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  • Lawrence Ng

Cricut Maker 3 Review: A Premium Electronic Cutting Machine Made for Consumers

Today, let’s talk about the ultimate cutting machine for all your crafting needs. If you’ve heard of it, let us tell you more about what it can (and cannot) do.

Cricut Maker 3
Cricut Maker 3

It is a powerful and versatile cutting machine that lets you work with more than 300 materials, from the most delicate paper and fabric to tougher materials like leather and balsa wood, with incredible precision. One feature that sets the Maker 3 apart is what they call the Adaptive Tool System, and according to Cricut, it is the only system that intelligently controls the direction of your blade and cut pressure to match the material, with support for the widest range of tools for cutting, scoring, writing and adding decorative effect.

Setting It Up

I was a bit intimidated by the Cricut Maker 3, thinking something as powerful as this must be complicated to use. Well, it couldn’t be further from the truth. I visited the main Cricut website to create a Cricut ID and account. The user interface is clean, simple and easy to use, making setting up and registering the machine a real breeze. You can choose to connect either by USB cord or via Bluetooth, after which I simply followed the on-screen instructions, including downloading of Design Space and we were all set to go. You will be prompted to do a test cut with a piece of Smart Vinyl (provided in the box) to complete the set-up process.

Physically, the Cricut Maker 3 weighs a solid 7kg, has a form factor similar to a printer and measures about 56cm wide. So be prepared that you will need to dedicate a proper space to house your Cricut machine and for putting your crafts together. Wherever you choose to place it, bear in mind you will need to cater for a 10-inch clearance behind your machine for the mat to move to during the process of cutting.

What else do you need?

Besides the machine, there are 3 other important things you need to figure out before the crafting begins.

Cricut Official Website
Cricut Official Website

1. Design Space

You would have already downloaded this onto your desktop (it also works on the iPad and other mobile devices) as part of the earlier set-up. This is where the magic happens – you can start browsing ready-to-make projects and images, or if you’re confident enough, simply create your own designs for greeting cards, stickers, labels, cake-toppers and more.

Cricut Tools
Cricut Tools

2. Tools and Accessories

In terms of blades, the machine comes with the standard fine point blade which will be able to cut most lightweight to mediumweight materials like cardstock, vinyl and faux leather. There are a whole range of other blades for cutting materials such as wood, chipboard, acrylic, fabrics etc which you can easily order online. Also, there is a basic range of accessories you may need such as the portable trimmer, scoring stylus, weeder, scraper, tweezer.

If you want to take your decorative skills up a notch, you can also explore the range of Cricut pens that can help you write beautiful personal messages on cards, or even draw perfect shapes and intricate designs. Fine point pens, metallic pens, gel pens – the sky’s the limit!

Cricut Materials
Cricut Materials

3. Materials

Cricut has an impressive range of materials to satisfy every crafter’s dream – from removable to permanent vinyl in almost every colour you can imagine, iron-ons, stickers, adhesive foils, cardstock, basswood and the list goes on. They also have a special "Smart" range of these products for the Cricut Maker 3 – not only do you not need to use a mat with these products, it can also cut up to two times faster and cut projects up to 12 feet long. As you would have already guessed, the Smart range of products are sold at a higher price point.

Cricut Maker 3 at work
Cricut Maker 3 at work

If you’ve continued reading to this point and are very excited about the prospect of owning a Cricut Maker 3, thank you for staying with us! Frankly speaking, here’s where it might start to get a tad overwhelming. The possibilities are endless, but I simply did not know where to start.

Lucky for you, you don’t have to worry about that. There is a huge online Cricut community to support you and I’ve scoured through tons of online resources for tips, tricks and inspiration, so you don’t have to. Here’s a list of resources you can start with to make sure you have the basics covered. Knowledge and confidence is a big part of enjoying the Cricut experience so I hope these few resources will help you take that first step towards fulfilling your crafting dreams.

1. Tutorial videos on Cricut Website

Quick video guides from navigating Design Space and its features, how to create basic vinyl labels, pop-up cards and iron-on t-shirts, to instructions on cutting and application of vinyls.

2. Official Cricut YouTube Channel

Basic Cricut 101 tutorials and more

3. Cricut Club Singapore and Malaysia Facebook Group

Tap on the community of like-minded crafters who share a love for Cricut products and its creations. Here’s where you can get inspiration from the projects shared by the group members, and also ask any questions you may have. The "experts" and "ambassadors" of the group are usually very quick to respond and engage, which makes it a great experience to be part of this group. From time to time, there are also FB live demonstrations where you get to watch the entire process of creating various crafts.

4. Community YouTube Channels

Mr. Crafty Pants

Jennifer Maker

Makers Gonna Learn

5. TikTok

For more hacks, tricks, tips and free SVGs, simply type ‘Cricut’ into the search bar.

Here were the two projects we attempted.

Tech360tv customised Ang bao
Tech360tv customised Ang bao

Customised mugs with Monstera leaf motifs
Customised mugs with Monstera leaf motifs

Priced at S$569 on the Cricut Flagship store on Lazada, the Cricut Maker 3 is not for everyone. It is a premium product, with a wide variety of materials available for use along with it and if you are passionate about crafting, I can only imagine endless hours of fun and enjoyment spent perfecting your creations. It is, however, somewhat limiting that you have to shell out more money to buy their Smart products in order to enjoy the unique features of the Maker 3 which is to cut two times faster and up to 12 feet long.

In Singapore, Cricut products are sold exclusively at Challenger, Harvey Norman, Lazada, POPULAR Bookstore, Shopee, Spotlight and Synced by District.

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