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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.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)!  

New Cricut Maker Tools

New Cricut Maker Tools

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.

Engraving Tip

Engraving Tip for Cricut Maker

Engraving Tip for Cricut Maker

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.

Engraved Acrylic Heart

Engraved Acrylic Heart

Engraving Fills

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

Cricut Maker Fine Debossing Tip

Cricut Maker 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.

Embossed Vellum Popout Card

Embossed Vellum Popout Card

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

Cricut Perforation Tip

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

Cricut Wavy Blade Tip

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?

New Cricut Maker Tools

New Cricut Maker Tools

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.

 

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below.

If you already have your password, enter the resource library here.

 

 

Do you Need the New Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set?

Do you Need the New Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set? The new scoring wheels for the Cricut Maker machine have just been posted for sale! You can get yours here. But wait! Do you really need this tool? Read on to determine the answer to this question for YOU.

Cricut Scoring Wheel

Cricut Scoring Wheel

The new Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set is NOT for everyone! The scoring wheels will work only for those who have the Cricut Maker machine. If you think you need to have a tool like this, then you will need to consider purchasing a Cricut Maker if you don’t already have one. There are no other machines that have a tool set like this!

Some affiliate links may be used in this post. I am affiliated only with products that I use. When you purchase products using my affiliate links, it does not cost you any more, but I will share some commission.

What Scoring Choices do Cutter Users Have?

When you need to create score lines for an SVG cutting  project, you have several choices. Depending on the cutter you are using, and the availability of tools for use with it, you may choose to:

Cut dashed lines where you want the folds to be,
Use a scoring tool to indicate the locations of the folds,
Score with an embossing tool,
Engrave score lines with an engraving tool,
Use the blade set to a shallow setting with low cutting pressure,
Create score lines manually after the project is cut, or
Create the score lines with the new Scoring Wheel on the Cricut Maker.

Are you using one or more of the above techniques? Are they working well for you? If not, then you may want to consider the new option of Creating Score lines with the new Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set with the Cricut Maker.

Cutting Dashed Lines

Cutting dashed lines where you want the folds to be is a simple solution for score lines that won’t get a lot of use. For example, a single score line for a card folded in half can be cut right along with the other cut lines if it is set to cut dashed lines. Using this option, only the cutting blade needs to be used for cutting the project and creating the score lines in a single pass. However, if you are making a 3D project, box, or popup card, dashed lines in your project may weaken it. And the project could tear very easily. Dashed score lines also do not look nearly as nice as smooth, uncut score lines.

Using a Scoring Tool

Cricut Scoring Wheel

Cricut Scoring Stylus

Ideally, a dedicated scoring tool applies pressure on the material to compress the fibers along the line where a fold is needed. However, to do this well, the machine has to use a very large amount of pressure to create a nicely scored line. Most entry-level cutters do not boast enough down-pressure to produce a nicely scored line. These tools can create a visual line to show you where the score lines need to be. But you will most likely need to complete the fold by hand, or by manually scoring along the guide lines that your scoring tool made.

Scoring with a Cricut Machine

The Cricut Scoring Stylus creates a lightly scored line on Explore or Maker models. (It will not fit in the Legacy machines.) The Explore machines do not have enough pressure to create much of an impression for score lines. Even the Maker, with its vast amount of pressure, cannot access all of its pressure for use with the Scoring Stylus. The  extra pressure is available only with the use of the special tools holder. Cricut has now provided the Scoring Wheel Combo Set to make it possible for you to create excellent score lines in two different styles. These wheels can provide up to 10 times the amount of pressure for creating lovely scored effects, without cutting or tearing your project. You can choose between single score lines or double score lines.

Embossing Score Lines

Some cutter companies offer an optional embossing tool. There are also third parties who sell special embossing tools to fit the pen tool holders on different machines. If the embossing tool is used in conjunction with with an embossing mat with a soft surface, the embossing tool can create a reasonably nice score line. The downside to this option is that you need to emboss and cut on the same mat. Cutting on the embossing mat will ultimately reduce the effectiveness of the soft embossing surface. To emboss well, a machine needs to use very high pressure.

Engraving Score Lines

An engraving tool etches a very fine line onto the media. It does not require a lot of pressure, like an Embossing tool or Scoring Stylus. The effectiveness of engraving score lines varies, depending on the media being engraved, and the design of the engraving tool. I can get a very nicely engraved score line using Pazzles Engraving tool on heavy cardstock. The engraved line works much better than any of the other score line options on the Pazzles Cutters. However, I have tried using engraving  tools with other cutters that tear heavy cardstock. I would choose different scoring options with those machines.

Using a Regular Blade set to a Low Pressure and Low Blade Extension for Scoring

Using the blade with low pressure is a viable option for creating effective score lines. This option requires that you cut and score in separate passes, changing the settings between passes. When using this option with heavy media, it is best to cut your project first. Then reset pressure and blade, and cut the score lines. The blade does not cut all the way through the material, and the resulting lines are clean and very easy to fold. The folds remain strong for 3D projects and popup cards. To use this option on Cricut Explore or Maker models, you do not have control over the blade extension. You would need to select a cut  setting for lightweight paper to get a score line on heavy paper. However, Cricut Design Space does not allow users to change settings between cutting passes, and perfectly lining up two cutting passes with different settings is not practical.

Creating Score Lines Manually

You will achieve excellent score lines using a hand scoring tool after you have cutting out your project. I sometimes use the We R Memory Keepers Trim and Scoreboard or the Scor-Pal Measuring and Scoring Board. But truth be known, I rarely get them out. When I am cutting, I don’t want to do yet another step with another device. Sometimes it is obvious where the score lines should go. But sometimes, line placement is not so obvious, and score lines may not all be straight. So creating score lines manually is not always practical.

Create the Score Lines with the New Scoring Wheel on the Cricut Maker

If you are using the Cricut Maker for cutting your projects that need score lines, I think you need the new Scoring Wheel Combo Set! If you have multiple machines, the Cricut Maker being one of them, you may even choose to use this machine over the others because of this great new tool. This combo pack includes two professional-quality scoring wheels that give you extra-deep score lines and a flawless finish on everyday and specialty material projects. Your boxes will fold better and look nicer. Your popup cards will fold much more easily after being adequately scored.

Test Your Scoring Options with A FREE SVG Cutting File

Our FREE Resource Library contains a number of FREE SVG cutting files. Download any or all of them, and try some of the scoring techniques discussed here. A very simple project to try is the free 3D DIY Doily Treat Basket. Or try the Flip Fold Card. If you really wish to evaluate the effectiveness of your scoring method, try assembling a complex popup card like the Happy  Birthday Popup Card. Use what you have at your disposal. Evaluate the results. The types of projects you do, and the media you use will determine which scoring methods will work best for you.

So what is your conclusion? Do YOU need the new Cricut Scoring Wheel Combo Set?

Love,

Julie

>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below.

If you already have your password, enter the resource library here.

 

 

 

 

 

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>> HOW TO ENTER THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY <<

This resource library is open to everyone for free. All you need is the password to get in, which you can get by filling out the form below. If you already have your password, enter the resource library here. Forgot your password? I put the password at the bottom of nearly all of my emails. But if you can’t find one of my emails to you, you can either fill out the form above again or email me at hello@cuttercrafter.com Password Tip: I recommend you copy and paste the password in to avoid any accidental mistakes. If you ever forget your password, please email hello@cuttercrafter.com Not working? If you enter the password and the same page refreshes, without any contents, that means you put in the wrong password. Double-check your email, copy the password, and paste it in to the link above. Still not working? I promise the password works—I haven’t changed it since I opened the library.   Try the copy/paste method again and make sure the URL you are going to has https at the start of it (that’s a secure page and it makes a difference). If that still isn’t working, try a different web browser.