First, you will need a friend who will let you link the Imagine cartridge to your cricut.com account using their Imagine or Expression2. (Make sure you're logged into your account, not theirs!!)
Once you've accomplished that all you need to do is connect your Expression to your computer, create your design using the linked Imagine cartridge and send it off to cut!
Don't have a friend with an Imagine or E2? All is not lost. This will also work with the Digital Imagine cartridges that you can purchase from Cricut.com.
Surely it can't be that easy???? Well... there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
- As the Expression doesn't have any printing capabilities you will only be able to cut the images from the cart. For the same reason you can't use the Imagine Colors and Patterns carts.
- You will need to edit the images before you cut them as they are made up of multiple layers. For example this image from the Best Friends cartridge looks like this in CCR when the Imagine is selected as the default machine:
And like this if the Expression is chosen:
If you were to cut the image as it appears above this is what you'll get:
A jumbled mess of useless body parts! That's because every single line in the image is cut. To get a useful cut of the image here's what you need to do.
Select the image on the mat and click the Edit Group button
The Combine/Separate buttons will appear in the right corner of the screen. Click the Separate button.
Now your image will look like this:
Click the Exit button (or press Esc) to go back to the mat screen.
Now when you cut your project, each of the five layers will cut separately. At the moment they are automatically grouped. To move the individual pieces around on the mat click the Ungroup button on the toolbar. You can then space each piece out on the mat allowing you to load your mat with different colours of cardstock.
Remember, if you want to resize the image once you've ungrouped it, you will need to select all the pieces by using Ctrl A (Cmd A) or select Edit, Select All. Then use the resize handle to increase or decrease the size of all the pieces at the same time.
As you can see from the image above, you will lose the facial features of the image as those parts are only printed. Time to break out those Peachy Keen stamps you've got stashed in your drawer!
Play around with the different Imagine cartridges in CCR before you start purchasing them. Some images will work better than others.
Here's another example:
An image from the JT Imagine cart as it would print:
That image when the layers have been separated (still with the Imagine selected as the default machine):
And how it looks when the Expression is selected as the default machine:
So if you're one of those cartridge collectors that has accidentally purchased an Imagine Art cartridge, all is not lost! Have fun experimenting.