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Cricut Now Wants Users to Pay Extra for Unlimited Use of the Cutting Machines They Already Own

9 hours ago, Energycore said:

Soon we'll have to pay a monthly subscription for each and every one of our PC components.

If that would happen chances are 'totally legitimate' free permanent subscriptions will be released by definitely not hackers.

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So a $300 Machine to cut fancy Shapes? What is stopping anyone from doing the exact same thing by hand? Or Simply using an older Computer and Rigging together a Cutting out of whatever can be pressed into such uses?

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10 hours ago, Energycore said:

Soon we'll have to pay a monthly subscription for each and every one of our PC components.

Shush, you'll give them ideas.

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1 hour ago, whm1974 said:

So a $300 Machine to cut fancy Shapes? What is stopping anyone from doing the exact same thing by hand? Or Simply using an older Computer and Rigging together a Cutting out of whatever can be pressed into such uses?

They have a cult following, they know their loyal subjects will pay the fee as opposed to using another brand.  Same as tesla really. 

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13 minutes ago, Heliian said:

They have a cult following, they know their loyal subjects will pay the fee as opposed to using another brand.  Same as tesla really. 

Surely their are other Companies selling the same Class of Special Printers for cutting shapes for Crafts. W/O the Fee...

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6 hours ago, whm1974 said:

So a $300 Machine to cut fancy Shapes? What is stopping anyone from doing the exact same thing by hand? Or Simply using an older Computer and Rigging together a Cutting out of whatever can be pressed into such uses?

I mean... this is kind of an ignorant question. That's okay - I assume you've never used one before and aren't into that kind of home crafting thing.

 

But you're basically asking if a person can cut precision and complex designs by hand... Sure, some can. But most cannot. We're not talking about a square or circle, etc.

 

We're talking, for example, recreating the LTT logo in seconds, on adhesive vinyl to create a custom mug.

 

And "rigging together a cutting"...? Now you're talking about people basically creating their own CNC machine, effectively. Sure it might be able to be done, and I'm sure there are DIY solutions.

 

But what software would you even use to control such a device? Unless you're expecting them to code their own software too.

 

The reality is that for people that want to do these kinds of crafts, there aren't good DIY solutions (at least none I'm aware of), and it's definitely not easy to just "cut by hand" or "make your own cutter".

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14 minutes ago, dalekphalm said:

I mean... this is kind of an ignorant question. That's okay - I assume you've never used one before and aren't into that kind of home crafting thing.

 

But you're basically asking if a person can cut precision and complex designs by hand... Sure, some can. But most cannot. We're not talking about a square or circle, etc.

 

We're talking, for example, recreating the LTT logo in seconds, on adhesive vinyl to create a custom mug.

 

And "rigging together a cutting"...? Now you're talking about people basically creating their own CNC machine, effectively. Sure it might be able to be done, and I'm sure there are DIY solutions.

 

But what software would you even use to control such a device? Unless you're expecting them to code their own software too.

 

The reality is that for people that want to do these kinds of crafts, there aren't good DIY solutions (at least none I'm aware of), and it's definitely not easy to just "cut by hand" or "make your own cutter".

Well when I hear/read the word Crafts, I'm thinking Hand Crafts. Some of which I did in my early Teens. 

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9 hours ago, Video Beagle said:

Thanks that helps....my continued question is.. do you need to be online to use it? Like, can't you just input stuff to the machine directly? Is it worthless if you're not online, or have run out of the "20 cuts"?

It’s essentially a plotter with a swivel knife in it. Scientists were using this stuff in the 70’s to do math for various other things.  Calculus is all about the area under a curve so one way to get the answer after a fashion is to cut out the area under a graph and weigh it.  These asshats didn’t even think of anything fundamentaly new they just made it really convenient.   2 1960’s technologies mashed together.  I suspect a version without the whole “and now we own you” aspect would be just that.  Find an old plotter and put a swivel knife in it.

Edited by Bombastinator

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1 hour ago, dalekphalm said:

I mean... this is kind of an ignorant question. That's okay - I assume you've never used one before and aren't into that kind of home crafting thing.

 

But you're basically asking if a person can cut precision and complex designs by hand... Sure, some can. But most cannot. We're not talking about a square or circle, etc.

 

We're talking, for example, recreating the LTT logo in seconds, on adhesive vinyl to create a custom mug.

 

And "rigging together a cutting"...? Now you're talking about people basically creating their own CNC machine, effectively. Sure it might be able to be done, and I'm sure there are DIY solutions.

 

But what software would you even use to control such a device? Unless you're expecting them to code their own software too.

 

The reality is that for people that want to do these kinds of crafts, there aren't good DIY solutions (at least none I'm aware of), and it's definitely not easy to just "cut by hand" or "make your own cutter".

Doing it by hand used to be the only choice.  The plotter system improves speed, accuracy, and repeatability.  The device is useful.  It’s the cloud system and licensing that is purely parasitic.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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7 hours ago, Heliian said:

They have a cult following, they know their loyal subjects will pay the fee as opposed to using another brand.  Same as tesla really. 

More accurately they have an utterly dependent following.  There are a lot of really small businesses that have products that use this thing to make a living.  They won’t like it. They just won’t have a choice.  It’s vicious and cruel in a lot of instances, but a lot of things are like that.  They’re banking though that no one who uses the thing knows how to code.  A similar thing happened with an automatic cat box called the cat genie.  Tremendously useful product.  The inventor worked for years on it.  He could have been a millionaire.  The problem was he went on “dragons den” looking for funding, and the owner of dragons den who was also one of the “dragons” got his hooks into it.  His contribution, for which he wanted basically everything, was to make the product worse.  He added drm where you had to effectively pay $30/liter for water.   The problem was one of the users was a coder who built the cat genius which was a device that basically returned the original functionality.  If o e of cricut’s users is like that guy they’re hosed.  Apparently after the guy did this people who went on dragons den would totally refuse to work with that guy.  It broke the show.

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Basically they're going after all the people who do custom shirts, stickers and "branding" as a business. They basically make easy money once they buy a machine; Cricut realizes that they didn't have a good enough proposition and need another stream.

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9 minutes ago, divito said:

Basically they're going after all the people who do custom shirts, stickers and "branding" as a business. They basically make easy money once they buy a machine; Cricut realizes that they didn't have a good enough proposition and need another stream.

Those people might make "easy money", but they're far from the only ones.

 

We offer Cricut services in our makerspace. Using the machine is free of charge, unless you're using our materials, which are sold at a cost-recovery basis. We make zero profit even if you pay for our materials.

 

There are lots of other places that are doing similar things. Plus the home craft folks who are doing this to make gifts, etc, that they give away for free.

 

Even if they are targeting businesses that make a profit, they're harming hobbyists in the process.

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42 minutes ago, divito said:

Basically they're going after all the people who do custom shirts, stickers and "branding" as a business. They basically make easy money once they buy a machine; Cricut realizes that they didn't have a good enough proposition and need another stream.

They’re not the only people that use it though.  They’re quite big in baking for wedding cakes.  The thing will cut fondant.  I’m mostly familiar with them in maker and cosplay circles both of which will be affected by this.  One won’t be able to do multiple sizes or shapes as well any more. 

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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1 hour ago, dalekphalm said:

Those people might make "easy money", but they're far from the only ones.

 

We offer Cricut services in our makerspace. Using the machine is free of charge, unless you're using our materials, which are sold at a cost-recovery basis. We make zero profit even if you pay for our materials.

 

There are lots of other places that are doing similar things. Plus the home craft folks who are doing this to make gifts, etc, that they give away for free.

 

Even if they are targeting businesses that make a profit, they're harming hobbyists in the process.

Sounds like what they should do is make a heavier duty machine for businesses or a lighter duty one for hobbyists.  Do a heavier duty unlimited machine with local software capabilities to sell to businesses.  They might have already tried that of course.  I don’t know.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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1 hour ago, Bombastinator said:

Sounds like what they should do is make a heavier duty machine for businesses or a lighter duty one for hobbyists.  Do a heavier duty unlimited machine with local software capabilities to sell to businesses.  They might have already tried that of course.  I don’t know.

We would likely even pay for a heavier duty machine without any subscription required. Or rather, we would have, if it had been an option.

 

We're rather more likely to blacklist the company now rather than upgrade to an "unlimited" model, should they introduce one.

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7 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

We would likely even pay for a heavier duty machine without any subscription required.

I'm not sure if I'm being dim, or i've been receiving higher level questions than I need, or if I haven't asked the question right to get the answer I'm needing to understand (likely all 3) so I'll try again...

 

What I think I understand:

Ok, You get one of these machines. The machine plugs into the computer. The machine comes with software to run it that goes on the machine. You draw patterns in the software, and it cuts out the design on some material (using a blade and can be on various materials from plastic to fondant).

 

They have an online store where you can buy and download patterns to your computer to cut out on your machine. (I also am assuming people can sell patterns on the store that other users can buy).

 

The software needs to call home every so often as part of a draconian anti-piracy scheme, i think.

 

Is all of this correct? If not, what is wrong? And what is changing?

 

 

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9 hours ago, Video Beagle said:

I'm not sure if I'm being dim, or i've been receiving higher level questions than I need, or if I haven't asked the question right to get the answer I'm needing to understand (likely all 3) so I'll try again...

Your understanding is *almost* correct.

9 hours ago, Video Beagle said:

What I think I understand:

Ok, You get one of these machines. The machine plugs into the computer. The machine comes with software to run it that goes on the machine.

You're correct so far.

9 hours ago, Video Beagle said:

You draw patterns in the software,

You certainly can draw your own patterns. Most people would probably not though. Unless you're using "draw" in a vague sense here, where you mean "design a project using various means, including importing images and art assets, as well as possibly drawing stuff"?

9 hours ago, Video Beagle said:

and it cuts out the design on some material (using a blade and can be on various materials from plastic to fondant).

This part is correct.

9 hours ago, Video Beagle said:

They have an online store where you can buy and download patterns to your computer to cut out on your machine. (I also am assuming people can sell patterns on the store that other users can buy).

This part is kinda correct and wrong at the same time.

 

To add images (assets) to the design space, you need to upload those images to their servers. There is *no way* to just have the design program use the local files on your computer (unless you pay the subscription for their cloud storage, which has a local sync option).

 

You can use their "store" (which is more like just a catalogue, you pay the subscription and unlock the catalogue), but you don't have to. You can use your own images.

 

The problem is now they are limiting the uploads to 20 per month (of your own images) on the free tier - again, with no option to use local storage.

9 hours ago, Video Beagle said:

The software needs to call home every so often as part of a draconian anti-piracy scheme, i think.

This part is also correct.

9 hours ago, Video Beagle said:

Is all of this correct? If not, what is wrong? And what is changing?

The main thing that is changing, is that before, you could upload unlimited of your own images to their servers to be used in a project. Now you are limited to 20 uploads per month.

 

And again, there's no way to not upload the images.

 

The software works like this: You upload the image to their servers. You open the locally installed software. The locally installed software then connects to their servers and downloads the image, which you just uploaded, back down to your computer. The software then initiates the cut job.

 

They're forcing you to use their servers, and now they're forcing you to pay to use those servers if you want to use more than 20 images per month.

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11 minutes ago, dalekphalm said:

Your understanding is *almost* correct.

You're correct so far.

You certainly can draw your own patterns. Most people would probably not though. Unless you're using "draw" in a vague sense here, where you mean "design a project using various means, including importing images and art assets, as well as possibly drawing stuff"?

This part is correct.

This part is kinda correct and wrong at the same time.

 

To add images (assets) to the design space, you need to upload those images to their servers. There is *no way* to just have the design program use the local files on your computer (unless you pay the subscription for their cloud storage, which has a local sync option).

 

You can use their "store" (which is more like just a catalogue, you pay the subscription and unlock the catalogue), but you don't have to. You can use your own images.

 

The problem is now they are limiting the uploads to 20 per month (of your own images) on the free tier - again, with no option to use local storage.

This part is also correct.

The main thing that is changing, is that before, you could upload unlimited of your own images to their servers to be used in a project. Now you are limited to 20 uploads per month.

 

And again, there's no way to not upload the images.

 

The software works like this: You upload the image to their servers. You open the locally installed software. The locally installed software then connects to their servers and downloads the image, which you just uploaded, back down to your computer. The software then initiates the cut job.

 

They're forcing you to use their servers, and now they're forcing you to pay to use those servers if you want to use more than 20 images per month.

To further underline what was said, The issue is the device is internet ONLY.  You cannot print(cut, it’s a plotter so a basically a printer more or less) ANYTHING except when it is connected to the server.  Anything you want to cut you have to upload.  This is effectively saying I think, that one can only print 20 things a month even though before when you bought the device it was unlimited as if it wasn’t controlled (even though it always was)  This is why I wouldn’t get involved with it.  They played this off as not a thing for a very long time.  There’s no need for the internet thing.  No use for it.  It’s just a printer that cuts instead of prints. They had it in anyway though. My personal suspicion is someone will develop a link that can take the thing offline and break the control link the company has.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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1 hour ago, Bombastinator said:

To further underline what was said, The issue is the device is internet ONLY.  You cannot print(cut, it’s a plotter so a basically a printer more or less) ANYTHING except when it is connected to the server.

That's mostly correct. There IS an offline mode. But it only works if you pay for the Cloud Subscription, and also your files must have previously been uploaded and then synced to your local cloud storage.

 

Which means in practice, you're still correct.

1 hour ago, Bombastinator said:

Anything you want to cut you have to upload.

This is exactly correct - despite the fact that there is an offline mode, you still need to upload those images first anyway, which kind of defeats the purpose of an offline mode.

1 hour ago, Bombastinator said:

This is effectively saying I think, that one can only print 20 things a month even though before when you bought the device it was unlimited as if it wasn’t controlled (even though it always was) 

Pretty much. Lots of people bought these understanding the system to work one way, and now it changed.

1 hour ago, Bombastinator said:

 This is why I wouldn’t get involved with it.  They played this off as not a thing for a very long time.  There’s no need for the internet thing.  No use for it.  It’s just a printer that cuts instead of prints. They had it in anyway though. My personal suspicion is someone will develop a link that can take the thing offline and break the control link the company has.

I wouldn't be surprised. Perhaps spoof the program into thinking a local folder is part of your cloud storage or something.

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On 3/16/2021 at 8:58 PM, dalekphalm said:

We would likely even pay for a heavier duty machine without any subscription required. Or rather, we would have, if it had been an option.

 

We're rather more likely to blacklist the company now rather than upgrade to an "unlimited" model, should they introduce one.

Have you ever tried the Silhouette Cameo 4? I've purchased one last year at Micheals for my SO and it's been pretty solid. I don't really understand why it's not more popular. The software doesn't seem to rely on the cloud to print at all too, and the specs of the machine looks overall better than the similarly priced Cricut.

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Just now, AJJaxNet said:

Have you ever tried the Silhouette Cameo 4? I've purchased one last year at Micheals for my SO and it's been pretty solid. I don't really understand why it's not more popular. The software doesn't seem to rely on the cloud to print at all too, and the specs of the machine looks overall better than the similarly priced Cricut.

I've never even heard of the brand before. From looking at pictures, the hardware looks nigh identical to a Cricut machine.

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while not great still, this would be less upsetting if it affected only new customers, but hitting existing customers is just wrong on so many levels. they didn't agree to that when they bought the machine

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20 hours ago, Jtalk4456 said:

while not great still, this would be less upsetting if it affected only new customers, but hitting existing customers is just wrong on so many levels. they didn't agree to that when they bought the machine

Technically they did or it wouldn’t be possible at all.  It was a major reason I wouldn’t buy one.  The TOS was scary, and I didn’t trust the company to not enforce the more grotesque aspects.  In actuality I agree with you though.  TOSes may wind up in legal trouble in the future.  It is possible to sign away all sorts of legal freedoms with a sufficiently restrictive TOS.  There are some limits on what may or may not be done and a TOS that exceeds them at any point can turn out to be completely invalid.  The limits are not broad though.  I could see them being widened in the future.

Edited by Bombastinator

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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So what is stopping a Competitor from bundling an Application with their Cutter Model that transfer Images Created by the Users of Cricut Machines to a more Sane Format and Locally stored? No Internet Needed...

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4 hours ago, whm1974 said:

So what is stopping a Competitor from bundling an Application with their Cutter Model that transfer Images Created by the Users of Cricut Machines to a more Sane Format and Locally stored? No Internet Needed...

Nothing, except money.

 

Perhaps that will happen. Perhaps not.

 

There appear to be similar machines already made by competitors, though they certainly don't have the same kind of public awareness.

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