Using SVG Files with Cricut Design Space - SVGCuts.com

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Preface

This video was created to test and demonstrate how to import SVG files (from SVGCuts.com) into Cricut's new Design Space software for the Cricut Explore machine. As of this writing (Wednesday, February 19th, 2014), we've not yet actually cut our files with the Cricut Explore (we should have one very soon) so we're not sure of the final output, but we will be posting our findings as soon it arrives.

Video

Summary

Keep in mind that this article/video is specifically about the Cricut Design Space's ability to import SVG files. There are dozens of other features that I didn't cover, nor did I compare these features to other options on the market. We'll do this in the official review of the Cricut Explore once it arrives at our headquarters.

The Cons

  • I didn't think I would say it, but the Cricut Design Space is actually ingenious, but for more SVG aficionados to be attracted to the Cricut Explore, they'll need to beef up the way users organize their personal SVG file collections. Some of our fans own over 300 of our kits and collections. That could get messy if you try to store them all in their "cloud".  They'll also need to make sure that when SVG files open, they open at their native sizes. These are VERY minor setbacks that could easily be fixed by adjusting some code.
  • I've read that many of you don't like the fact that the new software is cloud based and requires an internet connection. And while I do agree with you to some level, I've realized that it's almost impossible to go anywhere these days without having some form of broadband available. I do agree that it would be nice to have an offline mode of some sort, but if you go to a crop or take your machine somewhere you don't have internet but have a smartphone with data capability, you can enable your hotspot and connect! Again, it's not ideal, but for most people it's not a deal breaker. When Mary and I take our yearly fall vacation, we tend to get very remote, but our hotspot allows us to keep up on SVGCuts no matter where we are. In other words, there are work-arounds.
  • As I mentioned in the video, the Cricut Design Space is a new program and isn't as robust as the current versions of Sure Cuts A Lot, Make The Cut and Silhouette Studio. I would compare it to Sure Cuts A Lot 1 as far as the SVG compatibility and feature set goes, but it's ahead of the game as far as the workflow goes. That's not to say it doesn't have the key features you may be interested in because it DOES have the ability to import and convert JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP files (this is a free feature, no subscription required), and it does have the ability to let you cut your system fonts (also free). But it doesn't have Union (different than weld) tools, features to exclude elements from other elements (Exclude), shadow and blackout features, drawing and node editing tools. If you rely on and use these sorts of features regularly, you'll likely want look at other cutters and softwares, although it is possible that these types of features can be added to the Design Space in the future. After all, it is software.

The Pros

  • The Cricut Design Space is FREE (doesn't require a subscription) if you want to cut SVG files, import JPEG, PNG, GIF or BMP files and cut your system fonts. Subscription fees come into play if you want access to Cricut's library of content.
  • It's the first Cricut machine to natively work with SVG files.
  • It's the only machine on the market that can cut and score at the same time. Based on what we've seen in the Design Space software, it will also work cut and score our SVG files. As we mentioned, the eclips has a scoring feature, but it doesn't use a score tool, the blade is used to score (it does a gentle cut for score lines without penetrating the paper). I'm also aware that other machines on the market can score, but you need to swap the blade for a score tool and run the cut through the machine again.
  • You can import all of the files for a particular project onto one Canvas and store them in the cloud for future use.
  • Design space is smart enough to prepare the mats for you. You don't have to align anything.
  • You can specify how many of each projects you'd like to cut and Design Space will figure out how many mats you'll need.
  • Files uploaded to Design Space are automatically labeled based on the name of the SVG file as it appears on your computer.

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