Have you ever wondered about the lineage of the Circuit machines? I have collected information and images for a variety of machines that have been made. Cricut machines are manufactured by Provo Craft & Novelty, Inc. Provo Craft is located in Utah. The company is 15 years old and was created on December 21, 2003. I don’t have the manufacture dates for each machine. If you have this information, I would love to be able to add it to this article.
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The models are listed in reverse order of their manufacturing years. If you want to see Cricut models by year, then start at the bottom of the current models and work your way back to the top.
release date: June 2021
The Maker 3 cuts over 300 materials and is compatible with 13 tools. It is up to 2x faster than its predecessor and 10x the cutting force. The Maker 3 is compatible with smart materials for cuts up to 12ft in one go.
release date: June 2021
The Explore 3 cuts over 100 materials and is compatible with 6 tools that are sold separately. It is up to 2x faster than its predecessor. It is also compatible with Smart Materials for cuts up to 12 ft in one go.
release: Feb. 12, 2020 – available March 2020
The Cricut Joy is a smaller, more light-weight version at 5″ x 8″ and less than 4 lb. The Joy introduces two new features not elsewhere available in the Cricut product portfolio. With specialty accessories and materials (labeled Smart Materials™), the Joy is able to cut single designs up to four feet long and repeated cuts up to 20 feet.
released: August 20, 2017
The Cricut Maker machine is used with Design Space, which is a cloud-based, online software. It does not function stand-alone. When using Design Space on a desktop or laptop computer, an internet connection is required. When using the machine with the Design Space app on an iOS device (iPad/iPhone), you can use the offline feature in that app to use your machine and Design Space without an internet connection. The Cricut Maker is an adaptable machine with interchangeable cutting and scoring heads.
release: October 5, 2016
A slight update from the Air, it cuts two times faster. Comes in a variety of colors and works with the current Circuit Design Space application.
This is a wireless machine that can cut paper to fabric and more. It works with the current Circuit Design Space application.
release: May 6, 2015
Similar in look to the other Explore machines but only has a single tool holder. You can cut and write but you have to do so in two steps.
The Cricut Explore, ExploreAir, and Explore Air 2 each have a double tool holder so that you can cut & write (or cut & score) in 1 step. The Explore One has a single tool holder, so it can cut & write (or cut & score) in 2 steps.
The Explore Air and Explore Air 2 have built-in Bluetooth, but for Explore One and Explore, you will need a Cricut Wireless Bluetooth Adapter in order to use it with your iOS or Android mobile device or to cut wirelessly from your computer.
The rest of this post is not in chronological order, but dates are listed if available.
Cricut Expression 2
released: September 26, 2011
The Cricut Expression 2 was designed as a standalone machine. The LCD touch screen and Cricut® cartridges allowed you to create projects without being connected to a computer. A computer was required to update the machine’s firmware, however.
release: February 28, 2010
The Cricut Expression machine had several fantastic features available. A few favorites are the AutoFill and Quantity features. They allowed you to cut multiples of the same image so you could quickly create a batch of invitations, place settings, party favors, or other projects. There was a scoring tip that could be used.
release: approx 2012
The Cricut Mini relied exclusively on using Cricut Craft Room, a computer program that no longer functions. The Circuit Mini is obsolete.
release: Summer 2010
The Cricut Imagine machines use a special cutting mat with a white border and black registration marks that the machine will read prior to cutting your printed images with precision and accuracy. The Imagine machine was unable to read any other mats.
Cricut Cake was specifically designed to cut edible material, including gum paste, frosting sheets, and more. As such, it was designed with parts made of food-safe material. In fact, any part of the machine that touches food was made of food-safe material.
release: December 21, 2003
The Cricut Create machine was designed to function with the Cricut® cartridges as a standalone machine.
release: January 9, 2005
The Cricut Personal/V1 machine was designed to function with the original Cricut cartridges as a standalone machine.
Cricut Mug Press
original release date: 2021
The Cricut Mug Press is for 11 – 16 oz (350 – 470 ml) Infusible Ink compatible mugs*. The press has a one-touch setting and safety features including auto-off.
original release: na
The Cricut Cuttlebug machine is compatible with most leading brands of dies and embossing folders. The B Plates – Cutting, A Plate – Spacer, and C Plate – Adapter (sold separately) are different thicknesses so that you can mix and match. The Cuttlebug is no longer being produced.
release: August 2017
The Cricut EasyPress comes in three different sizes and is used to heat iron-on vinyl. You may find it has alternative uses similar to an iron.
Here is a printable chart for heat settings. [EasyPress chart]
release: approx 2017
The Cricut BrightPad comes in Mint Green and Rose Gold. It is a modern lightbox and works great for weeding, tracing, paper piecing, and jewelry making.
released: September 2009
The Gypsy was a portable personal design device for use with your Cricut® Personal, Create, Expression, Cake, Cake Mini, Expression 2 and Imagine machines. It allowed you to store Cricut® cartridge content, design with that content, and then connect to your Cricut® to cut.