If you’ve been following my blog for a bit, I’m sure you’re well aware by now that I’m kind of Cricut obsessed. I recently upgraded my machine to the Cricut Maker 3, so I thought I would take some time to introduce you to it and go over some of the differences between it and it’s predecessor, the Cricut Maker.
If you don’t know what a Cricut machine is, you are seriously missing out. They are writing, scoring and personal cutting machines that work with a wide variety of materials. I’m talking everything from paper, vinyl, adhesive foil, craft foam, iron-on transfers, window cling and more. In the past, I’ve made everything from iron-on shirts and pillows, gift cards, customized wine glasses, decanters, mugs, coasters, party banners and more. The crafting-possibilities really are endless with a Cricut machine. (Basically it’s magic.)
The Maker line offers the widest range of tools for cutting, scoring, writing, and adding decorative effects. It kicks things up a notch by being able to use additional blades that do everything from cut fabric, chipboard, leather, kraft board, felt and corrugated cardboard, to engraving metals, creating foil transfers, de-bossing and so much more.
What Happened to the Maker 2?
You might see the name “Maker 3” and be wondering what happened to the Maker 2 – don’t worry, you didn’t miss the release of a machine. Cricut decided to name the new Maker the Maker 3 as it has the same technological advances as the Explore 3 and they wanted to avoid any confusion.
This new Cricut Maker 3 can be used on over 300 materials, and is comparable with all of the 13 smart tools and blades from the previous model. The Maker 3 also has 10X more cutting power than the Explore model.
What are Smart Materials?
One of the most exciting upgrades to the Maker 3 in my opinion is that it’s compatible with the new Smart Materials that were first introduced for the Cricut Joy in early 2020. Smart Materials come adhered to a special backer that can feed through the Maker 3 (as well as the Joy and Explore 3), and allow you to cut a variety of materials without needing a cutting mat. ome in a variety of material types, including Smart Vinyl, Smart Iron-On, and Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock.
Smart Materials are also available in a variety of lengths, from 3 ft, 9ft and up to 21 ft. When using Smart Materials, the Design Space software will prompt you when it’s time to load your machine and will then measure it to ensure there’s enough materials for your project. To learn more about SmartMaterials, check out this video from Cricut.
How is the Maker 3 different from the original Maker?
If you’re wondering how the Maker 3 compares to the original Maker, I’ve put together a little chart to show you how they stack up:
Maker vs the Maker 3
|Size||22.6″x 7.09″ x 6.22″||22.6″x 7.09″ x 6.22″|
|Speed||Standard speed||2 times faster|
|Adaptive Tool System for cutting more materials||Yes||Yes|
|Cut larger projects?||No||Yes|
|Draw, emboss, etch and score?||Yes||Yes|
|Rotary Blade for fabrics||Yes||Yes|
|Knife Blade for thicker materials||Yes||Yes|
In addition to supporting the new Smart Materials, the new Cricut machines also have a brand new accessory – the Cricut Roll Holder (sold separately). The Roll Holder helps by securing and guiding rolls of Smart Materials into your cutting machine for cutting larger projects without a mat.
I’ve already created a few new projects with my Maker 3, which I’ll share soon, and so far I’m totally loving it!
If you are an average crafter and recently bought your Maker, keep in mind that the Maker 3 is an upgraded version of the original Maker so you might be happy with your machine for now. For me, the Maker 3 was well worth the upgrade. If you make a lot of projects with your Cricut like I do, the Smart Materials are really handy. They honestly save so much time, you don’t have to worry about cutting materials the right size, and it also helps cut down on clean-up. If you like to make large projects, the 21ft Smart Materials is a total game changer.