The Cricut personal cutting machine provides die-cutting features in an inexpensive package. A number of machines allow hobbyists to cut a range of pre-programmed patterns in plastic sheets and paper media. Provo Craft and Novelty, the manufacturers of the Cricut, deliver the preset designs in digital cartridges. With the help of third party software, it was once possible to cut almost any pattern on your Cricut. However, because of litigation, the software is no longer available.
Vector graphics are a type of computer graphic that use equations to describe lines, angles and fills. Unlike pixel-based image formats, these shapes do not lose clarity when enlarged or reduced. Your computer uses these equations to display a shape on the screen. In a similar fashion, the Cricut machine uses the data to cut a shape out of paper or other thin, flexible material. Vector graphics are created by specialized computer software and free software is available.
The type of vector graphics file used by the Cricut is a Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file. The SVG format is non-proprietary and is not owned by any company. Many popular vector graphics software packages provide an SVG export function that allows line art and text to be exported in the format. Photos are pixel-based images and cannot be exported in SVG format without first converting them to line art.
Sure Cuts A Lot Software
Provo Craft and Novelty do not provide support for raw SVG images. Processing such images requires a third-party software package called Sure Cuts A Lot. Sure Cuts A Lot (Version 1 and 2) translates user created SVG files into a format that can be sent to a Cricut machine through a USB connection. Version 3, the latest version of the Sure Cuts A Lot software as of the date of publication, does not support Cricut machines.
Craft Edge Lawsuit
In early 2011, Provo Craft and Novelty filed a lawsuit against Craft Edge, the makers of Sure Cuts A Lot. The result of the litigation is that Craft Edge no longer distributes earlier versions of the software that allowed users to create their own designs for Cricut. Consumers who do not have access to Sure Cuts A Lot, version 2 or lower, are limited to the cartridges provided by Provo. There is currently no legal way to produce your own designs using a Cricut machine.