" I love my machine, but don't like the software, Or I love my software, but don't like the machine". I hear both all the time. Let's explore what some options are for designers.
The obvious assumption is to use the same brand software and the machine. While this is suitable for some purposes, I don't think it is suitable in all situations. Let me explain...
I use several different software programs to design depending on what my end goal is. As a designer of SVG designs, I know that all software will import SVG. Not all software will import the studio, Canvas, or Design Space files. The only one that will export to SVG format is the Silhouette Studio Business Edition software.
If you want to design for someone other than yourself, you will need software that exports to SVG like Studio Business Edition or Sure Cuts A Lot 5 software. However, the Studio software does not always export an SVG file compatible with Cricut. Sure Cuts A Lot 5 does export to a compatible version for Cricut and that exported file is fine for the other machines.
You will need the Canvas software to send designs to the Scan N Cut machine. You will need the Silhouette Studio software to send to the Cameo machine. You will need the Design Space software to send to the Cricut machines.
So what do we do? Which should we use? I can tell you what I do and what works for me.
This software does not allow you to send the designs out of Design Space, so that makes it unsuitable for me for designing to sell. It is a lengthy process and does not export an SVG file.
Here is the process...
Sign in to your Cricut account
Navigate to your design in design space
Select your project
In the left corner click on the three lines to get to the menu - choose settings
Turn off the Canvas Grid
Now screen capture your project
You can save it to your computer outside of Design Space
Once saved as a jpg, you can use the project as a file, a printable option, or a sharable document that you can share or email to clients or friends.
your friend or client will need to import and trace to use the jpg.
As you can see, not the best process and it isn't an SVG for use by others very easily. It isn't satisfactory to sell to a. customer. Design Space is also limited in designing features, making it not my choice for designing software.
Again a limited designing software, more powerful than Design Space, but less so than many others.
It's the only software that will convert to and export in the FCM file format. The scan and cut canvas will import and convert the following file types – JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, SVG, and FCM.
You cannot export to SVG. It will import SVG and convert to FCM, but not export to SVG. So if you wish to design in Brother Canvas software you will need a way to convert FCM files. This makes it unsuitable for me to design for selling SVG files.
Silhouette software is very powerful software. Of the three major brands of software, it is in my option, the most powerful and is totally suitable for creating SVG designs to sell. The Business Edition will export directly to SVG. Many design features are available that are not available in the other two software programs. There is a learning curve as with any other software. However, the SVG format is not always compatible with Cricut. Cricut is very proprietary, so I use another program to update the SVG to Cricut compatibility. That is Sure Cuts A Lot 5.
This program is a complete package for designing. It has all the features of Silhouette Studio and more. The learning curve is much steeper. The result is very good. Exporting is easy and very consistent. Importing is also easy. The one feature I particularly like about this software is the page feature within a project. It allows you to keep all files in a project together. For example: if you are doing baseball team jerseys, you can have one project for "Team A", and a page for each name and number. Keeping the entire job together. If you want to design for big jobs or sets of designs this is a great feature.
While I have not done as much designing in Inkscape, the benefit is it is free. You can convert files to SVG easily. I know people that use this software are very happy with it.
The last software I use regularly is BRUSHKITE Online vector editing software. This requires a subscription fee, but it is well worth the small fee.
Here is a video link to an Introduction to BRUSHKITE software
All this said...
You can use Silhouette Studio Business Edition with any machine as long as you export to SVG. The same goes for Sure Cuts A Lot 5 and Inkscape. I prefer Silhouette Studio Business Edition and Sure Cuts A Lot 5. They have all the features required to create beautiful designs and export them for use with all cutting machines.
So in closing, if you want to design SVG files/designs to sell, you will need to use something that exports to SVG.
My choices in summary:
I hope you found this helpful. Happy Designing!