Print then Cut is a great feature that I use for lots of projects. What usually trips people up is getting the print then cut image to cut around the print then cut image and leave the inside of the image intact. This is usually caused by one of two things, and both of them have to do with flattening.
Image is not flattened
Changing all the images to print without flattening will cause all the printed images to cut individually. Design Space will see each image as a separate layer and will cut each color separately. Multi-layer images are designed to be cut as several cuts of different color materials that you then assemble into a single design. Flattening compresses the layers of a multi-layer image into a single-layer printable image.
Flattening will also change the image from cut to print, and so there’s no need to change the layers to print before flattening. Also, images don’t need to be attached, grouped, or welded before flattening.
Image isn’t flattened to a solid shape
Images need to have a solid background before flattening. Otherwise the inside and outside of the image will cut rather than just the outer edge. If you see gridlines, you are seeing cut lines.
If your design is a simple shape like a circle or a square, you can insert a white shape from the shapes panel, make it a little smaller than the border image, put it behind the original image, select all, and flatten.
If the shape is irregular, you will need to duplicate the shape and create a background by following these steps:
1. Select the border (shape without background) and duplicate.
2. Select the duplicate and click “Contour.”
3. Click the inside of the shape to hide the inner cut line. Click the “X” in the upper right corner to exit this box.
4. Change the color of the solid shape to white if it is a different color.
5. Move the solid shape on top of the text and original shape. (Don’t worry about fitting it perfectly over the shape.)
6. With the solid shape selected, click “Arrange,” then “Send to Back.”
7. Click “Select All” (or drag a bounding box around the entire design), then click “Align” and “Center.”
8. With all the layers still selected, click “Flatten” in the lower right corner.
Now, click “Make It” and follow the prompts to print on your home printer and cut on your Cricut Explore or Maker.
Here’s a brief video demonstrating this process: