Update Mar 18: Cricut abandons payment plan in public statement
Update March 16: Read Cricut’s full response here
Over the weekend, many people received some quite unpleasant news in the form of an update from Cricut on their plotter/cutter. Soon, unless they pay a membership fee, the machine they already own will be limited to 20 files per month.
The way the Cricut cutter/plotter machines work is cloud based. You have to use their software, which means you have to upload your design to their servers for processing. Unless you pay for their monthly membership, you’re going to be limited to 20 uploads. Let’s say you need to change something in your file and re-upload? That counts too. There is no local option to send files to your machine for cutting.
As you can imagine, many users and small businesses feel that this is unfair. They bought their machines with the sales pitch that they could use their designs for free, without mentions of any limits. Now, after purchase, Cricut is looking to limit their ability to use the machines that they already purchased.
As you can imagine a hard limit of 20 uploads (unique or revisions) really impedes many people’s ability to use the machines. Imagine a teacher for instance, who has a class full of students, they’ll easily hit that limit within a day of cutting. A small business that is selling stickers on Etsy, or a makerspace holding classes. Again, this is all something that was not advertised when the machine was purchased. The customer was not allowed to make the decision if this machine was worth it based off this limit, at the time of purchase.
Many have signed a petition, hoping to show Cricut how unfair this is, and possibly get them to reverse the action.
There is a lot of speculation as to why Cricut would take these actions. They have announced that they will be going IPO soon, so many are seeing this as the impetus for the decisions.
I’ve emailed Cricut hoping for some confirmation that they intend to stick to their 20 file limit, and I’ll update this article when and if I hear back.
In the meantime, here are some alternative machines you may wish to check out!