I borrowed a Cricut cutter from the space the other day. What the hell is a Cricut cutter you ask? I didn’t know anything about this thing, but I found out how amazingly rapey the company is.
Lets pretend grandma loves scrap-booking. She wants to cut letters and shapes out of paper all day and glue them on shit. Her neighbor Betsy’s scrapbook is tight as fuck, so Grandma decides to up her game and drop $300 on a Cricut cutter.
She can’t use her own designs on it, but it comes with a nifty cartridge that has one, very festive looking font. That’s fun for a while, but Christmas is coming up and Grandma has a hard on for snowflake shapes. The craft store sells additional cartridges for $30-&70 a pop.
While grandma is there, she might as well pick up the Disney princess cartridge, and that 101 jesus fish collection…
Anyway, you get where this is going. Grandma goes broke wasting money on bullshit fonts when there’s other craft cutters that allow custom designs.
This company also sued a couple 3rd party software companies for allowing users to cut their own designs. This means in order to use the thing with your own designs you need older software and firmware. I added a tutorial at the end of this post, because yeah, that’s some bullshit.
Here’s a few things I made machine. It is pretty damn fun once you get past the evil.
Ok, so that was all standard paper craft stuff. The real fun came when I found this at Hobby Lobby:
My inner 13 year old nerd girl totally squeed. So I grabbed a broken blade, cut it flat for scraping and hooked it up.
A little bit of paint and the results are Bill fucking Murray, in all his rainbowy, butterfly glory.
Tutorial as promised. I spent some time rounding up software and fucking with it till it worked with my Cricut personal on Win 7. I’m sure someone out there will find this info very useful, so here ya go.
You’ll need to track down:
- Sure Cuts A Lot 1 or 2 (3 no longer supports Cricut)
- you may need a different driver than comes packaged with the software: ftdiport.inf
Now check your firmware on your Cricut. Power it on, and the firmware version will scroll across the display. Are you 1.1 or 1.3? If you are, you’re good to go! Just run Sure Cuts A Lot. DO NOT update your firmware or Sure Cuts A Lot will stop working.
Older/Later firmware? You get to do it the hard way. You will also need:
- OLD Trial Version of Cricut Design Studio with Firmware version 1.1 0r 1.3 (for personal cutter)
- NEW Trail version of Cricut Design Studio available on the Cricut site
I tried just running the old installer, but it didn’t work on my machine. So I switched out the firmware in to the new installer. Unpackage the installer for the OLD trial version with 7zip or similar. Navigate to the firmware folder and find the appropriate file. For cricut personal you want to grab “cricut_v1_1.enc”
Firmware versions for other models:
personal: v1.1, v1.3
expression: v2.1, v2.3
OK, got the file? Good. Now you want to find the new firmware and replace it with the old firmware. Unpackage your NEW trial version and navigate to the same folder. In my case, I’m going to replace v1.34 with v1.1. Rename your old firmware file with the new firmware name and replace it.
Now just run the NEW installer.
Once Cricut Design Studio is installed, click on Help > Update Cricut Firmware. Follow the instructions there to update. That’s all you need the Cricut software for. You can uninstall after that.
You should be able to cut your own SVGs and TTFs in Sure Cuts A Lot now. Tada!