Top critical review
Poor Design Space Software
March 21, 2018
I wrote this review as a caution to other “Makers” who may be interested in this product.
I was excited when I saw the Cricut maker, with it’s indexable rotary cutter and knife blade. I have a drag knife that I use with a vacuum table on my CNC router, but sometimes its just too big of a pain to get it set up for small projects. I though this Maker machine would replace my drag knife, at least on small projects. In general, I think the machine has great potential, assuming it functions as advertised. (I was not able to actually use the machine before I returned it)
The problem is with their design software. I’m sure the machine works well for someone cutting quilt blocks, scrapbooking or cutting iron-on’s, but does not work well for applications requiring dimensional accuracy.
Here are a few of the issues I found:
1. The knife blade is not yet available (I knew that going in, but it is now more than 6 months since it was first promised) There are a lot of review sites touting it’s virtues, but it is not clear if anyone, outside of Cricut, has actually seen one in real life.
2. His device works only when connected to the Cricut cloud. (for windows users) Every other peripheral device I use, from desktop printer to CNC plasma cutter, will work without an internet connection. Most have some method of working autonomously via SD card or local network connection to network storage. Not so with Cricut, as they must bless every design before allowing it to stream to one of their devices.
3. You MUST use the Cricut Design Space cloud software for all designs. Although you can import graphics from other software, the final design to be sent to the cutter exists only in the cloud within the “Design Space” application.
4. THE DEAL BREAKER: There is no precise way to scale or position elements within the Design space application. Although you can change the “Size” and “Position” within the app, these are actually the size of a bounding box around the object, and the position of the center of that bounding box. When objects on different layers are not symmetric, the resulting bounding box positions are completely meaningless. Their current workflow is; nudge, stretch, cut, adjust, repeat. A complete waste of time and materials, given that you design was of the correct size and position before it was imported.
In conclusion, this device has great potential, but has been rendered useless for dimensionally accurate projects by poorly designed software. If Cricut really want to expand into the “Maker” space, I think these shortcomings will need to be addressed.