Make Adjustments and Test Your Designs
You can also adjust the material settings by choosing the More/Default/Less Pressure options on the Material Settings Page. You can also use the Duplicate>Align Center>Attach trick of stacking your designs for multiple passes. More passes= a deeper engraving.
Note: If you can, it’s smart to test the material setting on the same metal as you plan to engrave on. I also suggest you test the design so that you know you’ve positioned it correctly, as well as have the right size. Fortunately, that’s easier to do.
In my post, How to Spray Paint Aluminum Flashing for Engraving with a Cricut, I go deeper into aluminum flashing and the pros to using it.
Note: If this isn’t the metal you plan to engrave on, then it doesn’t make sense to test the pressure, so don’t bother to do multiple passes. It’ll just waste your time.
I’d also like to say that in my experience if you’re using any sort of pattern fill, like the example below, you do not need to go deep to see the engraving. That’s the beauty of the pattern fill. I also go more in-depth about 3 different methods to add pattern fill to your engravings in my book. DIY these with my tutorial,
Finding the Material Setting for All the Possible Metals
It’s kind of a mystery what each of the Cricut settings actually do because unlike other materials we aren’t able to go into the Customize section of the Material Settings and check. What we can assume is that each setting has a different level of force that they apply to engrave.
So to decide which of the 6 Cricut Material Settings to use to engrave metals that aren’t on the official list, we have to get a little crafty.
Fortunately, the second method is made super easy when you know about the Mohs Scale of Hardness. This is more commonly known in the jewelry community, and it rates the hardness of materials and can be used to find the hardness of gemstones and metals.
The test that Mohs did to determine where things were on his scale of 1-10 was simple. For each material he asked, which materials did it scratch, and which scratched it. A diamond is a 10, pencil lead is a 1 on the Mohs Scale.
Using this scale, we can determine where on the Mohs scale each of the metals on our unofficial list is, and then find the Cricut Material Setting that is equivalent. For instance, Pewter has an equivalent to the Brass or Bronze setting. Bronze is slightly harder than brass so we can guess that Cricut has a higher pressure setting for Bronze.
How Do I Make an Engraving Line in Design Space?
Along with the new tool, Cricut made an update to Design Space so you can change any shape or line into an engraving line. For the project below, I used a writing font (see here to learn about Cricut fonts) and then changed it to an engrave using the dropdown Linetype menu at the top of Design Space.
Cricut has qualified a list of materials that they say can be engraved with the Engraving Tool. These will show up as your materials when selecting the Engraving Tool in the Make Screen before you make your project:
That being said…there are other materials out there to test! I used 14-gauge ImpressArt metal bracelets for my project (selecting the Aluminum setting) and it worked. Because this tool is so new, I haven’t had the chance to test it with a wide variety of materials—it’s definitely a good tool to use when experimenting!
Note that Cricut does not intend the Engraving Tool to be used with glass.
Which Cricut can engrave?
Can Cricut emboss metal?