Cricut History: Types of Cricut Machines

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If you’ve been crafting projects for a while, you’re probably familiar with Cricut machines. But have you ever wondered what older Cricut machines were like? You’d be surprised!

Older Cricut machines were nowhere as fast and functional as current models. They were also pretty bulky and heavy. Some were even made to decorate cakes!

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the history of Cricut machines, from the Original Cricut all the way to the Cricut Maker 3 and the Cricut Joy.

1. Original Cricut

The original Cricut didn’t even need a computer to run. It was pretty limited in terms of functionality since its cutting mat width was 6 inches and the maximum design dimensions you could create with it was 5.5 x 11 inches. Intricate cuts were almost impossible with this machine.

2. Cricut Create

The Cricut Create was a small improvement over the Original Cricut. They were almost the same size, but the design was different. It was the first machine to introduce an 8-way directional blade. The screen was better and easier to use, too.

3. Cricut Expression

The Cricut Expression marked the first major upgrade in Cricut’s line of crafting machines. It featured a large 12 x 24-inch cutting area and support for thicker materials. Smaller cuts were possible, too.

And while the Cricut Expression didn’t require a computer, the design software was significantly improved, and more crafters used it with this machine than the Original Cricut or the Cricut Create.

4. Cricut Expression 2

The Cricut Expression 2 had a couple of improvements over the Cricut Expression 1, but the design remained almost the same.

The newer version had a larger and faster display. It also included over 200 pre-loaded designs and more image editing options.

5. Cricut Imagine

The Cricut Imagine was the first Cricut machine that was capable of printing. At that time, Cricut partnered with HP to come up with special black and tri-color ink for this machine.

Nevertheless, the Imagine wasn’t really a hit, and Cricut discontinued it quicker than the older models to pave the way for newer, more advanced ones.

6. Cricut Mini

Unlike previous models, the Cricut Mini couldn’t be operated without a computer. It was much more compact and portable than models like the Expression 1 and 2, though its cutting width was smaller (8.5 inches).

7. Cricut Cake Machine

Cake? Yup, you read that right. Cricut actually designed the Cricut Cake machine to help users decorate cookies, cupcakes, and of course, cakes. You could use it to cut gum paste, frosting sheets, and fondant.

Nevertheless, the high price tag of this machine prevented it from gaining enough popularity.

8. Cricut Explore One

The Cricut Explore One was the first machine that flaunted a modern design that’s not that different from the current models. It had a storage compartment for extra tools like blades and pens. Not to mention, you could connect it via Bluetooth by hooking up a Bluetooth adapter.

This machine also gave users access to the Cricut Design Library which contains free fonts and SVGs, as well as design files.

9. Cricut Explore Air

The Cricut Explore Air is popular for being the first Cricut machine to sport a dual tool holder. It also had a very wide material support range that allowed users to work with more materials and get more creative with their projects.

It supported Bluetooth out of the box, and the SmartSet Dial allowed users to easily configure the machine’s settings and cutting parameters.

10. Cricut Explore Air 2

Nowadays, the Cricut Explore Air 2 is still quite popular, being a more affordable option than newer releases like the Explore 3. It’s 2x faster than its predecessor and comes in more color options.

At the time of its release, Cricut’s software matured significantly with the introduction of Cricut Design Space. The software was no longer browser-based, and it was much more powerful than how it was in the previous users.

11. Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker is feature-packed with everything you need to create impressive craft projects. It’s one of the most popular machines among crafters today. 

It’s a bit expensive, though, but guess what? Cricut’s newer blades are only compatible with this machine and its newer models, so if you’re serious about your crafts, it’s definitely worth considering.

12. Cricut Maker 3 and Cricut Explore 3

The Cricut Maker 3 and Explore 3 are vastly similar to their predecessors, with one primary difference: they can be used with Cricut’’s matless Smart Materials

With Smart Materials, you can create larger projects in a single long cut, with a maximum length of 12 feet. It’s also worth noting that the Cricut Maker 3 is twice as fast as the original Cricut Maker.

13. The Cricut Joy

The Cricut Joy is considered the spiritual successor to the Cricut Mini. Similar to the older model, this machine is intended as a compact and portable option for crafters that are always on the go.

It’s at least 75% smaller than the Cricut Maker, but surprisingly, it could cut lengths of up to 20 feet, longer than all other machines.

You can use it to cut cards, vinyl decals, and other crafts.

See also: How to Print on Vinyl Paper: Step by Step Guide

Final Words

So that was a quick overview of the history of Cricut machines and their types. Cricut machines have come a long way over the years, and we’re expected that the upcoming models will have many new tricks up their sleeves.

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