Everything You Need to Know About the New Cricut Explore™

Everything You Need to Know About the New Cricut Explore™

It’s been a little quiet around here the past few days, sorry for that. But I have a fantastic reason for it… if you follow me on Instagram you know exactly what I’ve been up to. I was in Salt Lake City, Utah for the product launch of the brand new Cricut Explore™! You guy’s know that I’ve been a Cricut user for years, so when they invited me out for this  launch I was over the moon. Of course, the first thing I did was calculate how many weeks I would be since the cut off for flying is 34 weeks. Luckily I was 30/31 weeks and cleared by my doctor the week before to fly!

You're Inivted Life-Size Cricut Explore™ Card

After I checked into the hotel and took a little nap it was time to check-in to all the Cricut festivities. I walked up to the ballroom to see a life-size Cricut card.

Cricut Explore™ Welcome Sign

The theme of the event was all about destination and travel!

Cricut Explore™ Destination map

When I walked into the room I saw a huge wall full of large Instagram photos. We then were asked to find our Instagram photo and put our polaroid with it.

Cricut Explore™ Instagram Photo

They chose my DIY Painted Spring Pillow as the Instagram photo.

Cricut Explore™ Dinner

It was time for dinner and we walked in and we were all wowed! From the place settings to the tablescapes–it was all amazing.

Cricut Explore™ Bingo

We started off dinner with a good old round of BINGO. Do you see how close I was to being able to call BINGO!?!! I had 5 different chances and all I needed was one more number! So close yet so far away.

After dinner, Cricut CEO, Ashish Arora, took the stage. The moment we had all be waiting for.

Jon and I had brainstormed for the past few months on what this big announcement could be. We both guessed a new machine a new machine and I guessed maybe being able to finally use JPG files. We were both right.

Without further ado, here is the brand new Cricut Explore™!

Cricut CEO, Ashish Arora share with us on Monday night the video you just watched above. I’ve watched it at least a handful of times and every time I watch I still get goose bumps!

Cricut Explore™: from inspiration to creation in just a few clicks.

Introducing the new Cricut Explore™ design-and-cut system! The Cricut Explore™ system blends an electronic cutting machine with Cricut Design Space™, the free online design software, to help you make polished DIY projects. Create by using the hundreds of ready-to-make projects, the 50,000+ images from the Cricut® library or by uploading your own images. You can even use the Cricut® cartridges you already own! Available on HSN in February and in stores March 15!

During the keynote speech, Ashish stressed that we as a community would change the way DIY is done, and to be honest, I truly believe that. This new machine is revolutionary to the die-cut world.

They have been working on the Cricut Explore™ and Cricut Design Space™ for over 2 years! They have worked and re-worked this machine (as you saw above) to make sure it is exactly what the end user will want and need.

3 reasons you’ll love the new Cricut Explore™

1. Easy - Say goodbye to complicated materials settings. Now you can get the perfect cut on nearly any material—just turn the Smart Set™ dial. You can even create custom settings for different materials.

2. Precise - Cricut Explore™ features Cut Smart™ technology. With 11 patents pending, Cut Smart™ technology lets you cut a wide range of shapes and sizes with exceptional accuracy.

3. Versatile - Make just about anything you can think of! From home décor to fashion and accessories, Cricut Explore™ will help you make projects that show off your imagination.

Easy, Precise, and Versatile. That’s what the new Cricut Explore™ is all about!

Cricut Explore™ Start Guides

The box comes with a “start here” packet.

Cricut Explore™ What comes in the box?

Project material samples are also included  in the box. Cricut created 3 sample projects for each of those samples so the user can test the materials.

Included in the box:

  • Cutting blade and housing
  • Drawing/writing pen and adapter
  • 12″ x 12″ StandardGrip Cricut® cutting mat
  • Storage bag
  • Power cord
  • USB cord
  • Black and jade Cricut® Cardstock
  • Silver Cricut® Vinyl
  • White Cricut® Iron-on
  • Duck Tape® sheets

Cricut Explore Machine

The new machine even has an area where you can store your cutting blades and accessories after your done using them.

Cricut Explore Machine

They also have a spot on top of the machine where you can store your tools while your creating! Pure genius if you ask me.

Cricut Explore

Cricut Explore™ cuts a wide variety of materials, including paper, cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, poster board and fabric, making it the most versatile electronic cutting machine for DIY projects. They had the butterflies shown above so that way we could see all the different types of things this new machine can cut.

We got to listen to the amazing Anna Griffin talk about her business and her partnership with Cricut.


For the afternoon sessions they had three different rooms with “make and takes”. My favorite room was the California room.


We got to make Iron-On Vinyl beach bags!

Here I am in the New York room with a few of my favorite blog friends in real life; Balancing Home, Number 2 Pencils, and A Pumpkin and a Princess!

After a full morning of classroom training, I finally had my chance to give the new Cricut Explore™ and Cricut Design Space™ a try.

Cricut Design Space

One of the things I’m over the moon about is the fact that you can now upload PNG’s and JPG’s right into Cricut Design Space™.  You can also upload SVG files. It was just decided yesterday that this option will be made free just like the JPG and PNG files are made free for all machine users. The first thing I did was upload some football logos from the internet and then I grabbed our alma matter’s logo. It’s so hard to find clothing and baby clothing at that. So I made an iron-on vinyl logo for a baby onesie for our baby!!! I’m so excited–the sky is really the limit now.

Cricut Explore™ Ashish Arora

At dinner that night, I had the chance to speak with Ashish again and take a photo!

So you might be wondering when the new Cricut Explore™  is available? March 15, 2014 and pre-sale begins on HSN! I’m not gushing over the new machine and software because Cricut flew me out, I honestly am in love with the new product and can’t stop smiling when I tell people about it!

Will you be buying a Cricut Explore™ when they come out?

Disclaimer: Their are affiliate links in this post. I received my trip for free; however, I was not required to blog about the event. As always I love Cricut and all opinions are my own!

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Comments

  1. Awwww! I miss everyone so much! This machine is groundbreaking and I am so excited to be partnering with fantastic people like you, Katie! Glad you had a safe trip home!

  2. The machine looks great, but in two years they couldn’t manage to proofread their booklet covers?

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us! I have a couple question that I am hoping you can answer for me…
    1.) Where do you use your cartridges on this machine?
    2.) Can I plug in my Gypsy to this machine?
    3.) can I use Cricut Craft Room with the Explore or is CCR going away?
    4.) Do you have to have the internet to cut?
    5.) Once you download the images (.99) is it yours to keep forever and is it saved on your PC?
    6.) here is my big question and it will take a little explaining. My mom and I share our Cricut stuff. She lives on one end of the state and I live on the other. I have a Gypsy, so when we buy cartridges, I download them on my Gypsy and upload to CCR and then give her the cartridge. I called Provo Craft and they said I could cut from 2 PC’s using the CCR……. So does the Cricut Explore allow two cutting PC’s as well? My mom and I both want to buy this machine but we don’t want to mess up our system.
    7.) are they going to quit making cartridges?
    8.) If you sign up for the 9.99 subscription, are the images yours or do you just get access to them for one month?
    9.) Will the CCR link up the new Cricut Design software so I can use my cartridges in the new software instead of both?
    10.) I saw a video that says we will be able to use our iPads to create….is this true? Do you know if there are plans to do this for CCR?
    I AM SO EXCITED!!

    • Hi Tiffanie! Thanks for stopping by. I’m going to attempt to answer as many questions as I can (and what I remember from last week).
      1. I do not recall if their was a place to plug in your physical cartridges into the machine. I believe you will need to link them into your CCR account using your old machine before you upgrade to Cricut Explore (although I could be wrong).
      2. From what I understand no you cannot plug in your Gypsy–Explore only uses Cricut Design Space software. Not compatible with others.
      3. CCR is not going away however only your cartridges linked in will transfer over. Not past projects.
      4. Yes, I believe you need internet to cut.
      5. Yes, once you download the image it is in your Design Space account forever.
      6. Not sure if it will allow 2 cutting PC’s as well. I can look into this one for you.
      7. They did not make mention of any new cartridges at the event. Only the new Cricut Explore and Cricut Design Space.
      8. If you only sign up for 1 month for $9.99 (which btw I’m not sure if they are allowing monthly membership or only yearly), you have access to all the images/fonts for that month. If you make a project using that image and you save it in your new Design Space you will have access to that saved project for life. Does that make sense?
      9. Yes, all of your linked cartridges from CCR will link over to the new Design Space. However, projects will not transfer over.
      10. YES! This is true. They are developing a wifi key so you can use the Design Space platform on your iPad and cut wirelessly from it. You will also be able to use the same key on your computer so you won’t have to deal with pesky cords any more. I believe it will be about $40-$50 (not 100% on the price or release date).

      You should be excited–this machine is AMAZING!!!!!

      • Ok, I just realized that right below the tool holder cup is where you put in the cartridges… its sleek and hidden! ;)

      • How can I get to my linked cartridges? I had assumed there would be a cartridge list. Are ALL images, even the ones from my cartridges, just lumped into the MY IMAGES section?

        • Hi Whitney, I haven’t tried yet. I believe all the images will be in the image section plus you should be able to sort by cartridge (I know you can at least for the font portion). I’ve sent your question on to my Cricut Concierge specialist and as soon as she responds to my message I will let you know the official answer! :)

  4. Hi Katie,
    Could you please verify for me that we WILL be able to use the cartridges we already own? I don’t see a place for the cartridges to plug into…..I also don’t see any overlay/mat OR any sort of screen….so I am assuming you can ONLY use the machine while attached to a computer and using CCR? Will there now be a monthly charge to use the CCR? Do you have to have WIFI access to enter the CCR?

    Also, you mentioned that they have decided that there will be no monthly fee for uploading JPEG’s and SVG’s which you already own, is this correct?

    I am a CTMH rep and the ability to continue to use our awesome cartridges that so many of us have invested in is crucial.

    • Hi Carolyn–Thanks for stopping by. Here is what I know. Yes, you can use all the cartridges you already own. If you’ve linked them into CCR they will transfer over to the new Cricut Design Space (you will use the same username and password). I believe you can still use your physical cartridges too, but I’ll need to check on that again for you. Yes, you must have a computer with internet access to be able to use the new Cricut Design Space and Cricut Explore. You don’t need wifi access for Design Space–just an internet connection. They will be rolling out a wifi card to use with your iPad to design on the iPad and cut to the Explore wirelessly as well as this option for computer as well… should be available in March as well.

      You are correct on the no monthly charge for JPG, PNG, SVG File uploads as well as using any fonts you already own on your computer. Plus you get access to 30 free projects and some of the Cricut fonts & images. The $9.99 monthly fee is for anyone who wants all access pass to all the cartridges (minus the licensed cartridges like Disney, etc). Let me know if you have any other questions.

  5. I’m excited too!!!
    But I have a lot of doubts too… cartridges, gypsy, CCR, cut without internet, blades and mats [are the same?]… and the most important… price??? or tentative price?

    • Hi Claudia. The price of the machine is $299 like some of the past models. The new Cricut Design Space is free just as is Cricut Craft Room. Design Space is only compatible with the new Cricut Explore.You can still use all your old catridges or if they are linked in CCR they will transfer over to Design Space since you will use the same username and log-in. You can use a 12×12 or 12×24 matte in the machine. They have new stronger blades coming out or you can use the old blades. Not sure about how its compatible with the Gypsy. Hope that answered some of your questions!

      • Thank you Katie!!
        About the cartridges, I tested cut directly with the cartridge, cut by CCR, cut by Gypsy, and the best cut was made when the cartridge is directly used… so is not a good new for me :(

        Mrs Limestone is telling the truth, I have silhouette too, and I don’t like to use it, because the blades doesn’t last anything to me… I live in Honduras almost nobody know about these machines and I have to buy online all, the shipping to get here is really expensive!! and each blade for the silhouette costs twice that the cricut… and the cricut blades works fine to me, if the quality is improved… wow!!! thanks for that!

        Thanks again Katie!

        • Hi Claudia– I haven’t noticed a difference in the cut quality when using CCR with my cartridges linked. You can still place your cartridges in the machine itself. It’s right below the tool cup. I will tell you that the new more powerful blades will retail for around $20 but are suppose to last much longer and can cut much thicker materials like leather, very thin wood, etc. My advice to you is try to get a new machine when they are on QVC next month to help with the shipping cost because they will be bundling a lot of stuff with the machine (not sure exactly what but it will be a much better deal). I’m sure they will have them for sale on QVC online.

          p.s. Jon and I love Honduras… Isla Roatan to be exact! ;)

  6. The party looked like such a great time! Thanks for sharing.

    I wonder how this machine compares to the Silhouette that has been out for a while. I have an older model and its definitely cool but the blades wear down fast so it doesn’t work as well. Kind of a bust for something that takes up so much room in my closet. Hoping Cricut has better blades but Im not sure Im ready to part with the $ to find out :)

    • Thanks Steph! It was! I’ve never used a Silhouette, but from what I understand the new Cricut Explore can do everything the Silhouette can do and more. The Design Space program is very easy to use. One of the things they are offering with this new machine is a heavy-duty blade that will last longer. I think that has been an issue with all the die-cutting machines. Hopefully you will eventually have a chance to give it a try! ;)

  7. I’m very excited for the new machine, but don’t plan to purchase it at launch. I purchased the Gypsy right away and dealt with months of updates and all that jazz with all the bugs that had to be worked out. Then I purchased the E2 right away as well, and I ended up not liking the way I have to add spaces to place images on the mat. This time I’m going to wait and let everyone else be the guinea pigs. I do truly hope it works as promised and that I will want one in the future but I’ve learned there are frequently issues at launch with this company and it’s products. Fingers crossed that it’s amazing. I do love Cricut products and have fun making a variety of things with my machines.

    • Hi Amber–I totally understand where your coming from. I think any new product can have its faults and needs time to work out the kinds. I truly believe that Cricut has really thought out all the kinks and that it should be ready to go during launch time!

  8. This machine looks so cool.

  9. So cool! I’m glad I resisted, held off, and exercised restraint for so long. I really wanted not to have to buy cartridges! Love its compact design, too. I can find room for that.

    • Nikki, what is not shown is the carrying case that also comes with it. I highly suggest you buy it pre-sale on HSN. You’ll get even extra for your money!!! And if you want to try out some of the cartridges you can always buy a one month pass for $9.99 :)

  10. It looks great! I’m amazing at all the materials it can cut!

  11. Will you be able to design and cut from an IPad?

  12. This looks great! My mom has a Cricut so I’m going to share this with her.

  13. Amanda Williams says:

    This looks amazing! I want one today! :) Will you be able to print then cut with this machine, ie. Print on my regular printer and then cut using the explore? Thanks so much. Amanda

  14. Hi Katie — I was wondering if you have any experience using the Cricut to cut aluminum (I have a piece that’s 29 gauge). I’m still a newbie to what Cricut can and cannot do. The new release looks intriguing. I may consider upgrading.

    • Hi Suzy–the old machines can not handle aluminum. The new machine should be able too if it’s a thin piece, but don’t hold me to that :) It can cut over 50 different types of material. I can check into this for you.

  15. Jane Peckenpaugh says:

    I would like to cut thin copper art and craft thickness.Can this Cricut handle thin crafting metals? Where can I find out what materials it cuts? Can the design space use any image and cut it? Also does it emboss and make folding line’s for boxes etc?

    • Hi Jane, yes the new Explore can cut 50 different materials.I know of those 50 it can cut .4mm wood and thin aluminum, not sure about the copper. I will check on this for you. As of right now I don’t believe their are any resources available on everything the new Explore can cut. Yes, you can use any image you want jpg, svg, png or cartridge that you want to cut from. Yes, the new machine will also score for you–not sure about embossing. I’ll check on it for you! :)

  16. Hi Katie – Do you know if the new blades can be purchased and used in the Cricut Expression?

    • Hi Vicky, Yes, you can use the new blades in the Cricut Expression; however, it has not been tested if you can cut the other materials in the Cricut Expression. If you try it let me know if it works! :)

  17. Sarah Jane Jones says:

    I am having trouble using just the fonts. I want to make my own phrases, and I can’t seem to make it work. The only way I can use a font is with the text box. Also can I weld fonts? This is so easy on CCR. THANKS

    • Hi Sarah. Sorry for the delayed response. I asked my Cricut Concierge Rep and this was her response to your question:

      “The only way to use font is to Add Text with the text box. If she wants to move the letters individually after she has typed in her phrase, she can ungroup to letters and work with each individual letter.

      She can also use as many text boxes in the design as she’d like so she can use different fonts in her project.

      You can also weld fonts in Cricut Design Space. If the text has layers then ungroup the layers, move the letters together and the weld option should work. If she needs help please have her give us a call and we will walk through it with her.
      We do have a video called Working With Text 1 that may be helpful. It is on the Official Cricut YouTube page. I’ve included the link below.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i88DDJB6oBA&list=TLHzU4nklwTDPSd6Y3oOQXXHwf8dwlMiex

  18. Patricia says:

    Hey there!

    I have the new Explore and am just beginning to use it. So far it is AWESOME!!! But I am wondering why I cannot find blades for the machine without buying the housing along with it which is almost $30!!!!! I don’t think the old blades work. I was told by a rep that they are made from a different material than the previous ones so have to purchase ones specifically made for the explore.. Please help?

    • Hi Patricia–congrats on getting the new Explore. Yes, the old blades work on the new machine. The new deep housing blade is what is $30 and you’ll need that to cut the thicker materials like wood, leather, metal, etc. I’ve also put your question in to my Cricut concierge rep in case she has a different answer for you.

  19. Lisa Knight says:

    Thank you for all the info! I’m waiting on my explore to ship from HSN ( extended delivery). Can you tell me hoe to get the football logos to download to your computer please? Thank you!!

  20. Chris Wooten says:

    nice

    Chris Wooten aka chriswooten57
    chris@iwooten.com

  21. Adrienne Grovum says:

    Now so happy with my new Explore. Ready to return it to the store. I have all my cartridges linked to my Gypsy and when I went to use them on my New Explore was unable to do so as it said I could only load them to one system, which is on my Gypsy and the Gypsy is unable to be used with the Explore. Is there a way I can use my cartridges???

  22. Christie Gilbert says:

    Hi Katie!!! I LOVE my new Cricut Explore!! I am looking for a couple of specific fonts and I can’t seem to find them. I’m hoping you can help! I need a good monogram font, Like KK, and a circle font that has become so popular! Can u help me find these please??

  23. Just got my Cricut Explore and I am loving it! I tried using it with the Cricut Craft Room but when installing it there is no Explore option
    to click on when selecting your machine setting. I am able to get into the CCR but can not cut as it doesn’t recognize my machine. Advice would be appreciated.
    Thanks

    • Hi Sue, Cricut Explore has a brand new free software program called Cricut Design Studio. If you had a previous Cricut Craft Room account you will use the same username and password. If you linked cartridges those cartridges will appear in Cricut Design Studio once you log in. However, your past projects will not transfer over in Cricut Design Studio. I was a little bummed about that. Hope that helps answer your questions. Happy crafting!

  24. Karen Vardy says:

    I am loving my explore! I have two questions…

    1. Can the pen adapter be temporarily removed to use a fatter pen?
    2. Some of the cricut metallic pens are dry. Is there way to revive them instead of returning them?

  25. I am completely new to Cricut and have never used this type machine before. Where should I begin?

    • If you don’t have the Explore I would high suggest you spend the money and invest in this machine. It can do so much more than the past machines. Then after that–just start playing around with it! The creativity is endless!

  26. Hi, I have just purchased the Cricut Explorer and need to know how to do something. I want to cut out a butterfly shape and on the butterfly I want text on it, its for a wedding invite. how do I get the Cricut to write the text and cut the butterfly out in one go. when I try it says two mats, it cuts the butterfly out and then the text on second mat, but it is not even on the butterfly. does that make sense . Many thanks in advance. Kind Regards Christine xxx

  27. Vicky Plank says:

    I just ordered mine yesterday and the wi Fi doohickey, it won’t be here for a week and I’m on pins and needles for it to get here!

    • Vicky–you’re going to love it. I haven’t received the wifi connector yet. I can’t wait since it will come in handy while I’m feeding the baby. It will give me something better to do with my time than browse Facebook :)

  28. Deena Hulen says:

    I understand how to upload my own image but it is turns out to be only a solid black outline like the fish you show in your tutorial. I saw you mentioned something about uploading more colors for the layers. Do you have a tutorial on how to upload a 2 color image? Thank you for any help

    • Hi Deena, I don’t but I’ll try to get one created. Basically you update the same image multiple times, erasing the different pieces and parts and labeling it (red, yellow, orange, etc). hope that makes sense.

  29. Hello, I just came across your feature on the Cricut Explore and it looks great (I have the original Cricut). I have also seen
    ads for the Cricut Expression and the Expression 2. Can you tell me what the differences are, maybe compare the features of each?

    • Hi Debra thanks for stopping by. I was an original Cricut owner so I can totally relate to you. I never had an Expression–only a mini before getting the Explore. I would spend the extra money to get the Explore. Here’s why (as stated in my post). You get access to the free Cricut Design Space where you can upload your own jpg images and use your own fonts. I.e., never needing a cartridge. But if you want a cartridge or in your case own cartridges you just link them to the design space and use them as you normally would except for on the computer. You also need internet access to be able to use the Explore. This feature of the Cricut Design Space is not available for the Expression. As well as all the easy cut features. I hope you’ll upgrade this year to the Explore. I think you’ll love it and fall in love with the Cricut all over again! :)

  30. Sheryl Real says:

    Hello, I have a Cricut Expression and a Gypsy that I love to use. I have a couple questions: Can I design on my Gypsy and plug into the Explore and cut? I love to take my Gypsy on trips and to the lake on the weekends and design phrases and such then be able to cut them when I need them. Also, can I link my Gypsy straight to my computer and download my cartridges to Cricut Desgin Studio or do I have to place each cartridge in the Explore individually to link to CDS?

    Thanks

    • Hi Sheryl, I’m not sure but I’ll find out the answer for you. I do know that if you have an iPad you can design on that and cut to your Cricut Explore.

  31. Hi Katie,
    Hope you can help me out. I’m a cricut lover, I have the mini, expression1 and the gyspy. Now I have the explorer, most of my cartridges are link to gyspy. How do I link my cartridge from the gyspy to explorer? Can I still use the gyspy with the explorer ? What’s the difference between cricut design studio and cricut design space.

    • Oh great question.. I have no clue. Gonna email my Cricut customer service contact in hopes she can help you as far as cartridges go. CCR (Cricut Craft Room can be used on all your past Cricut products). Cricut Design Space can only be used with the new Explore and you can upload your own images and use all your own fonts right from your computer. You must have internet access to use Cricut Design Space. Hope that helps.

  32. Hello Katie,

    I’m super stoke about getting this machine. And all the neat things it can do… I’m getting a explore on Friday! The 9/19/14. I am wondering if I buy the boothtooth can I connect to the explore to say print from a distance from my laptop? And from an android tablet. I don’t own any apple products.

    Can you give me any advice on some creative ideas to start with this product? This will be my first cricut machine or any type of machine at that. I’m very creative and can’t wait to try it out.

    • Hi Jennifer. First off, congratulations. You are going to love this machine. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to really just learn and play around with the machine. Try making a few cards, maybe a fun vinyl project, or make some sort of clothing with the iron-on vinyl! I’m not super familiar with the new bluetooth connection, I do believe it’s only available for apple products right now. I’m hoping to get my hands on one soon so I can start playing around with it.

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  1. [...] Sew Woodsy: Katie shares more fun pictures and her thoughts on the new Cricut Explore™. Easy. Precise. Versatile. She also includes pictures of the sampler kit that comes with the new machine. [...]

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