Cricut sells digital cutting machines that cut several types of materials for craft projects. The Cricut machine makes it easy and fun to craft essentials for home use and small businesses. The Cricut machines come in five different models:
- Cricut Explore Air 2
- Cricut Explore 3
- Cricut Joy
- Cricut Maker 3
- Cricut Maker
Depending on the projects you like to make, each machine will cut different materials using Circuit’s Design Space software. Cricut users should be aware that the current version of Cricut Design Space can no longer support several types of machines. They include:
- The Original Cricut Explore
- Cricut Explore Air
- Cricut Explore 1
- The Cricut Cuttlebug (Removed from the market in 2019).
Cricut Design Space
Cricut Design Space is a program that allows users to create their Cricut projects. The software is an app installed on a desktop computer, or mobile device, supporting Android and Apple. The software provides a Canvas for users to create their designs.
To use Design Space is free; to use Cricut’s designs is not. You will need to pay per design you use or purchase a monthly access pass, which allows you to use any design from their catalog. However, you can find designs online and upload them to your Design Space account for free. Or you can purchase files from places like Etsy and upload your designs that way too.
The Cricut Joy is a small, powerful cutting machine that is portable; people use it around the house or when traveling. The Cricut Joy comes with other small tools such as:
- Cutting Blade
- Pen Holder
- Foil Tip
The compact design of the Cricut Joy is convenient, especially at the blade area, where its width is 11.5″ versus 4.5.”
Crafters who use the Cricut Joy can easily create:
- Wall Decals and Borders
- Mug Decals
- Infusible Ink Projects (Cricut based item)
- Decals for T-shirts
- Adhesive vinyl labels
- Cards (Biggest claim to fame)
The Cricut Joy is easy to use with minor setup or direction once out of the box. Currently, the Cricut Joy costs $179. The machine is perfect for all basic crafts for home use and small businesses. Cricut Joy users can use the machine to begin a profitable business.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Cricut Joy
Like any craft machine you purchase, there are pros and cons. Some crafters purchase a Cricut Joy to have a compact Cricut they can take with them; others are just starting their crafting journey and want to start small before upgrading to a bigger machine. Regardless of where you are in your crafting journey, a Cricut Joy will have advantages and disadvantages.
- The Cricut Joy is easy to use and convenient for beginners.
- It’s the cheapest Cricut on the market.
- Users can make projects easily.
- It is portable and easy to store.
- The machine has many free projects in its Design Space software.
- Users don’t have to use a cutting mat.
- Cricut Joy users can use the machine without laptops, computers, or mobile devices such as an iPad or phones.
- The Cricut Joy machines come with over 4000 fonts that allow users to explore, and the devices also enable users to download fonts from the computer.
Disadvantages of Using a Cricut Joy
- The Cricut Joy uses unique tools and accessories.
- Users must manually switch the blade and the pen when the design involves cutting and writing.
- Users have to break large designs into smaller cuts.
- The machine does not cut many types of materials.
- The Cricut Joy is a straightforward machine that does not have enough pressure to cut heavy leather, wood, or emboss metal.
- Materials cut are limited to dimensions of 5′ on one side.
- The blades need regular replacement.
Setting Up Your Cricut Joy
The Cricut Joy is easy to set up when you follow the directions from the manual. You will need to connect the machine to your desktop, Wi-Fi, or phone and set it up according to the guided instructions. If you are new to the Cricut family, you will have to download the Design Space software or app to begin working on your projects. When you are ready to use your Cricut Joy, you will need to install your desired tool, the blade, or pen.
When working on a project, you should select a project you want to work on and customize it to your preferred choice—customizing lets you check whether the sizing is appropriate for the craft you wish to make. When changing the font, you can click the edit button on the toolbar. After that, you should click the green button on the software program to make the craft. The machine cuts and writes according to the directions set in the software. You can pause or even cancel your project if there is an issue during the cutting or drawing process.
The Cricut Joy machine connects to your phone, computer, iPad, or Bluetooth technology. You can create designs using the software then send directions to the machine to make the end-product. The small blade in the Cricut Joy cuts papers, vinyl, and other crafting materials depending on the advice given by the Design Space software.
The Cricut Joy is Convenient
The Cricut Joy is easy and fast to use. A project can take as little as 15 minutes to complete letting the crafter create many tasks in a short period. Since your Cricut Joy works through Wi-Fi and Cricut Design Space on your desktop, laptop, or phone, it does not have buttons on the machine itself.
The Cricut Joy acts as a companion for Cricut to their Explore Air 2 and Cricut Maker. Many Cricut users have more than one machine, especially if they use the machines for a small business.
A Cricut Joy is a great first step into the crafting world. You can accomplish a lot with such a tiny machine. You may become so addicted that you want to purchase another larger machine. While the Cricut Joy is small, it is mighty and a joy to work with.