Cricut Explore

Decorating By JackiSto Updated 11 Mar 2016 , 7:32pm by dollhousecakes

JackiSto Posted 10 Apr 2014 , 6:32pm
post #1 of 75

Hello Cakers!

 

I have my cricut cake mini, and for the most part, it does a great job with my fondant (with tylose) and gumpaste! I need something bigger, and REEEEEEEEEEEALLY Want to get an explore... Being able to cut ANY IMAGE I WANT is exciting! I have an expression 2 that I have never used, and would like to return for credit towards the Explore... Has anyone tried gumpaste or fondant in this? I saw a post about wafer paper, but would love to know if anyone has gotten theirs to work with gumpaste! Please let me know!

74 replies
leah_s Posted 10 Apr 2014 , 7:24pm
post #2 of 75

cut any image yuou want?  how does that work with Cricut?

JackiSto Posted 10 Apr 2014 , 7:41pm
post #3 of 75

This new machine links up with their new design space software, and allows you to cut your own images... and of course, we all have the old machines which are not compatible with the new software...

JackiSto Posted 16 Apr 2014 , 11:23am
post #4 of 75

So this thing is kind of amazing!!! The lines it cut were SOOOOOOO precise, it's quiet, and the paper guides are adjustable... so you can't cut them off like on the expression, you just slide them to the side... this leaves you with about 11" of work space, and I learned that the hard way, but after only about 15 minutes of trial and error, I got it! I did this on the cardstock setting with the deep cut blade on cold fondant (with a little gumtex)!

howsweet Posted 16 Apr 2014 , 3:40pm
post #5 of 75

AOther die cutters have been out there all along. This is not a new thing. Just new to cricut who took advantage of the fact that most people didn't know this and saddled people will those cartridges. I wouldn't consider this product if you have create shapes within their proprietary software to use it.

howsweet Posted 16 Apr 2014 , 3:49pm
post #6 of 75

ABecause there are other machines out there that don't.

JackiSto Posted 16 Apr 2014 , 4:27pm
post #7 of 75

I know people have used the silhouette and others for years, but what I found so great about this was the absolute smoothness of the cuts. Though I never owned anything other than a cricut, I have seen (and heard) the other machines in action, and IMO, the performance of this one is superior. The blade moves smoothly across the mat with no herky jerky motions, and cut like a dream and is amazingly quiet.  I completely understand the aversion to having to use the cricut exclusive software, but for those of us who got duped years ago, like you said... not knowing other machines existed, this redesign and overhaul answered everything the previous cricut models were lacking. You can FINALLY use your own images in addition to the mass of cartridges we have collected over the years, and the software is remarkably easy to use... and free. Whoever this new CEO is understood exactly what we were looking for and delivered. 

howsweet Posted 16 Apr 2014 , 5:42pm
post #8 of 75

Sorry, I didn't mean to be so negative. The way this company marketed those machines with the cartridges just really rubbed me the wrong way, so I'd be inclined to look for a product not made by them.  Are you saying the cuts are better than the silhouette?

 

Here's a comparison of some of the other machines out there. http://die-cutting-machines-review.toptenreviews.com/ It doesn't list the one Mike McCarey was recommending a few years back - can't remember what it was called. Dream maker or something like that - maybe they were bought out or something.

 

Also, the proprietary software drives me crazy. If I'm proficient in Photoshop, why should I have to learn a new program? It's is universally handy to know how to use Photoshop which is a very good, well tested program. Proprietary software is notoriously awkward to use and buggy.

ljdills Posted 16 Apr 2014 , 5:53pm
post #9 of 75

I have the Cricut Cake bought it when they first came out and I enjoy using it, but I would love to be able to cut any image.  That is amazing !  So, with the Explore you can pull up any image, link and cut?  That is definitely worth checking into.

JackiSto Posted 16 Apr 2014 , 5:55pm
post #10 of 75

I didn't mean to imply you were being negative! :grin: I know some people who have had their non-cricut die cutters for years and are rightfully ANTI-CRICUT! lol The fact that cricut held their machines hostage to their own image gallery was just short of criminal... and suckers like me bought into it! I didn't even realize you could use photoshop to make svg files! I know many people use sure cuts a lot & make the cut, but didn't know photoshop was an option! I was actually torn between the explore and a silhouette... mostly because I really didn't believe that cricut would ACTUALLY let you edit your own image, but in the end,  I stuck with the devil I knew rather than what I didn't, and am TOTALLY happy with my purchase! 

JackiSto Posted 16 Apr 2014 , 6:01pm
post #11 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljdills 
 

I have the Cricut Cake bought it when they first came out and I enjoy using it, but I would love to be able to cut any image.  That is amazing !  So, with the Explore you can pull up any image, link and cut?  That is definitely worth checking into.

Yes ma'am! You have to edit out the parts you want cut, but it's very simple. Even more has been improved too! The whole design has been overhauled, the . The one thing some users might not like is that you can't just stick a cartridge in and choose your image. You have to go through the computer, which doesn't bother me... I always used craft room. Supposedly they are working on an ipad/android app, but I'm not holding my breath. While I am in love with this machine and what it can FINALLY do, I have believed Cricut's promises too many times and been let down to count any chickens.

kiwibird Posted 1 May 2014 , 5:01pm
post #12 of 75

A

Original message sent by JackiSto

[URL=http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3221703/] [/URL] So this thing is kind of amazing!!! The lines it cut were SOOOOOOO precise, it's quiet, and the paper guides are adjustable... so you can't cut them off like on the expression, you just slide them to the side... this leaves you with about 11" of work space, and I learned that the hard way, but after only about 15 minutes of trial and error, I got it! I did this on the cardstock setting with the deep cut blade on cold fondant (with a little gumtex)!

I got an Explore in march for my birthday and I've been searching for people who have tried cutting fondant with it and your post is the only one! I have a few questions about this before I try it out..what is the ratio of fondant to gumtex that you used? Did any fondant go into the blade housing? And how do you take it off the mat? TIA

cupadeecakes Posted 1 May 2014 , 5:42pm
post #13 of 75

I bought a Cricut Cake when they launched, and was early enough to buy a version of Sure Cuts a Lot before they got sued by Cricut.  I love it because I can cut any image using that software (no longer sold).  If I had to rely on cartridges I would have given it the boot long ago.  I like cutting modeling chocolate the best, but I have found tha no matter what I cut (fondant, gumpaste, etc.) that it always cuts best after an approx 5 minute visit in the freezer.  So I'll Crisco the mat, roll out my cutting material, place it on the mat, roll it good to adhere it better, trim it off, and then pop in freezer.

 

What type of files does the new Cricut software use?  Can you use SVG files?

kiwibird Posted 1 May 2014 , 7:21pm
post #14 of 75

Quote:

Originally Posted by cupadeecakes 
 

I bought a Cricut Cake ... I like cutting modeling chocolate the best, but I have found tha no matter what I cut (fondant, gumpaste, etc.) that it always cuts best after an approx 5 minute visit in the freezer.  So I'll Crisco the mat, roll out my cutting material, place it on the mat, roll it good to adhere it better, trim it off, and then pop in freezer.

 

What type of files does the new Cricut software use?  Can you use SVG files?

great tip! Thank you.

 

yes you can use svg files and jpegs 

for free!

cupadeecakes Posted 1 May 2014 , 8:06pm
post #15 of 75

It also comes off the mat much easier after a trip in the freezer.  When you're dealing with something as delicate as that Starbucks logo it helps A LOT!

 

Also, it's good to know I have another option if/when my Cricut Cake decides to die.  I treat it like a newborn baby because I can't afford to lose it - I use it too much!!

JackiSto Posted 2 May 2014 , 2:30pm
post #16 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwibird 


I got an Explore in march for my birthday and I've been searching for people who have tried cutting fondant with it and your post is the only one!
I have a few questions about this before I try it out..what is the ratio of fondant to gumtex that you used? Did any fondant go into the blade housing? And how do you take it off the mat?
TIA

Well, I had a cricut cake, so I had my time of trial and error a few years ago! 

 

To cut fondant and gumpaste, you have to slide the white guides to the outside so they don't run over your medium. You also have to use the "Cricut Cake" mat with a thin layer of crisco and roll your medium out onto it. Then pop it in the freezer for a few minutes until it's nice and hard. I find that if it is hard enough, you don't have to roll it as thin as they suggest, so it makes life a LOT easier, but I would invest in a deep cut blade :)

 

I DID get some fondant in the track and housing, but that was only as I was playing around with the first few tries. Two tricks I learned (and it never happened again) were:

 

Keep your fondant to the 11" line on the mat... no further out. If you go into that last inch on the outside of the mat, your guide rollers that you have slid to the outside will roll over your fondant and create a big ole mess.

 

AND

 

Before you load your mat, place the mat into the machine without loading and you will be able to see if the fondant is going to  hit the housing. If it clears, you are good for the duration.

A little trick that helped me was that I took the gasket from my cricut cake blade and put it on my explore housing. I know it wouldn't have gotten in the housing without it, but the extra security made me feel better lol

 

I have to be honest... I don't make HUGE batches of the fondant/gumtex (or tylose) so I don't really measure... What I do, and it works beautifully, is knead my fondant and work it into a worm like creature thingy (like when you were little with playdoh) and dip the end in the gum tex or tylose like pixie sticks, and let the moisture from the fondant cause the gum tex to stick... I then knead it in until I get a nice "unsticky" consistency. This is how I know it's ready to roll out. I then roll it onto my mat and pop it in the freezer.

 

To remove it from the mat, I use two methods...

One: I cut ON parchment paper... I take the mat, crisco and lay down parchment, and roll my fondant on top of that... that way I can literally just peel all the negative up, and remove the parchment from the back of my pieces... I have to be honest though... this doesn't always work... sometimes the paper slides, or the fondant doesn't stick... but when it works, it is amazing... and when it doesn't, it is kind of a nightmare

 

Two: I take a piece of parchment or wax paper with a light coating of crisco and place it over the mat. I then flip it over so the parchment is underneath and slowly work my little gumpaste spatula between the fondant and the mat, releasing it onto the paper. This works best if you pop the fondant back in the freezer for a bit so you don't stretch it out as you peel it off the mat. You then have an upside down image. I then remove the negative spaces with my little spatula, and sometimes I have to whip out the x-acto for the little details, but you then have a beautiful cutout stuck to your wax paper which you can then brush with corn syrup and apply directly to the cake, keeping all the little pieces exactly where you want them.

 

It sounds complicated, but once you've done it a few times, it's super fast and easy! :)

 

I hope this helps! :) :) :) :) :)

JackiSto Posted 2 May 2014 , 2:37pm
post #17 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupadeecakes 
 

I bought a Cricut Cake when they launched, and was early enough to buy a version of Sure Cuts a Lot before they got sued by Cricut.  I love it because I can cut any image using that software (no longer sold).  If I had to rely on cartridges I would have given it the boot long ago.  I like cutting modeling chocolate the best, but I have found tha no matter what I cut (fondant, gumpaste, etc.) that it always cuts best after an approx 5 minute visit in the freezer.  So I'll Crisco the mat, roll out my cutting material, place it on the mat, roll it good to adhere it better, trim it off, and then pop in freezer.

 

What type of files does the new Cricut software use?  Can you use SVG files?

Yes. You can take a jpg or other image file and create an svg from it, or you can use your own svg files through their vector upload.

 

You have to use the cricut design space software, which I was iffy about, but it is very user friendly and very easy to use. 

 

If I had an old firmwared cricut, I don't know if I would switch, just because of the versatility of the software, but I have to say, I am super impressed with the actual cutting this machine does... very precise and super quiet! I am very happy with the investment.

JackiSto Posted 2 May 2014 , 2:41pm
post #18 of 75

Quote:

Originally Posted by cupadeecakes 
 

It also comes off the mat much easier after a trip in the freezer.  When you're dealing with something as delicate as that Starbucks logo it helps A LOT!

 

Also, it's good to know I have another option if/when my Cricut Cake decides to die.  I treat it like a newborn baby because I can't afford to lose it - I use it too much!!

YES! I ALWAYS pop my mats in the freezer! Before and after cutting... makes cutting and removal SOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier. The only time I find I don't have to is if I am using sugar sheets.

kiwibird Posted 2 May 2014 , 3:56pm
post #19 of 75

[email protected] you are so kind!! thank you soo much for all that information!! I did purchase the deep cutting blade, cake mat and the cricut cake blades that come with the little plastic things (gaskets?)... I cant wait to try it out!! thank you again for all your help!

MBalaska Posted 2 May 2014 , 6:32pm
post #20 of 75

So when one buys a Cricut machine, you're good to copy business logos right off of the internet, like that Starbucks logo?

JackiSto Posted 2 May 2014 , 6:43pm
post #21 of 75

I can't tell if that was snarky or an honest question... so I'll answer both ways...

 

Technically, no... You shouldn't be using any logos whatsoever... But you shouldn't be making ANY sort of copyrighted material... so that Barbie cake? no no no... Someone wants a strawberry shortcake cake? You're a thief! lol We all do it to an extent... I look at it this way... If a friend wants a Starbucks cake, using the Cricut to cut it out rather than me doing it by hand looks much better...

 

If you are asking if you can take any image and create an svg file to cut from? Yes. This software allows you to take your own images and cut them.

pinklabel Posted 7 May 2014 , 2:57pm
post #22 of 75

I'm on the hunt for an e-cutter with the purpose of cutting fondant/gumpaste. After reading this post, i think i'll be leaning more towards the Cricut Explore.  Thank you for this post :) 

roxylee123 Posted 7 May 2014 , 5:05pm
post #23 of 75

I have a cricut cake already and I want a cricut explore to :D

fireflynrs Posted 14 May 2014 , 2:11pm
post #24 of 75

AOh thank you soooo much for posting this! I have the cake mini but am about to get the explore and have been dying to know how it might work with fondant or gum paste! I'm so excited to be able to cut my own images! Thank you thank you for posting your results! I've been worried that since cricut has discontinued the cake machine that once mine died I would be stuck without a way to cut gum paste and I love my machine. I'm so happy to know I CAN continue to cut and that I can do anything now!

mamas510 Posted 19 May 2014 , 8:17pm
post #25 of 75

If you use the Explore for fondant/gum paste are you able to switch back to using it for paper crafts? Or once you use it for fondant, must it be strictly used for cake decorating?  I asked for an Explore for my birthday and if I can multi use it, I'm pretty sure the hubby will give the go ahead :)  He's seen the amount of time I've spent on our kiddos cakes and so I would love to have one of these..  Thanks!

superdupercakes Posted 19 May 2014 , 8:29pm
post #26 of 75

The idea of the Cricut Cake was that it was food safe and easier to keep clean.  Is the Explore considered food safe?

roxylee123 Posted 19 May 2014 , 9:39pm
post #27 of 75

The Explore is not considered food safe it is designed for use with card and materials but people have used it to cut fondant. As long as it was used just for fondant/gumpaste alone and cleaned well after each use I couldn't see it being much different from the cricut cake. Using it for fondant would void the warranty though. If my cricut cake ever breaks I will be getting the explore to replace it.

JackiSto Posted 7 Jun 2014 , 3:01pm
post #28 of 75

AYeah... it's not considered food safe... I only use it for food though, so it won't be contaminated.

roxylee123 Posted 7 Jun 2014 , 7:48pm
post #29 of 75

What do you think of the Explore is it easy to use your own pictures with the software?

JackiSto Posted 7 Jun 2014 , 10:12pm
post #30 of 75

AIt is actually very easy.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%