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Cricut Explore could be the offspring of a printer and a paper cutter

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January 23, 2014

The Cricut Explore cuts designs from a variety of materials, plus it can draw and write on them

The Cricut Explore cuts designs from a variety of materials, plus it can draw and write on them

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If you're a crafter, then it's quite likely that you spend a lot of time cutting intricate designs out of materials like paper, cloth or poster board. While it certainly adds to the artistic merit of the project if you do everything by hand, the fact is that not everyone has the necessary manual dexterity – or simply the talent. Well, before too long, such people will be able to make use of the Cricut Explore electronic cutting machine.

Like other similar devices, this one pulls through a user-supplied flat sheet of material – much like a printer does – and cuts designs out of it. Along with its carbide-bladed cutting head, however, the Explore also has a marker head. Users can place a pen or marker of their choice in that head, then instruct it to draw or write on the material at the same time that it's being cut. That head can also be set up with a different tool, to score the material.

Another thing that reportedly makes the Explore special is the fact that users don't have to guess or experiment in order to set the cutting depth for different materials. Instead, the machine has a depth-adjustment dial that can simply be switched between different presets, calibrated for materials such as paper, vinyl, iron-on, cardstock, or fabric. For materials not listed on the dial, users can still set the depth manually.

Designs can be created from scratch by the user on their PC or Mac and transferred to the Explore electronically, although there's also an online image library that contains over 50,000 images. Each one costs 99 cents, although hardcore crafters can save money by purchasing a monthly or yearly subscription. Additionally, images and/or fonts can be downloaded from the internet for use in the device.

The Cricut Explore should be available on Amazon and in stores as of March 15th, priced at US$299. It can be seen in use in the video below.

Source: Cricut via Gizmodo

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About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth
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6 Comments

I think that is really cool. I think it has a lot of potential.

BigGoofyGuy

I just recently purchased my first airbrush, and this looks beyond awesome for making custom stencils.

Purple-Stater

Combine this with Circuitscribe and you have a rapid PCB prototype printer.

Dwarg91

I make paracord charm bracelets. This would save me a ton of time instead of manually cutting out the images for the charm, if you can program it to do so.

Joe Sobotka

I can see railway modellers being ecstatic about the potential for this project- assuming it can cut relatively thick styrene sheet, it would be ideal for crafting buildings as well as panels for coach and locomotives, etc- even for those like myself with poor manual dexterity.

Wonder if it could be adapted for holding an airbrush?

bergamot69

I remember back in the 1980's these were just called "plotters."

Still, the price is right on this one.

What I really want is a laser engraver, but those are still out of my price range.

Jon A.
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