If you are already a fan of using Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) or are looking to get started (feel free to check out our guide on how to get started in HTV), there is some exciting news for you! Cricut®, one of the top manufacturers of accessible and affordable vinyl and material cutting machines, has officially announced the launch of a brand new machine.
Introducing the Cricut Maker® 3, Cricut’s new installment of it’s signature Cricut Maker cutting machine.
Now, if you’re a user of Heat Transfer Vinyl or someone looking to get started you might be asking yourself some questions such as, “What new features and capabilities does this machine possess?”, “Is this machine worth it at it’s price?”, and “Where and when can I get it?”.
Gladly, we will be covering all of these questions in the remainder of the article so you can get the full scoop on Cricut’s newest creation!
New Features and Capabilities of the Cricut Maker® 3
The original Cricut Maker was already a beast of a machine so what added capabilities does the new Cricut Maker possess. Well, there are two primary improvements from the original Cricut Maker.
Massive Speed Increase
Firstly, the Cricut Maker 3 is advertised as being able to cut at double the speed as previously. As many HTVers know, one of the primary issues currently with vinyl cutting machines is how long they take to do the actual cutting.
It can be incredibly frustrating as a t-shirt designer when you have the execution of your design all laid out in your head just to have to wait for your machine to finish cutting!
Double the speed means double the output so expect to be banging out designs in no time if you decide to pick up the Cricut Maker. At the end of the day, high speed and quality (at a good price) are the primary things to value when deciding to purchase a cutting machine, so this is definitely a massive upgrade to look forward to.
Do be wary of this double the speed claim however, this is specifically for the use of Smart Materials (covered in the next section). So, although there is a speed increase for normal materials, it is not double from the previous speed.
Compatibility with Cricut’s Smart Materials®
The second main improvement from the previous edition of the Cricut Maker is it’s compatibility with Cricut’s smart materials. If you have owned other Cricut cutting machines such as the Cricut Joy then you know how convenient Smart Materials can be.
With Smart Materials and a compatible Cricut cutting machine to go along with it, you can make cuts up to 12 feet long without having to use a cutting mat. This is definitely a huge time saver as there is no process of lining up each cut. Just simply insert the Smart Material into the machine and watch your design come to life.
Currently there are three Smart Materials available to use with the Cricut Maker 3.
The first and likely most popular Smart Material that is compatible with the Cricut Maker 3 is the Smart Vinyl material. Smart Vinyl is available with two different versions of adhesive, permanent and removable. Both versions come in a wide array of colors and effects such as glitter, shimmer, and matte metallic just to name a few of the many effects.
With Smart Vinyl there is no need for a heat press either as the Smart Vinyl material comes with an adhesive already applied. All that is required is placing and pressing the vinyl down with your hands.
The second Smart Material that you can use with the Cricut Maker 3 is the Smart Iron-On. Just like the Smart Vinyl material, the Smart Iron-On material comes in a vast array of colors and effects.
If you print on t-shirts with Heat Transfer Vinyl then consider giving this a closer look as it can save you a multitude of time in the long run since a cutting mat is not necessary as with all Smart Materials. The material is also capable of outlasting 50+ washes so it is extremely durable.
Heat press is required for this material unlike the Smart Vinyl material but consider it the more practical option for Heat Transfer printing due to its durability.
Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock
And the third and final Smart Material that you are able to use with the Cricut Maker 3 is the Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock. This is a very unique material made specifically for the creation of stickers, a growing area in DIY design.
The Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock comes with adhesive so there is no need to apply your own glue when creating the stickers. The Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock is offered in 3 different color bundles.
The most popular bundle includes 5 different colors of Mint, Powder Blue, Petal, Lilac, and Butter. For the other two bundles, one consists of only White and the other contains 5 different colors which are Yellow, Cardinal Red, Cornflower, Bright Green, and Tangerine.
In addition to just cutting, the Cricut Maker 3 works with 12 other tools for debossing, engraving, scoring, and adding other decorative effects. Keep in mind, these extra tools are add ons and are sold separately so the price listed for the Cricut Maker 3 does not include these tools.
The Cricut Maker 3 also has increased cutting force which is incredible considering the original Cricut Maker was more than capable of cutting even some of the thickest materials efficiently. For comparison, the Cricut Maker 3 has 10 times the cutting power of its cousin the Cricut Explore Air 2!
Lastly, some other notable features include a free trial subscription to Cricut Access (this includes access to over 100,00 images and 500 fonts, free shipping on orders $50+, exclusive deals, and some other small perks) and Bluetooth wireless technology.
Is the Cricut Maker® 3 Worth It?
The Cricut Maker’s retail price is $399.99 as listed on Cricut’s website. Compared to the machines already on the market this is absolutely a bargain. If the Cricut Maker 3 is as advertised with no quality control issues it is without a doubt a top of the line product that is as good if not better than any of its competitors.
Cricut has delivered many reliable products in the past at fair prices so it is probably safe to assume the Cricut Maker 3 will be the same. Beware, however, currently many cutting machines on Cricut’s website are sold out so expect the Cricut Maker 3 to sell out relatively quickly.
When and Where can I Get the Cricut Maker® 3?
The Cricut Maker 3 will be released on June 10th 2021 on Cricut’s website cricut.com.
If you are skeptical about it or are currently in a money squeeze, that’s totally understandable. Expect a follow up blog post from us shortly after June 10th reviewing the Cricut Maker 3 as we will be purchasing one to let our fellow t-shirt printers know whether or not the cutting machine is everything that it is made out to be.
If you are looking for some cheaper alternatives, or vinyl cutting machines with some other capabilities feel free to check out another one of our blog posts on the Top 5 Vinyl Cutters for T-Shirts.
Looking for the best shirts to go along with your Cricut machine or vinyl cutter? Check out our vast selection of blank t-shirts including fan favorites such as the Gildan G500 and G800, the Bella+Canvas 3001, and the Next Level 1510.