Today, Cricut is announcing its biggest update to its product lineup yet: an all-new Maker 3 and Explore 3. This time around, both machines share many similarities, but there are a few differences we’ll note. The biggest change to the lineup this time around is that both the Maker 3 and Explore 3 have the ability to cut materials without a mat, and up to twice as fast as their predecessors. So, what all can these new machines do? Let’s take a closer look. Also, be sure to stay tuned for our hands-on review, coming in the next few weeks as we get closer to the official launch on June 10.
Cricut Maker 3 is your all-in-one crafting companion
We’ll start with the Maker 3, which is Cricut’s flagship machine. Having owned the previous-generation Maker for over a year, I can attest to how great the upgrade is when using the Maker 3. It features up to twice as fast of carriage movement on the new Smart Materials, which even extends to standard materials depending on what action the machine is currently doing.
As always, the Maker 3 can cut 300+ materials, including fabric, wood, leather, chipboard, and much more. Personally, we’ve used it to make leather notebooks, birthday cards, signs, and other personalized gifts.
Cricut Explore 3 ditches the dial for a sleeker look
While the Maker 3 didn’t change that much externally, the Explore 3 took on a whole new persona this time around. Gone is the dial and in is a sleeker look overall. The Explore 3 is compatible with over 100 materials, including cardstock, vinyl, HTV, and much more. Plus, it now cuts up to twice as fast as the previous-generation as well when using Smart Materials.
Smart Materials remove the need for mats and expand your crafting horizons up to 12-feet
Something that both machines share is the ability to cut Cricut’s new Smart Materials. These new Smart Materials are exclusive to the Maker 3 and Explore 3, and won’t work on previous-generation models. Essentially, Smart Materials have a mat built-in, so you don’t have to worry about choosing and changing out mats for different projects.
While cuttable designs used to max out at 2-feet, you can now cut projects up to 12-feet long at one time, since no mat is needed. Another huge upgrade is that Cricut now sells certain materials in rolls up to 75-feet long. That’s right, you can now buy absolutely massive rolls of vinyl for your projects.
Cricut’s new ability to cut up to 12-foot design allows you to place a roll of vinyl in front of the machine, where it will measure out (through a new sensor) and then cut up to 12 feet at a time. This can be used to create massive signs, or just smaller designs many times, depending on what your needs are. I’m particularly excited about this feature, as it means that cutting larger wall decals or signs is now easier than before, since you used to have to make multiple smaller templates or cuts and then piece them together.
Cricut Design Space has been overhauled to handle larger projects easier
Cricut Design Space has been a point of contention for many users over the years. Personally, I’ve had many issues when handling larger projects within the program, as it would become sluggish and unresponsive even on my i9 16-inch MacBook Pro, which is more than powerful enough to run the program. Well, due to creating projects up to 12-feet long, Cricut’s team went back to square one with Design Space and completely refactored the canvas area. It is now much snappier and easier to use when working with big projects. This is a huge upgrade, and one that all Cricut users will benefit from, not just those with the Maker 3 or Explore 3.
Pricing and availability
Cricut’s Explore 3 will retail for $299, while the Maker 3 will cost $399. Both will be available online on June 10 from Cricut, Amazon, Michaels, JOANN, Best Buy, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Wayfair, Target, and Walmart. Prefer to pick it up in store? Well, that won’t happen until June 27, and will only be at Michaels, JOANN, Walmart, Target, and Hobby Lobby.
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