Relabel these chips with me in real time (1 Viewer)

That's it! I've got to run. I hope this rushed project is helpful. I'd love to hear feedback and suggestions on how to improve the process. With good design and a good printer, I think the results are pretty good. The feel of these is pretty great too.

John Lewis Christmas GIF by John Lewis & Partners
 
Sorry, one last thing. I think the thickness of these are fine. But if you want thicker, you can just double up the label paper after printing but before laminating.
 
Fantastic. I walk past the Cricut section all the time and think, someday I’ll pull the trigger on one of those. Maybe today…
 
I’d be curious to learn more about the cutting alignment problem.

Seems weird that if the templates line up properly in the software, that the alignment gets progressively worse as you move down the sheet.

Seems like maybe the Cricut software is shifting the cut circles by a certain amount per row and/or column, rather than resizing the entire sheet. (If it were the latter, then the size of the circles would change.)

If my theory above is correct, maybe if the template had horizontal and vertical cut lines in a grid connecting the circles that would preserve their spacing?

IMG_1398.jpeg
 
I imagine it has more to do with where the sheet is placed on the cutting mat and although it looks accurate on one corner, cuts get worse towards the opposite end.
 
I imagine it has more to do with where the sheet is placed on the cutting mat and although it looks accurate on one corner, cuts get worse towards the opposite end.

But if it were just the sheet being misplaced, shouldn’t the amount of misalignment be consistent?
 
But if it were just the sheet being misplaced, shouldn’t the amount of misalignment be consistent?
Probably both misaligned in the software and physically on the sheet. For me, even if I had it perfect on the software, I’m not confident I could get it perfectly on the mat. As we know, chip labels are small and even being 1mm off is quite bad.
 
As I do not
Fantastic. I walk past the Cricut section all the time and think, someday I’ll pull the trigger on one of those. Maybe today…
Try eBay first. I think lots of folks buy them, use once, then sell. I like the Maker 3. No experience with other models

I highly recommend using the Print then Cut feature in Cricut. It will prevent any misaligned cuts. Upload your artwork directly to Cricut and allow it to print.
Check out the Print Then Cut feature of the Cricut. I haven’t had time to write up my process, but it’s more accurate though you sacrifice printable area.
Yeah, I do not have my own printer at the moment. I am in a temporary living situation and so have to use a shared printer for the building. I imagine that feature would really help! Maybe one of you can extend this thread sometime to show that process?
 
As for misalignment, the sheet was not perfectly aligned which is the reason the first label is slightly off. The progressively worse alignment is due to Cricut applying a different spacing. Had I had more time, I would have double checked the spacing in Cricut and adjusted.

As others have said, I think the print then cut feature in Cricut probably avoids this issue.
 
Yeah, I do not have my own printer at the moment. I am in a temporary living situation and so have to use a shared printer for the building. I imagine that feature would really help! Maybe one of you can extend this thread sometime to show that process?
Yes, you will be able to use your print dialogue from within Cricut to save your print as a PDF and then print wherever you have access.

Tons of video tutorials on YouTube.
 
I tried that initially - to use print then cut but printing to PDF - but Cricut did not give me the option to print to PDF, unlike all other programs on my mac. See screenshot:
1704038526410.png


When I did some online reading, other folks in a similar situation noted the inability to print to PDF and suggested saving the file as a PDF and then manually lining up the file. So basically what I did. But maybe saving the PDF from Cricut would help with spacing.

There may be a work around to Cricut not letting me print to PDF. E.g., a virtual printer installed on my computer. I will try to trouble shoot that sometime and I will post if I have any success. This is def a learning process for me.

Would love to see process and results from others like @jamesjkim and @TheOffalo !
 
You were so close!
IMG_8227.jpeg

The system print dialogue might pop up behind the Cricut software window (hidden from view) meaning you need to drag the Cricut window down and away to see it. From there you should be able to Save as PDF per usual.
 
You were so close!
View attachment 1247792
The system print dialogue might pop up behind the Cricut software window (hidden from view) meaning you need to drag the Cricut window down and away to see it. From there you should be able to Save as PDF per usual.

Season 3 Wall GIF by The Simpsons


Thanks! I had toggled that button before but it did not seem to do anything so I did not pursue it more. The print button stays greyed out and no printer dialog box will appear until you press print. See here:
1704040698245.png


Reading online, it seems Cricut (at least on macs) requires a printer to be installed before it will activate the print button. So, I tried creating a fake printer. I clicked Apple icon -> System Preferences -> Printers & Scanners. Then "+" sign to add printer. Then I just filled in the below. I got a warning that it could not connect to the printer, but told it to install it anyway.
1704041308419.png


I went back to Cricut and voila! It works. The system dialog does pop up behind Cricut, but I am able to save it as a PDF no problem. I think this is a helpful work around as a lot of folks don't have printers or if they do, it is a lower resolution printer. By saving the PDF this way, you can get it professionally printed and still cut it out on your machine at home.
1704041497498.png


The Print dialog:
1704041544239.png
 

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I’m almost ready to pull the trigger on a Maker 3. Can justify the expense because my gf also has a use for it in her freelance work.

Some questions:
  • Is it a bad idea to get a Cricut-refurbished unit ($100 savings)?
  • What accessories should I get besides a cutting mat?
  • Do I really need a Cricut-brand smoothing tool, or can I improvise something at home?
  • Is the included blade adequate to get through both the textured laminate and the vinyl, or should I get another attachment?
  • Lastly, not sure which vinyl I should get. I’ve bought various waterproof vinyl in the past, but wondering how thick I can go with the addition of laminate.
 
@Taghkanic I only have experience with the less expensive Cricut Explorer Air 2, but for making labels you don't need fancy features or accessories. It just needs to be able to cut precisely! (The Explore model I have has a second slot for a scoring attachment, which has been helpful when I've made custom tuck boxes, which I think the Maker has too. So if you get into that you might need a scoring pen.)

Not sure about refurb vs new, but since you just need it to perform its primary function I would hope a manufacture-refurb would be just as good.

I've used old credit/gift cards to squeegee out wrinkles and bubbles and what not; no need to get a Cricut-brand smoothing tool (or other Cricut-branded tools if generics are available).

There should be a material setting on the Cricut which controls how much pressure it applies with the cutting knife. There are also some settings that will do multiple cut passes. According to this article, the Maker 3 can cut through various vinyl materials with the included fine-point blade. I've had no trouble having it cut through my laminated vinyl sticker. And as I mentioned I've made tuck boxes before which is done on card stock that I then laminate and it can cut through that too (I have to use one of the 2-pas settings).

As far as vinyl sticker paper goes, I've tried 4-5 different brands and really didn't come across any big differences enough to recommend one over another. I use glossy vinyl sticker paper with a matte clear self-adhesive laminate. That seems to give the best results, as glossy vinyl and glossy laminate makes it look too shiny and bumper-stickery (though will give you the thinnest laminated labels), and matte-matte is too muted. The glossy vinyl allows colors to pop, and the matte laminate just brings it down to earth a little.

When I started making my own labels years ago, there weren't a lot of choices for matte self-adhesive laminate (I don't have a laminating machine). This was the one I bought and used with great success. Now there are more options, including textured self-adhesive laminates. I haven't tried them yet, but search for "LA LLAMA" on Amazon to see different textured options.

Definitely use the Print Then Cut functionality on the Cricut for the most precise results. You print on the vinyl (with the orientation marks), laminate, then feed to the Cricut. I usually format the labels into quadrants and then cut smaller laminate pieces and just laminate the different sections on the vinyl instead of the entire sheet. That saves on laminate material, and since it comes in a roll, helps mitigate dealing with a larger piece of laminate that wants to curl up.
 
I've used the Cricut Maker to do fine detail work (like railings on small architectural models). If you're going to be doing fine detail, you may want to get the strong grip mat, as the vinyl can shift slightly when cutting really small parts. If you're just making circles for chip labels, the standard grip mats will likely be ok.

Also, you may need to play around with the settings when cutting. Using the vinyl setting may be ok, but you can fine-tune it to add more pressure if needed.
Also, I create all my art in Illustrator and save as SVG and import that into the Cricut Design Space. Amazingly accurate.

There's a little trick with the blades as well. Once you see one starting to wear and not cutting as well, you remove it from the Cricut, and stab it a number of times into a crumpled ball of aluminum foil. It sounds nuts, but it does work at sharpening it some, and extending the life of the blade. Cheers!
 
I’m almost ready to pull the trigger on a Maker 3.
My research indicated the Maker 3 is the more capable of the machines. I am happy with mine.

Is it a bad idea to get a Cricut-refurbished unit ($100 savings)?
I bought a used one off eBay for significant savings. But it's always a bit of a roll of the die. Make sure seller says it is complete (cord, blade) and in working order.

What accessories should I get besides a cutting mat?
Here is what I got:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07STGLY6J - (really useful)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0CBR565YY - (they offered a variety pack, but not now; standard grip seems to work best)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B092ZZSNCW - (I have not used yet)

Do I really need a Cricut-brand smoothing tool, or can I improvise something at home?
You can probably improvise something. But the tool pack was $10 and they work great.

Is the included blade adequate to get through both the textured laminate and the vinyl, or should I get another attachment?
Yes, after fiddling with settings. But if you buy used, keep in mind the blade might be dulled already and you'll need to replace it.

Lastly, not sure which vinyl I should get. I’ve bought various waterproof vinyl in the past, but wondering how thick I can go with the addition of laminate.
For the textured lamination, get the Llama brand. The best two options are fine mesh and crisp linen:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BMSCKY17
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BMS1DJFH

For the printing vinyl, I used this water-proof matte paper because glossy smears on my crappy printer. With a good printer, you probably can use glossy vinyl:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B085F43Y1B
 
One thing I am slightly confused about with the Maker 3 is how to ensure a full bleed.

If I am understanding it correctly, Print Then Cut would seem to expect a cut on the outer edge of the artwork. But my design would want the cut to be within the bleed, since even a 1/2-millimeter offset would lead to white outlining.

Is there a way to work around this? I’ve watched some YouTube videos, but these are mainly uploaded by crafters doing projects which don’t require bleeds.
 
One thing I am slightly confused about with the Maker 3 is how to ensure a full bleed.

If I am understanding it correctly, Print Then Cut would seem to expect a cut on the outer edge of the artwork. But my design would want the cut to be within the bleed, since even a 1/2-millimeter offset would lead to white outlining.

Is there a way to work around this? I’ve watched some YouTube videos, but these are mainly uploaded by crafters doing projects which don’t require bleeds.

There’s an Add Bleed option in the Print Then Cut dialog box.
1709565382355.png


You’d want to space the labels out a little to accommodate this otherwise the bleed from each label may run into the ones around it.
 
Thanks. How does that work? Do I size up the art before printing? Presumably it needs some specification of how much to crop off.
 
Thanks. How does that work? Do I size up the art before printing? Presumably it needs some specification of how much to crop off.
Unlike if you were sending something out to be printed where you’d want to make sure to build in a bleed and request to have the cut be a specific size within, you shouldn’t have to do anything with your art before importing it into the Cricut app.

I think the software just detects what colors are around the edges of the design elements and extends them outward a mm or two (probably 1/16th or 1/8th of an inch). I don’t have any off cuts handy to show it but if you have lots of different colors around the edges of your labels it might print out looking kind of blobby looking but the cutout should look like the original design element.

Here's Cricut's description:

1709570899690.png


I believe other printers like Sticker Mule will, if you don't specify a bleed but want your design to be printed right to the edge, also create the bleed for you in a similar process.
 
Unlike if you were sending something out to be printed where you’d want to make sure to build in a bleed and request to have the cut be a specific size within, you shouldn’t have to do anything with your art before importing it into the Cricut app.

I think the software just detects what colors are around the edges of the design elements and extends them outward a mm or two (probably 1/16th or 1/8th of an inch). I don’t have any off cuts handy to show it but if you have lots of different colors around the edges of your labels it might print out looking kind of blobby looking but the cutout should look like the original design element.

Here's Cricut's description:

View attachment 1286083

I believe other printers like Sticker Mule will, if you don't specify a bleed but want your design to be printed right to the edge, also create the bleed for you in a similar process.

Wow, that makes things easy. Thanks.
 
Well, I took the Cricut (Maker 3) plunge, and am hoping I won’t regret this purchase. So far, not so good.

I’ve spent about 6.5 hours trying to get it to behave, and have run into a host of odd problems. I may be doing things wrong, but already I am deep in various message board discussions looking for workarounds. The issues encountered so far are:

(1) And this is hugely annoying—it seems that when you use the Print & Cut function, the software massively downgrades the resolution of the art. Like, down to 100 dpi. Which is not adequate at all.

(2) The workaround for the above which many suggest is to output your piece to PDF from the Print & Cut menu, then open the Cricut-generated PDF in Photoshop or the like, and *reinsert your hi-res artwork* to fit their template... Then save it at a proper resolution before manually printing it yourself. You would think that would be a straightforward operation, but it is not. Cricut’s PDF output is... weird. The spacing between my labels was completely changed, so each one had to be manually repositioned again.

(3) Due to the vagaries of print dialogues and output from different programs, I noticed that my corrected (hi-res) printout did not perfectly align with their (lo-res) one. But it’s going to take a lot of trial and error to figure out how to get that right.

(4) The Maker 3 does “scan” your print before cutting, so it would appear some correction occurs if things are not falling quite properly. When I finally cut the vinyl, the cut lines were mostly centered on the labels. However, the cut lines result in a label that is smaller than the artwork submitted. I designed this to make a 26mm circle, but it cuts a 24mm one. Maybe it does that automatically to create bleeds, but if so then I have to size up the template to get it to finish at the right size.

(5) Lastly, and this is the oddest one: Though I submitted the art with perfect circles—generated in a layout program—Cricut interpreted these as wobbly circles. The cuts are close to round, but not actually perfectly round. I have no idea why.

Note that I did go through their elaborate printer-to-cutter calibration process before trying all that.

As noted, I am “only” 6.5 hours in with the machine. Probably I’ll figure out a way to trick the Cricut into cutting a grid of circles. Which ought to be an incredibly basic task. But so far it is proving frustrating. If I did not have some background in prepress work, I would have quit by now and returned it. Grrrrrr
 
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Well, I took the Cricut (Maker 3) plunge, and am hoping I won’t regret this purchase. So far, not so good.

I’ve spent about 6.5 hours trying to get it to behave, and have run into a host of odd problems. I may be doing things wrong, but already I am deep in various message board discussions looking for workarounds. The issues encountered so far are:

(1) And this is hugely annoying—it seems that when you use the Print & Cut function, the software massively downgrades the resolution of the art. Like, down to 100 dpi. Which is not adequate at all.

(2) The workaround for the above which many suggest is to output your piece to PDF from the Print & Cut menu, then open the Cricut-generated PDF in Photoshop or the like, and *reinsert your hi-res artwork* to fit their template... Then save it at a proper resolution before manually printing it yourself. You would think that would be a straightforward operation, but it is not. Cricut’s PDF output is... weird. The spacing between my labels was completely changed, so each one had to be manually repositioned again.

(3) Due to the vagaries of print dialogues and output from different programs, I noticed that my corrected (hi-res) printout did not perfectly align with their (lo-res) one. But it’s going to take a lot of trial and error to figure out how to get that right.

(4) The Maker 3 does “scan” your print before cutting, so it would appear some correction occurs if things are not falling quite properly. When I finally cut the vinyl, the cut lines were mostly centered on the labels. However, the cut lines result in a label that is smaller than the artwork submitted. I designed this to make a 26mm circle, but it cuts a 24mm one. Maybe it does that automatically to create bleeds, but if so then I have to size up the template to get it to finish at the right size.

(5) Lastly, and this is the oddest one: Though I submitted the art with perfect circles—generated in a layout program—Cricut interpreted these as wobbly circles. The cuts are close to round, but not actually perfectly round. I have no idea why.

Note that I did go through their elaborate printer-to-cutter calibration process before trying all that.

As noted, I am “only” 6.5 hours in with the machine. Probably I’ll figure out a way to trick the Cricut into cutting a grid of circles. Which ought to be an incredibly basic task. But so far it is proving frustrating. If I did not have some background in prepress work, I would have quit by now and returned it. Grrrrrr

Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble. I have not broken mine out since my last post in this thread, so I have not tried the print then cut feature yet. But I am planning to make some labels this weekend, so I'll report back if I have similar problems and any possible solutions.

Hopefully others with more experience might chime in first.

I think like any CNC machine including routers, 3d printers, and lasers most of the time and effort is in the set up and calibrations and recalibrations. Hopefully once you have templates and settings down, you can then consistently and quickly produce labels.
 

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