May 4th, 2018 • Cricut Team
You have your Cricut Maker™ and recently bought Knife Blade – let’s get cutting. Here you’ll find a few key things – 10 to be exact – you need to know about working with Knife Blade and your Cricut Maker. You could also learn these tips from our video.
1. Calibrate your Cricut Maker for Knife Blade
Before you do ANYTHING, you must calibrate your Knife Blade. Do this first so that your machine recognizes the Knife Blade Drive Housing and executes the best cuts. It’s easy, Design Space® walks you through every step. Just click the account menu and select “Calibration” and follow the on-screen prompts. You may have to upgrade your firmware (this means your Maker), and this only takes a few minutes as well. If you like, you can read more about it here.
2. Always Use Your Desktop or Laptop for Knife Blade Projects
Due to longer cut times that require a Bluetooth™ connection, Knife Blade projects need to be done in Design Space on your computer, not your iOS or Android device (phone, tablet, etc.). Knife Blade is not compatible with these devices.
3. And, 4! Speaking of Using Your Computer … A Couple of Tips
Always use Design Space in a Google Chrome browser, and importantly, always in a dedicated window – try to avoid opening additional tabs. If you absolutely must use the web while working with Knife Blade, open a new window.
While you’re at it, make sure you turn OFF Sleep Mode on your computer. Since Knife Blade projects can take some time, it’s important to make sure your computer doesn’t Pause Out while cutting your project.
5. Tape Your Material to Your Mat
Cricut Maker and Knife Blade cut with 10-times more force than Cricut Explore®. The mat’s adhesion isn’t necessarily going to be sticky enough to hold the thick or dense types of materials you’ll be tackling with Knife Blade.
When prepping for a cut, you’ll use tape to secure your material on the purple (StrongGrip) mat. Blue Painter’s Tape or masking tape works just fine. Start with the left corner and then tape all four sides ... not just the corners. Tape to within 1-inch from the edges; this is what’s going to help hold your material in place. If you think you need to tape the corners, you can do that, too.
6. Slide Those Star Wheels Over
The little white wheels on the roller are called star wheels, and if you are cutting thick materials they could make indentations. Move them to the right so that this doesn’t happen to your design.
7. Keep Cuts Larger Than 3/4” (0.75 of an Inch)
Take a good look at the size of the pieces your design requires and make sure they are greater than 3/4 of an inch. The Knife Blade is not an intricate cut blade and may not be able to make those finely cut or small pieces.
Also, make sure any lines that you cut are at least the width of a pencil. This is important to get clean lines, and not run the risk of breaking your blade.
8. One Word: Time
Knife Blade makes cuts in multiple passes. Depending on the depth of the material – and the size and complexity of your design — cuts can take some time, so plan on it. Once the blade makes its first pass, it will estimate the number of passes the cut will take. Design Space is nifty and will count down each pass right before your eyes.
9. Add One More Pass
When a Mat, or design, is almost done cutting, Design Space will prompt you to check the Cuts. Take a look and see if your design is complete and ready to come off the mat. If the design isn’t cut all the way through, you can tell Design Space to make another pass. Just press the “Go” button.
10. Resume Your Project
If your machine stops due to debris from cutting, a minor defect in your material (like leather that has natural flaws), or the blade just seems to be stalled, look to see if the Cricut “C” button is flashing. If it is, then brush off the debris, press the C again and it will resume cutting.
That's it! We can’t wait to see what you make. Please be sure to share your creations on Facebook or Instagram and tag us. Good luck!