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Are you a crafting enthusiast or a DIY aficionado? Then you’ve likely heard of the Cricut machine, a cutting tool that’s a game-changer for anyone who loves to create. From intricate paper cutouts to custom vinyl decals, the Cricut machine performs a variety of tasks with remarkable precision. But let’s not forget — this powerful machine shines its brightest when paired with the right software.
Quality programs not only make designing your Cricut projects a breeze but also enable you to unlock the machines’s full potential. So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, choosing the right software will elevate your crafting experience to new heights. Stick around as we dive into the 12 best Cricut programs you should consider this October.
Cricut Design Space is the ultimate all-in-one solution for Cricuts. When it comes to seamless integration with Cricut, nothing beats this software among free apps. Moreover, it offers thousands of pre-designed templates, making it easier to start creating even if you’re a newbie. It is also a cloud-based software, so you can easily access your projects from wherever you are. Unfortunately, despite its numerous advantages, no program is perfect. Internet connection dependency and occasional lags, especially when working on complex projects may deter some users. However, in my opinion, the pros still outweigh it, making Cricut software an exceptional choice for any crafting enthusiast.
Native Cricut software stands out for its ease of use, diverse design options, and cross-platform availability. So whether you’re stepping into the world of crafting or you’re a seasoned expert, this program promises to enrich your creative journey.
Adobe Illustrator is a dream when it comes to professional graphic designers, especially paired with Adobe Photoshop. Although it may be overkill for beginners starting to explore the Cricut machine capabilities. The primary focus on vector-based design ensures that your creations are scalable and won’t lose quality, ideal for large or complex Cricut files. First and foremost, there are awesome Pen Tools and Shape Builder that allows you to manipulate images with unparalleled precision. You can also take advantage of thousands of fonts and graphics readily available within the software, that will empower you to make truly unique crafts. Advanced layering options and work with multiple artboards make it easier to optimize your workflow. It also works seamlessly with Cricut via exporting your vector images as SVG files.
Adobe Illustrator isn’t just a robust design tool; it’s an investment in your crafting future. Some might say too expensive, but still, whether you’re a crafting enthusiast or a professional, Illustrator will elevate your Cricut experience.
SCAL sets itself apart with custom fonts that can be used directly from any installed library, saving you time and expanding your design options. The shadow layering feature adds depth and complexity to your designs, while the ability to trace images means you can easily convert any picture into a cuttable format. Welding overlapping letters and shapes creates seamless designs. This program supports a wide variety of electronic cutting machines and is fully compatible with Cricut via SVG export. The software’s interface is customizable to suit your preferences and needs, although it’s not as intuitive as other options on the list and is quite outdated.
SCAL distinguishes itself with a versatile set of features, that makes it a flexible option for various machines, including Cricut. However, its less-than-modern interface could be a sticking point for users accustomed to more intuitive software.
- Windows 10 (64-bit) or later
- MacOS 12 or later
- subscription $36.58/month
- one-time purchase $859.00
CorelDRAW offers a broad suite of features, making it a powerful choice for professionals in the design industry. Its vector illustration capability makes it the best software for the creation of intricate and scalable designs, perfectly suited for both small and large projects. Speaking of large projects, the software also excels in handling multi-page layouts, giving users the ability to manage complex tasks with ease. When it comes to color, CorelDRAW doesn’t disappoint. Its advanced color management settings offer precise control, allowing you to achieve the perfect hues for your designs. Typography is another area where the software shines, with a wide array of fonts and text options to choose from. As for compatibility with Cricut machines, it allows you to export files in SVG format, ensuring a seamless workflow from design to cutting.
With CorelDRAW, you get a comprehensive design tool that’s perfect for those who are already comfortable in a digital design environment, while occasional users may find it quite overwhelming to start with.
Vectr is a uniquely powerful tool that delivers a range of features essential for aspiring crafters. The most noteworthy feature is its real-time collaboration capability. With Vectr, you can share your design via a unique URL and watch changes happen in real-time as you or someone else works on it. This feature sets it apart from many other design tools on the market. The platform also boasts web cross-platform capabilities, although it means internet connection dependency. Some users might find its feature set to be a bit limited, though its free price tag ensures accessibility to all.
Vectr stands out as the best budget software for Cricut beginners, especially favored by those who value collaboration. While its features cover most of the tasks, photo editing is not one of those.
Inkscape is a unique entrant in the list of design software, chiefly because it is an open-source program, meaning it is a completely free app. This budget-friendly aspect is a significant draw for hobbyists and professionals alike. When it comes to creating scalable vector designs that are essential for cutting projects, Inkscape shines. The software offers a range of extensions or plugins that add extra functionalities, enhancing its versatility for specialized tasks. However, the software does come with its challenges; the interface may require a bit of learning, and Mac users will find it lacks native support, it’s not an Apple users platform. Nevertheless, its file formats support ensures it plays nicely with Cricut machines, making it a solid option for those who are budget-conscious but still desire a range of features.
Inkscape is one of the best free software for Cricut software, especially with its zero-cost, open-source platform. Its strong focus on vector graphics and extendable functionalities make it a flexible option for crafting custom and complex designs for your cutting machine.
Silhouette Studio brings a host of user-friendly features that are particularly relevant for Cricut users. Starting with its Design Store, which makes graphic design a breeze, offering a myriad of premium designs at your fingertips. In the first place, it’s intended for Silhouette cutting machines, but if you get the Design edition of the Silhouette Studio software you can easily export your creation as SVG to cut with any other machine, there’s no need to convert files. What is awesome about this app is its PixScan technology which allows you to digitize a stamp collection or turn a hand-drawn sketch into a cut job using a camera or scanner.
While those looking for more advanced editing capabilities might find the software a bit limiting. Nonetheless, its compatibility with Cricut machines through SVG export ensures that it’s a solid choice for those prioritizing ease of use and an extensive design library.
Easy Cut Studio stands out for its specialized toolset tailored for cutting projects. What initially catches your eye is the software’s dated yet intuitive user interface. It’s surprisingly easy to navigate and create designs for cutting. Also, it’s not just about basic shapes and texts. One particularly compelling feature is the ‘Trace Image to Shapes’ tool, which lets you convert raster images into cuttable vector shapes with minimal effort. Importantly, the software provides advanced color separation and layer handling, giving you the creative freedom to manage complex, multi-colored designs with ease. While Easy Cut Studio primarily markets itself for use with a range of other cutting machines, it also offers support for Cricut machines via SVG export.
Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, Easy Cut Studio offers a blend of user-friendly design and advanced features, making it a worthy consideration for your Cricut designs. It also has a real-time preview, enabling you to see exactly how your design will look when cut.
CanvasWorkspace seamlessly blends convenience and functionality in its design-focused environment. Originally designed for Brother machines, its ability to export various file formats adds a layer of compatibility with Cricut machines. The platform’s layout is intuitively organized, streamlining the design process and reducing the learning time for newcomers. What sets it apart is its online cloud-based feature that allows you to access your designs from anywhere. On the one hand, it is a massive boon for busy creatives, but on the other, it requires a stable internet connection, which could be a downside for some users. Additionally, it has an impressive variety of built-in free templates for simple designs, ideal for when inspiration strikes on the fly.
CanvasWorkspace offers a feature-rich, flexible design platform that’s tailored for vector graphics, making it the best software for Cricut apart from the original one.
Affinity Designer offers an array of professional-grade features that make it stand out as software compatible with Cricut. One of its most appealing features is the ability to switch between vector and raster modes, giving you the best of both worlds when it comes to design. The software also offers various grid systems, which are invaluable for achieving precise, clean lines—something that Cricut users often seek. With the remarkable zoom capability of up to 1,000,000%, you can delve into the tiniest details of your design, ensuring that what gets cut is pixel-perfect. To make the design process even smoother, Affinity Designer offers customizable shortcuts so you can tailor your workflow exactly how you like it.
Affinity Designer is a robust alternative to other design software. While it may have a steeper learning curve, the absence of a subscription model and the software’s extensive capabilities make it a worthy investment for anyone serious about their Cricut crafting.
Corel Vector is a web-based vector graphics-focused software for Cricut. It provides diverse, pre-made templates and all the tools you may need to make your own designs. The software’s cloud integration is another feather in its cap, ensuring that you can access your craft files when you’re ready to cut them with your Cricut machine, regardless of your location. This app provides a clean and intuitive extremely user-friendly interface making it easier for you to get your designs Cricut-ready. With unlimited cloud storage, you can keep your designs safe, synced, and available anywhere and anytime.
Corel Vector emerges as a solid choice for Cricut users, especially those who need the flexibility to work across different platforms. While it might be costly for hobbyists, it provides powerful vector-editing features to satisfy even pro-designers.
If you like it simple and flexible wherever you go, then Canva is a choice for you. This is one of the most popular design apps among unprofessional creatives. Its drag-and-drop interface is user-friendly to the extreme. Additionally, this free Cricut software platform offers multi-platform support, allowing you to work on your browser and switch to its mobile app when you’re on the move. Lastly, Canva provides a robust collection of a vast library of pre-designed free templates and stock elements including photos, icons, and graphics, covering almost all your design needs. When it comes to compatibility with Cricut, Canva allows you to export your designs as SVG or PNG files, which you can then upload into Design Space for cutting or drawing.
Canva is nice for those who prioritize ease of use and collaborative features. As long as this software is primarily raster-oriented, vector features may be limited, but it’s still an option if you need to create something quick and loose.