Please read the comment section of t his post closely for the information you are looking for. Other readers have posted info.
Seriously READ the comments section.
The info in this post pertains to the ORIGINAL CRAPCUT NOT THE NEW EXPRESSIONS 2. Don't even ask. It won't work. Provocrap has blocked ANY outside software from working with the crapcut. Why? Because they suck.
If you bought an expressions 2? Sell your machine on eBay and get one of the machines listed on the MTC website.
Google make the cut 4.1.0 look for a page on TUMBLR. You will need to download MTC 4.1.0 and install it. After that download and run the plugin installer. These are items 1 and 2 on the tumblr page. (No I will not post a link to it, you can work google.)
You will also need to purchase MTC from MTC. You need the serial number to use the software. Don' be a cheap ()&%^&$^&*% asshole. Seriously. The software is $80, or 2 carts at full price or 4 carts on sale. BUY THE DAMN SOFTWARE. What you just downloaded is NOT THE FULL SOFTWARE, you need the serial number. SO BUY IT. /rant
When you plug it into your computer it WILL NOT CUT IF you don't have a cart in the machine. For it to cut, plug in a cart, any cart, it doesn't matter.
So for those of you who have been coming here for my cricut hack post and then noticed… I never updated about it again… Well, I was very disappointed to find out that ProvoCrap sued the creator of Makes the Cut. Sigh. ProvoCrap forced them to disable the use of cricut on their machine. Apparently ProvoCrap hasn't noticed that many other companies, like you know, Sony, Apple, Nintendo, Atari etc did a little thing called "software licensing" where they forced companies to BUY a license to manufacture add ons for their products. Everyone wins. The company that sells the machine gets money and the company that sells the software makes money and most of all the consumer gets innovative products. ProvoCrap fails to see that.
Now if my Mom hadn't bought me my cricut as a gift (shortly after her heart surgery) I'd shelve or sell the damn thing and buy a machine that isn't crippled by it's manufacturer and allows me as an artist to create my own designs without fear of being sued or threatened with lawsuits or "damage to my machine." There are no issues with 3rd party content damaging machines, what a ludicris idea! Unless of course, provocraft has installed somethign on the machine to damage it IF I dare use 3rd party content. That being said I've been using Makes the Cut with no issue, and I will continue to do so.
Here's the meat of my post: If you have a cricut, hack it. Screw provocraft. Seriously if you do buy a cricut, buy Makes the Cut and hack MTC so it works and don't buy another damn cart again. It can be done. And it's not hard. I am not posting publically how you can do this, as provocrap now sends a cease and desist to everyone who DOES leave the information out there. So, feel free to google the makes the cut hack, and for god's sake don't update your cricut firmware. Or do and then sue provocrap for embedding disabling software on your product.
As for blades: You can buy Roland brand cutter blades on ebay for about $2 to $3 a blade- which is a lot cheaper than buying the provocrap blades. Also, provocrap can't sue Roland, they made these blades long before provocrap started to make the cricut. Maybe Roland should sue cricut for copyright violation. Also, good luck with provocrap shutting down the Chinese vendors of those blades.
Mats not sticky anymore? Start off by washing them with warm soapy water and then letting them dry. That will remove some of the fibers sticking to it. You can also buy a glue remover and glue system. This seems tedious, and I attempted to buy a bottle of it from a seller on etsy only to be screwed out of my money. It's a spray glue system which of course smells bad. However, this company has a good reputation.
The best resticking option that I've seen so far, and has rave reviews actually uses one of my favorite glues- Zig 2 way. I usually buy the pen tip but it comes in a big mammoth pen now and the suggestion is that you wipe off the large pieces of lint with a wipe, let that dry, apply the ZIG, let that dry and then cut away. You can find this ZIG all over the place but here's an eBay search. Zig glue is awesome.
I'd like to see a holder made for the cricut that holds a regular exacto blade. It wouldn't be hard- a dowel seated inside another dowel so it can rotate, the interior dowel would swivel inside the housing and have a channel cut into it to hold the blade, a set screw would hold the exacto in place, and another screw on the top would adjust the blade pressure. (Someone get on making that and send me one.)
Here's a picture for provocrap: