Can You Use Cricut Without Design Space?

Can You Use Cricut Without Design Space?

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A Cricut is like the sword of Harpe(the ultimate sword in Greek mythology) for all the DIYers out there. With a Cricut machine you’ll need to make your Cricut designs and for that you’ll need to have a PC software.

Most people prefer using Design Space as this is the original software made by the Cricut company. But sadly it is also very expensive or might not have all the functions you may need. But is there an alternative to Design Space that you can use?

You certainly can. There are various other softwares that you might like more than the original software itself. They all offer various features. Here are some of the alternatives of Design Space:

  1. Make The Cut (MTC)
  2. Sure Cuts A Lot
  3. Silhouette Studio
  4. Inkscape

1. Make the Cut

Need similar features to what Design Space offers? Make The Cut is a popular third party software which offers the same features as Design Space; from maximum design features to excellent compatibility with most die-cutting machines, it offers it all!

Some of its features include,

  • Editing shapes
  • Adding exciting new effects
  • Designing new designs
  • Marking the Cricut pattern

MTC has been in the market for quite a long time making it highly prestigious and a reliable software. It has the capacity to work with a wide array of files as well. Here’s some in-depth features that Make The Cut has to offer;

Fast And Well-Made

Make The Cut is one of the fastest software you’ll ever find. It doesn’t demand much of an effort from your side and works quickly as well.

While other softwares may shut themselves down due to no apparent reason, this software has the capacity to keep working even while working on the most demanding and extensive designs . You can trust MTC to provide decent support with little to no errors.

Easy Editing

Are you a fan of extra handy applications? Well, if you are, this software won’t disappoint you. Along with free-hand drawing, this software also offers a shadowing feature, auto-tracing external font installation and node editing.

There are also a variety of designs you can use such as the lattice design function, jigsaw design system or the extra pre-set design feature.

MTC has Pixel Trace Tool alongside the graphic capacity. With this tool, you can transform even the most complicated design into a vector path so that you can die cut it.

With the TrueType font system you can easily print any type of message of the image.

Next Level Compatibility

This software can work with almost every die-cutting machine which is available in the market. You can make it work with Roland, Craft ROBO, Gazelle, Wishblade and of course Cricut.

Along with that, you won’t have any problems working with SVQ, PDF, EPS, AL, JPG and PNG formats. It can also work well with imported projects from other applications for files like WPC, PS, GSD, OTF, TTF and Al9 etc.

PROS

  • Fast system and reliable
  • Incredible file compatibility
  • Compatible with majority of die-cutting machines
  • A wide array of features available
  • Fully-equipped editing

CONS

  • Works with Cricut Expression only
  • Bugs when paired up with MAC computers.

2. Sure Cuts A Lot

Right after Design Space, people prefer using Sure Cuts A Lot.

Why?

Sure Cuts A Lot works great with a wide array of Cricut machines and many other die-cutting machines as well.

You can edit, draw and design all kinds of stuff as well as transform random images to die-cut designs. It has excellent features which we’ll discuss in-depth;

Extra Plugin And Functions

This software offers a wide array of plugins which you can use to create unique designs. These plugins are compatible with almost every Cricut machine making it extra convenient for you.

There are many functions to use on the side as well. From changing colors to changing the stroke of the brushes. With  zoom in feature, you can zoom in on the design you want to edit with accuracy.

Easily Operatable

Sure Cuts A Lot has a very straightforward interface. You won’t waste your precious hours figuring out how to get the program up and running. The process from setting it up to using it is completely effortless.

You can customize the work table so that it fits your needs. You can easily find the functions you require. You can also organize your files the way you prefer and save them in custom made folders for later use.

When it comes to using this software, you won’t have a single thing to complain about.

High Compatibility

This software works with almost every computer. It is compatible with Mac and PC while offering full support. This software lets you match with the die-cut machine you have. This means that you can pre-set blades as well as any other essential factors before printing.

PROS

  • Has a lot of plugins and functions
  • Offers total of interface and designs
  • Automatic Updates
  • Works well with all die-cut machines

CONS

  • Only allows one project at a time.
  • Some functions are not compatible with Mac.

3. Silhouette Studio

This program is not exactly for die-cutting but rather used for embroidering and textile designing. If you want a practical or a robust design system for your Cricut designs, then Silhouette Studio will suit you well.

It has a powerful editing system along with top-notch rendering capacity. Not only can you create the smaller designs with different layering but also the largest ones as well.

The application works well with almost any machine along with different computers as well. Here are some descriptions of some of its in-depth functions.

Unique Editing Tools

This program has some of the most magnificent tools. From the Pop-Up creator and Sticky Notes that allow unique stamps on your designs and font management system, the Glyphs system and even the Warp Trace; it offers everything.

Silhouette Studio has a Rhinestone tool which has some of the great editing features. You can easily craft some unique rhinestones and place them on your designs or wherever you want for better looks.

Excellent File Integration

The program can work with various different files. You can easily import TTF, GSD, and GST as well as STUDIO and STUDIO3. And different formats like GIF, JPG, TIF and PNG etc.

You can save your projects in various different formats like PDF and SVG and also import files from CorelDraw and Adobe Illustrator as well. But these features are only available in the premium version.

High Compatibility

Silhouette Studio works with any Cricut machine and works on any computer. It is compatible with the operating systems of MacOS and Windows. Installing is a little tricky but still very straightforward.

PROS

  • Comes with helpful editing tools.
  • Works well with different file formats
  • Compatible with different operating systems and die-cutting machines

CONS

  • Includes paid functions.
  • Installing can be a tricky process.

4. Inkscape

Inkscape is an open-source program meaning you can get all the best features for designing free of cost. Being an open-source program you can expect to have tons of tutorials and guides to follow whenever you need them.

Some of its function includes,

  • Cloning
  • Drawing
  • Layering
  • Importing and exporting files

Here’s a summary of some of the features that inkscape has to offer;

Powerful Editing

The editing tool of Inkscape is incomparable with any other editing tools of other softwares. With the editing tool, there is nothing that you will find hard to do.

For example, if you need to fill color in your design, you can choose whether you want blurred, solid or linear. You can also adjust the transparency of the colors and lines and add any style of fonts as needed.

Outstanding Import & Export

Inkscape can import and export any kind of file without any hassle. Along with this, you can also edit files live from the XML editor, convert different files on different formats, and work with command-line options.

What I think you would like is  convenience and speed; You can easily do your projects without wasting any time and without any errors.

Compatibility

Inkscape delivers the best compatibility in the die-cutting design program market. It can work with Windows, Linux- based systems and even Apple. It offers the same kind of features in all operating systems with no limit or restraint.

PROS

  • Great editing system with various features
  • Works with almost all design file formats
  • Compatible with Windows, Windows, and macOS
  • Absolutely Free

CONS

  • Tends to lag in larger projects.
  • Interface is a little complex

FINAL VERDICT

These are the alternatives which you can use for your Cricut machine instead of Design Space. You can choose one of the above programs you find is suitable for your needs.

 I especially like Inkscape but all the above mentioned programs seemed to have great reviews as well!

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