How can we help you today?

I'm getting an error that the machine cannot read the cut sensor marks


Cannot read sensor marks error message


I don't want to print; I just want to cut

When Design Space tells you that the machine cannot read the cut sensor marks, this means that the image that you are trying to cut is set to Print then Cut. The machine is searching for the cut sensor marks that will allow it to cut the image accurately. If you did not intent to Print then Cut, and would rather cut only, you can easily change your image's line type from a Print line type to a Cut line type. Follow the instructions found here to change the image line type.

You can prevent this misunderstanding with uploaded images by choosing the "Save as a Cut image" option before saving the image to your library. Click here for more information about uploading images into Design Space.


Please note that Cut images do not retain any internal patterns or colors, so if you need to retain internal cut paths, you will need to ensure that you remove the appropriate portions of the image during the cleanup step to create the cut paths that you want to retain.


If you are doing a "Print Then Cut" project and facing this error, please proceed with the troubleshooting below.


Troubleshooting Print Then Cut

There are several variables that can interfere with your Cricut Explore machine’s ability to read the cut sensor marks properly for your "Print Then Cut" projects.  

  1. Lighting
    • Direct sunlight, overhead reading lamps, or other lighting directed toward your Cricut Explore machine may interfere with the machine’s sensors. 
  2. Material position
    • All printable materials must be placed in the top left corner of the cutting mat and applied smoothly. Incorrect mat placement or wrinkles in the material may interfere with reading the cut sensor marks.
  3. Cutting mat
    • Verify that your Cricut cutting mat has been placed under the mat guides, ensuring that the mat is positioned snugly against the machines rollers before pressing the Load/Unload button on the machine.
    • For best results, use a mat with few or no marks or smudges. A mat with smudges near the cut sensor marks may cause the Cricut Explore machine to mistake the smudges for cut sensor marks.
  4. Printable material
    • Colored materials or materials containing any kind of pattern may interfere with the cut sensor marks being read by the Cricut Explore machine. Use 8 ½” x 11” white materials for all your Print then Cut projects with Cricut Explore. 
    • Glossy paper may interfere with the machine’s ability to read the cut sensor marks. We recommend using matte paper instead.
    • Any smudges that appear around the cut sensor marks on your printable material could cause the Cricut machine to mistake the smudges for cut sensor marks.
  5. Image Size
    • Ensure that your image fits inside of the 6.75" x 9.25" cutting area for print then cut.  If not, try sizing the image so that it fits within a 6.75" x 9.25" area and attempt your cut again. 
  6. Browser
    • Attempt your print then cut project in a different browser and see if you experience the same result. If so, proceed to step 7. 
  7. Cut Sensor Light
    • Verify that the cut sensor light is clean. To clean the cut sensor light on your Cricut Explore® or Maker machine, sweep gently with a small, dry watercolor paintbrush.
  8. Ensure that your system meets the minimum system requirements for Design Space. If it does not meet those requirements, please attempt your print then cut project with a system that does meet the requirements.  
  9. Printer settings
    • Print your image again, making sure that the paper size is set to Letter and that you have unselected "Fit to Page", "Shrink to Fit", or other page scaling options; the page needs to print at actual size. If this doesn't help, proceed to the next step
  10. If your system does meet the minimum requirements, and none of the other troubleshooting steps have helped, please take a picture of your printed sheet placed on the cutting mat, then contact Customer Care through one of the options below for assistance. The agent will give you instructions about how to submit the picture for review, and will assist you further.  


    You can use the PDF file in this article for calibration.