked in to their format. Unless that has changed, it may have, it's been a few yrs.

I only mention that about the format in case your granddaughter wants to go from the cricut to a non cricut machines and may want to take her designs with her and use them.
 

Stacey K

I like making signs
At one time Cricut (they still may, it's just hard to find on their site now, so I don't know if it's been discontinued) had a "commercial" version that was a grand or two (in that range). I remember seeing them at the local apparel trade show (I was shaking my head at first as I was thinking it was just a consumer line and thus not having the warranty that people that were in business (I'm assuming in business as it was a business trade show, not a consumer one)), but that has been a few yrs.

If I recall correctly, like most home machines (and if they still have the "commercial" version available, I think it would still apply) the file format is proprietary. So if it's a pattern made in their own software, it will only cut on their own machines. I do think you can bring in SVGs etc into the machine and it will convert on the fly to the desired format, but if it was created from the ground up in their software, it will be locked in to their format. Unless that has changed, it may have, it's been a few yrs.

I only mention that about the format in case your granddaughter wants to go from the cricut to a non cricut machines and may want to take her designs with her and use them.
YES, I believe you are correct! OP should check into this for her as he/she will know the best formats.
 

Texas_Signmaker

Very Active Signmaker
I don't agree with starting out someone with a "real" sign plotter...mostly because of the SOFTWARE required. Even the free software is hard to learn. I've seen the stuff that Cricket uses and it's simple to use and polished. Like someone else here said is like "Apple" stuff, it just works. I've seen many (mostly ladies) that I know are not that computer savvy, pickup that software very quickly and start making impressive stuff right away. It took me a while to learn Flexi and a lot of ****ing around with connecting the plotter and stuff.
 

Raum Divarco

Application Specialist CUTWORX / Amcad & Graphics
Cricuts are great for small batches and hobbyists.
If you are not looking for a larger format machine there are several options out there for miniature versions of large cutting tables.
There are LST ad PK series machines. The more introductory ones use plotter pen tools while the more advanced ones use servo-controlled drag blades as well.
These options also have crease wheels for more boutique applications.
see example: https://www.cwtworktoolsusa.com/category-lst-digital-die-cutters.html
These machines come with sheet feeding tables and typical use is on 13x19 sheets.
The software operating system is user friendly and the registration camera makes batch running efficient.
 

Notarealsignguy

Very Big Member
I don't agree with starting out someone with a "real" sign plotter...mostly because of the SOFTWARE required. Even the free software is hard to learn. I've seen the stuff that Cricket uses and it's simple to use and polished. Like someone else here said is like "Apple" stuff, it just works. I've seen many (mostly ladies) that I know are not that computer savvy, pickup that software very quickly and start making impressive stuff right away. It took me a while to learn Flexi and a lot of ****ing around with connecting the plotter and stuff.
Exactly. Being frustrated trying to figure out how to use commercial software will suck the fun out of the hobby. Thats a lot of the reason why the cricuts are so popular.
 

WildWestDesigns

New Member
Like someone else here said is like "Apple" stuff, it just works.

The irony there is that same person was actually in favor of a different cutter. I'll leave alone that they had "work", just like that, "work".

Fundamentally, I don't disagree with that the UI is typically easier, they assume a certain level of knowledge (or like thereof) and make things more intuitive then some commercial variants. I just found that that one comment was cherry picked, when in context was actually making a totally different suggestion (the person that made that original quote). Keep in mind too, consumer software (not all the time, but most of them) has limitations that could also be a bummer on a project that someone is trying to do. Tradeoffs to everything.


Bare in mind, while software UI and ease of use (or lack thereof) could be a major bummer on a hobby. So can range of substrates that work with the machine, project sizes or more importantly lack thereof, can also be a bummer as well. Depends on what is more important to the individual user.



Personally I'd get her a roll cutter. Even a cheap uscutter option - Cricuts limited in sheet size... Unless you want to cut all your vinyl down for her, get her at least a 24" roll cutter.
It's not as "cute" and there is a little bit more of a learning curve... But Thats not a bad thing. Cricuts are the apples of the world... Theyre pretty, over priced, and just "work". get her a MH Cutter... Then when she learns to use it properly, she can come work at your shop on weekends and help you out, without messing up your high end plotters.
 

ikarasu

Active Member
Personaly I think "just works" is bad. I didn't mean it in a good way :p not because the machine is garbage. Like I said... I think it's the apple of vinyl cutters. It's made good, it's easy to use, and it cost 2x the price it should! It has its place....I just think a 28" roll cutter that costs a whopping $100 more has way more benefits and upsides than a cricut.

Do you know how many times Co workers ask me for help on using their phone for the dumbest most basic stuff, every single day?

A little bit of a learning curve is good. It helps you understand WHY you need to set stuff up a certain way, how to diagnose it when it goes wrong, what the best practices are for the best results, etc.

Like I said... I don't think cricuts are bad machines. They work good, they're built good... The softwares not too bad. But personally if I were interested in cut vinyl
.. Especially because I've seen what my grandparents summa/graphtec could do, I'd be disappointed in a cricut. I'd want something comparable, something that doesn't have so many limitations.. Mainly size.

I sound like an old fogie now. But I feel like everything is being handed to people these days. Iphones that just work... Windows pcs that are dummy proof... I think kids especially need to be challenged more. Operating a roll cutter isn't rocket science, and it opens up the possibilities more... Let's her be able to run wilder with her imagination without facing as many hurdles.

But again.. If all she wants is a device you stick a 12"x12" Piece of vinyl into and hit a button and get a design.... There's nothing wrong with cricuts. Invest in a graphtec blade holder for better cutting results and longer lasting blades though.
 

GAC05

Active Member
One of the benefits of going with the cricut is the crafting community that comes with it. I was involuntarily inducted into the Crafting & Quilting Cult when I picked up an Accucut die cutter to do some shelf talkers. Now my inbox is filled with helpful suggestions on everything from cute DIY gifts to getting glitter to stick to quilts.
 

WildWestDesigns

New Member
Personaly I think "just works" is bad.


"Just works" is good and bad. Sometimes it's just better to get up and running as that is the most efficient way to do something. So "just works" is great in that regard.

Unfortunately, "just works" depending on the system we are talking about (consumer home good) that typically comes with the caveat of being locked down (same with Windows, most Windows that people on here use are the consumer versions, unless running an illegal version or are paying monthly for Enterprise (even Enterprise is locked down to a degree)).

A little bit of a learning curve is good. It helps you understand WHY you need to set stuff up a certain way, how to diagnose it when it goes wrong, what the best practices are for the best results, etc.


I completely agree with this. I personally like the endorphin rush of fixing something or creating something new (not just with using machines, but also putting together hardware/software as well). It's why I like using the tools that I use.
 

Texas_Signmaker

Very Active Signmaker
One of the benefits of going with the cricut is the crafting community that comes with it. I was involuntarily inducted into the Crafting & Quilting Cult when I picked up an Accucut die cutter to do some shelf talkers. Now my inbox is filled with helpful suggestions on everything from cute DIY gifts to getting glitter to stick to quilts.

I duno, I don't think I want quilts and glitter filling up my inbox... mine's full of messages from a group of sign hacks and linked in requests.
 
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