2015-03.4: Tips for using the Cricut

27 Mar 2015

Average: 3.7 (19 votes)
19:05 - March 2015 Act IV - Cricut tips (2015)

In a November 2014 Product Review on TrainMasters TV, Miles Hale introduced viewers to the Cricut cutting machine.  You had lots of questions.  Miles answers some of them and shows you some pitfalls to be aware of while adapting the machine to modelling purposes.

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Georonn's picture

Great episode.  My wife is a scrapbooker, but has been resisting getting a Cricut because she thinks it is too expensive for her limited usage.  I think now that she sees we can both use it, I might be able to convince her we need to purchase one.

My wife has the Silhouette brand cutter and I have used it for making frisket masks. I have also used it to create clear window glazing from .005 clear styrene. I simply traced my window peices on paper and created and jpg on my scanner. Silhouette then used the imported images to cut the glazing. Something to consider for those buying a craft cutter. Silhouette software has a trace funtion built in. No need to import a specieal vector graphic. Simply import most any image type and it will create a trace. Also that attach to file execise is not necessary with the Silhouette. My wife did a lot of research with her many crafty friends that have the cricut and the Silhouette or both. I seems the the Silhoette software was much more intuitive and easier to use. I think both machines are nearly indentical in their physical cutting capapbilities. I seems to come down to who has a better/ more useful software.

Does anyone know if the Si;houtte brand cutter can cut 1/16" basswood like the Cricut?

  I see the examples are using an Apple laptop in the Trainmasters TV video.  And from the Cricut web site, they mention an 'app' for iPads(with an Android App in the future).  It appears from the video that this is a web based design space.  Is it possible to use a Windows laptop and Windows based vector drawing programs to create structure outlines and import them into the Cricut Design Space?

Jim Bernier


I have purchased the Cricut Explore Air & the Cricut Deep Cut (I guess I am off & running)

Next on my list is Cad.  I have a PC using Windows 7.  Should I order CADRAIL or some other brand

What I would like to do is take an HO Scale drawing from FOS Scale Limited & scan it so I can in turn cut it out with basswood on the Cricut with openings for Tichy Windows & Doors.  If this works out I "might" upsize the drawing to "O" scale and cut it out again.  I have alot of HO & O scale Northeastern 1/16" clapboard 6" wide x 24" long.  Do you think I will have a problem using this material?  I know per your video that if the 1/16" becomes a problem I will order Byrnes Model Machines thickness sanders & sand the clapboards down to a little less than 1/16" (maybe .050 to .058).  Have you had any luck cutting Board & Batten siding?

Mike Sigmon

Jacksonville, FL

  •  Unless you need the ability to draw layout plans (the CadRail is great for these) I would use a more traditional Cad program. I'm on a Mac and I use Turbo Cad 8. With this program I can import a .jpg of the plan and save it to a layer and then trace the drawing on a new level. If re-fitting of windows or doors or walls would be needed I can do it on the new layer. I then discard the original layer and save the new drawing for cutting on the bass wood.​
  • I think I was lucky when I cut the Ice House office. After this first cut I have found it much better to cut with the material sanded down to the thinner dimension for the cutter to use.
  • I have cut both B & B and Clapboard siding.
  • I'm sorry for taking so long to answer you but I am at the Australian National narrow Gauge Convention. And e-mails have been spotty along with my internet access.




If you had some free time, it would be great if you could do a step by step video of how to scan in a drawing or import a drawing and convert it over to cut on the Cricut. Then continue on with the step-by-step video and show how to setup the Cricut to cut the piece and then finally cut the piece. I guess they have a feature called print and cut also.



John Frankforther

sigmon, the silhouette cannot cut styrene any thicker than .010 or wood. the cricut can

grest video Miles. We have figured out when cutting the thicker materials, we use a couple different settings. The first setting is 250 blade pressure with 2x cutting. After the cricut stops, instesd of pushing "Finish" I change my custom setting to 350 blade pressure with 2x cutting. When cutting .040 and 1/16" wood I do the second cutting twice.
This seems to do a cleaner cut.

Just to let others know about a great, simple, 2D cad program that I've been using
for years and works great for this, is DeltaCad. Very inexpensive, and very easy
to learn and intuitive. It is NOT a 3D cad program, only does 2D, but that's all that is
needed for your Cricut anyway. I've been using DeltaCad for over 6 years, and have
used it to design many things, from model railroad buildings, to making the templates
for my CNC router machine. Works great, give it a Google and check it out.


Hope that helps someone out,

P.S. DeltaCad works with Windows & Mac OS X