As a newbie to this Cricut thing, I’m finding that I’m innundated with new terms and phrases, and I’m having difficulty remembering what all of it means.  Here’s a list of vocabulary I’ve recently acquired and a description of each as best I understand it.  If you have additions or corrections, please feel free to let me know.

 CDS – Refer to CRICUT DESIGN STUDIO for more information.

CRICUT The Cricut™ is the first personal electronic cutter offered by Provocraft.  Lightweight and portable, this cutter requires no computer for operation.  Electronic cartridges can be plugged into the machine, providing a wide assortment of fonts and shapes for cutting.  Using 6″x12″ cutting mats, this machine will cut characters ranging from 1″ to 5.5″ high and 11.5″ long. 

CRICUT EXPRESSIONThe second generation of Cricut™ personal electronic cutters, and I think of this machine as the Cricut™ on steriods.  Using cutting mats of 12″x12″ or 12″x24″, this machine will cut characters from 0.25″ to 23.5″.  New modes and new functions offer greater customization than found with the original Cricut™ .  Though new and improved, it uses the same cartridges as the Cricut™.

CRICUT CREATE ™- Provocraft’s newest addition to their personal cutter line, I think of the Cricut Create™ as the original Cricut™ with a bigger brain.  The same size as the original Cricut™ machine, the Cricut Create ™ contains the functionality of the Cricut Expression™.  Using 6″x12″ cutting mats the Cricut Create™  allows cuts from 0.25″ up to 11.5″.  Once again, the newest addition to the line utilizes the same cartridges as the Cricut™ and the Cricut Expression™.

CRICUT DESIGN STUDIO – Also known as CDS for short, Cricut DesignStudio is a software program which allows you to connect your Cricut or Cricut Expression to your computer via a USB cable.  Containing images from all the Cricut cartridges, this program allows you to explore the entire library of images.  Using the on-screen cutting mat, you can design your unique cutting layout by moving, reorganizing, rotating, resizing, skewing, and welding letters, shapes, and phrases from any Cricut cartridge available. You can easily save your one-of-a-kind layouts for later use or to share with others!  However, Even with DesignStudio, the Cricut and the Cricut Expression remain cartridge-based.  You can only cut images from cartridges you own.

SURE CUTS A LOT – Also knows as SCAL for short, Sure Cuts  A Lot is a program distributed by CraftEdge.  Similar in interface to Cricut’s DesignStudio, SCAL utilizes an on-screen cutting mat but offers users the ability to cut any font or dingbat available on the user’s computer.  SCAL also allows users to import svg files for cutting.   (See SVG FILE definition for more info).  However, SCAL is not endorsed nor is it recommended by ProvoCraft.  In fact, ProvoCraft states that use of SCAL will void the warranty of your Cricut machine.

SVG FILE – SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics.  Though I’ve read a great deal about SVG files in recent days, most of it went WAY over my head.  This much, however, I did gather.  Using one of many graphics programs, images can be created and imported into SCAL (see SURE CUTS A LOT definition) for cutting.  Based upon my reading it seems that most SCAL users rely on the freely downloadable program known as Inkscape for creating and manipulating files and generating the svg file format needed by SCAL.




1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Shopnhappy  |  November 5, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    I have had my Circut for 2 years and have really never used it… My sister got me the Sure Cuts A Lot and I am trying to learn how to use everything. Thank you so much for explaining it so clearly. I was becoming a little overwhelmed. You are great!!
    Again thanks so much. I have bookmarked your site so that I can refer back for help.



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