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Cricut, Inc.
Company typePublic
IndustryConsumer electronics
United States
Key people
ProductsCutting plotters, heat press
Number of employees

Cricut, Inc. is an American brand of cutting plotters, or computer-controlled cutting machines, designed for home crafters. The machines are used for cutting paper, felt, vinyl, fabric[2] and other materials such as leather, matboard, and wood.


The original Cricut machine has cutting mats of 150 mm × 300 mm (6 in × 12 in), the larger Cricut Explore allows mats of 300 mm × 300 mm, and 300 mm × 610 mm (12 in × 12 in, and 12 in × 24 in). The largest machine will produce letters from a 13 to 597 mm (0.5 to 23.5 in) high. Both the Cricut and Cricut Explore Air 2 require mats and blades which can be adjusted to cut through various types of paper, vinyl and other sheet products. The Cricut operates as a paper cutter based upon cutting parameters programmed into the machine, and resembles a desktop printer.[3]

Model Comparison
Model Max Cut Size Max Cut Speed Date Introduced Support Dropped Still usable? Features Operating modes
Cricut "Personal"


150 mm × 300 mm (6 in × 12 in) January 2005 2013 With cartridges and third party extension for sure cuts a lot Manual cut depth and speed Cartridges,

Design Studio

Cricut Expression


300 mm × 610 mm (12 in × 24 in) November 2005
Cricut Expression 2


September 2011 2018 With Cartridges only Cartridges, or Craft Room
Cricut MINI


220 mm × 300 mm (8.5 in × 12 in) No longer usable, as Craft Room servers are offline[when?]

Explore CXPL001

300 mm × 610 mm (12 in × 24 in) 2014 Holds 2 tools Design Space

Explore One CXPL101

May 2015 Holds 1 tool

Explore Air CXPL201

Holds 2 tools.

Explore Air 2 CXPL202

290 mm × 600 mm (11.5 in × 23.5 in) 0.14 m/s (5.7 in/s) October 2016 Automatic support for 6 tools, and 100+ materials

Maker CXPL301

August 2017 Automatic support for 13 tools, and 300+ materials

Joy JCTR101

110 mm (4.5 in) by 1.2 m (4 ft) 5 in/s March 2020 Automatic support for 3 tools, and 50+ materials

Explore 3 CXPL203

300 mm (11.7 in) by 3.7 m (12 ft) 0.29 m/s (11.3 in/s) June 2021 Automatic support for 6 tools, and 100+ materials

Maker 3 CXPL303

Automatic support for 13 tools, and 300+ materials


610 mm (24 in) by 23 m (75 ft) 0.65 m/s (25.4 in/s) July 2023 Automatic support for 7 tools, and 100+ materials

Joy Xtra

220 mm (8.5 in) by 1.2 m (4 ft) 0.144 m/s (5.65 in/s) September 2023 Automatic support for 3 tools, and 50+ materials


Designs are made from components stored on cartridges. Each cartridge comes with a keyboard overlay and instruction booklet. The plastic keyboard overlay indicates key selections for that cartridge only. However, Provo Craft has released a "Universal Overlay" that is compatible with all cartridges released after August 1, 2013.[4] The purpose of the universal overlay is to simplify the process of cutting by only having to learn one keyboard overlay instead of having to learn the overlay for each individual cartridge. Designs can be cut out on a PC with the Cricut Design Studio software, on a USB connected Gypsy machine, or can be directly inputted on the Cricut machine using the keyboard overlay. There are two types of cartridges, shape and font. Each cartridge provides for hundreds of different cuts. In 2011, a total of 275 cartridges were made available, with new ones regularly released.[5] While some cartridges are generic in content, Cricut has licensing agreements with Disney, Pixar, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street, DC Comics and Hello Kitty.[6] The cartridges are interchangeable, although not all options on a cartridge may be available with the smaller machines.

In 2017, physical cartridges were discontinued for digital cartridges.

Heat presses[edit]

In 2017, Cricut created a category of handheld heat transfer products starting with the Cricut EasyPress.[7] Cricut now offers heat presses and accessories for a variety of applications ranging from personal projects to commercial use. These press families are the Cricut EasyPress (available in 230 mm × 230 mm (9 in × 9 in), 300 mm × 250 mm (12 in × 10 in), and Mini), Mug Press, Hat Press, and Autopress.


The Cricut Bright 360 LED lamp was introduced in early 2022 and currently comes in table and floor models. Both models boast 4 points of articulation, a 95 Color Rendering Index (CRI), adjustable brightness up to 1500 lux (table lamp) and 3000 lux (floor lamp), and light color temperature from warm to cool white.[8]

Cricut also offers two portable craft light boxes: the BrightPad and BrightPad Go.



To use Cricut cutters, users must use the company's own web-based design software, Design Space, which allows users to draw designs, select and combine designs from its own online library, or upload vector or bitmap files they have created in other software.[9][10][11]

Past software[edit]

Cricut's first software was Cricut design studio. Released November 15, 2005, it allowed users to combine images from different cartridges, merge images, and stretch/rotate images; it does not allow for the creation of arbitrary designs. Support was dropped sometime in 2013.

The Cricut Craft Room software enabled users to combine images from different cartridges, merge images, and stretch/rotate images; it does not allow for the creation of arbitrary designs.[12][unreliable source?] It also enables the user to view the images displayed on-screen before beginning the cutting process, so the end result can be seen in advance.[13][unreliable source?]

Citing Adobe's abandonment of Flash, Cricut announced it would be closing Cricut Craft Room on July 15, 2018. Users of "legacy" machines were offered a discount to update to models compatible with Design Space. As of July 16, 2018, Design Space is the only official software available to compose projects. Some third party programs are available and can be used to input the files into Design Space.[14]


Third-party Hostility[edit]

Provo Craft has been actively hostile to the use of third-party software programs that could enable Cricut owners to cut out designs and to use the machine without depending on its proprietary cartridges. In a comparative review of die-cutting machines, review site TopTenReviews identified being "limited to cutting designs from a collection of cartridges" as a major drawback of the Cricut range, though the review noted that it could be a preference for some.[15]

Two programs which could formerly be used to make and then get Cricut machines to cut out arbitrary designs (using, for example, arbitrary TrueType fonts or SVG format graphics) were Make-the-Cut (MTC) and Craft Edge's Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL). In April 2010 Provo Craft opened legal action against the publishers of Make-the-Cut,[16] and in January 2011 it sued Craft Edge to stop the distribution of the SCAL program.[17] In both cases the publishers settled with Provo Craft, and removed support for Cricut from their products. The programs continue to be usable with other home cutters.[18]

According to the text of its legal complaint against Craft Edge, "Provo Craft uses various techniques to encrypt and obscure the USB communications between Cricut DesignStudio [a design program supplied with the hardware] and the Cricut e-cutter, in order to protect Provo Craft's proprietary software and firmware, and to prevent attempts to intercept the cutting commands".[19] Provo Craft contended that in order to understand and replicate this obscured protocol, Craft Edge had disassembled the DesignStudio program, contrary to the terms of its End User License Agreement, thereby (the company asserted) breaching copyright law. Provo Craft also asserted that Craft Edge were violating its trademark in the word "Cricut" by saying that its software could work with Cricut machines. Provo Craft asserted that this was likely "to cause confusion, mistake or deception as to the source or origin of Defendant's goods or services, and [was] likely to falsely suggest a sponsorship, connection, license, or association of Defendant's goods and services with Provo Craft".[20]

User Limitations[edit]

On March 12, 2021, Cricut announced it would be limiting users to 20 free uploads per month to Design Space at an unspecified date; the old unlimited uploads would remain available under a paid subscription. This announcement was criticized by users at the company's unofficial subreddit, and a petition was launched in protest.[21][22][10] Following the backlash, its CEO apologized, and Cricut scrapped the plans a few days later.[23][24]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Wayner, Peter (December 2, 2009)."For Crafters, the Gift of Automation." The New York Times.
  3. ^ Flaherty, Joseph (April 18, 2012). "MakerBot + Pinterest = Craft Juggernaut." Wired Magazine.
  4. ^ "Universal Overlay - Cricut Shop". Archived from the original on 2013-11-02. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
  5. ^ "Cricut Cartridges". Provo Craft. August 26, 2011. Archived from the original on September 2, 2011.
  6. ^ "Featured Brands - Cricut Shop". Archived from the original on 2014-01-28.
  7. ^ "What is Cricut EasyPress?". Cricut - Help Center. Retrieved 13 December 2023.
  8. ^ "See more, do more: Introducing Cricut Bright 360". Cricut - Blog. 26 January 2022. Retrieved 13 December 2023.
  9. ^ "The Best Electronic Cutting Machines From Cricut and Silhouette". NYT - WireCutter. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  10. ^ a b Cox, Kate (2021-03-16). "Cricut backs off plan to add subscription fee to millions of devices [Updated]". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
  11. ^ Humayun (13 February 2023). "5 Best Laptops for Cricut under $500 in 2023 (Best Guide)". Tech OyEe. Retrieved 20 February 2023.
  12. ^ "Can Cricut Cut Custom Shapes & Designs? - Craft Room Application - Cricut Forums". Archived from the original on 2015-01-25.
  13. ^ "Original Expression and the new Cricut Design Space - Expression Machine [29-0300] - Cricut Forums". Archived from the original on 2015-03-27.
  14. ^ Important News for Cricut Craft Room Users. Accessed 10 August 2018.
  15. ^ Cricut Expression review, Top Ten Reviews. Accessed 26 January 2012. Archived
  16. ^ Nancy Nally, Provo Craft Sues Make The Cut, Scrapbook Update, 7 April 2010
  17. ^ Nally, Nancy (March 11, 2011). "Provo Craft Sues Sure Cuts A Lot, Alleging Copyright Violations". Scrapbook Update.
  18. ^ Nancy Nally, Make The Cut Settles Cricut Software Lawsuit With Provo Craft, Scrapbook Update, 11 March 2011
    Nancy Nally, Provo Craft Issues Statement on MTC, SCAL Lawsuits, Scrapbook Update, 5 April 2011
    Communication from Craft Edge, Notes from the Scrapbooklady (blog), 17 May 2011
    Update on SCAL and Provocraft, UK Scrappers, 16 May 2011
  19. ^ Complaint: Provo Craft and Novelty Inc. v. Craft Edge Inc., at 28 (page 6)
  20. ^ Complaint: Provo Craft and Novelty Inc. v. Craft Edge Inc., at 57 (page 13)
  21. ^ Campbell, Ian (2021-03-15). "Cricut is limiting the use of its crafting machines with a monthly subscription". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-03-15.
  22. ^ List, Jenny (2021-03-15). "Cricut Decides To Charge Rent For People To Fully Use The Cutting Machines They Already Own". Hackaday. Retrieved 2021-03-15.
  23. ^ Campbell, Ian (2021-03-18). "Cricut completely unravels subscription plans that would limit its crafting machines". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
  24. ^ Cox, Kate (2021-03-19). "Cricut fully abandons plans to make device owners pay subscription fee". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2021-03-23.

External links[edit]