Why we created Cricut Design Space.

by Mallie Lanham | Mar 02, 2014
Ever had the perfect idea for a project you could use your Cricut machine for, and have a somewhat hard time visualizing what you want it to look like? You have to think so much—think about the way you want it to look, but also think about how large your design should be, where your design should be placed, etc. Cricut Design Space is our new design software that lets you think the way you want to think.

What if a software could help you design the way you want to design? What if a software could show you what your design will generally look like BEFORE you cut? With Cricut Design Space, you can create a project from scratch, use one of our extremely helpful Canvases or you can create a pre-designed project that is easily customizable using Make it Now.


What’s stopping you from playing around right now? Cricut Design Space software is free, and all Cricut images are available to try before you buy, so you can make sure your project looks exactly the way that you want before you have to purchase or waste anything.

And when you’re ready to make your project, it’s as easy as a click of button.

In other words, we’ve done the hard part for you. You hit “Go” and then sit back and watch as Cricut Explore brings your design to life--- we find it quite relaxing and fascinating all at the same time.

And that’s why we created Cricut Design Space. This software is revolutionary in that it will do the work of planning how to cut for you, so you can focus on your idea of the perfect DIY project.

Cricut Design Space makes designing what you want to cut easy to help you quickly make amazing things. There are so many things you can do with Cricut Design Space. We’ll be sharing many more tutorials, soon!


  1. 1 Meemaw 15 Jun
    Jeez #6. Rene. You might want to check yourself. You're being a mean girl. Your nastiness is so unnecessary and unwarranted.
  2. 2 Tiffany 14 Jun
    I just got an expression 2 and got excited when I found out about design space but then I researched and found out that the design space isn't compatible with the expression 2.  Please consider letting other machines use design space.  
  3. 3 Tanya Klinck 26 May
    I have the cricut Expression 2 and was wondering if you guys have a trade in policy.  I would like to get the new explore, but don't want to spend any more money on new machines you keep coming out with.  I already bought the cricut expression and the cricut expression 2 so don't need a 3rd machine, don't need 2 that I have 1 is good enough lol, but wanted the upgrade.  Is there anyway of trading up to get newer models?
  4. 4 Cheryl 04 May
    I received a cricut explore air a month ago.. It is amazing and the 30,000 plus designs and projects are easy to use, easy to resize and place on my project exactly where I would like. I do not find this slow as others have commented.  I have cut paper, cardstock, plastic, and thicker glitter cardstock.  I can't wait to try vinyl. 
  5. 5 Linda Williams 26 Apr

    Hello I am very blessed to have both machine and both software options- Design space and Craftroom. I did my research for the Explore machine and downloaded the design space before I brought the new Explore to see what it did. I watched countless you tube videos and played about with the software although I couldn't cut anything. I was sold !I love my Explore machine, and for those of you who live in the U.S count yourselves very lucky that you can get amazing offers with the U.S website. Here in the U.K we have to pay nearly double for accessories and cartridges.

  6. 6 Jenifer 27 Mar
    Very disappointed. Why would you create a design space for "Cricut" users, yet only make it accessible to an owner of the Explore machine? With the amount of money this company charges for their machines, you would think they could afford to hire someone intelligent enough to make ALL of your machines compatible to the design space. I am sure if most Cricut machine owners had access to the space, you would profit plenty selling the images offered.  
  7. 7 Rene 24 Mar
    It is UNBELIEVABLE how many people here are complaining while adding the sentence "I should have done my research first."  So because you are an idiot who didn't bother to figure out what you were buying, you blame Provo??  And why shouldn't they create new and better products for the market?  You believe you should be able to buy something from a company and use it until the end of time?  That's not how companies stay in business!!  I would bet money half of you are still using Windows 98 computers and expecting to be able to use it until you die.  The stupidity here is ASTOUNDING. 

    That being said - I LOVE MY EXPLORE!  If you DO YOUR RESEARCH, have an IQ larger than your shoe size, practice and have some patience, you WILL be able to do wonderful things with this machine!  Yes, DS can be slow, and it has had some bugs.  That is frustrating.  But their customer service when I have called has been exceptional, and they've always helped me when I needed it.  I had an issue with my blade, and they sent me out a new one FOR FREE! 

    I will continue on with Cricut.
  8. 8 dolores 13 Mar

    I could not figure out why I couldn't connect my expression to design space when I had all the correct plugs and drivers. then I started reading the above comments and realized I wasn't alone. hidden in all the comments was this one. FYI for all the other ppl asking.

    Mallie from Cricut 04 Mar

    Hello Nancy- you can still use your Cricut cartridges in any machine, but if you use Cricut Craft  Room with your Expression2, your cartridges will now be connected to your account, which means you won't have to insert them every time you want to cut. 

    At this time, Cricut Design Space is only compatible with the Cricut Explore. Thank you for your suggestions to add the platform to other machines. We will pass that suggestion along. 


  9. 9 dolores 13 Mar

    I could not figure out why I couldn't connect my expression to design space when I had all the correct plugs and drivers. then I started reading the above comments and realized I wasn't alone. hidden in all the comments was this one. FYI for all the other ppl asking.

    Mallie from Cricut 04 Mar

    Hello Nancy- you can still use your Cricut cartridges in any machine, but if you use Cricut Craft  Room with your Expression2, your cartridges will now be connected to your account, which means you won't have to insert them every time you want to cut. 

    At this time, Cricut Design Space is only compatible with the Cricut Explore. Thank you for your suggestions to add the platform to other machines. We will pass that suggestion along. 


  10. 10 Betty Boop 10 Mar

    I have just gotten my Cricut Explore and I am unable to save projects?  Why is this exactly?

  11. 11 Catherine 09 Mar
    Just adding my unhappiness to the list. I have the Expression 2 and after trying to figure out the terrible search interface for images i decided to subscribe and now I realize the reason I was having so much trouble was that the Expression 2 doesn't work with a ton of other Cricut stuff (I bought markers, can't use them. I bought the subscription and tried to use design space and can't do anything with it. Ridiculous. I feel bilked out of a lot of money for this stupid machine, and I want the new one, but there's no way I'm giving this company any more of my money, unless I can trade this Expression 2 in.
  12. 12 Amber H. 08 Mar
    I am completely lost on my Cricut Explore. Design Space...Design Studio...Craft Room....talk about making something overly complicated. AND, I can't cut my own images- or at least I can't figure out how; I've watched more tutorials than I can count, and I've followed every direction, but I still have no luck cutting anything...my friend who teaches a Cricut class can't even figure it out. I was so excited to get a machine- talk about a waste of money; I am now not a fan of Cricut and I can't wait until someone comes out with a better product that is easier to use, and understand, and fulfills the promises it makes. 
  13. 13 Joelle 05 Feb
    The Cricut Explore program is extremely slow...is there anything that can be done??
  14. 14 Melissa 03 Feb
    I just got Expression 2 for Christmas. I wish like all the other I would have seen this first. I'm learning more from YouTube than on Cricuts own site. I kept trying to use Design space and no wonder I cant get it to work. It doesn't even work with my E2. Think I will just sell it on EBay. Not to mention I tried entering the points from buying cartridges and it wont let me enter two of them, says they have already been entered. Well they are clearly not on my list and I just opened them. 
  15. 15 Candy 22 Jan
    I just received the Expression2 for my birthday. I didn't know much about it but I was super excited to get it. Had I known what I know now (it's incompatibility with the latest software, Design Space), I wouldn't have opened it. And after reading the MULTITUDE of complaints in EVERY forum I could find, I wouldn't have bothered keeping it. You're making greedy mistakes and creating a LOT of frustrated customers. There's absolutely no excuse for not having the new Design Space integrate with the other machines. It's a simple driver install and it seems you've purposely omitted it to get previous users to switch. You are not the iPhone! Your fan base will not put up with it and there are far too many other brands out there to choose from. If I don't see any hope of getting my Expression2 to work with Design Space, i will likely sell my machine and get something with more flexibility. 
  16. 16 Paul 19 Jan
    Not happy at all !!

    purchased the cricut explore thinking i would have freedom to make my own art, the fact that the software is server side and not local hard drive is painfully slow, NO exaggerating but has taken me 2 days to make a family tree with clip art !, before the comments of not knowing what I'm doing flood in please let me tell you that i am an established air brusher, tattooist, pyrographer, meaning i know my way around craft and art, the Design studio and cloud based saving is ridiculously slow, just welding or slicing and object takes on average 8 to 14 mins depending  .. i have used water fox, Firefox chrome and ie, without much improvement or success  my pc is a custom built machine for gaming and art, my internet is fibre optic broadband of 152meg, such a shame and let down, should have considered more machines before making the decision to buy the cricut explore, still sat here awaiting my saved project to load, believe me or not over 2 hours, have restarted browser reset cache and still the dreaded circle of doom !
  17. 17 a very angry customer 11 Jan
    I have purchased an Expression 2 Cricut and have barely used it, except a couple little things to try it out. When I went to design an actual project, I was faced with every obstacle imaginable.
    I am now out a few hundred dollars, and will probably lose the project I had because of you and your restricting, money hungry company.
    Also read through your threads and all your customers are unhappy with your products and none of them have gotten responses to their problems with YOUR products..
    Very unprofessional and non-existent customer service.
    I will never buy another Cricut product again.
    I'm 120% going to your competitor.
  18. 18 R Haslip 24 Nov
    So all the purchases I have made over the years... so what you guys are saying is that in order to use the cricut design space I have to buy a whole other machine?  I got the Cricut Expression years ago and then I got the Cricut Design Studio.  I liked that I could create projects while watching tv or on the go from my lap top.  Now all of that is obsolete.  They are no longer doing updates for cricut design studio and you can't get any recent cartiages on design studio because they are fazing it out.  Whatever but now I can't use my Cricut expression at all with the new Cricut design space which has all the features that I love about the software I bought (Cricut Design Studio) and more but I can't use it!!!  I am getting as silohette Cameo congrats to Cricut you just fazed out your loyal customer base!
  19. 19 Tania P 12 Oct
    I find the design space program crashes alot on my computer and I have the necessary requirements to run it.  Is there something I'm doing wrong?
  20. 20 Katrina Joyner 01 Oct
    I wish I'd found these complaints *before* I scrimped and saved to buy this overgloried sheep machine. Why should I have to be connected to the internet just to use my machine? I paid for it, I should be able to use it when I want and not at some whim to my local weather/internet provider/politician (yes, I'm near St. Louis, and yes, they did black a large part of the area out). What a LET DOWN.

    And your design room is fracking stupid. I bought this machine so I could cut MY OWN designs. Sure I'd probably buy some of yours, but I'd rather not have my creativity limited to what someone else has approved thank you very much.

    I was so excited over this thing... but now i will never trust another product from your company again.
  21. 21 Kristine Hermidilla 21 Aug
    It would've been nice if I CAN USE MY CRICUT MINI with DESIGN SPACE but NO NO NO. I'll be selling my Cricut machine and try a different machine from another Company instead.
  22. 22 Valerie 13 Jun
    I have a Brother Scan n cut, a Silhouette portrait, and a Cricut Explore. The Explore is the poorest of the three. It is so complicated to achieve the simplest things. Luckily I can return it and stick with the other two more versatile machines
  23. 23 Drue 09 Jun
     I just ordered the E2 and not the Explore. I am not that savvy on a computer and I did not want a machine that ONLY worked off the computer.  I thought that I would be able to use the Design Space. Shame on me for not doing better research.  Now I see the bad reviews on the Cricut Craft Room. Cricut got  that up and running and then developed a better program that forces us all to buy the new Explore to be able to use it. I can't decide if I should just send this back and just stick with my Expression.   I also bought the gypsy, linked all my 60 cartridges to it and  had a difficult time with it and it just sits on a shelf. Is the  E2  as complicated as the gypsy?
    Hopefully, Cricut will see these messages. I would love to be able to use the new and improved Design Space.
    Does anyone have a suggestion? Since I have the Expression, should I buy the Explore and send the Expression2 back?
  24. 24 Katie 25 May
    I just checked out the Design Space and created a project but, when I went to cut it said my connect my Explore Machine. Can I not use my Expression 2 with this Design Space??
  25. 25 Joyce Dawson 22 May
    I need a user manual. The videos are nice but not everyone 'learns' this way.
    It is hard to watch the videos and write out what is happening at the same time.
  26. 26 Kim 26 Apr
    I purchased and Expression at Christmas and I could kick myself for not doing more research and found out before I spent my hard earned saved up nest egg!  I am a moderately tech savvy person and I find CCR very basic and VERY SLOW!  I understand that technology in some of the first machines might just be to old to be compatible with with new Design Space but you should have been anticipating this a long time ago and built into the Expression and E2 the ability to update and use any new design space you came up with.  I can live with all the other "stuff" but would like to be able to use the new design space.... I think it would be nice if you made that available.... understanding that those of us who have these machines might not be able to design our own cut files but at least let us use the cartridges we have there.  It is much easier to see your final project in Design Space and it feel more like the other software we are used to using.

    I love the subscription and have purchased it. I regret the purchases I made through CCR for digital downloads, I own the cartridge but who knows if you stop CCR then I will just be out in the cold.  The subscription is the only reason I did not sell my machine and purchase one of the competitors.  The subscription is giving me the time to save my money and go with a company that cares about its customers.  PC - you only have a short time to make the changes or I will be one of a huge number that will not purchase PC machines again. It is possible for you to still take care of the customers you have and gain new and more tech savvy ones in the future.... it is your choice to treat the old as well as the new with the same regard, but sadly I don't think that you do.   

    I really am not even sure why I am writing this as it is obvious that you do not pay much attention to your boards/blog.  If you did you would remove all the Viagra and insurance garbage that is placed there.  That tells me allot about your regard for what your customers are saying.  So sorry that I made this purchase and wish I could turn back time and have given my money to a company that cares.  

  27. 27 Eloise 23 Apr
    After search on the cricut craft pape I came across the cricut design space. I have a cricut mini and currently have been using the normal cricut craft room, can you use this new design space with the mini as I currently can't figure out how to get it to work 
  28. 28 Kim 13 Apr
    I wish I had done even more investigation before I purchased my expression this Christmas.... I would have waited and purchased the new one!!!  I think it is very poor business not to have a patch so that our "old" machines would work with your new software.  After reading so many posts, it is sad to see that I have gotten in with a company that has little concern it seems for its customers.  We are a loyal bunch and it seems that they have taken advantage of our good nature.  Has anyone tried to design a project and then export it into design room to cut?  I thought I might try but have very low expectations of it working, sadly.  It would be nice for them to answer some of the posts on their boards also.
  29. 29 Linda 08 Apr
    I bought the Mini to have on my desktop for little impulse cuts and fun.  It is instead a big paperweight!  It is usually quarantined by our anti-virus program.  I have spent many hours with that company (Sophos) with little or no results. Conversely,  I have spent only a few minutes actually using the Mini.  Calling and emailing Cricut was time consuming and an utter waste of time.   In my opinion, Cricut was a major innovation that created a fan base that has remained very loyal.  However, those fans have been swept along in the never ending wave of  "new and improved Cricut" phases at great expense.  Machine after machine, as well as the Gypsy...(THE BEST LITTLE TIMESAVER, a whopping $350!!! and now abandoned by Provocraft), sucked our pockets dry to say nothing about the exorbitantly priced cartridges. Now comes the Explore....if it hadn't been for the endorsement of Anna Griffin I would never have looked twice at this latest money grab.  I ordered one from HSN during it's second appearance and am now going to cancel it.  Portability and NOT having to mess around with a computer is most important to me.  Take better care of your customers because the younger, more tech savvy that you're trying to appeal to don't need you ...they're not committed to a huge investment in cartridges and obsolete machines.  There are lots of competitors out there, and good luck to them.  I am stuck with Cricut for those very reasons and will be using my poor little Gypsy until its last breath and my Expression as well.  I love them, and I just wish that you guys loved us as much.
  30. 30 Cathie Rigby 26 Mar
    For those that would like more details and practical help with their Explore....I will be writing a book on this machine also.....the feedback on my Expression book has been positive so I'm happy to help everyone start enjoying this machine and the Design Space.I have some suggestions for managing quantity feature and for creation g shadows and contoling which mats we choose to cut...but I am hoping Provo Craft will be responsive to some suggestions as they have been in the past.  It would also be nice to get the print and cut feature soon and a free drawing tool.   I'm sure these things are coming soon.
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  32. 32 Sheri 22 Mar

    Major frustration! For those of us who have never used Craft Room, or an internet based program, the new Explore is very difficult to figure out. It would have been greatly appreciated to have at least included directions for Design Space or at least a DVD showing how to use it. I have had a Cricut since the day it was first out, and have spent a lot of money on cartridges. I feel the "average Joe" who doesn't use these types of programs/software has been had. I emailed Cricut Customer Support (can't call M - F during work hours) and was told that they couldn't answer my specific questions and to call back during normal business hours.  Can't bring the Explore to my job so that I can follow along with how to navigate Design space! Without some formal instructions, this machine is useless to me.  My birthday gift as my birthday was on the launch day on HSN. Major bummer!

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  42. 42 Judy 15 Mar
    I give Cricut Explore 5 stars. However, IMO (and I may be in the minority) I don't find Design Space that great.  I liked CCR much better.  I also dislike the fact that I have to link my carts and they cannot be unlinked. I don't think we are able to access all of the layers contained in a cart. 
  43. 43 Chris 15 Mar
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  44. 44 Tom 15 Mar
    I thought I saw somewhere that you could sign up for a yearly fee and have access to all cricut designs. is that out there or was i seeing things?
  45. 45 Mary Hagler 13 Mar
    Hello, I have the expression a d the e2 I have the explore on order... I've. Ever used the e2 online as I am not good with computers... Will I still be able to use my e2 with the craft room and my new explore with the design studio with all of my over 100 cartridges... I get bet pus hooking up to computers hate them !!! And I've never cashed in all of my zillions of points because I could not do that via telephone .... Help us non computer types please !!! I may cancel my explore order after reading how complicated it is....I have typed the codes in 8 times now and it keeps saying invalid WTF PROVO CRAFT ??
  46. 46 kristta 10 Mar
    wow, I was gonna buy one of those machine but after reading all those complaints I dont think I will do that.. Its nice that youve finally made pretty much what I have been looking for for past gosh knows how many years, but I dont think I like the way your company treats people. You can not sell one machine and then suddenly pull cartridges for it off the market only because you made an upgrade that links to the computer. I work with the comps every day, in fact I make my own svg's as I am a graphic designer, how ever, not everyone is like me. And I believe you are mistaken when you believe that most of the crafter's know how to understand vectors and any of your software. Only professionals do and I cant see those using provocraft for their work as its way too complicated and there is other companies that makes it faster and easier to use. On and not to mention the fact that your machine do have a problem with cutting most of the scrapbooking papers too. Also wouldnt hurt to listen to what people have to say, but again, that may be too much to ask from a corporation that cares only about money, isnt it.
  47. 47 J Gens 09 Mar
    I hope to use the E2 I received for xmas someday. Is there any chance of them adding E/E2 compatibility to design space or should I sell it already and use the money toward a different brand?
  48. 48 Tammy 09 Mar
    I still don't understand the difference between the CCR and the DESIGN SPACE, aren't they the same thing? And if you buy the Explore machine and link all your cartridges to it can you still take your Expression machines to a craft party and use the design studio if you have it the same as always or will we lose that option?
  49. 49 Carrie 06 Mar
    It would be nice to see Cricut develop a new gypsy to complete what they are now doing. In my case I find myself visiting a relative monthly (for several days) who has no internet service.  A gypsy that worked with all the machines,  as well as interacting with Design Space, would be a great bridge for those of us who like to attend classes or find themselves in a non-internet environment.  The new machine looks great, but is too dependent on a computer and internet service. 
  50. 50 Jeanne 05 Mar
    I am VERY UPSET !!!!  I have purchased designs on the craft room, and now I CAN'T use them.  Also, I had some items saved as my designs.  In which I can't use them either.  :(  :(  :(
  51. 51 Kim Avila 04 Mar
    How do I search for specific images on one of my own cartridges?
  52. 52 Lynne Farkas 04 Mar
    I am so loving my Explore and Design space
    wish you could add 1 step shadowing after welding a phrase or word.  That would really be awesome 

    i used to to be able to do this in one of the 3rd party software and used it all the time and would really to do this with the Explore

    My favorite part so far is the write and cut.  Great enhancement. Thank you
  53. 53 liz watson 04 Mar
    Please don't phase out expression users these machines still rock I have several machines only love the original ..
  54. 54 Chris A 04 Mar
    I am really disappointed in the way Provo Craft has left us consumers rather high and dry. What you always do is ignore us, as in the rewards. Why do you have that particular program if you don't honor it.  And now you've gone to a high tech program leaving those that made you who you are in the dust - you need us as much as we need you. Not a hard concept. We all need to be as one regardless of which machine.  Obvious limitations are noted but you are phasing us Expression and E2 users out.  
  55. 55 Mallie from Cricut 04 Mar
    Hello Nancy- you can still use your Cricut cartridges in any machine, but if you use Cricut Craft  Room with your Expression2, your cartridges will now be connected to your account, which means you won't have to insert them every time you want to cut. 

    At this time, Cricut Design Space is only compatible with the Cricut Explore. Thank you for your suggestions to add the platform to other machines. We will pass that suggestion along. 
  56. 56 Jen B. 04 Mar
    Hoping to see the Design Space made available to those of us who have other Cricut models.  Apparently, free weekly images are no longer offered in the Craft Room software, which is disappointing. 

    I can't see buying a new machine when the older one still works quite well.  If you wanted planned obsolescence, maybe you should've made a lower quality product!
  57. 57 Missy 03 Mar
    Is the design space going to be available to those of us who don't have an Explore machine?
  58. 58 Jasen 03 Mar
    Please create a Design Space sub-forum in the Cricut message boards. It's silly that all the Explore & Design Space discussion is happening in the General Chat section.
  59. 59 Nancy Smith 03 Mar
    Once I link in my existing cartridge to Cricut Explore, can I still use them in my Expression 2?