Jul 09., 2019 / Cricut, Cutter Review, Review, Tools
New tools for Cricut Maker-Do you need them?
New tools for the Cricut Maker are available starting July16, 2019. Let’s take a look at each new tool. Do you need these new tools for your Cricut Maker? The Quick Swap Housing now works with tips for engraving, debossing, perforating, wavy cuts, and the original single and double scoring tips. You will need to have at least one of the Quick Swap Housing units in order to use the new tips.
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How to Use these New Tools for the Cricut Maker
First you need the Quick Swap Housing. This came with your Cricut Maker rotary scoring tool. If you don’t have the Quick Swap Housing for the Cricut Maker, you can purchase one with any of the new tool tips. You likely only need one of the housing units, as all of the tool tips will fit on the same one. Here is the Engraving Tip with the Quick Swap Housing. Cricut has provided some simple instructions on how to attach and detach these new tool tips here.
The engraving tip is designed to create thin, etched lines in glass, metal, leather, acrylic blanks, etc. It is nice for creating score lines in heavier cardstock. Use it to create custom text on items such as dog tags, trophies, award plaques, etc. If engraving clear glass or acrylic, you can use stamp pads to give engraved detail some color. An engraving tool is very handy to have for a cutter. Engraving requires the use of strong down pressure, especially when working with very hard surfaces. The engraving tip is a great addition to the Cricut Maker’s tool lineup. I especially like using engraving tools with moderate pressure on very heavy cardstock when making popup cards.
If you do not have the the engraving tip, you could alternately use the rotary scoring tip, or a debossing tip with very high pressure. If you do not have a maker, you can try to use the regular Cricut scoring tool, but it is not very effective on cardstock or anything heavier than cardstock, due to the lack of adequate pressure. You Can use a third party engraving tool in the pen tool slot. Or, you could use your regular shallow blade, set to cut at low pressure or a setting for printer paper. Another option would be to insert a hand engraving tool or an embossing tool with a tiny tip in a regular pen holder. You would need to use very high pressure for this to work. Always do test cuts with any tool on any medium before starting a new project.
An Engraved Project
I engraved on some acrylic, then used a stamp pad to add color to the engraving. Then I cut out the heart. The new Cricut Maker Engraving tool can do the engraving, and the Knife blade can cut it out.
Unfortunately, Cricut Design Space does not offer tools for creating engraving fills to designs. But if you use other software to creating your designs, you can take advantage of Engraving Fill features to create lovely filled designs. Import these SVG files into Design Space to use with the new Engraving and Debossing tips available for the Cricut Maker. See this video for some ideas how to create engraving fills using Make The Cut. Pazzles InVue software has an Engraving fill feature, as does Sure Cuts A Lot, and Silhouette Studio. See this post for more information about these software packages.
Fine Debossing Tip
Traditional line embossing places pressure from the back of the project to produce a raised, or embossed line on the opposite side of the card. With cutting machines, the ball tip of an embossing tool generally places pressure to the front side of a project, resulting in a debossed impression. Cricut has therefore named their ball tipped tool as a fine debossing tip, and rightly so.
This tool has a very small ball tip that will produce a fine debossed line. Because the Cricut Maker boasts of up to 4000 grams of pressure, it is possible to use this tool to effectively produce debossed lines in many types of media, including cardstock, leather, foils, foam, soft rubber, vellum, regular printer paper, etc. You can also use this tool to create more defined score lines than you can get with the Cricut Scoring Stylus. If you use an embossing mat along with this tool, you can get a nice, deeper debossed effect.
Other Options for Debossing
If you don’t have a Cricut Maker, you can still get a reasonable debossed effect. I was able to achieve a nice embossed effect on vellum for a recent project using my Crcut Explore. I posted photos, and instructions in that post, so be sure to check it out. You can also download the free cutting file from my Resource Library.
I was not successful doing this project on my Cricut Maker, so having the new debossing tip to use with it will be helpful. Those who dislike switching tools while working on a project, may prefer to continue using the Cricut Scoring Stylus for some projects.
Cricut Perforation Tip
The Cricut Perforation Tip for the Cricut Maker may be used to cut perforated lines for a project. While this function may be produced in most cutter software, creating perforated lines in a project using Cricut Design Space is not an option. However, if you have other software that creates SVG files, you can add perforations with that software and import your SVG cutting file into Cricut Design Space. The advantage of using software-based perforations is that you can generally adjust the spacing and style of the perforations in software. The perforation tip provides only a single type of perforation. See this post to learn more about other software you can use.
Do you need the Cricut Perforation Tip?
So if you have and know how to use Inkscape, Illustrator, Sure Cuts A Lot, Make The Cut, or InVue for creating your SVG cutting files, you probably don’t need the Cricut maker Perforation Tip. I probably would not use this tip for creating score lines, as perforations actually weaken the fold lines of a project. If you like creating “zippers” for surprise windows in your projects, this tool might come in handy.
Cricut Wavy Blade Tip
The concept of cutting wavy lines using a wavy blade tip is not novel. Wavy rotary blades for handheld cutters and rotary trimmers have been available for decades. But no other electronic cutter boasts of having a Wavy Blade Tip. With the Cricut Maker, you can use this tip to create wavy edges for your borders, boxes, bags, etc.
If creating tiny waves for your projects is an important feature for you, you might want to purchase this tip. The down side of this tool, is that it produces only a single style wavy line. If you were to produce wavy lines using convenient software features, you would have much more flexibility in the size and spacing of your wavy lines. Sure Cuts A Lot 5 has a very nice Wave effect that allows you to change any line into a wavy line with spacing and amplitude of your choice. Export your project from there as as Design Space compatible SVG, and import into Cricut Design Space.
Other Software Options
Pazzles Inspiration Studio (no longer available for purchase) has a series of “Scissor Cuts” that work in a similar manner. But in this case you have the option of using any of 14 different scissor styles to apply with the click of a mouse to any design line. Funtime Scrapbooking still offers this feature.
Here is a video tutorial on how to create waves using the free Inkscape. If you own Make The Cut, you can download my Paper Edges Collection of over 250 different edge designs for free. You do need to join the free MTC_Tuts Yahoo group first in order to access files there. Make The Cut has an object to path feature that allows you to wrap any of these shapes automatically to any shape. Create your design in Make The Cut, select and export as SVG, and import the SVG into Cricut Design Space to cut to your Explore or Maker. No Wavy Blade Tip is necessary!
Which of these new tools for the Cricut Maker do you REALLY NEED?
If you have a Cricut Maker and don’t use third party software for creating your cutting files, you may need all of these. They will first be made available on HSN, July 16, 2019. You will be able to purchase them directly from Cricut and elsewhere, later. HSN does not necessarily offer items for less than retail prices. But they do offer exclusive bundles that may appeal to you.
If you have a Cricut Maker and do use third party software, you may want to select carefully from the new tools that are available.
If you don’t have a Cricut Maker, do not despair. Take advantage of some of the other alternatives for creating designs similar to what these tools can do.
Free Cutting Files
Would you like to see some of my FREE SVG projects? Check them out in my FREE Resource Library.
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