How to Use Cricut Expression With Computer?

Do-it-yourself projects are becoming more and more popular these days. Whether you want to create party needs, wall decors, window decals, or any other forms of artsy products, all of these are possible to be processed and created without using too many extra and separate materials.

Back in the scrapbooking days, manual punches and cutters were very time-consuming and had limited size possibilities. With the Cricut Expression Personal Cutting Machine, you can select your image, load your paper, press a button, and viola; Happy Scrapping!

You’ll be amazed at what the Cricut Expression machine has to offer. It is medium-sized and hence portable, and can cut quickly and easily. Just select the image you want and press cut and you’re done.

Can You Connect The Cricut Expression to a Computer?

Cricut Expression was originally connected to the computer through Cricut’s own software called Cricut Craft Room. Unfortunately, it has been discontinued since the Cricut Design Space was launched. Now, to connect the Cricut Expression to a computer, you need a third party software, two of which are;

  • Make The Cut (MTC)
  • Sir Cuts A Lot (SCAL)

Using Cricut Expression with a computer was pretty comfortable in the past with Cricut Craft Room. Now let us discuss which of the two softwares (MTC and SCAL) would be the right fit for you in its stead.

Third-Party Softwares Used to Connect Cricut Expression to Your Computer

When Cricut discontinued Cricut Craft Room, people started searching for other software which they could replace the previous one with. And so came 2 third party software insight,

  1. Make the Cut(MTC)
  2. Sir Cuts A lot (SCAL)
  1. Make The Cut(MTC)

Make The Cut is a software system that can be used in your Cricut Cutting Machine. Aside from Cricut, this software can also be used for other die-cutting machines such as the Craft ROBO, Gazelle, Roland, and Wishblade.

It has lattice tools that convert your raster images, which allow you to create vector paths for an easy cutting process.You have to use Inkscape or other programs alike to be able to move, add, or delete the individual nodes in your SVG files to make everything under your control.

The problem with using MTC is that it is very tricky and it is also very hard to find the plugin required to use it with a Cricut (pccplugin.dll).

  1. Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL)

Sure Cuts A Lot or SCAL is also not just purposely made for Cricut machine but for different other die-cutting machines as well, such as Craft ROBO, Silhouette, and Wishblade. The limitation to this is that software system is compatible with Windows operating systems only.

One of the most significant advantages SCAL has over Design Space is that you can use it even offline. On Design Space, not only do you need to have an active internet connection to cut, but also you need to have a connection to even do your designing. And that’s the reason a lot of crafters have relied on SCAL over the years.

You can have full control of your designs without worrying about its cartridges.The firmware update that you need to install on your Cricut machine is not compatible with Mac users.

My preferred choice between these two softwares is SCAL, so let me explain how to use it in detail.

How to Connect Cricut Expression to Computer (By Using Sure Cuts A Lot)?

Follow the following steps to use Cricut Expression on your computer,

1) Install version 1.0.11106.0  of Cricut Design Studio in a Windows XP virtual machine.

2) Plug your Cricut Expression 1 on your computer. Hold down the stop button and while holding down the stop button, turn your Cricut Expression on using the power button.

3) When it turns on, stop pressing the power button and continue holding down the stop button. Once the lights are on, you can take your finger off the stop button. Nothing will appear on the screen at first. But that is OK.

4) Use your virtual machine software and assign your Cricut (which will appear as an FTDI USB to Serial adapter in your Virtual Machine software) to the virtual machine. Your XP virtual machine(VM) should behave as you have just plugged in your Cricut.

5) Open up the Cricut Design Studio. Click “Continue in Trial Mode.” Your firmware will still get updated in Trial mode.

6) Go to Help -> Update Firmware. If you are doing all this on your laptop, make sure it has lots of battery life.

7) Select “Cricut Expression” and click Update Firmware Now. The update will start. Don’t close any programs on the computer/laptop or touch anything on the Cricut. Soon you will get a box showing the progress of your update. It usually takes about ten minutes. Make sure the computer doesn’t turn off or go to sleep. If the firmware update is interrupted at all, you will risk damaging your Cricut.

8)When the upgrade is done, the Cricut will move its cutting tool a little bit and then reboot. Do not touch it, and don’t hold the stop button like you did before. Just leave it as is. Soon you should see a screen reading “Cricut V2.1 OK”. If you see this, then congratulations, you have downgraded!

How To Connect Cricut Expression To Cricut Design Space?

Any machine created before the Explore family of machines qualifies as a legacy machine as it is not compatible with Cricut’s current design software, Design Space. The first Explore machine was launched in 2014.

Cricut no longer produces these machines. Legacy machines include Cricut Personal, Create, Expression, Expression 2, Mini, Cake, Cake Mini, and Imagine.


Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Even though the Cricut Expression is old and there are friendlier and updated Cricut machines available. However, it is still very popular among crafters as it’s a good cutter that’s easy to use. And you can always find this cutting machine a good and reliable one for all your craft projects, especially if you are using your passion for crafts as your favorite pastime. We hope that through this blog, you can now use Cricut Expression with your computer. Happy Crafting!

Leave a Comment