Can Cricut Cut Balsa

jqavins

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This is probably an old question. The Cricut and similar machines are a lot cheaper than laser cutters, and since one of my nearby public libraries has an Explore Air, it's basically free (and open more hours than the more distant library with the laser cutter). So the question is can I cut fins and centering rings with it? 1/8" balsa? 1/16" or 3/32" balsa? Dare I hope 1/16" basswood?
 

mjennings

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Certain ones can. The high end circuits and the Shilloette Cameo 4 can so some balsa / fiberboard.
 

rharshberger

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Certain ones can. The high end circuits and the Shilloette Cameo 4 can so some balsa / fiberboard.
That would be the CriCut Maker, the Explore Air 2 is very limited in thicknesses of both fiberboard and balsa (1/16th inch iirc) my experiments with the Maker are meh!
 

tsmith1315

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Looking at the blades available for each machine helps this make sense:

blades_chart_web_2.jpg
Premium/deep point blades are this style:
premium-deep-cut-blades-and-housing.jpg

Knife blade is like a small hobby knife, geared to point in the direction of the cut:
knife_blade_on_white_packaging-005_1.jpg knife_blade_kit_1.jpg

FWIW, Cricut says the Makers can cut balsa up to 3/32 and bass up to 1/32. Some materials require multiple, maybe 20+ passes.

I found one youtuber who claims to cut 1/32 balsa with an Explore Air.
 

rharshberger

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Looking at the blades available for each machine helps this make sense:

View attachment 498920
Premium/deep point blades are this style:
View attachment 498921

Knife blade is like a small hobby knife, geared to point in the direction of the cut:
View attachment 498922 View attachment 498923

FWIW, Cricut says the Makers can cut balsa up to 3/32 and bass up to 1/32. Some materials require multiple, maybe 20+ passes.

I found one youtuber who claims to cut 1/32 balsa with an Explore Air.
1/32" yes...I have done it, but it better be pretty soft, not the harder stuff we like for fins (Explore Air 2).
 

DES

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I told my wife that once the Cricut will cut 1/8" plywood, or 24 gauge sheet metal, I would be happy to upgrade her current Cricut.

In the meanwhile, looks like the next option is a CNC router. I'd love a laser cutter, but the price points are still pretty high.
 

Batjac

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I realize this is an old thread, but I have been using my Cricut Maker to cut 1/16" and 3/32" balsa for many control line airplane kits that I made up. Worked great. I have also cut 1/16" basswood, but I have not tried 3/32" basswood. I am just getting back into model rockets, and am looking into using my Maker for cutting centering rings, thus how I found this post.

Mark
 
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