I use both a Silhouette Cameo 3 and Cricut Explore Air now, but years ago when the Cricut was a brand new invention, I bought one. I knew nothing about it, but I have always liked having the newest crafty gadgets available. I could not figure out that crazy little machine and it was expensive to buy the cartridges, so I gave it to my sister and she still has it. She uses it all of the time! She must be smarter than I am.
Fast forward to last August…There is a lot of information out there on both the Cricut and Silhouette cutting machines. I went back and forth before I made up my mind. I decided to give Cricut another try. I have used a computer for years, but only know basic programs like Word, Powerpoint, and Publisher. I knew the design software for Cricut, called Design Space, was supposed to be easy to learn. And it was fairly easy to learn, but making a stencil takes some brain power. You have to learn to see where your stencil needs bridges so that parts of the stencil are held together and they don’t fall out. This is challenging at first, but the more you do it, the easier it is to see those areas when you look at something you want to turn into a stencil. More to come on that in a later post.
After learning to use the Cricut Explore Air and the Design Space software, I decided to get a Silhouette Cameo 3. I kept seeing posts in my Facebook group and questions on that machine, the cut settings, and the software. I wanted to learn how to use that machine too because I wanted to create stencils with more detail. I could see a difference in the photos of the cut files and the details of the completed stencils. I had always heard that Silhouette Studio was harder to learn. I will agree. It does have more tools and features, but after learning Cricut Design Space, Silhouette Studio was not hard to pick up at all. The software tools may be different, but they do very similar things. I will add that I have not learned every tool the Studio software. It does have more tools than Design Space and I have only used the tools needed for creating stencils. Both companies have recently announced new versions. I am just starting to use them. I will keep you in the loop on how I like the changes.
If you want to learn more about the software for these machines, you can download FREE versions for the type of computer that you have. There is a PC and a Mac version. It is good to take a look at the software and get familiar with it. I did download both of them before I bought my machines, but until I had the machines to cut the stencils, it didn’t always make sense on the screen.