Friday, February 20, 2015

How Intricately Can the Cricut Explore Really Cut??? My 2nd Review

Here are my cut results….  The finished cut measures 9.5” x 5”.  The cut is flawless……  Any snags or bends you see were caused when I removed the cut from the mat.  

Last night, I made the 1st test cut with this file using the CUSTOM intricate setting on the Explore.  It took forever to weed; but, the cut was flawless. 

This morning, I made my own CUSTOM cut setting for a second test cut:  Pressure 220, multicut 3X, Reg Blade.  NO WEEDING WAS NEEDED WHEN I USED MY SETTING:) It took 40 minutes for the cut to complete with the custom setting I created. 

After adhering the cut to the red cardstock with Tomboy Mono Glue, I ran the whole design through a Big Shot Pro to press every little doodad and curlicue down evenly and securely.   

I did nothing special for this cut, except the custom setting……… didn’t put in a new blade or use a new mat (mat condition was very good)…….  I wanted a real life cut.  

The kraft cardstock I used for cut is Mohawk (brand) 80 Cover,  216gsm (weight).  I buy the kraft cardstock in 250 sheet reams from Kelly Paper. For folks who don't have a Kelly Paper, the kraft cardstock can be purchased here:  http://www.thepapermillstore.com/via-vellum-kraft-card-stock-8-1-2-x-11-in-80-lb-cover-vellum-30-recycled-250-per-package.html   

The Cricut Explore is the best electronic cutter I have owned for intricate cuts with cardstock. When cutting intricate designs, the Explore beats out the Gazelle, Expression 1 & 2, Imagine, ECrafter, Slice, EClips, Silhouette Cameo, Pazzles Inspiration, in my opinion. (I didn’t include my Brother ScanNCut in this comparison, because I only use it for cutting stamps and graphics, not SVGs.)

If I could change one thing about the Explore, it would be the software, which I find sadly lacking in design tools and functions……… I feel the browser environment severely limits Design Space and the crafter.   In my opinion, there is no design in Design Studio.  My suggestion to PC is that they bury the hatchet and coordinate software efforts with Make the Cut and/or Sure Cuts A Lot.  Allow users to be able to design and cut only SVGs offline AND directly to the Explore with MTC and/or SCAL. Using 3rd party software for vector files only would protect the integrity of the PC Graphic Library which would only be accessed and cut through Design Space.  This would make the Explore the very best cutter on the market, in my opinion.  With the low price point for the Explore 1 ($200), I feel the Explore would be on every crafter’s desk!


No weeding required with my custom setting:   pressure 220, multicut 3X, Reg Blade.



The beautiful, intricate SVG file used for this test is a free file from Studio Calico, “New Beginnings” created by Wilna Furstenberg: http://www.studiocalico.com/digital/free/wilna-new-beginings-cut-file





Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Planner Fascination #1 ~ Cover and Flyleaf




I had a great time applying vinyl cuts to the cover of my ARC Planner........ made a flyleaf for sticky notes........  Tomorrow I will share handmade dividers :)