Time to get crafty

The Cricut Maker 3 is a machine that has the potential to change the appearance of almost everything in your home. Metropol’s gadget guru Ian Knott gets his art and craft on.

If you’re of the crafty persuasion, in that you have a spare room at home full of material, card, coloured paper, glue, buttons, glitter and the like, then the brand Cricut (pronounced like ‘cricket’) will be one you’re well familiar with.

While I’m a graphic designer and casual sketcher, crafts is one creative outlet that I’ve never really felt the need to explore. Until now, that is, thanks to the versatile Cricut Maker 3.

The Maker 3 looks like a printer crossed with a laminator, but is actually a cutting machine capable of precisely cutting (or embossing) shapes out of over 300 different materials, ranging from paper, card and fabric, to matboard, leather and balsa wood.

Using the supplied Design Space software (or in conjunction with any other imaging software), you can upload, design, draw and layout your project on screen before sending it to the Maker 3 to speedily cut it out of your chosen material, and with pinpoint accuracy.

Design Space comes complete with over 100-ready-to-go craft projects that will get the whole family involved. There are also numerous websites, and hundreds of YouTube videos dedicated to Cricut projects.

Good craft suppliers, such as Spotlight for example, carry a great range of Cricut materials and accessories. Infusable inks for t-shirt designs, heat transfers, temporary and permanent vinyls for wall or vehicle decals, and different cutting heads for the more heavy duty jobs.

The Maker 3 walks you through the short set-up and online registration using your Windows or Mac computer. It also has two hand built-in tool caddies for storing your scissors and necessary tools to make your crafting easier.

To date I’ve successfully put a vinyl logo on my drink bottle, some custom anime graphics on my son’s, and am in the process of designing and measuring out some branding decals for my car. And it’s been all too easy to do.

At a shade under $800, the Maker 3 is a bit of an outlay, but a dedicated and creative crafter could easily make it pay for itself in no time.

Circut Maker 3

  • Can cut 300+ different materials
  • Supplied design software is simple to use
  • Twice as fast as previous models
  • Cut patterns up to 3.66m long
  • Cricut and 3rd party materials readily available

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