Well I have alot of cartridges! How do I use them now? You no longer need to plug in the cartridge to your Cricut. But you do need to "link" these cartridges to your Cricut account. If you have a member of the Explore Cricut Family, there is a port to plug in your cartridges and link them in Design Space, once you are logged in.
Plug in your cartridge and click on LINK and the software will walk you through the process.
But what if you have a Maker only? There are no ports for the cartridges on the Maker. Cricut offers a Cartridge Adapter to plug your cartridges and connect to your computer USB port. I have seen this on Amazon
and Cricut too
What is Access?
Cricut says: "Unlimited access to over 400 beautiful fontsUnlimited use of over 100,000 covet‑worthy, cut‑ready premium Cricut images" for $9.99 a month or $7.99 per month if you purchase the annual plan. What exactly does that mean ?? These images are are yours to use and cut as often as you wish, as long as you are subscribed. I like to think about it like a Red Box movie rental (ok ok I am old and these are going away too!) But you can watch the movie as many times as you wish while you are renting. Once you return, stop renting, you are not able to see it.
The interesting thing about this fantastic library of images is that you can design with them, add them to your design space and create projects til the cows come home without an Access Subscription BUT you can't cut out your project.
But, do I NEED to subscribe?
And oh ya, do I pay for Design Space too?
So first the easy part: NO you do not pay to use Design Space. That is the software that allows you to tell your Cricut (any member of the Explore family, the Maker or now the Joy!) what to cut and what to do.
Now Cricut Access: Do you need it? well I can't answer that for YOU but I will say it is a worth a month to give it a try. When you purchase a new Cricut, you are given a two week trial free. The problem is by the time you are up and ready to design your trial may be over :(
So you can do this month by month, cancel and restart and any time (not half way thru a month of course but you do not have to commit to a long time)