Friday, February 28, 2014

My initial impressions of Cricut Design Space


I'm keeping in mind that it's new and that there may be changes/additions. Also it just came out of beta and I am sure there will be a quirk or two in the program.  And I'm used to using  Cricut Craft room…  I am relatively new at this.  I only purchased my first Cricut (an Expression 2) this past December.  I have only been using them for a little over two months.  And my Explore is not here yet so I have not tried that yet.. (That review will be out later.)  

The Explore seems to be such a great machine. and it so worthy of  an incredible software program. I'm not saying that Design Space doesn't have some good  points,  it does, however, the negative points are big ones. Remember this is just my initial impression of the software.

Pros

When you select an image and place it on the mat, all the layers are placed at the same time. This is a great feature.  Since I a new at this, I love it.  It separates all the layers on to different mats.   Makes it easier for me.  On my E2, I never quite got the hang of layering my images or getting the sizes right. 

You can move the images around on the cut preview screen. That means you can load your mat up with different colour cardstock and just keep selecting which layer you want to cut.   This I really like.

Dragging the middle left arrow to the right horizontally flips the object. Dragging the right middle arrow to the left flips the object. Same goes for bottom middle arrow, but it flips vertically. Regrettably  the shape also stretches while you're flipping... so I'm not sure how functional this is. 

You can do multiple lines of text in one text box and you can left/center and right align them. You can also increase the line space between the lines of text.

Each time you select a different font the text in the preview box will change.

You can select multiple images from the carts/image library and insert them onto the canvas at the same time

There's a score line image that you can insert onto your shape. Unfortunately.... that image currently says it's unavailable. Hopefully it will be available soon.

It's a bit awkward to use especially if you are new to using Cricut or to paper crafts..I think some more work needs to be done on this program.   It's difficult to resize and also difficult to position in the correct place on your object.

And  in my opinion,  the most important "pro" to some is the ability to import svg, dxf, jpg, gif, png and bmp image files and cut them on the Explore. This was one of the main reasons I decided to purchase the Explore.   Still working on figuring out how to import and clean up my graphics. I think I just need some practice. 

Cons

You MUST be connected to Design Space via the Internet in order to use it. 

Internet speeds on DS are kinda slow.  I hope that this does not continue.  I am hoping that this was just due to the unveiling and thousands of us crafters were flooding their servers. 

Ipad App is not available yet.

There's no Cricut keypad..... Not sure whether it really matters considering all the layers are placed on the mat for you.

Images are not grouped by Cartridges.  Don’t get me wrong, I think they way they group things is nice in DS but I would like to be able to look things up by cartridge.

What happened to the Licensed Cartridges?  In CCR you could see every cartridge under All Cartridges and if you wanted to purchase the cartridge you could.  I can’t seem to find any licensed cartridges listed the images.  The only ones I can see are the ones I already own. 

Many of the images say unavailable?  Hope this is fixed soon.. 

You have to ungroup images/text before you can use Hide Contour.

You have to ungroup images/text to weld. I liked it better in Cricut Craft Room. When two images only have to touch each other and they are automatically welded.  It was a bit easier. Especially for newbies like me. 

You can't unweld.   That really needs to be changed.  I dont want to have to start all over again if I decide I dont want something welded. 

There is no offset function.   There should be an offset function.  Makes it easier to create shadows.

There's no skew function

There is no Align function. 

There is no crop tool

There is no eraser tool. 

There should be a way to  insert a straight line (rather than shrinking a rectangle). 

You can't cut images that have gone outside the mat boundaries. I

Can't move images that you don't want to cut off to the side of the canvas as they are placed back within the cutting boundary.

The middle left handle doesn't move the image to the left, it stretches it.

Right clicking doesn't show you which font/image you have used. But the layers box will tell you the name of the cartridge

There are no cutting boundary indicators on the canvas so you won't know something is too big or goes outside the cutting boundary until you click the Go button

You can only have one canvas open at a time.


 
But overall its not a bad program.  Just needs a bit of tweaking and it will be awesome. 

Now I can’t wait to test out the Explore… Mine is now in shipping.. No delivery date set yet but it should be here by early next week. 


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