NOTE: recently Make The Cut has been updated, and supposedly no longer will support the plugin.
I suspected this day would come eventually.
Quote from the Make The Cut website:
“On 8/17/2012 a new version of Make The Cut! was released (version 4.1.1) which no longer allows the Cricut Plug-in to be loaded. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
One possibility (which is untested) is to buy a licence, and find an old version of the installer. I don’t know if this will work or not, but if someone tests it out, let me know. I’m sure others would like to know.
Back to the original article:
The Cricut is a cool little cutting machine, aimed at the Craft/Scrapbooking market. It looks like a printer, but is more like a pen plotter. If you saw my previous post, I bought one for my loving wife Diana for her birthday.
The Cricut comes with very minimal usability out of the box, and requires you to buy ridiculously expensive cartridges. You can get cartridges on amazon from about $25 (pretty cheap) but most are much more than that. With postage on top of that (to Australia, makes it expensive). Locally, You’re looking at more like $60 per cartridge for a cheap one. There must be a better way!
On the back of the machine, there is a USB port. Sweet. surely there is some software out there that can make good use of the cutter, and make it much cheaper to use?
Well, there is, BUT……….
There is the Cricut Design Studio, which seems like a handy idea, and likely is in many ways, if you have a bunch of cartridges.
You see, the Cricut Design Studio requires you to have bought the cartridges that you want to use. You can’t print custom-made designs, or use fonts on your computer or anything, so you are really only marginally better off with this software. It does allow you to lay things out better than the basic interface you get just the machine.
Then, there was several of other pieces of software available such as Sure Cuts a Lot, and Make the Cut, which allowed you to use standard True Type fonts on your computer, as well as importing vector graphics from other software to cut your own design of graphics.
Of course, the makers of the Cricut cutters didn’t like this, as for the price of a single cartridge, you could then use all the fonts and pictures out there on the internet, without ever having to pay the makers of the Cricut anything. It appears that they started sueing all the makers of this software, so now none of them work with the Cricuts any Longer.
But, you are not out of luck just yet, I have worked out (with help from the internet) how to make the Make the Cut program work once again with the Cricut!
You see, Make the Cut uses plugins to interface to the Cricut, and other different Cutting hardware. It seems all the makers have done to make the software incompatible is remove the Cricut driver dll from the application.
Some very awesome people out there have discovered that, by putting the dll file in the plugin folder for the current Make the Cut download, you can still use the software.
Make it Happen
First,I should note, that I was lucky enough that the firmware on the Cricut was already up to date, so i didn’t need to upgrade ours. You may need to upgrade firmware, you apparently can do this with the demo of the Cricut Design Studio. A quick google should get you going in the right direction. I think Make The Cut! works with firmwares of 1.1 and above for the Cricut Personal. Your cricut will tell you the firmware version on the LCD screen when you turn it on.
First, with a standard printer style USB cable, plug the cricut into your computer. Windows will hopefully find and install the drivers for the cricut automatically. The cricut will appear as a usb to serial adaptor. When I first tried with my laptop, I had struggles, but eventually it seemingly sorted itself out somehow. My wife’s worked right away, and both laptops are windows 7. If it doesn’t install properly, I’m afraid you’ll have to do a bit of research online.You may need to download the drivers manually.
Download and install Make The Cut! (the demo will work, so you can test it all before you commit to the software).
Google “PCCPlugin.dll” and download the file to your computer. This is the driver for the cricut cutters. It should be out there for you to find. (edit update: try these links which have been provided in the comments: filedropper, filedropper(zipped), filefactory (zipped). these are not my files, so they may go down at some point)
Place the PCCPlugin.dll file in the plugin directory of Make The Cut (default will likely be c:\program files\Make the Cut!\Plugins).
Run the program. Now when you click on Cut Project With… you should be able to choose the ProvoCraft Cricut.
If this works for you and you haven’t already bought Make The Cut, I recommend buying it now. We chose to wait until we’d seen it working before buying it. In demo mode Make The Cut will work but anything cut will be cut with a big X thru it, making it pretty useless.
Now Enjoy using the hardware you own, in a way YOU like it.