The basic software to operate a Cricut machine is free, but many useful features are available with a paid, voluntary subscription
Cricut Design Space, the software required to run the Maker, Explore Air 2, and Joy, is free to download (here) and operate. Design Space is downloaded straight to your computer, phone, or tablet and you can use it online or offline. Within Design Space, you can create or upload your own images and fonts for free, and you will also find a range of pre-made projects, fonts, and images available for one-time purchase.
Cricut Access is Cricut’s subscription service which provides free or discounted access to a library of projects, images, and fonts through Design Space, plus discounts on machines, tools and materials in the Cricut Store.
You do not need a Cricut Access membership to use Design Space or your Cricut machine.
With your purchase of a new machine, you will get a free trial to Cricut Access. After your trial, you can choose from three plans:
- Monthly: $9.99
- Yearly: $7.99/month (billed at $95.88 per year)
- Premium: $9.99/month (billed at $119.88 per year)
With a paid membership, you have free or discounted access to images, fonts, and projects which fall into three categories:
- non-premium, non-licensed. Cricut Access includes unlimited use of 100,000 images, 7,000 projects and 400 fonts in this category
- non-premium, licensed. Cricut offers these files and fonts at a 50% discount for Premium subscribers
- premium, licensed. Cricut offers licensed images and fonts from brands like Star Wars, Sanrio and Marvel for a 10% discount for all subscribers
In addition, all Cricut Access members get a 10% discount on purchases from the Cricut store (machines, accessories, materials, etc. – even if they are on sale) and can use a Priority Member Care phone line. Premium members also get free shipping on orders over $50.
If you buy a pre-owned machine from somewhere, don’t despair. You can still get a month of Cricut Access as a free trial. Just sign up through Design Space after a new download of the software. Like Netflix, you’ll get a free month and then get billed $9.99 a month afterwards.
For more information about Cricut’s current line of machines, click here.