You will need to install a driver/plug-in so Cricut Design Space can communicate with your Cricut Explore™ machine and to access all the creative features of Cricut Design Space™ has to offer. The plugin is installed onto your computer and executed by your browser, so if you use Design Space™ on more than one computer, you’ll need to install it on each one.
The Cricut Design Space™ plug-in will require periodic updates. When available, you will be prompted to download the driver/plugin update before opening a new project.
Cricut Explore™ was designed to work with Cricut Design Space™, rather than as a stand-alone machine. However, you can still use cartridges you own with your Cricut Explore™. This can be done by linking your cartridges to Cricut Design Space using the port on your Cricut Explore machine, linking your cartridges to the Cricut Craft Room® design software, or linking your cartridges to your Cricut Gypsy™ device and then linking your Gypsy to your Cricut.com account.
You can link your Cricut cartridges to your Cricut Explore™ by clicking on the green account name box in the upper left of Cricut Design Space™ and choosing Cartridge Linking from the menu. Then simply follow the on-screen instructions.
Purchased images and/or linked cartridges in your Cricut Craft Room®
account will automatically be available in your Cricut Design Space™
account. When you log into Cricut Design Space™
with your Cricut ID, your already purchased images and/or linked cartridges will display in the Cricut Library when the My Images filter is applied.
If the cartridge is not recognized when you try to link it to Cricut Design Space™
, try removing the cartridge and reinserting it backwards. You can remove the cartridge and blow into the bottom of the cartridge to remove any possible dust or debris from the contacts. If the cartridge still will not link to Cricut Design Space™
, please contact Customer Support at 1.877.727.4288.
Wireless cutting gives you the ability to cut directly to your Cricut® machine from your Bluetooth® enabled device – no cable required! Cricut Explore Air™ has the Bluetooth® embedding in the machine. Cricut Explore requires the Cricut™ Wireless Bluetooth® Adapter.
Bluetooth® is a wireless technology used for exchanging data over short distances (less than 30 feet), usually between mobile devices.
If you can’t get Cricut machine to connect to your computer or iPad over Bluetooth®, check the following:
Ensure that your Cricut Explore™ machine with the Wireless Bluetooth® Adapter or your Cricut Explore Air™ machine is no more than 15 feet away from your device.
Ensure your Cricut® machine is powered on.
Ensure that your device’s Bluetooth communication is turned on.
Ensure that the Bluetooth® has not been paired to an iPhone.
Verify that you meet the following system requirements for the compatibility with Cricut Bluetooth®:
Mac OSX 10.6+, Windows® Vista 7 or 8+, iPad iOS 7+
Computer or USB-to-Bluetooth adapter with Bluetooth 2.1 EDR
If you are still experiencing difficulty, contact customer care at 1-877-7CRICUT for assistance.
You can use the Cut What You Want® feature to upload and cut most design files saved as .jpg, .gif, .png, .bmp, .svg, or .dxf free of charge. Cricut encourages you to respect the intellectual property rights of others and only use images you own or are authorized to use.
To get the best results when using the Cut What You Want® feature to upload your own designs; use simple, clean images with simple details and colors. Also, for best results use images that have a strong contrast between the subject and background.
You can upload and use most images you own, provided they are saved in an accepted file format. Accepted file formats are as .jpg, .gif, .png, .bmp, .svg, or .dxf. It is FREE to cut any accepted file type.
The Attach feature will hold your cuts in position, so images on the cutting mat will appear exactly as they show up on your design screen. (If items are not attached, Cricut Design Space will cut in paper saver mode, meaning it will automatically place objects on the cutting mat as close together as possible to conserve material.)
Step 1. Select "Set Canvas" from the design screen to pull up the canvas library.
Step 2. Select "Basic Canvas." You will be taken back to the design screen and the canvas will show in the background. Tip: The canvas will represent your mat but will not cut.
Step 3. Using the canvas panel, size the canvas the max size of your cuts. Tip: If using a 12" x 12" mat this would be 11.5" x 11.5". If you are using a 12" x 24 mat, this would be 11.5" x 23.5".
Step 4. Click the Grid on/off button to activate the design screen grid.
Step 5. Create your project positioning all the images inside the canvas.
Step 6. Prior to cutting, attach all images to hold the position in placed. Tip: Select images by color and then attach if you would like them to cut on different mats. Select all images if you want to cut everything on the same mat, and then attach. This will change the images to all the same color.
Step 7. Click "GO" to review the project in the mat preview and then follow on screen prompts to finish the project.
"Writing style" or single stroke fonts are specifically designed to be drawn with a pen. They feature letters with single strokes so they appear similar to handwritten text. Some Cricut fonts have been specifically designed as single stroke fonts. View the video "Writing style fonts" for more information.
Cricut Explore is compatible only with Cricut pens. These pens have been designed with the correct diameter and height to fit perfectly in the accessory adapter and write well with the machine.
Each web browser has different settings for printable area size, which means that Print then Cut images have different maximum sizes depending on the browser you use. If you save a project in one browser and later open it another, you may need to adjust the image’s size according to the browser’s printable area settings. Below is a guideline for maximum Print then Cut image sizes in each browser.
- Google Chrome: 5.5" x 8"
- Internet Explorer: 6" x 8.5"
- Mozilla Firefox: 6" x 8.5"
- Safari: 6" x 8.5"
Use 8 ½ x 11" white materials for all your Print then Cut projects. Colored materials or materials containing any kind of pattern may interfere with the cut sensor marks being read by the Cricut Explore® machine. Please use the cutting mat appropriate for your printable material. We recommend using the Cricut® LightGrip mat with any type of copy paper.
Print then cut images are unable to be moved around on the mat preview. If you would like your images to be positioned differently than shown (closer together) follow these steps.
Step 1. Select "Set Canvas" from the design screen to pull up the canvas library.
Step 2. Select "Basic Canvas." You will be taken back to the design screen and the canvas will show in the background. Tip: The canvas will represent your print then cut area but will not cut.
Step 3. Using the canvas panel, size the canvas the max size your browser will allow for a print then cut image. Tip: Google Chrome: 5.5" x 8", Internet Explorer: 6" x 8.5", Mozilla Firefox: 6" x 8.5", Safari: 6" x 8.5"
Step 4. Create your project positioning all the images inside the canvas ensuring no two images are touching.
Step 5. Prior to cutting, select all images and then "Flatten" to hold the position in placed. Tip: Images will print as positioned but still cut out individually.
Step 6. Click "GO" to review the project in the mat preview and then follow on screen prompts to finish the project.
There are several variables that can interfere with your Cricut Explore® machine’s ability to read the cut sensor marks correctly in order to print then cut.
- Ensure that you meet the minimum system and internet requirements for running Design Space.
- 2. Lighting
- a. Direct sunlight, overhead reading lamps, or other lighting directed toward your Cricut Explore® machine may interfere with the machine’s sensors.
- 3. Cutting Mat
- a. Verify that your Cricut® cutting mat has been placed under the mat guides, ensuring that the mat is positioned snugly against the machines rollers before pressing the Load/Unload button on the machine.
- b. For best results, use a mat with few or no marks or smudges. A mat with smudges near the cut sensor marks may cause the Cricut Explore® machine to mistake the smudges for cut sensor marks.
- 4. Material
- a. Colored materials or materials containing any kind of pattern may interfere with the cut sensor marks being read by the Cricut Explore® machine. Use 8 ½" x 11" white materials for all your Print then Cut projects.
- b. Glossy paper may interfere with the machine’s ability to read the cut sensor marks. We recommend using matte paper instead.
- c. Any smudges that appear around the cut sensor marks on your printable material could cause the Cricut Explore® machine to mistake the smudges for cut sensor marks.
- 5. Debris on the cut sensor light
- a. Your cut sensor light will need to be free of any debris. To clean the cut sensor light on your Cricut Explore® machine, sweep gently with a small, dry watercolor paintbrush.
- 6. Also, you may need to check the following settings on your printer:
- a. Ensure that your printer is set to print Letter size paper – 8.5" X 11"
- b. Ensure that your printer is set to print one-sided
- c. Ensure that your printer is set to print with printer margins or borders
- d. Verify that the printer is not low on ink, and that the print quality is set to Best.
- e. Check the page scaling in the print preview window. Make sure that the print scaling is set at none or actual size – not fit to printable area, fit to page, or shrink to fit.
- f. Check that the printer is not in need of updates.
- g. Changes made to your printer settings will a¬ffect the way your Cricut Explore® machine reads the cut sensor marks. If you need to make changes to your printer settings, be sure to do so prior to printing from Cricut Design Space™.
When the machine is scanning for the cut sensor marks, the sensor light should automatically turn on. If for some reason the cut sensor light is not turning on when the machine is attempting to scan the cut sensor marks, try turning your machine off and powering back on. The carriage should move back and forth and the sensor light should turn on briefly during this time. If the sensor light still doesn’t turn on, power the machine off. Push the accessory clamp (clamp A) and the blade clamp (clamp B) into the down position as if the machine were writing and cutting. If the sensor light turns on, power the machine back on and attempt the scanning process again. If the cut sensor light does not turn on when both Clamp A and Clamp B are in the down position and the machine is powered off, please contact Customer Care for assistance.
If the new update doesn’t seem to be working, you may need to clear your browser’s cache. Open your preferred browser and then on your computer keyboard, press the Ctrl+Shift+Delete keys for PC or Shift+Command+Delete keys for Mac. The next steps will differ based on the browser you are using.
- Step 1. A new tab will open and the “Clear browsing data” window will be displayed.
- Step 2. Under the drop down menu “Obliterate the following items from” select a time that was before your latest plugin update or select “the beginning of time” option.
- Step 3. Add a check to the box next to “Cookies and other site and plug-in data” and “Cached images and files”. Choose additional options if desired.
- Step 4. Click “Clear browsing data.” The window will close when the process is complete.
- Step 1. The “Delete Browsing History” window will open.
- Step 2. Add a check to the box next to “Temporary Internet files and website files” and “Cookies and website data”. Choose additional options if desired.
- Step 3. Click “Delete” at the bottom of the window. The window will close when the process is complete.
- Step 1. The “Clear All History” window will open.
- Step 2. Under the drop down menu “Time range to clear:” select a time that was before your latest plugin update or select the “Everything” option.
- Step 3. Add a check to the box next to “Cookies” and “Cache.” Choose additional options if desired.
- Step 4. Click “Clear Now.” The window will close when the process is complete.
- Step 1. A “Reset Safari” window will open.
- Step 2. Add a check to the box next to “Remove all website data” and “Clear the Downloads window.” Choose additional options if desired.
- Step 3. Click “Reset.” The window will close when the process is complete.
Finally, close and reopen your browser and the return to cricut.com/design. If this does not fix the problem your plugin may be blocked. Please reference “How do I unblock the Cricut Plugin?”
Some printer settings may need to be adjusted to yield a higher resolution print result. You may need to access your printer setting and change the print quality from "Standard" to "Best" or "High" to allow a higher resolution print result.