Monday, October 30, 2023

How to Create the Perfect Cut Setting in Design Space

Hello, everyone! Welcome back to awesome SVGs. Today, I'm bringing you a new tutorial. We're diving into the world of custom cutting settings!" 

So, whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting, custom settings can be a game-changer for your Cricut projects. Let's get started!" 


First, let's talk about why custom cutting settings are important. 
They allow us to tailor our Cricut machine to the specific materials or projects we're working on. No more one-size-fits-all!
They are very useful when cutting special projects like:
• Cutting intricate designs
• Making Stickers
• Cutting specialty cardstock 
• or even fine tunning an already existing setting to fit your needs.

Navigating Design Space

First you do need to have Design Space installed and an actual machine connected to your computer. If you're not there already, open it up. It's super user-friendly, so you'll be right at home.
Here's your dashboard. To find custom settings, go to the upper right corner and click the arrow next to your user name
Select settings.
Then go to the Machines tab and next right where it says Custom Materials Settings, click on the green start button. 

At this point you need to have your machine connected to your computer and switched on.
All the machines connected will be displayed here.
Select the one you want to create the custom setting for.
Now all the default and previous custom materials created will be shown as a list here.

If you need to select a different machine, click on switch machine.

Cutting Setting Parameters

Each Material created has 4 parameters that you can set:
• Material Name
• Cutting Pressure, which refers to the force your machine applies to cut. This value can go from 70 to 350 for the fine and the deep point blade< and from 0 to 4000 for the rotary blade.
• Multi Cut: which means how many times the machine blade cuts the desing. This can be set to off, meaning that it'll cut only once and you can set it to go up to 9x for really thick and hard materials.
• Finally the Blade Type: and this can be>
○ the fine point blade which is the blade that usually comes with all machines. 
○ Deep point blade that requires a different blade and a different housing 
○ Rotary Blade: only available for Cricut Maker Machines that come with the adaptive tool system.
• Finally you'll see the Cancel and Save buttons for default factory materials that come loaded in design space for your specific machine. You can only modify these materials but not delete them. Please note that the save button will only become active only if you modify any of the parameters.
• Now only for custom created materials, The Delete command is available.

Editing an existing material

If you have not created a new material yet and want to adjust one of the existing ones, click on the green EDIT word next to the material
Adjust pressure, number of passes and or blade type and 
click on save.
Please note that not all options might be available as these come with a few different constraints depending on the intention of the setting.

Creating a Custom Setting

First find a setting that matches close the type of material you intend to cut. Check those parameters and keep them memorized. This is very important to have a starting point to work with.
Scroll down to the end of the list by using the mouse wheel, clicking and dragging the scroll bar handle on the right side of the window or simply by pressing the END button on your keyboard.
There you'll see a green Add New Material button. Click on it.
You'll be prompted to Add the name of your new material.
Let-s name ours AA tutorial material. I named it AA so it-ll be displayed first on the list in the next step, but you can add any name you want, just make sure to  give it a clear and memorable name. It'll make life easier for your future projects!
Once you have done so, click on save to go to the next step.
Now, this is where the magic happens. Adjust the cut pressure, passes and type of blade to suit your project entering the values you memorized.
Once you've fine-tuned your settings, cvlick on save.
Now to finish the process, go again to the end of the list
And click on Done
I know, it looks like nothing's happened, but your setting is waiting for you swomewhere and I'll show you how to use it next.

Using the Custom Setting

Now, it's time to apply your custom setting to a project.
Create a new project, click on make it and you'll be taken to the preview screen. Click on continue and here select the machine you created the setting for.
Here your list of materials available might look a little different depending on your bookmarked or previously used settings.
Your own materials will have a grey color label at the top
To see all available options click on Browse all materials.
A Materials window will pop, Here you can filter by All Materials, Bookmarked, Compatible.
You can also filter by category or do a search using the textbox, entering one or more words and clicking on the loupe to the right.
In the category filter, you'll find  "MY MATERIALS" this is very usefull to find your custom settings.

You'll see that all materials have a flag to the right and some of them have a cricut brand logo. 
The logo means the material exists in the cricut materials portfolio and can be bought in the market. These have always worked beautifully without the need to adjust the settings to cut them.
Now for the flag, it turns green when you bookmark a setting and it is clear when it is not in the favorites category. To bookmark a setting, just click on the flag and then you can click outside the materials popup window. You should see the selected material in the bookmarked tab. Please note that you can choose a limited number of materials for this tab in my case Is 9. 
If you want to add a new one after that, you'll get an error message. If you do, you'll need to delete one of the previous bookmarks first, before selecting a new one.
Now let-s find our newly created material.
In the search box type AA and hit enter
Your material should appear here, click on it to select it or bookmark it to add it to that list, then click on Done and that's it!
You are ready to start cutting your project!!!


Of course, things might not always go perfectly. If you run into issues like over-cutting or under-cutting, don't worry; I've got the solution!
Unfortunately, is a little trial and error type of technique.
Always try your new setting on a scrap piece of material first to avoid waisting. I like to place a star on my canvas, make it 1" tall and cut it using my setting. Depending on the result, my go to formula for this is:
• If the material is mostly cut but there's only a few places here and there that need to more pressure, add 20 more points to the cutting pressure of the setting. That is enough most of the time. Otherwise add pressure in 20 point increments each time and test the material again. If the system does not allow you to add more pressure, reduce pressure by 30% and do a 2 pass cut. 
• If your material is only cut all the way through in just a few places, increase pressure by 20 to  25%. If the system doesn't allow yo to do that, lower the pressure by 30% and do a 2 pass cut.
• If the  blade only scratched the surface of the material and did not cut all the way through at all, double the pressure.  If the system doesn't allow to do that, keep the pressure and turn multi cut from off to 2x to do a 2 pass cut. 
• On the contrary, if the blade is cutting the material and also making indentations on your mat, lower the pressure by 10% and test again.
• If you have unfortunately cut so deep that your mat ends up being cut, reduce the pressure by 60%. To avoid this from happening, make sure you always find a setting in the default materials that closely describes what you intend to cut. 
Please keep in mind that in order for the machine to perform the changes in pressure, you have to modify de setting, click on save and then click on done. After that, deselect the setting by selecting another one and reselect the modified setting. It is a glitch that design space version 8.3.52 has.
Now, How to edit your newly created setting you ask?
From this project settings window just go to browse all materials, then click on Materials Settings on the lower left corner and you'll be taken to the materials settings window we worked on before. 
Here, find you setting [it is important to remember the name] and click on the edit button to the right and adjust the parameters like I showed you before
Once you are finished, go to the end of the list and click on done.


Now, Before we wrap up, let me share some pro tips. There are times when multiple custom settings can be a game-changer:

  • Intricate cuts: I will make a special tutorial for this since it is a multifactor related topic. But this video will come in handy for that.
  • I you cut the same brand of and type of material all the time, create a setting with that brand name and the type of material. Add the weight if it is paper or cardstock if you are cutting those try to summarize but be thorough to avoid confusion later. I cut mostly Neenah paper and make many stickers so I have special settings for those.
    • My rule to name my settings is:
      • Material type, wether is cardstock, chipboard, sticker paper, etc.
      • Brand if there's a specific one otherwise i name it generic.
      • Weight or a distinctive characteristic of the material
      • And finaly any special ability of the setting for example, intricate cuts, or if you  are making kiss cut stickers.


I've covered a lot today. Custom cutting settings can elevate your Cricut projects to new heights. They're a real game-changer! So start creating your new ones!

Host: "Before I go, please remember to subscribe, like, and comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts and see the fantastic projects you create with your custom settings." 

Have fun!

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