Cricut Basics: Do I Need Cartridges for Cricut Explore?

Cricut Basics: Do I Need Cartridges for Cricut Explore? by Underground Crafter

I’m continuing my Cricut basics series by answering a common question: do you need to use cartridges (or dies) with any of the Cricut Explore machines?

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When I first reviewed the Cricut Explore Air last year, I mentioned that I only recently (early-2016) learned that cutting machines had moved beyond cutting with physical dies (also known as cartridges) into the world of electronic cutting. I know I’m not the only one wondering, so I thought I’d answer in this post.

Cricut Basics: Do I Need Cartridges for Cricut Explore? by Underground Crafter

The short answer is: No. (But wait! There’s more.)


The slightly longer answer is: You don’t need to use cartridges or dies with the Cricut Explore series of machines, but you can if you want to. If you had an earlier model of Cricut, you may want to use your cartridges and you actually still can! I learned this little tip from my friend Jessie At Home when she reviewed the Cricut Explore Air. (She has since upgraded to the Cricut Explore Air 2. You can read her thoughts on how the machines compare here.)

So, how do you actually link your old cartridges to Cricut Design Space? You may have noticed an intriguing rectangle on the left side of your machine, just below the supplies storage. When you flip that open, you can link up your old cartridges.

Cricut Basics: Do I Need Cartridges for Cricut Explore? by Underground CrafterYou can read more details about how to link your old cartridges here, or watch the tutorial by Obsessed with Scrapbooking below.

Once you have your old cartridges linked up, you can use them in Design Space just like any cloud-based images or fonts you may have purchased. I never had a die cutting machine, but I love that the Cricut Explore series gives you the option of using your old cartridges if you want to. (Now if I can just convince the music equipment manufacturers to let me use my old cassettes in an MP3 player…)

Do you have other questions about Cricut Explore machines? Let me know and I’ll try to answer in an upcoming post.

 

Cricut Basics: Do I Need Cartridges for Cricut Explore? by Underground Crafter

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