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Cricut Maker - the ultimate tool.....yay or nay???


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So for my birthday present this year I was given a new Cricut Maker machine.  I have looked at these before but up until now they haven't offered the ability to cut the materials I use.  Now they can!  Have a look at this latest video of the new tools the Maker uses.  Personally I think it's pretty darn cool for the things we do!  It can and will be a huge help to us miniaturists.  My hubby however thinks that it's 'cheating' and uses less skill.  Personally I am waiting on a different knife tool to arrive in my letterbox so that I can cut basswood.  Now i'm thinking about ordering these as well!  What do you all think?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANAklkS4Dmg

 

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I have had my Maker for a few months now and I love it. I have used it to cut 1/16" and 3/32" basswood. I've had better luck with the 1/16", but that is mostly due to not taping the wood to the mat well enough and it wandered a bit so I had to cancel the cut. When I taped it better, it didn't wander. Also with 3/32", you need to extend the cutting passes because there is no setting for 3/32" basswood, only 3/32" balsa, so you have to force the machine to keep cutting to get all the way through the basswood. 

I was able to transfer patterns from Kris Compass' site, import them to Design Space and cut them out. I did that with the onion/potato bin and now I have a cut-out kit to build the bin with. I have imported other patterns but haven't cut them out yet. I needed some 3/4" wide siding for the addition I am building on my Duracraft San Franciscan so I had the Maker cut those out. I also used it to cut out additional doors for the SF. 

All in all it is a great tool and as I become more proficient with it I will use it more and more.

John

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1 hour ago, PapaJKK said:

I have had my Maker for a few months now and I love it. I have used it to cut 1/16" and 3/32" basswood. I've had better luck with the 1/16", but that is mostly due to not taping the wood to the mat well enough and it wandered a bit so I had to cancel the cut. When I taped it better, it didn't wander. Also with 3/32", you need to extend the cutting passes because there is no setting for 3/32" basswood, only 3/32" balsa, so you have to force the machine to keep cutting to get all the way through the basswood. 

I was able to transfer patterns from Kris Compass' site, import them to Design Space and cut them out. I did that with the onion/potato bin and now I have a cut-out kit to build the bin with. I have imported other patterns but haven't cut them out yet. I needed some 3/4" wide siding for the addition I am building on my Duracraft San Franciscan so I had the Maker cut those out. I also used it to cut out additional doors for the SF. 

All in all it is a great tool and as I become more proficient with it I will use it more and more.

John

Fantastic to know!  I'm looking forward to playing with wood - but we have limited resources that we can get directly from here.  One of our hobby shops sells 1/16 birch plywood from Midwest - do you think the Maker would cut that out?  I've not heard of Kris Compass - I'll definitely go and have a good look there.  And yes - completely agree with you.  I think it'll take time to become proficient with it - but I think it'll be an absolutely fantastic tool once I have!

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4 hours ago, PapaJKK said:

I don't know about plywood. If you do try it, go with straight cuts only, and have an extra blade or two ready for if/when the first one breaks.

John

Especially if cutting curves or across the grain.

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I have an earlier model and have looked at upgrading to the Maker but haven’t done it yet. I don’t think you will be successful cutting plywood, but as John said, it may work for straight cuts.

I really like the Cricut and use it for all kinds of things including shingle strips. I’ve designed my own and it works great. I’ve also used the “print and cut” function for lots of little things (like books) and it works well. You just need to get used to using Cricut Design Space.

There are tons of online tutorials too. :cheezy:

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13 hours ago, shannonc60 said:

Yep. You’re gonna love it. I don’t have one but have the laser cutter as you know, and it is a game changer. And I am terrible with a knife and ruler! Haha! I am not sure it would cut the birch ply though. It’s pretty hard.

Yes - that certainly seems to be the consensus about the ply!  I've just ordered some 1/16 sheets of basswood.  

10 hours ago, havanaholly said:

We refer to her site all the time!  http://1inchminisbykris.blogspot.com/

As soon as I googled her and came up to 1inchminis I realised I do know the site! :D 

6 hours ago, Mid-life madness said:

I can't wait to see your projects Rebecca. I am wanting one for Christmas.

So far I've really only used it to cut vinyl for decorations.  After seeing this youtube video though I love the idea of using the embossing tool to create the brick/rock effects!

23 minutes ago, Dalesq said:

I really like the Cricut and use it for all kinds of things including shingle strips. I’ve designed my own and it works great. I’ve also used the “print and cut” function for lots of little things (like books) and it works well. You just need to get used to using Cricut Design Space.

There are tons of online tutorials too. :cheezy:

 I'm also a part of a FB group of NZ Cricut users and they are incredibly helpful!  I think this tool has huge potential for our hobby/love - but it all comes back to playing with it to learn exactly what it can do!!

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I don't have the Maker, yet. I do have the Explore Air 2. I follow Heather Tracy on Youtube and using one of her patterns I made these out of layers of Kraft board and I love it! I also made the fireplace doors on the fireplace I posted a week ago. 

Well, I tried to upload the photos but for some reason, it won't let me. 

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5 hours ago, KatFord said:

I don't have the Maker, yet. I do have the Explore Air 2. I follow Heather Tracy on Youtube and using one of her patterns I made these out of layers of Kraft board and I love it! I also made the fireplace doors on the fireplace I posted a week ago. 

OOoooo thanks for that - I'll go and have a look at her channel!

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15 hours ago, Gabblar said:

I love mine. If you are on Facebook there a is group called Miniatures made by Cricuters. Just to give you an idea of all the cool things you can make.

 

Thanks Gabbi - yep I'm in that group too!

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oh Rebecca, Im in the same boat as you were - I got one for Mother's day and it's still in the box! hahahaha, I have a silhouette that I used to transfer some files from Kris Compass and cut them on the silhouette - you will love her site....and I can't wait to see all you do with the Circuit, Im inspired to take mine out of the box!

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On 10/4/2019, 9:10:54, Gabblar said:

I love mine. If you are on Facebook there a is group called Miniatures made by Cricuters. Just to give you an idea of all the cool things you can make.

 

I’ve gotta go see.....:ohyeah::dog:

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5 hours ago, fov said:

What's the difference between the Maker and the Explore? Is it mainly that the Maker can cut through thicker materials?

Yes and it can cut fabric. 

@SharebI’ve used my maker to cut plywood veneer (very very thin from the aeroplane modelers section at the hobby shop). It did cut it, but not all the way through. I just used my scalpel to finish the cuts but probably if I did another pass it would have cut it. 

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14 hours ago, fov said:

What's the difference between the Maker and the Explore? Is it mainly that the Maker can cut through thicker materials?

I'd looked at Cricuts before but up until this latest Maker machine their materials list didn't incorporate the thicker resources that I prefer to use.  Cricut are bringing out more tools, more materials and I've really enjoyed playing so far!!  I've just ordered some chipboard and I've got acetate on the way!  So many ideas!!!

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On 10/2/2019, 4:13:40, shannonc60 said:

Yep. You’re gonna love it. I don’t have one but have the laser cutter as you know, and it is a game changer. And I am terrible with a knife and ruler! Haha! I am not sure it would cut the birch ply though. It’s pretty hard.

What type of laser cutter? How does it work? Don't want to hijack this thread but I was always wanting one of these so I could make a "kit" out of some of my designs. Seem's like having them laser cut for me would be prohibitively expensive especially in small lots

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4 minutes ago, Miniatures in Marble said:

What type of laser cutter? How does it work? Don't want to hijack this thread but I was always wanting one of these so I could make a "kit" out of some of my designs. Seem's like having them laser cut for me would be prohibitively expensive especially in small lots

Hi Joel. I have a Trotec Speedy 300 which I am getting used to, but used to have (well, still have but need to sell) Epilogs. I still love the Epilogs and would ditch the Trotec if it hadn’t cost me so much freakin money. My first design I had cut by a cutting service and yes, it was expensive and very hard to prototype due to the cost, but then a decent machine isn’t cheap and the ongoing costs can be high. Maybe you could ask around local schools, universities or those community makers spaces to see if they have a machine you could use. Many have laser cutters these days. My first cutter was a little Epilog (I am actually keeping this and will set it up again sometime) and I love it. I got it secondhand so the price was more reasonable. As I am in Australia, finding suitable materials is the hardest part.

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2 minutes ago, Miniatures in Marble said:

Actually thinking about it a laser cutter is probably overkill for me as most of my cuts are squares and rectangles of thin wood. What I would really like is a good hand powered heavy duty rotary paper cutter that can do thin wood 

When I want to cut curves through thin wood I use a rotary quilt cutter.

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