How to Use Sure Cuts A Lot with a Cricut Machine?

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We received this question by email from Michelle:

“How do I get SCAL [Sure Cuts A Lot] to work with my Cricut Explore? Is it true that the software is no longer supported?”

Sadly, yes, it is true that Cricut machines are no longer compatible with the latest version of Sure Cuts A Lot.

For those who aren’t aware, Sure Cuts A Lot is a popular software program that was first released back in 2008. It allows craft fans to cut virtually any shape with their electronic cutting machines, including true type fonts, SVGs and more.

SCAL is tremendously popular with those looking to create their own artwork, shapes and decals.

However, the two companies, Provo Craft (owner of Cricut) and Craft Edge (maker of SCAL), have clashed in the past.

Provo took legal action against Craft Edge back in 2011 claiming that SCAL violated their copyright on Cricut Design Studio.

While we don’t know the ins and outs of the relationship, the bottom line is that Sure Cuts A Lot no longer works with Cricut machines.

It does, however, support plenty of other popular vinyl cutters.

Supported machines include:

  • BlackCat Cougar and Lynx
  • Bosskut Gazelle
  • Craftwell eCraft
  • Foison
  • GCC
  • Pazzles Inspiration
  • Roland
  • Silhouette CAMEO and Portrait
  • SilverBullet
  • USCutter
  • VinylExpress

What About Older Versions of SCAL?

Here’s where things aren’t so clear cut.

While the latest versions of the Sure Cuts A Lot software are not directly compatible with Cricut machines, they can still be used in tandem with an older version of the software which is compatible.

The Craft Edge website has a useful tutorial explaining how to cut with Cricut using Version 3/4 of SCAL by sending it to Version 2 of their older software.

This comes with the caveat that Sure Cuts A Lot Version 2 only supports the Cricut Personal, Cricut Expression, Cricut Create and Cricut Cake machines. And you must have a compatible firmware version on your cutter.

If this all sounds a bit complicated… you’re right, it is.

How Can I Have Two Versions of Sure Cuts A Lot?

Sure Cuts A Lot 4 does not work directly with Cricut machines, but there are work-arounds.

Sure Cuts A Lot 4 does not work directly with Cricut machines, but there are work-arounds.

You may be wondering, as we were, how can I send a design from a new version of SCAL to an older version of the same software?

Won’t the older software be replaced when I install the latest version?

Nope, this is not the case.

There are four versions of Sure Cuts A Lot. Installing a newer version does not overwrite the previous application. It simply creates a second installation.

In theory, you could run Versions 1-4 of SCAL on the same machine.

Can I Export SVGs From Sure Cuts A Lot to Cricut?

If you have the latest machine, the Explore Air, yes you can.

Traditionally, one of the biggest hassles of using a Cricut machine has been the inability to import external content and designs. That changed with Cricut’s Explore Air and the Design Space software.

You can now load in as much third party content as you want via Design Space.

So, while you can’t use SCAL directly with the Explore Air, you can still export SVGs and then upload them in to Cricut’s software.

It’s not a perfect arrangement, but it works.

Here’s a nice video on the interaction between Cricut and Sure Cuts A Lot 4, courtesy of svgcuts:

One thing to note with Cricut Design Space: it’s a cloud-based app, so you must be online to use it.


Do you still use Sure Cuts A Lot? Have you switched to new software and tools?

Let us know your thoughts and suggestions below.

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38 Comments

  1. I bought the SCAL software when it first came out and LOVED using it with my Cricut. The problem is that my computer crashed and the hard drive was unrecoverable. I kep backups of all my programs, so although I hated that it happened, I wasn’t crushed – until I found that I cannot find ANYWHERE in my backups the original install file to my SCAL software.

    I was wondering if someone could tell me where I could buy the older version that works with my Cricut. I have a Cricut Expression. Thanks!

  2. my daughter in law just gave me her old cricut expression 2 would this work with it? I am so new to all of this and just learning.

    • No. Works with Expression 1 and older machines only. You can only use Cricut images and cartridge through Cricut Craft Room (for images and fonts).

      • I am having problems to download the Cricut Craft Room software… any sugestions? I am new with the Cricut Expressions 2. I would like to have a software to do some designs and cut on my cricut.

        • Change your computer date to prior to 10/31/2017. Cricut did not update their certificate to the software. I found this info after searching for days on how to install it.

      • Which firmware version (Cricut Personal & Expression 1)?

        I’ve had the same issue–and never updated firmware when Circut was my main machine—have Silhouettes now, but the Cricuts are just better at some things & I’d love to be able to use my own designs. . .

    • Nicole Jans on

      Anyone figure out how to fix this, I have everything down loaded, did the updates, downgraded to Windows 7, and I keep getting to the same place “checking mat” and the whole thing freezes.

  3. using a roland cutter with sure cuts a lot 3. I can not get it to cut portrait with a roll…it always cuts landscape. so the longest piece I can cut is width of cutter…how can I get it to cut full length of roll????

  4. Have dug out my old cricut personal (originalv1.0) along with unused cricut design studio (1.0.211040.0) & unopened scal 2!! Now loaded CDS & Scal2 onto vista laptop but realise I need old version update v1.1 or 1.3 for cricut to work – is there anyway I can download these? – don’t seem to be having any luck!!

      • You have to get an old copy of Cricut Design Studio, download the trial version and run the firmware update from that. However, I don’t know if Windows 10 will run Cricut Design Studio. I have only done this on a Windows XP machine. Be sure not to try it with Cricut Design Space which is the current software.

  5. I just bought a cricut air 2 I was looking for sofware to do rhinestones and I know SCAL does it which version would work better for me???

    • The Mini will not work with Cricut Design Studio. or any version of SCAL. In addition, now that Provo Craft is discontinuing/shutting down Cricut Craft Room in July 2018, the Mini will no longer work with anything except a Gypsy if you have one. So without a Gypsy, you might as well pitch the Mini in the trash after July 16.

  6. I just got a used Expression. I also got an older copy of Sure Cut with it. How do I get the Drivers needed to make it Mac compatible? I am desperate here….

  7. Does anyone know if i get a new air and download design space – will this mess up my old units (expression and create) that I still use with SCAL2?

    • Compatible Cutters:
      – Cricut Personal
      – Cricut Expression (not Expression 2)
      – Cricut Create
      – Cricut Cake & Cake Mini
      – Craft ROBO type machines that use the Graphtec printer driver (including the Silhouette SD & Wishblade)
      – If your cutter is not on this list, it will not work

  8. I bought SCAL 2 to use with my expression. My issue is I can’t get the cricut to load the mat. They connect to each other and my cricut screen changes then I get a message to load the mat. No buttons on the cricut work to load it. Do you need to have a cartridge for it to load the mat even with SCAL software?

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