If you have ever been working on a project in Cricut Design Space and things are just not working how you expected them to, then you are in the right place. I am going to show you some tips to troubleshooting and fix problems in Cricut Design Space. You might get an error or a warning that you just do not understand. I am going to go over some of the most common warns, what they mean and how to fix the issue and get back to crafting. I did another article that went over the typical issues to troubleshoot when doing a Print The Cut project that you can read HERE. For this article I am going to dive into some of the other typical problems and issues people run into with Cricut Design Space.
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Layers Panel – Cut or Print then Cut
I see a lot of people asking for help online, and the people who really understand how Cricut Design Space works will always ask to see their screen in Design Space including the Layers Panel on the right hand side. Why is this? Because there is so much information in that Layers Panel that can help you solve your issues when it comes to troubleshooting in Cricut Design Space.
For example, in the image below you can see I have two hearts on my Design Space canvas. If you look at the information in the layers panel that I have circled in blue you will see that one heart says Cut next to the small preview. This means that this image is set up to be cut with the Cricut. The second heart says Cut / Print, which means that this second heart is set up as a Print then Cut image. It will be printed on our home printer, and then that image will be cut with the Cricut. There is a HUGE difference between a cut only project and a print then cut project.
The entire topic of if an image is set for Cut only or if it is set as a Print then Cut image is so in-depth I have a whole article devoted just to that topic. You can read that HERE. You should always know before you start a project if you want to just cut the image on your Cricut or if you plan to print it from your home printer and then cut that on your Cricut. Then you can look at the information on the Layers Panel to ensure you have your image set up the way you would like it. This is also important to know when you are uploading your own images since you have to choose which way you want to save the image after you upload it.
For example, I would want my image set as Cut if I am making a shirt cut from colored iron on vinyl, also called HTV. I would want my image set for Print then Cut if I am doing a printed sticker project.
Why is it important to know if an image is set up as a print then cut or a cut only image? This will help you troubleshoot the different issues connected to the type of image you are working with, one of which is the size of the image that we will talk about in a minute. Also, the Joy cannot perform the Print then Cut function, so if that is the machine you are using then you want to be sure you are using cut files.
Layers Panel – Warning Icon
Another thing to do when troubleshooting in Cricut Design Space is to look for the warning icons.. If you look at the picture to the right, you will see that both of the images shown on the layers panel have a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark inside of it. This is the warning icon to tell you that there is an error or issue with this layer.
If you click on that yellow triangle you will find out more information about the error which will help you in troubleshooting in Cricut Design Space. Be sure to read the information inside of these errors. In the following sections I will help you understand what they mean.
Both Print then Cut and Cut only images types have different limitations to them. For example, the size of the image could give you an error. The largest you can cut an image is 11.5 inches by 23.5 inches. That is because the largest cutting mat that Cricut makes is 12 inches by 24 inches, and Cricut Design Space takes off 1/4″ on all side of the cutting mat. Print then cut images have a size limit of 9.25 inches by 6.75 inches. This is because when the image is printed from your home printer, the Cricut also needs space to add the registration marks around the image, which tells the Cricut where to cut. Since the Joy is smaller, if you are cutting with the mats, the size limit for cutting on the Joy is 4.25 inches by 11.75 inches.
Below are the two error messages that you will receive regarding the size of images. The first one is for the size of cut images, and the second one is for the size of print then cut images.
To resolve these errors, you can either reduce your image to fit within the dimension mentioned in the error, or you can do what is typically called a Larger Than Mat project. To do this, you have to break the image into sections that will fit within the cutting dimensions. I go over this process in detail HERE.
Machine or Accessory Compatibility
Other error messages you see might be due to the Cricut machine or accessory compatibility issues. For example, if you are trying to do a Print then Cut project from the Joy you will see this error since the Joy does not have the scanning portion in order to line up the cuts with a printed image.
If you are using a pre-designed project from Cricut Design Space that calls for the knife blade, rotary tool or perforation blade and you are using the Explore or Joy machine you will get a warning. This is because these special accessories are only compatible with the Cricut Maker.
Another time you might see the accessory compatibility error is when you are writing or drawing with the Cricut pens. There are different pens for the Maker and Explore than the pens you use for the Joy. If when you select the pen color or type, you choose a Joy pen while actually using the Explore machine you will see this error.
If you run into another error that you do not see covered here, please let me know and I will add it to this list. Additionally there are other troubleshooting Cricut Design Space tips HERE.