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Old 12-27-2014, 10:56 AM
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Default Cricut Explore vs Silhouette Cameo

Hey ladies!

I should preface this question with the fact that I am a digital scraper and never done a single hybrid project…

On a whim (December 24) I asked for the Cameo for Christmas without researching it much. The family was desperate for an idea and I thought it sounded like fun. I had just heard about it on SSD forums.

I received the Cricut Explore.

I haven't had the chance to look into the difference much because I spent Christmas with a temp of 102 and now taking care of 2 kids and hubby that are really sick.

Can you guys spare me from trying to sort this all out and just tell me which machine I should get?! I doubt I would use it much for scrapbooking. I think I would use it more for holiday banners, crafts with the kids, party decorations, etc.

Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2014, 11:00 PM
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I spent quite a bit of time today researching these machines and watching You Tube comparisons.

The complaint with Cricut Explore seems to be that the software lacks design capability. So here is my question for Silhouette users -- do you design your image in photoshop and then cut it with your silhouette or do you do some designing on the Silhouette software itself? If I have CS5 do I care that the design component of the Cricut software is not good?
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Old 12-27-2014, 11:07 PM
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I don't know anything about the Cricut, but I love my Silhouette Portrait. Also, I hardly ever use Photoshop to design the things I cut. I almost always use the Silhouette software. Sorry I'm not much help. I hope you end up with what you really want and what will work best for you.
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:47 AM
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I design with PSE, save as a .png and then pull it into the Silhouette software. I'm just not wanting to learn new software right now so using PSE works best for me.


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Old 12-28-2014, 03:11 PM
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This is interesting ladies. One of you designs in the cutter software and one does not! So I'd probably be fine with either machine.

To tell you the truth, I started watching You Tube videos and reviews and got so frustrated that I thought about taking the darn thing back and forgetting it! I'm not sure what I'll really make anyways. And I'm not sure if my HP ink jet printer is good enough to make any cool projects. Between the cost of the ink, the card stock, glue, the vinyl, the Cricut itself is it really worth it?
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Old 12-29-2014, 01:56 AM
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I do this and have a portrait.
Quote:
I design with PSE, save as a .png and then pull it into the Silhouette software. I'm just not wanting to learn new software right now so using PSE works best for me.
I use card stock unless its an hybrid project. Glue and card stock doesn't cost much. The ink can get expensive if you print. A lot of people get vinyl from sign shops for free/cheap. They ask for anything they are throwing away.
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:51 AM
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I don't really know anything about Cricut. I have a Silhouette portrait and love it! From what I've heard people prefer the Silhouette and sell their cricuts, but as I said, I don't have any personal experience to reference.

I don't design very much on my own. There are a ton of free cutfiles out there. And I've subscribed to the silhouette online store, which got me loads of designs for the money spent.
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Old 12-29-2014, 10:03 AM
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Thanks Cindy and Hanna. Good to know you don't do much designing in the software itself.

Hanna, I think everybody sold their Cricut and went to Silhouette and the Explore is Silhouettes new machine and their response to the Silhouette I guess?

I gather from some of my research that Cricut had a customer service issue that has supposedly been resolved?
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:52 PM
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I ended up going with the cricut explore after doing a ton of comparisons. I am not regretting my purchase, I wanted something user friendly, a very accurate cut, and the circuit cuts more materials than the silhouette. I have been having amazing results with its print and cut feature. I have cut out hundreds of stickers for my planner and I have made several die cuts using digi kits. It is amazing to use for hybrid. I absolutely love being able to use my digital products for paper scrapbooking. There is very little you will need to learn to use the print then cut feature.

BUT there are glitches with the software interfacing with web browsers (which they claim they are working hard to work out but if you didn't have to log into their website this would not be an issue at all). The fact that you have to be logged into their website to cut is annoying. If you are not logged in, the machine will not function at all. It's not a huge deal for me because I don't use it everyday at this point but that is a very weak part in that system. The software interfacing with web browsers keeps throwing up flash errors so the machine won't work in certain browsers.

I have found that the print then cut feature is very limited by size. Not every browser works (safari doesn't work for me) and each browser seems to have different maximum cut sizes. So for example if I upload a file I made in PSE I have to be careful about what the maximum overall size is because in Firefox that was 6x9 but in Chrome it's more like 6x8 or 5x7 and it's super wasteful since paper is 8.5 x 11 size. (that is only for the print then cut feature though, for regular cutting you can cut 12x12 card stock)

However with that said it is much easier to use cricut right out of the box then silhouette and cricut has a built in full bleed feature that eliminates any sort of white in or around your image. The silhouette cuts on the edge and does not give as accurate a cut. See Kens Creations video on youtube for a comparison of how they both cut and the comparison of steps you need to do a print then cut project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5EAqTICXQw His video sold me on the circuit because I am primarily interested in the print then cut feature.

If print then cut is not your thing (BTW for about $150 you can get a fantastic photo quality wireless printer and scanner from canon. If your printer is not up to snuff there are great printers out there for under $200) but if you are not interested in print then cut and mostly want to work with stock cut files, then I think the silhouette has much better projects, a nicer store with better samples, and a lot more 3rd party files available.

What I would suggest is signing up with silhouette to get the free version of their software to see if you like it. To me it was way too much work. I can set up my images much easier in PSE and quickly upload the .PNG without going thru a ton of steps to get it done. I don't work in the cricut design space, but if I needed to, it's incredibly fast and more user friendly.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:18 AM
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Thanks Tracey! This was very very helpful! I sucked it up and opened the box and took the Cricut Explore up. I hooked it up and did the sample Thank you card that came with it! My 10 year old girls are LOVING it so I think we're hooked.

I hope I can find some simple projects to start with. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.

I'm off to figure out this print and cut feature!
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:35 PM
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That's exactly what I did too, started with the thank you card. My second project I wanted to make some sticker sheets. How about making some flower die cuts and make some note cards with the girls?

Here is how:

1. Open up PSE, and create a new 5x7 300dpi file with a transparent background. (I am suggesting this smaller size since I know it will work with all the browsers)

2. Open up a digi kit and pull out a bunch of flowers and other elements and resize them, fill up the page.
save the file as a .PNG (that will connect all the graphics together so you won't have to do anything else in design space)

3. Connect your cricut to the computer and log into design space (use Chrome if you have that browser)

4. upload the .png file into design space.

5. Once it loads into design space, resize it back to 5x7 since when it uploads it comes up smaller, resizing it will put the images back to actual size.

6. make sure your printer is turned on and there is paper in there.

7. hit "go" in the cricut program.

8.. It will tell you to print. Select "photo on photo paper" if its an option for best results. If you actually have some, printing on photo paper does make things 100x clearer and brighter.

then it should print your project at actual size with the registration bars.

Once it prints, stick it to your sticky mat and load it back into the cricut and click "next". It should start cutting out all your images.
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Old 02-13-2015, 07:37 PM
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It seems like the Cricut has finally caught on to the SVG being the standard format in the industry. I gave away one small Cricut, a Cake machine and sold my Expression a few years back.I also gave away a Cricut Gypsy. I also gave away a Bosskut Gazelle to my cousin because I fell in love with the Silhouette. I have the small one that came out before the Cameo and I have the Cameo.
I've always had good results with both my Silhouette machines and need to start using them again.
At one time I heard that the Cricut Explore must be connected to the internet to be used. Is that still the case?

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Old 02-16-2015, 10:42 AM
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Yup, it's true that it has to be logged into design space and that is a HUGE drawback for the machine. Being dependent on constant updates for browsers and plug ins seriously limits the machine and if their site is down you can't work off line so you are 100% stuck until you can get connected again. I am wondering if circut will change that in the future. Today they are releasing a big software update so we will see how that works out.

There are pros and cons to each machine. In many areas the circuit has the silhouette beat. As far as software goes, the silhouette is much more versatile, but Cricut is 100x more user friendly right out of the box. It cuts more accurately in print then cut, and it cuts more materials. I do all of my designs in PSE so I didn't really need the software capabilities. It really depends on what you need it for. For digital scrapbooking/hybrid /print then cut, Cricut is fantastic and super fast. I posted a link to a video above showing the two going head to head with the print then cut feature if you want to see why it is so much better.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:55 AM
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Love this discussion! You're a wealth of info Tracey!
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