Getting Started with the Cricut Maker 3
Getting Started With the Cricut Maker 3
In late May of 2021, Cricut made a special announcement. Leading up to the announcement, there was much speculation about what the “big announcement” could be. A laser cutter? A cutting machine with a larger cutting area? Well, all of our curiosities were settled when they released not one, but two new cutting machines: the Cricut Explore 3 and the Maker 3.
I’ve been a Cricut user since 2016. Although I’ve kept up with the company and all of its products, I’ve never actually bought anything new as soon as it was released. However, I did purchase the Maker 3 as soon as it was available for purchase online. You can read all about my purchase and what all is included with a new Cricut Maker 3 here.
Getting a new machine, no matter what it is, can be intimidating. It can even be frustrating when you don’t know where or how to start. But don’t worry; that’s exactly why I’m here. I’d like to take you on a brief tour of how to get started using your Cricut Maker 3.
Unpacking and Setting Up Your Maker 3
The first thing you’ll want to do is check to make sure all of the pieces are included. It’s very rare, but it’s always safe to check before you start. Remove the packing material that is inside of the machine. There will be a foam wedge protecting the blade and pen carriage that needs to be removed. Once you’ve done that, you can attach the power cable and plug in your machine. If you already own a Cricut Explore 2 or a Cricut Maker, you’ll notice that this power cord is different from the ones on previous machines.
Downloading Cricut Design Space
In order for your Cricut machine to work, you need to have access to a PC or Mac computer or an Android or iOS mobile device. This is because the machine works using a specific software to create and cut. The name of the design software is Cricut Design Space. It is a free program. You can download it for your particular device by visiting Cricut’s website. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation. If you are on a mobile device, go to your app store and search “Cricut Design Space.” Download it and you are set. Unfortunately, Cricut Design Space is not designed to run on a Chromebook.
Creating a Cricut ID
Before you can begin using Cricut Design Space, you will need to create a Cricut ID. It is free and the process is easy. Open Cricut Design Space. You will be prompted to fill in your personal information. Note that you will not be asked for any credit card information. You’ll be asked to fill in your first and last name and the country. The email address you use will be your Cricut ID. Create a password. Be sure to make a note of your email address and password. Remember that passwords are case-sensitive. Click the green “Create a Cricut ID” and you are now ready to start using the software.
If you have purchased anything from Cricut’s website in the past or if you already own a Cricut Explore, Maker, or Joy, you likely already have a Cricut ID. In that case, you can skip this step. Or you can make another one… It’s up to you. I personally have more than 1 Cricut ID. This helps me keep my personal designs separate from designs I’m using in videos and for customers.
Before Your First Cut
It’s time to power on your Maker for that first cut. But before you can make that cut, we have one last step. You can connect your Cricut Maker 3 to your computer either using Bluetooth or by using the USB cable that comes with your Maker. If you are connecting using your mobile phone or tablet, you will need to connect via Bluetooth. Here’s how to pair your Cricut with your device via Bluetooth:
- Go to your device’s system settings
- Select “Bluetooth”
- Make sure your Cricut machine is powered on
- Locate your Cricut Maker 3’s ID
- you can find it on the bottom of your machine
- The machine ID will be labeled “Cricut Maker 3” followed by 4 characters
- Find the Cricut machine ID in your list of Bluetooth devices and click on it
- Your computer may ask you for a PIN. Most of the time, the PIN will be “0000”
You should now be connected to your Cricut Maker 3.
If you are using the USB cable that came with the Maker 3, connect the USB end into your computer and the other end into your Maker. If you are using a newer Mac or MacBook, you will need an adapter to connect.
Inside of Design Space
Now that you are connected, let’s get into Design Space. Open Cricut Design Space on your device. You will be asked to input your Cricut ID (we created one together a few steps back). BAM!!! The splash screen will have a short tutorial pointing out key functions to get you started. I really recommend reading through these tips. They will help you start getting familiar with Design Space.
One last step I want to tell you about is being sure to select the correct kind of machine you will be using before you start designing. If you are on a computer or laptop, look at the top menu and go to the right. You’ll see a drop-down menu (it looks like this “v”). Click on the arrow and select “Maker 3”. On a mobile device, tap on your profile circle at the top left. Tap on “Machine Selection” and choose “Maker 3.”
Great! You’re ready.
Depending on what you’ll be doing, you may want to run the calibration for your new machine. You can find the step-by-step calibration instructions inside of Design Space. Go to your menu (top left corner) and select “Calibration.”
There are a ton of options for projects to create using your new Cricut Maker 3. You can make 3D projects, stickers, cut fabric, including felt and leather, and so much more. Add in the option of using files from Creative Fabrica, and you will never want to leave your craft room. A good place to start is to check out more articles like this on The Artistry. Be on the lookout for articles from me and from other super talented crafters. We can’t wait to share more projects with you and to see what you make!
Are you thinking about purchasing one of the new Cricut machines? Do you have questions? If so, please feel free to leave comments below this article. You can also tag me on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok. I am EJsFunCrafting on all platforms. Happy crafting!