Controlling the Cricut Personal (desktop cutter) via Linux

Cricut personal cutter
I caught a deal on where they were selling their original “Cricuit Personal Cutter” (refurbished) for $49.99 ($65 with shipping). This seemed like a very good deal to me, so I bought one. By itself, the Cricuit can cut specific shapes and letters from paper (it includes a free set of shapes/letters, and you can purchase cartridges to add more). I plan on using it to cut metal foil (one of the few things you can’t cut with a laser cutter, because it is reflective) and potentially make stencils. I may also be able to use it as a plotter using special attachments for pens. (Circuit board resist markers anyone?)

To make full use of it, I wanted to be able to cut arbitrary paths from my material, which means controlling the Cricut from my computer. Luckily it comes with a built in USB port that is recognized as a standard serial port. Also luckily, other people have already figured out the command and control protocol and built a library to control it.

I found the directions on this page very useful getting libcutter working. So far I have simply use the draw_svg utility program that is included with libcutter to cut out vectors created in Inkscape.

5 thoughts on “Controlling the Cricut Personal (desktop cutter) via Linux

  1. Hi Jay. I’ve also been following these direction from the wiki, and I’ve had no luck. I got ./draw_gcode to run, it just doesn’t do anything. I have a hunch the problem may be that I don’t have a cartridge inserted, because of the photo you include. Does it work without a cartridge for you, before I go and buy one off ebay?


    • Hi Zach,

      I’m afraid my Cricut is currently in a box…..somewhere….(we just moved and have Mt. Boxmore right now…) so I won’t be able to try it without a cartridge for a good amount of time. The cartridge installed in the picture is their basic “sample cartridge” that came with every Cricut. I don’t specifically remember HAVING to have the cartridge installed to make it work (but it’s been a while since I fired it up), but I also don’t remember ever using it without the cartridge installed either. Sorry I can’t be of more help right now…

  2. the cricutwiki is no longer available.
    could you help a fellow maker out and point me to it ?
    i found a cricut personal and want to design some things with it.


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