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Area 49

This guide provides information on how to use technology within Area 49, as well as guides for digital technologies and physical projects. Area 49 is available for use by all current students, faculty, and staff.

Cricut Maker

                Cricut Maker

Location: Makerspace

Cut Mat Size: 12 in x 12 in

Use Options: No training needed


  • No cost to use

  • $1 per precut vinyl sheet

  • Limited paper and fabric available or bring your own materials to use with the machine. Approved materials include: cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, poster board, and fabrics.

Available Tools & Uses:

  • Fine Point Blade - for cutting light- to mid-weight materials such as cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, poster board and light-weight fabrics

  • Rotary Blade - for cutting fabric and delicate materials 

  • Pen - for drawing on paper

  • LightGrip Mat - for use with light and medium weight paper, medium cardstock, and vinyl

  • FabricGrip Mat - for use with most fabrics and Rotary Blade


  • Fine Point and Rotary Blades are sharp, use caution when removing or changing blades.

  • Store blades in protective covers and in the storage unit inside the front door/feeder area of the machine when not in use.

File Prep & Machine Operation

The Cricut Maker uses the Cricut Design Space software. This software is available on the Makerspace laptop or you can install this software on a personal laptop and bring that to the Makerspace to connect to the machine. 

Installing Cricut Design Space Software

  1. In your browser, go to and download Cricut Design Space. 

  2. Create an account.

  3. Follow the install steps.

  4. Once complete, open and select “Cricut Maker” from the dropdown menu next to the “New Project” button.

Preparing Your Material 

  1. Select the appropriate Mat.

  2. Plug the Cricut Maker into your laptop

  3. Follow the prompt given by the Cricut Maker (Set Base Material)

  4. If your material is larger than the Mat, cut it to the correct size to fit within the grid.

  5. Remove the clear plastic cover.

  6. Align your material on the Mat grid. 

  7. Press your material onto the Mat, avoiding wrinkles to ensure clean cutting.

Preparing Your File

  1. In the workspace, create your designs using images, text, shapes, and uploaded files. Note: Some of the images and fonts available in the software have a charge associated with them and it is your responsibility to pay for this content if you wish to use it.

  2. For each element of your design, select the element, then in the ribbon at the top, select Operation type in the dropdown menu. 

    Note: We currently only support Basic Cut and Pen because we don't have the tools or blades to perform the other selections available under Operation. When your design is complete, click “Make It”.
  3. Select the material size.

Running the Machine

  1. Flip open the lid of the machine.

  2. Ensure there is at least 12 inches of space behind the machine.

  3. Align the Mat with your material into the machine, 

  4. Press the Arrow button on the machine to load the Mat.

  5. Press the Cricut C button on the machine to begin your project.

  6. When finished, press the Arrow button on the machine to unload the Mat. 

  7. Carefully remove your material from the Mat.

  8. Replace the clear plastic cover on the Mat for storage.

Cricut Maker open covers with labelsChanging Blades

  1. Open Clamp B to release the blade

  2. Remove the blade from the Cricut

  3. Open the compartment in the Cricut to reveal different blades

    • For the rotary blade, remove the blade housing 

  4. Carefully put the blade in Clamp B in the appropriate position

    • If you are using the pen instead of a blade, place the pen in Clamp A

  5. Close the clamp and make sure the blade is firmly in place.

Transferring Your Vinyl Cut

spatula, pick, tweezer, scissors, and scraper for weeding vinyl cuts

Vinyl Tool Set 

  1. The vinyl tool set is stored with the Cricut Machine.
  2. Use the tools to weed, or remove, pieces of the vinyl that are not part of your design.
    • If you have difficulty weeding your design, check to be sure the machine has cut all the way through the vinyl. You may need to adjust the cutting depth it it hasn't cut all the way through. 


Transfer Paper

  1. Ask a Makerspace Monitor for transfer paper.
    • Please only take as much transfer paper as you need for the size of your design.
    • Transfer paper can also be used more than once and we ask you reuse it whenever possible.
  2. Line up transfer paper with the top and cover your full design with the adhesive side of the transfer paper.
  3. Use the scraper tool to press the transfer paper down across your full design. 
  4. Pull up the first few inches of the design and cut off the back below it.
  5. Line up the top of your design and transfer paper where you want to place it.
  6. Press down the transfer paper with your design onto your material. 
  7. Starting at the top, slowly peel down the remaining backing and slowly smooth your design and transfer paper onto your material.
    • Use the scraper tool to help smooth it down. 
  8. Firmly rub the full design to be sure it sticks.
  9. Peel off transfer paper slowly, starting from the top.