How To Use a Cricut Machine

Now that you've bought or borrowed a new Cricut machine, you're probably wondering what comes next. 

A Cricut machine isn't super straightforward and user friendly. If you don't have the instructions included with the machine anymore, it's not uncommon to be completely at a loss of where to start. 

We're here to help! In this post, we're going to break down the basics of how to use a Cricut machine, specifically the Explore Air 2 and Cricut Maker machines. 

Let's get started!

Power It On & Making Space

First things first, if you have a used Cricut machine, make sure the device powers on and appears to be in working order. 

You can plug in the machine, and you should see the light on the control panel indicating the machine is getting power. 

Now that you know your machine is in working order, it's time to clear some space. Like other arts and crafts, you need a work area to be the most effective. 

Like a sewing machine, you should make sure the Cricut machine is on a flat surface, with elbow room on either side, and the unit is in reach of a power outlet. 

You should also be nearby where the computer you'll be using for cricut design is. If this is a laptop, you don't have to worry so much since a laptop is portable. If you're using a desktop, make sure to make space around your computer for the Cricut machine. 

>> Related Content: Best Cricut Machines

Downloading Cricut Design Space & Connecting

Cricut design space is the software program you use to create & edit  svg files for design. If you're using a new machine, instructions for how to download the software will be included, but if you've inherited a machine, you can find everything you need here: https://design.cricut.com/#/launcher.

Once you have it downloaded, you need to connect your machine and your computer via Bluetooth. The exact way to do this varies by computer model, but you can generally find this in the settings section. 

Once you have Bluetooth enabled on your computer, make sure the Cricut machine is turned on, and you should see it appear in the list of your available devices. If you're prompted to enter a passcode, use 0000.

Once you're done, your Cricut machine and your computer are communicating, and all that's left to do is design!

How To Use The Cricut Explore Air 2

The Cricut Explore Air 2 is essentially a beefed-up version of the Cricut Maker, so the instructions will be quite similar for both. 

Using the Smart Set Dial

The smart set dial is located on the right side of the machine, and using it makes everything a whole lot easier. In essence, it's a dial that allows you to select materials, and it uses pre-programmed settings to get the perfect cut every time. 

If you don't see your material on the smart set dial, you can change it to custom so you can cut an infinite amount of different materials. 

Using the smart set dial and computer software with svg files, getting your first cut files done is fairly straight forward without needing more in depth cricut tutorials. 

Using The Cricut Maker

The Cricut maker is very similar to the Cricut Air 2, but with a few of the bells and whistles missing from the cutting machine. 

No dial, set materials in the software

The Cricut maker lacks the smart dial you see on the Cricut Air 2; instead, you select the material in the computer software itself and let the machine handle the rest within the cut files. 

Fabric cutting

The Cricut Maker can cut fabric, and all you need to do is change out the blade for a rotary blade, which should be included with your machine, and purchase a fabric cutting mat. Everything else should be exactly the same!

Closing Thoughts

Using a Cricut machine is straight forward if you get a handle on what the buttons do, and download the software to go along with the machine. 

Let us know if you have any more questions in the comments section below!

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