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A Printer For People With Terrible Penmanship and Scissor Skills

Illustration for article titled A Printer For People With Terrible Penmanship and Scissor Skills

Most printer news these days involves expensive 3D models designed to create almost anything from melted plastic. But Cricut's new Explore model still deals with paper, just not how your inkjet at home does. Like its predecessor, using a small blade on its 'print head' the Explore can actually slice up a page however you want. But this new model also introduces the ability to draw any design using a marker of your choice.

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For the craftfully-challenged, this is their knight in shining armor.

The Cricut Explore uses a small German carbide blade to cut out any design on a letter-sized sheet. And everything from cards to invites can be created using accompanying software that gives users access to a database of over 50,000 images and designs (starting at 99 cents each or all you can east for $10 a month.) So even if you also suck at designing something on a computer, the software will make you look like an Etsy veteran.

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Illustration for article titled A Printer For People With Terrible Penmanship and Scissor Skills

And with the Explore's newfound skills at handling a fancy marker, you don't even have to sign a card yourself, or try to master calligraphy for your upcoming wedding invites. Instead of cutting, it will draw any design on a page, but the results will look like you handled the pen yourself. It's the perfect ruse.

Available soon for $300, the Cricut does have a few other expenses in addition to the optional online service. Every sheet has to be adhered to a reusable stiff backing in order for the cutting head to do its thing, but over time they will have to be replaced for best results. But compared to buying inkjet cartridges, it won't break the bank. [Cricut]

Illustration for article titled A Printer For People With Terrible Penmanship and Scissor Skills
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DISCUSSION

Cricut stuff is pretty well rendered useless by the fact that they require you to use their designs (typically sold on $30-40 hardware cartridges no less) to the point of suing a company out of business that made software to allow it to be used as a regular plotter/cutter. Several of my aunts actually run a side business doing vinyl cutting crafts, so I have some familiarity with this stuff. There are other desktop cutters out there that don't have these ridiculous restrictions, any of those would be a better deal.