What are Smart Materials?
These clever crafting materials work without a cutting mat, so you can just load the material directly into your Cricut Joy machine and go. Smart Materials come in a variety of material types, including Smart Vinyl, Smart Iron-On, Smart Label Writable Paper, and Smart Label Writable Vinyl.
What are the benefits of using Smart Materials?
With Smart Materials, Cricut Joy can cut an individual, continuous shape up to 4.5 inches wide and 4 feet long, and make repeated cuts (like stars, hearts, and confetti) up to 20 feet long! For all other materials, the size of your mat would limit the size of your design.
How do Smart Materials work?
Smart Materials come adhered to a special backer that can feed through Cricut Joy without the need for a cutting mat.
Design Space will prompt you when it’s time to load your Smart Materials and will tell you how much you need. Once material is loaded, your machine will measure it to ensure there’s enough for your project.
Cricut Joy allows 1 inch of material above your design and 0.5 inches of material below for the rollers to grip and load the material, for the sensor to sense that enough material is loaded, and to feed materials back and forth through the machine. Design Space takes this allowance into account when estimating the amount of Smart Materials needed for your project. To ensure you have enough Smart Materials for your design, wait to trim them until after your cut is complete.
Why doesn’t my Smart Vinyl go all the way to the edges of the backer?
The exposed liner at the edges allows you to easily feed Smart Vinyl through your machine.
How should I prepare Smart Materials for cutting?
Smart Materials come ready to load into your machine. If you don’t use all your material in one cut, trim the excess and save for a future project. Trim the material straight across rather than at an angle if you plan to load it without a mat in the future. The loading mechanism does not engage until sensors under the guides at both sides of the machine detect the material. Materials trimmed at an angle may not engage the loading mechanism.
To use scraps of Smart Materials shorter than 4 inches or narrower than 4.5 inches, place them on a cutting mat.
How do I straighten Smart Materials if they loaded crookedly?
Cricut Joy will attempt to straighten your material when it measures your material length prior to cutting. If you notice that the material is still misaligned after measuring, choose Unload in Design Space, then reload your material.
What do I do with leftover scraps of Smart Materials?
Smart Materials need to be at least 4 inches in length to feed through the machine without a mat. For scraps shorter than that, use a cutting mat.
Keep in mind that Cricut Joy allows 1 inch of material at the top of your design and 0.5 inches of material at the bottom. The maximum design length you can cut using a 4-inch piece of Smart Materials would be 2.5 inches.
Tips for working with specific Smart Materials
- Wait to trim material until cut is complete
- Make sure to select the Smart Vinyl setting that applies to your specific material (i.e., Smart Vinyl Removable, Smart Vinyl Permanent, Smart Vinyl Shimmer, etc.)
- Leave 10 inches of space behind Cricut Joy so materials have room to feed through
- When feeding materials into your machine, make sure they are straight
- Guide vinyl into a roll as it feeds out the back of your machine while being measured to keep your workspace tidy
- Cricut Joy can cut any single image up to 4 feet long. To fill a longer piece of material with repeated cuts, adjust Project Copies in Design Space [hyperlink to Project Copies article].
- Smart Materials must be at least 4 inches long to use without a cutting mat. You can still use shorter pieces by placing them on a cutting mat.
- Refer to these Smart Vinyl application instructions to find recommendations for applying your vinyl
- Regular Transfer Tape works for most vinyl types. Use StrongGrip Transfer Tape for vinyls with a textured finish, like Shimmer and Glitter. StrongGrip Transfer Tape is too strong for other vinyl types.
- Transfer Tape is available in a 5.5 inch x 20 foot roll for applying long designs
- For easier application, cut your finished design into smaller (4 feet or less) sections before applying Transfer Tape
- For best results burnish front and back after applying Transfer Tape
- Smart Vinyl liner is exposed on two sides to make feeding the material through the machine easier
- Smart Vinyl packaging is recyclable
- Wait to trim material until cut is complete
- Make sure to choose the Smart Iron-On setting that applies to your specific material (i.e., Smart Iron-On – Glitter, Smart Iron-On – Holographic, Smart Iron-On – Patterned, etc.)
- Leave 10 inches of space behind Cricut Joy so materials have room to feed through your machine
- When feeding materials into your machine make sure they are straight
- Guide iron-on into a roll as it feeds out the back of your machine while being measured to keep your workspace tidy
- Cricut Joy can cut any single image up to 4 inches long. To fill a longer piece of material with repeated cuts, adjust Project Copies in Design Space
- Smart Materials must be at least 4 inches long to use without a cutting mat. You can still use shorter by placing them on a cutting mat.
- Refer to Cricut EasyPress Heat Transfer Guide to find instructions for applying Smart Iron-On
- Be sure to choose Smart Iron-On material in the heat guide for correct settings. Smart Iron-On liners are a little bit thicker than other iron-on materials, so the time and temp settings will differ
- In most cases, the liner adhesive will hold your design in place on your base material during transfer. Patterned Iron-On liner is less sticky than other iron-on liners. If needed, use Heat Resistant Tape to secure your design in place for pressing.
There are two kinds of Smart Label: Smart Label Writable Vinyl, and Smart Label Writable Paper
Drawing and Cutting Tips
- Smart Label Paper is compatible with all Cricut Joy Pens & Markers
- Smart Label Vinyl is compatible with all Cricut Joy Pens & Markers except for Cricut Joy Gel Pens and Cricut Joy Metallic Markers
- Allow ink to dry before handling
- Smart Label Vinyl & Paper are not compatible with printers
- Use Attach in Design Space to fasten your Draw layer to your label shape before sending the project to your machine
- Design Space will prompt you to load your pen and again when it’s time to insert your blade
- Peel like a sticker. Do not use Transfer Tape with Smart Label as it may damage the label surface
- Use care when peeling Smart Label from backer to avoid tearing. Smart Label Vinyl and Smart Label Paper are thin
- Smart Label Vinyl & Paper have permanent adhesive, which may leave residue upon removal from your surface