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Author Topic: Alternate interface for Cricut Explore machine.  (Read 1040 times)

Lloyd Black

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Alternate interface for Cricut Explore machine.
« on: March 29, 2015, 10:20:19 PM »
I just got a "Cricut Explore" and the machine itself is very nice. In it's first project which is automatically set up as part of the end of the initial setup process, the precision of it's cuts and control of the marker is actually impressive. However, the Design Space software/interface is bordering on absolutely horrible. Photoshop is way more intuitive than this "Design Space" plug-in they provide. I've even emailed the company expressing my extreme displeasure of their software and suggesting ways to improve it.

So, this is what I'm asking, does anyone know of any alternative software or heard of a way to access the machine in other ways? I have already looked for alternative software but so far all I can find is software for making compatible images and files that can be uploaded to the Design Space. What I need is a replacement for the Design Space since it's so horrible. I don't know if there's an API or anything that can help. I think the company should release some Open Source options for people who find the machine to be great but their software to be essentially useless.

In case anyone is going to ask how come I'm not using the laser cutter instead, I'm not trained to use the laser cutter at the time of making this message and using the laser cutter for what projects I'm working on is like using a sledgehammer for hitting a finishing nail. Also, the laser cutter only cuts, the Cricut Explore also can precision draw on the same materials it's cutting.

Lloyd Black

darkmoonsinger

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Re: Alternate interface for Cricut Explore machine.
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 09:14:37 AM »
The laser does not only cut, it also engraves. :)

Lloyd Black

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Re: Alternate interface for Cricut Explore machine.
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2015, 09:17:01 AM »
Thanks, I'm aware of that actually.  I figured it could engrave using a lower power to the laser. However, I still don't have access to it until I get the proper training.
Lloyd Black

AtomicProf

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Re: Alternate interface for Cricut Explore machine.
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2015, 11:40:10 PM »
what's your question?
There is Quality in the Details
That is All

Lloyd Black

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Re: Alternate interface for Cricut Explore machine.
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2015, 12:32:18 AM »
It's ok, now. I was looking for an alternative to the Cricut Design Space. However, I contacted their phone customer service and got things worked out finally. They do have a standalone program called Craft Room but it's not compatible with the Cricut Explore machine. The main problem was it's better to use a SVG file than a bitmap file. Their Design Space user interface is just frustrating.

Lloyd Black

BillBall

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Re: Alternate interface for Cricut Explore machine.
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2015, 07:03:55 AM »
I don't think you will find an alternative to Design Space. Cricut has moved from selling over priced cartridges of images to using Design Space to drive people to buy overpriced images online. It's the "give away the razor and sell the blades" approach. They need to lock people down to Design Space only in the hopes they will buy libraries of images as their business model. So unless someone independently develops software (unlikely given the crafter audience for the machine) you will need to get the most out of Design Space that you can (or get your hands on a Stilletto, which has drivers for Corel Draw, etc if you pay extra for the software). Having used a Stilletto I am going to give a Cricut Explore a workout on Monday. You should post your specific frustrations with the Explore and I will keep them in mind when I try it. I do hear that the Explore has a much stronger knife than the Stilletto.
Bill

Lloyd Black

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Re: Alternate interface for Cricut Explore machine.
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2015, 11:10:35 AM »
I've actually gotten used to the Design Space finally after a call to customer support and figuring things out on my own, no thanks to their semi-shitty help PDFs.

Anyway, I agree with you 100%. They are trying to sell people their image libraries online through their Design Space as their up sell. I have no use for their libraries though, so they won't be getting a penny from me for them. My sole reason for getting their machine was to do custom work with my own images. I did find a solution for my problems though, I had to use SVG files to get what I wanted done. Using bitmap images to do what I wanted was basically like banging my head against the wall until I pass out. So, I'm now getting things done with the Explore and installed Inkscape, to hopefully learn how to use it.

Their Design Space needs some updating though. They're lacking a lot of features that could make handling layers a lot easier. I think most of the crafters out there don't know shit about Photoshop and therefore don't realize what they're missing in the editing features of decent software.

As for their knife, it seems to do a good job with card stock but I suggest getting the deep cut blade for anything thicker. As a precaution I bought their deep cut blade and the German Carbide blade. It did mutilate some of full sheet sticker paper but only a little. Of course, it could be that the mat was losing it's stickiness. I've since bought two replacement mats for when I need to change it.
Lloyd Black