The Cricut Maker Space is a fantastic tool for cutting projects and making DIY crafts, but it may not be the best fit for every crafter. The Cricut Maker Space is a wonderful resource, but it isn’t really meant to cut materials like acrylic or rigid plastics with a home vinyl cutter. While there are specialized software programs that will cut these materials, they can be expensive and are hard to find in places other than your computer. So what can you do? Are there any affordable alternatives? These are all great questions, so let’s take a look at whether or how you can use your Cricut maker space to cut acrylic.
Can Cricut cut acrylic?
Yes, Cricut cutting machines can cut acrylic! Acrylic is a popular material for crafts, signage, and jewelry due to its vibrant colors and flexibility. You can easily cut acrylic with the proper tools and settings with a Cricut machine.
How to Use a Cricut Maker for Cutting Acrylic?
1. Gather Supplies:
Before you get started with a Cricut Maker, it’s important to gather all the supplies that you will need. You will need acrylic sheets in the thickness and size you choose, a deep-cut blade for your Cricut machine, transfer or green tape, scissors or an X-acto knife, and a cutting mat.
2. Prepare the Acrylic:
After gathering all of your supplies, it’s time to prepare the acrylic sheet for cutting with the Cricut Maker. Remove any protective film on both sides of the sheet before use by slowly peeling it away. This will help ensure that you get a clean, precise cut with the Cricut Maker.
3. Load the Materials:
Once the acrylic sheet is prepared, you can begin loading it into the Cricut Maker. Place the sheet onto a cutting mat and ensure it’s firmly adhered to its surface before placing it into the machine. Adjust your blade settings if needed, select ‘cut’ on the Cricut machine, and let it do its work.
4. Cut the Acrylic:
As the Cricut Maker cuts your acrylic sheet, you should see a clean, precise cut with minimal jagged edges. If there are any imperfections or errors in the cut, you can use scissors or an X-acto knife to trim them away.
5. Place the Transfer Tape:
To help move the cut pieces of acrylic easily from the mat, you can use transfer tape or green tape. Place a piece of tape over the top of your design on the cutting mat and then carefully peel it away, ensuring that the pieces of acrylic come with it.
6. Remove the Pieces:
Once the transfer tape is removed from the cutting mat, you should be left with all the pieces of your acrylic design. Before assembling your project, remove any excess tape, and trim any remaining jagged edges with scissors or an X-acto knife.
7. Assemble the Design:
Now that you have all of your pieces, it’s time to assemble them into a finished product. You can use glue or epoxy for this purpose, depending on the type of project you are creating. Once everything is assembled, you will be left with a beautiful acrylic design made with your Cricut Maker. Enjoy!
8. Clean Up:
Finally, it’s important to properly clean up after using the Cricut Maker. Remove any remaining acrylic pieces from the cutting mat and either discard or save them for future projects. Also, wipe down your Cricut machine with a damp cloth to remove any residue from the cuts. With these steps completed, you can store your Cricut machine away until the next project.
Pros of Cutting Acrylic With The Cricut Maker Space
- Accurate Cuts:
The Cricut Maker can quickly and accurately cut acrylic sheets into various shapes, helping ensure that the finished design will look professional.
- Low Cost:
Compared to other machines for cutting acrylic, the cost of a Cricut Maker is relatively low. This makes it a great choice for those on a budget who are looking for an effective way to cut acrylic.
The Cricut Maker can be used to cut a variety of materials, including acrylic sheets of various thicknesses. This makes it well-suited for a wide range of projects that involve cutting acrylic.
The Cricut Maker is designed to stand up to the rigors of cutting thicker sheets of acrylic. This ensures that it will last for many years and provide reliable results with each project.
The Cricut Maker’s blades are shielded, helping ensure that there are no accidents when cutting acrylic sheets. This also helps protect both the user and the machine itself.
- Easy to Use:
Due to its intuitive design, the Cricut Maker is very easy to use. It takes only a few minutes to set up and begin cutting acrylic sheets with it, providing instant gratification for those looking for a quick solution.
- Creative Freedom:
With the Cricut Maker, there is no limit to the number of creative possibilities that can be achieved when cutting acrylic sheets. From intricate designs to simple shapes, the Cricut Maker is an excellent tool for unleashing a person’s creativity.
The Cricut Maker is capable of cutting an entire sheet of acrylic in minutes, saving time and effort. This allows those working with acrylic to get their projects done quickly, helping save money in the long run.
Cons of Cutting Acrylic With The Cricut Maker Space
The Cricut Maker Space is an expensive machine, and the accessories, such as blades, mats, etc., can add up quickly.
- Risk of Damage to Materials
When cutting acrylic with this tool, there is a potential risk of damage or even destruction to your material.
- Limited Cutting Capabilities
The Cricut Maker Space has limited cutting capabilities and cannot cut any material thicker than 1/16”.
Because of its limited cutting capabilities, the process of completing a project can be time-consuming and may require multiple passes with different settings.
The Cricut Maker Space is not quiet when in use and can produce a lot of noise which can be distracting and annoying.
- Heat Damage
If the machine is used for too long or with too many passes, it may overheat and cause damage to the material being cut.
- Inaccurate Cuts
The cuts produced by this tool are not always precise and accurate due to its limited capabilities and lack of adjustment options.
What You’ll Need to Cut Acrylic with a Cricut Maker Space
- A Cricut Maker machine:
The Cricut Maker is the key tool for cutting acrylic. With its wide range of blades and tools, it can precisely cut through any shape or design you need.
- Acrylic sheets:
Choose your desired thickness of acrylic sheets according to what you’re making – 1/8 inch is a popular thickness choice for marking acrylic.
- Cutting mat:
A cutting mat is necessary to protect your work surface and hold the acrylic in place while cutting it.
- Adhesive vinyl:
If you want to add color or patterns to your cut pieces, adhesive vinyl can be used to create beautiful designs.
- Protective gloves:
Acrylic can be sharp, so it’s important to wear protective gloves.
- Safety glasses:
Safety glasses are a must-have protective gear to protect your eyes from tiny pieces of acrylic that could go flying while cutting.
- Sandpaper and polishing cloths:
To get a smooth finish, sandpaper and polishing cloths are essential for cleaning up your cut pieces.
- Strong adhesive:
Depending on your project, a strong adhesive like E6000 glue will help hold all the pieces together for a secure fit.
The Cricut Maker Space is a fantastic machine, but it’s not meant for cutting materials like acrylic. Luckily, a few alternatives could work for cutting plastic or acrylic with a home vinyl cutter. If you want to cut thicker materials like acrylic or rigid plastics with a vinyl cutter, you may need to look into a specialized vinyl cutter. If you’re looking to cut more complex materials, like acrylic or rigid plastics, the Cricut Maker Space may not be the right tool for the job. You may also need to look into a commercial-grade vinyl cutter that can cut a variety of materials.