I’m finally ready to try out the new Cricut Maker Knife Blade. It’s been sitting next to the machine all week and I have some time to play with it.
The knife blade is made to dig in and cut thicker materials, like the 2 mm chipboard materials being sold. I went back to one of my never-started projects collection and grabbed a bag of cashmere scarves that I planned on dyeing at one point and I thought I’d make a template for that project. I wanted to use chipboard so I could use light-sensitive dyes. Even if the dye liquid bleeds into the material, UV rays wouldn’t be able to penetrate the board keeping the image sharp on the scarf.
In the past week, I had put together some files I wanted to use as a template. One of those templates was a Damask stencil we’ve probably all have seen a thousand times. If it can cut this out of the chipboard then I should be able to pretty much cut anything.
I grabbed my phone, loaded the project in the app and then realized you can’t cut 2 mm chipboard with the app. It won’t let you select the material. After a quick google search, I found out that they won’t let you because the chipboard takes a long time to cut and it needs to stay in contact with the software… which your phone probably won’t do. My phone clicks off after a minute of not touching it, so that makes sense. I didn’t realize the software needed to stay in contact, I just assumed it uploaded the cutting instructions and it was done.
I grabbed my laptop and loaded the design again and off it went. Most of what the Cricut did was stabbing motions into the board. Especially for tight curves. It isn’t going to twist the blade in the material unless it’s a long curve.
The Cricut stopped several times having lost connection to the laptop’s Bluetooth. The Cricut software allowed me to continue the cut, but it became aggravating after this happened several times. Eventually, I grabbed a USB cable and connected the laptop directly to the machine.
I came back about an hour or two later and found it was still cutting and basically just destroying the board. It was also making a mess everywhere.
I knew it was going to take a while but after about 2 hours it was only about 2% done. The problems with the Bluetooth connection didn’t help. So I decided to stop it. This machine is in my room and I wasn’t going to listen to it stab a board all night.
It looks like I would eventually get a usable template out of it. Sure, parts were mangled, but it was just cosmetic and didn’t concern me for this particular project.
In the end, my experience with chipboard wasn’t great. I think I’m going to the drawing board with this project and I’ll have to pick something a lot more simple if I want to make a chipboard template in a reasonable time period. Something as complex as a Damask pattern should probably be cut with a laser or a different material that won’t require multiple passes to cut through.