Introducing Cricut Maker 3 | Full Machine Review
Today is a VERY exciting day for the Cricut Community! My friends, I am so excited to introduce you to one of the newest members of the Cricut machine family: Cricut Maker 3! This fully redesigned machine features revolutionary speed, power, and precision not seen in other cutting machines on the market. Plus, it has one new, super exciting feature: matless cutting! Cricut is revolutionizing the way we create with our machines, and it’s now easier than ever before to bring your projects (both big and small!) to life. I’m beyond honored to give you a tour of the brand new Cricut Maker 3 today, as well as the compatible accessories and materials! Let’s get to it!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
About Cricut Maker 3
Cricut Maker 3 is the newest and latest version of Cricut’s famous powerhouse machine, Cricut Maker. It’s been fully redesigned from top-to-bottom and now boasts 2x the speed and 10x the power of the original Maker model. Cricut Maker 3 is also compatible with Smart Materials, which eliminates the need for a mat and allows you to cut up to 144″ in a single cut. In essence, Cricut Maker 3 helps bring your projects from imagination to real life faster, easier, better!
Custom Pillow | DIY Wall Ruler
What’s the Same?
There are a lot of amazing updates from Cricut Maker to Cricut Maker 3, but I want to start this tour with what is the same.
First, the size, weight, overall design, and functionality of Cricut Maker 3 are very similar to the original Cricut Maker. The blade and pen housings look and function the same, and there is still the device holding station along the top and a tool compartment in the lower tray.
Second, Cricut Maker 3 does everything the original Cricut Maker does, including:
- Cuts over 300 materials with flawless precision
- Compatible with existing pens and markers
- Compatible with the same suite of 13 speciality tools (e.g., Knife Blade, Scoring Wheel, Rotary Blade, etc)
Finally, while you don’t have to use a mat on some projects (more on this below), you CAN still use all the same sticky mats with Cricut Maker 3 to cut materials like fabric, chipboard, and other non-Smart materials.
There are a few enhancements to the machine’s design that experienced Cricut users will notice and appreciate! Not only is the pen cup just a smidge deeper, but the “Go” button (previously with the flashing Cricut symbol) has been replaced with a more-commonly understood “play” button design.
One of the biggest updates is Cricut Maker 3’s speed. In a head-to-head matchup against the original Cricut Maker, Cricut Maker 3 works 2X as fast, cutting and writing up to 8″/second. (This means that when I remember I need to make class Valentines 1 hour before the bus comes, I can actually get them done!) Cricut Maker 3 is currently the fastest cutting machine on the market!
Thanks to commercial-grade technology, Cricut Maker 3 has 10X the cutting power as the previous machines. It’s now stronger than ever to cut through tougher materials such as chipboard, basswood, leather, etc. Although these stiffer materials still require dozens of passes to cut clean through, it will complete the project faster thanks to the enhanced speed and power!
Cricut Maker 3 features better sensors than previous models, which means you can now use the Print Then Cut feature on BOTH white and colored papers! However, the current Print Then Cut size remains unchanged.
Compatibility with Smart Materials
The absolute biggest and most noteworthy update is Cricut Maker 3’s compatibility with Smart Materials (CUE THE CONFETTI!) Smart Materials are specially-made vinyl, iron-on, and paper that do not require a mat for cutting. After designing your projects, there’s no need to pre-cut, pre-measure, or load material onto a mat. You simply load Smart Materials straight into the machine and go!
Cricut Maker 3 will first measure and then cut your project with a single click of the button!
When Cricut first launched Smart Materials with Cricut Joy, I seriously swooned how quick and easy it was to make my projects. I never really realized how much of a nuisance mats were. To have this matless technology brought to the bigger machines (the new Cricut Explore 3 has matless cutting too!) is a serious time saver.
Because we are no longer limited by mat size on Cricut Maker 3, we can now make projects bigger than ever! When using Smart Materials, you can now make a single design in the following dimensions:
- Smart Vinyl – 11.7″ wide by up to 144″ long (yep – you read that right!)
- Smart Iron On – 11.7″ x 48″ long
- Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock – 11.7″ x 11.2″
When it comes to budget-smart and renter-friendly home decor, these size options are a game changer!
All New Smart Materials
As I mentioned above, the biggest upgrade in Cricut Maker 3 is the ability to cut Smart Materials. These are specially-designed materials that feed directly into the machine without having to be stuck onto a mat first. Until now, Smart Materials were only sized for Cricut Joy (5.5″ wide). But now, a brand new line of Smart Materials is available for use with Cricut Maker 3 and Cricut Explore 3.
Smart Vinyl now comes in Permanent, Removable, and Specialty finishes (e.g., glitter, holographic, etc) in 14 different colors.
Additionally, standard rolls now measure 13″ x 3′ (instead of 2′!) and come in rolls as long as 75′ (that’s A LOT of vinyl!) Adding vinyl decals to walls, backsplashes, or other projects just got so much easier with these long rolls and big cuts!
Smart Iron-On comes in Standard and Speciality finishes (e.g., glitter, holographic) in several different colors.
Standard rolls of iron-on measure 13″ x 3′ and come in rolls as long as 9′. Making t-shirts for an entire team or whipping up some large custom pillows design just became a lot more feasible!
DIY Pillow with Cricut Smart Iron-On
Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock
Vinyl and iron-on are no longer the only options for matless cutting. With the launch of new Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock in black, white, brights, and pastels, you can now cut paper without a mat, as well. And since this paper already has adhesive, you can skip the glue step on your next project too! (MORE CONFETTI!)
What Comes In the Box?
You will find the following items in the box:
- Cricut Maker 3 machine
- Premium Fine Point Blade + Blade Housing
- Quick Start Guide
- Power Cord & Adapter
- USB Cord (only needed for setting up your machine)
- An array of Smart Materials (13″ x 13″ sheets of Smart Vinyl, Smart Iron-On, Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock, and Transfer Tape)
NOTE: It’s important to note that Cricut Maker 3 does not come with a mat or the Rotary Blade (as Cricut Maker did). These items are available for individual purchase separately.
Introducing the Roll Holder for Smart Materials
Did you catch where I said Smart Vinyl comes in rolls as long as 75′ and Smart Iron-On in rolls of 9′? That’s a lot of vinyl! And when cutting really big projects, managing all that material can be tricky. Which is why it’s SO exciting that along with the new machines and materials, Cricut is also releasing the brand new Roll Holder for Smart Materials (EVEN MORE CONFETTI!!!)
This sleek Roll Holder (that perfectly matches Cricut Maker 3’s icy blue) slides right onto the lower tray. It holds a single roll of vinyl that you can then feed through and right into the machine’s feed guides.
And my favorite part of all? It includes an easy-slide trimmer. So once your project is done cutting, you can trim the vinyl roll right away. Yet another time saving step that can add up big time!
FAQs about Cricut Maker 3
Here are a few other things you might be wondering about Cricut Maker 3.
Did Cricut Maker 3 loose any functions from previous machines?
Nope! Cricut Maker 3 does everything Cricut Maker does…and MORE! It still does Print Then Cut; you can still draw, score, and engrave; and you can still use mats. Cricut Maker 3 has simply ADDED power, speed, and matless cutting to create a more efficient crafting experience overall!
Do all my current Maker tools work with Maker 3?
Yep! All your current pens, blades, tools, and mats are compatible with Maker 3.
How big can I cut on Maker 3?
The biggest single image you can cut is 144″ long from Smart Vinyl and 48″ long from Smart Iron-On. But if you have a roll that is 21′ for example, you can technically cut three 84″ images or two 120″ images at one time.
Can I use Smart Materials with my current Maker or Explore?
Nope! The new Explore 3 and Maker 3 have enhanced sensors and guides that specifically load and control the Smart Materials. The older machines do not have these sensors and therefor do not support matless cutting.
Can the Roll Holder be used on my current Maker or Explore?
Nope! Not only do the current machines not support Smart Materials, but the guides on the Roll Holder do not line up with the current machines’ trays.
Can you use pens, foil, and scoring tools on the Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock?
Yep! The new Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock has a firm backing. Not only does this allow it to feed into the machine and cut perfectly, but it provides the sturdy surface needed for writing, foiling, scoring, and more!
Is matless cutting worth the added price tag and/or upgrading?
Without hesitation, yes! Back during the launch of Cricut Joy, I was working around the clock with that machine and its Smart Materials. I then needed to switch to my Cricut Maker for something bigger, and I was shocked at how irritated I was about having to use mats. I can’t emphasize enough how much of a time saver it is not to have to pre-measure, pre-cut, and load material onto a mat…especially if you craft and create a lot (which I do) and/or without a lot of spare time (which I also do). If you are just getting into Cricut, splurging for this feature will be well worth it!
Do You Still Need Mats for Maker 3?
Yes, you do…for all those other 297 materials you can cut with Maker 3 that aren’t “Smart.” You will still need mats to cut fabric, chipboard, matboard, leather, felt, and more. Additionally the mats are also handy for the vinyl, iron-on, and paper you already have, as well as “off cuts” (excess material from Smart rolls that can no longer be fed into the machine).
What colors does Maker 3 come in?
Currently, Maker 3 is only available in the gorgeous icy blue shown in these photos!
I’m ready! When and where can I get Cricut Maker 3?
You can purchase both the new Maker 3 and Explore 3 (as well as the Smart Materials and compatible Roll Holder) on June 10, 2021 at Cricut.com. Look for machines and supplies to start hitting shelves at your favorite local retailers on or around June 27th.
At the beginning of 2020, I sat in a room with a bunch of Cricut employees and my fellow (and favorite) Cricut bloggers to test and play with the (then new) Cricut Joy and the (very revolutionary) Smart Materials. I’ll never forget timidly raising my hand and asking, “This matless cutting is amazing. But what about the Explore and Maker? When can we have it for those machines?” Never in my wildest dreams that just over a year later, I’d get to see this awesome technology brought to life on the powerful Maker 3 and trusty Explore 3.
Cricut is continually developing awesome new ways for us to craft better, easier, and faster than ever before. In the coming weeks, I can’t wait to share all the fun projects I’ve made for our home with Maker 3…you guys are going to LOVE this new machine!