Using SCAL4 or 5 With Legacy Cricuts

Legacy Cricut Frequently Asked Questions - Though ProvoCraft has abandoned support for their first eight models, five of them are still usable for many purposes.  Click to see an article that answers common questions about using those going forward without manufacturer support.Using Sure-Cuts-A-Lot With Legacy Cricuts.  Click to learn how people are cutting original and third-party designs and fonts on their first-generation Cricuts.This article describes one popular set of directions for using SCAL4 or SCAL5 to drive first-generation Cricuts directly. It is a supplement to our articles "Using Sure-Cuts-A-Lot With Legacy Cricuts" and "Legacy Cricut Frequently Asked Questions."

The directions and links posted here were originally posted on a bulletin board for Sure-Cuts-A-Lot (SCAL) users here:

The poster was only known as "bluegrass" and that person only made one other post.

The point of the original posting was to share a method for driving certain obsolete Cricuts directly from supported, legally purchased copies of Sure-Cuts-A-Lot 4 or 5. It is intended to be a replacement for the "hinky" solution of using bootleg copies of SCAL2 that has become legendary among folks trying to keep their old cutters running in spite of Cricut discontinuing the software for them twice.

Before I list the actual posting, I will list a few other details to put in context. You may have already seen these notes in other articles on my site, but a lot of folks get here just by Googling key words, so I am including them here as well.

This page is provided for information purposes only. Though we recommend one specific solution listed on this page, we do not support it ourselves, or host the files it needs. A: we don't have the technical knowledge to go beyond what is listed on this page or on the "Using Sure-Cuts-A-Lot With Legacy Cricuts page.

What if You're Already Using SCAL2?

Before you try this, make certain you have the setup files you used to install SCAL2 handy, in case you need to reinstall it again later.

Also, when you installed SCAL2, you almost certainly hacked your "hosts" file. To install SCAL5 and the add-on, you'll need to "unhack" your "hosts" file and "rehack" it again before you use SCAL2 again. Otherwise, your working copy of SCAL2 will disable itself, and you'll have to install SCAL2 again. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, get the friend who helped you install SCAL2 to do everything on this page.

This will only work with the following Cricuts. The Firmware versions listed below also seem to work, though it's possible that other versions will work as well. If your Cricut has an older version, you should probably track down an installable version of Cricut Design Studio and use it to update your firmware.

  • Cricut Personal Cutter (CRV001) - Firmware version 1.1 or 1.3x

  • Cricut Create (CRV002) - Firmware version 1.51-1.54

  • Cricut Expression (CRX001) - Firmware version 2.3x

  • Cricut Cake - (CCA001) Firmware version 2.3x

  • Cricut Cake Mini (CCM001) - Firmware version 1.51-1.54

We Do Not Host Any of the Files In Question At this Time - Before you ask, we do not host a downloadable version of Design Studio for you to use, or any of the files we mention. That's technically illegal, and we've angered the Cricut gods enough already. Other folks seem to host it just fine.

We will not answer questions about Design Studio either, other than what is in our Legacy Cricut FAQ article.

This will NOT work with Expression 2, Mini, or Imagine. If you have an Explore, Maker, or Joy and want to use SCAL 4 or 5, you will have to save your SCAL files as .svg and import them into Cricut Design Space. Yes, it's clunky.

Neither Cricut nor SCAL Officially Endorse This Workaround. The CraftEdge people, who make SCAL, and the ProvoCraft people, who make Cricuts, are aware that it exists though.

As far as I can tell, hundreds of people have already tried this, most of them with success. In fact, I got it working fine for me the only time I tried it.

But if you mess something up while attempt to follow these instructions, you're on your own.

The original post is below:

This will work with SCAL4 or 5 for Windows and SCAL4 or SCAL5 for Mac.

You do NOT need to have SCAL2 for this to work

  1. You need a copy of SCAL4 or SCAL5 for Windows or Mac:

    Note: If you have hacked your "hosts" file to keep SCAL2 from updating itself, you'll need to "unhack it" temporarily, or download SCAL from another computer.

  2. Download the 3rd party plugin for Cricut.



  3. . After you install both SCAL and the Cricut plugin:

    • Start up SCAL
    • Go to the Cutter menu
    • Choose "My Cutters" and then "Manage Cutters."
    • Choose "Cricut" in the "Company Company/Brand" drop down list
    • Click the Add to list button.

    You should now be able to cut with your legacy Cricut (Personal, Expression, Cake, Create).

Video Available - A fellow hobbyist has posted a step-by-step You-Tube of this process here.

Please note this will NOT work with the Expression2, Mini, Explore, Maker. For the Explore or Maker models, you would just use SCAL4 or SCAL5 to do this.