Cricut announces new gear

PAT PILCHER is an enthusiastic new fan of Cricut gear and he spills the beans on their latest nifty products.

A wee while back, I reviewed the Cricut and gave it a whopping 10 out of 10. With it, I could engrave, emboss, cut, fold and draw. If creating professional-looking custom t-shirt transfers, stickers, custom coffee mugs, woodwork, engraving, gold leafing, cards and labels is your thing, you ought to check it out. Its potential is nearly endless.

Last week I finally caught up with the Cricut team, who were in New Zealand to show off new Cricut gear. Here’s what was on show.

A challenge with creating iron-on transfers has been applying the right amount of heat and pressure so that the iron-on transfers stay stuck to whatever it is that you’re ironing them onto.

The Cricut team took this to heart and announced a bunch of clever heat presses, including the Cricut EasyPress 3. It uses Bluetooth to pair with a tablet or smartphone on which you’ve installed the Cricut app that’ll guide you through the entire iron-on transfer pressing process. The app recommends heat settings based on the transfers and fabrics you use. It also helps by telling you which supplies you’ll need and provides instructional videos and helpful prompts.

If customising caps is your thing, Cricut has some good news for you in the form of the Hat Press. Like the EasyPress 3, it’s also Bluetooth-connected. Its curved design makes the normally fiddly job of pressing transfers onto hats effortless. Its non-stick ceramic plate evenly distributes heat/pressure. It works with a hat form to press transfers onto curved surfaces. Having customised my own cap with it, I can say that the results are impressive, and the entire process was effortless.

With many Cricut users setting up businesses to sell custom t-shirts, mugs, and other cool crafty stuff, Cricut announced the Autopress. It’s a heat press designed to streamline workflow when cranking out high volumes of custom iron on transfer gear.

This occurs thanks to a clever automated design that does all the heavy lifting, saving you time and guesswork. Using it to customise a tote bag, I positioned the iron on transfer on the bag and put the bag in the press. Closing its lid was effortless (I used two fingers), and a motor took over to deliver the best pressure level for the thickness of the material used. With auto time and temperature settings, the motor releases when the iron-on transfer is done, making high-volume jobs as hassle-free as possible.

It isn’t just heat presses, either. Cricut also launched the Cricut BrightPad Go. It’s an illuminated work surface to help you see hard-to-see cut lines for more exact weeding of vinyl and heat-transfer projects. It has five adjustable brightness settings, translating into a lit-up area of 29.2 cm x 22.8 cm. The BrightPad Go is USB rechargeable. Its battery typically lasts more than 1.5 hours (which is plenty for even the most complex projects).

The other thing that Cricut machines are brilliant at is crafting cards. To this end, Cricut also launched the reusable Cricut Card Mat, which can hold up to four cards, including Cricut Insert Cards and Cutaway Card stationery.

Pricing has yet to be announced, and these new Cricut gadgets have yet to launch. They’ll be much easier to find when they do because Cricut has struck a deal with Harvey Norman. All Cricut products, including all the new gear, will be available at Harvey Norman stores up and down New Zealand.


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