When using a Cricut machine, one of the most common questions people ask is whether they need a printer. The answer is not a straightforward one, as it depends on what kind of projects you plan to create and how you plan to use your machine.
While some Cricut users find a printer to be an essential tool, others have found workarounds that allow them to create stunning projects without one.
A printer is not necessary when using a Cricut machine, but there are some benefits to having one. In this blog post, I will discuss the pros and cons of using a printer with your Cricut and help you decide if it’s something you need for your crafting needs.
Understanding the Cricut Machine
For those who are new to the world of Cricut, it’s important to understand what the machine is and how it works. Essentially, a Cricut machine is an electronic cutting machine that allows you to create intricate designs and cut them out of a variety of materials.
Instead of printing your design, it cuts it out of paper, vinyl, fabric, and other materials. The machine works by connecting to your computer or mobile device and using software to create and cut your designs.
Print Then Cut
One of the benefits of having a printer is that you can create Print Then Cut projects. I have found Print Then Cut to be one of the most useful features of my machine. This setting allows me to print a design on my home printer and then have my Cricut cut around the edges with precision, without the need for scissors.
To use Print Then Cut, I first create my design in Cricut Design Space and then select the Print Then Cut option. The software will add black registration marks around the image, indicating where to cut. I then load my printed design onto a mat and place it in the Cricut machine. The machine scans the registration marks and cuts the design with precision.
This is a great way to create complex projects that would be a lot of work to create with just vinyl alone. I personally really enjoy making die-cut stickers.
Some great print and cut projects include:
- Greeting cards
Be aware that the Print Then Cut feature is not supported on the Cricut Joy.
Another reason you might need a printer is for sublimation projects. A sublimation printer is a special type of printer that uses heat to transfer dye onto various materials. The dye is transferred onto a special paper, and then the paper is placed onto the material to be printed on. The heat from the printer causes the dye to turn into a gas, which then bonds with the material and creates a permanent image.
Sublimation printing is perfect for creating high-quality, full-color prints on a variety of materials, including fabrics, ceramics, and metals. This type of printing is often used for creating custom t-shirts, mugs, and other personalized items.
For sublimation, you have to buy special ink, paper, and a printer that can handle sublimation ink. Not all regular printers can do this, so if you are interested in sublimation, make sure to get a printer that is compatible.
Pros and Cons of Using a Printer with Your Cricut
There are both pros and cons to using a printer with your Cricut machine. Some people find that the benefits outweigh the negatives, while others prefer to not use a printer at all. Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument:
- You can create print and cut projects.
- You can do sublimation projects if you own a sublimation printer.
- The ability to add personal touches to your projects. For example, you can print out photos to use in your designs. This can be especially useful for creating personalized gifts or decorations.
- It can be expensive to buy a printer and keep it maintained.
- Using a printer with your Cricut can be a bit of a learning curve, especially if you are new to the world of crafting.
- For sublimation, you have to buy special ink, paper, and a special printer that can handle sublimation ink.
Overall, using a printer with your Cricut can be a great way to save time and achieve precision in your crafting projects. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.
Making the Decision: Do You Really Need a Printer with Your Cricut?
The short answer to whether you need a printer to use a Cricut is no. The Cricut is a standalone device that operates independently of a printer. In fact, Cricut machines don’t even have the capability to print. Instead, they use a cutting mat and blade to cut your designs from a variety of materials.
A printer isn’t necessary for every Cricut project, but it can be helpful. If you work with materials like vinyl that don’t require printing, a printer may not be needed. However, for projects involving printed designs or the “Print then Cut” feature, a printer is necessary.
Consider the cost of ink and paper before investing in a printer. If you’ll use it frequently, it’s worth the investment. Otherwise, it may not be necessary.
Do you have a printer with your Cricut machine? Let me know in the comments below! And, as always, happy crafting!