The Cricut Autopress is the brand's newest and largest heat press machine, and it changes the way you can create shirt and apparel designs from home. If you're a crafter or creative looking to create a second income the Cricut Autopress offers a near-commercial heat press in the home. It can look a little unwieldy but as you'll see in this article the Cricut Autopress makes professional projects easy.
Cricut has a strong design aesthetic and has turned digital craft machines into easily used home devices and the best heat press machines tend to be from Cricut. Read our Cricut EasyPress 2 review and Cricut EasyPress Mini review to see how well these devices work.
In this feature I'll take you through what the Cricut Autopress can do and explain how this large heat press machine differs from the brand's other devices. Like all heat press machines, the Cricut Autopress should be used alongside the best Cricut machines, like the Cricut Maker 3.
Cricut Autopress: what is it?
Put simply, Cricut Autopress is one of the largest heat press machines you can buy for the home. It features similar technology to the smaller EasyPress 3 so you get consistent results as the heat plate is warmed evenly.
What sets the Cricut Autopress aside from other heat press machines is that it offers a commercial-grade build, size and heat plate. Just like other heat press machines the Autopress uses iron-on vinyl and other materials, such as Cricut's own Cricut Infusible Inks to create bespoke designs on shirts, bags, bedding and more.
The difference is the Autopress has a number of new features that separate it from the smaller Cricut heat press machines, and this goes further than simply being 'big'. The Autopress features presets, automatic pressure, a unique fold-away design and much more.
Cricut Autopress: design and build
The Cricut Autopress is a 'clam-shell' design rather than a swing-arm build, which means it is a more compact design for the size than you'd expect, and has been designed to fit onto a standard desk or craft table.
So, let's talk about that size. The Autopress is 5 x 12 inches (38 x 30 cm) so it's a big boy but one that can still fit onto the average desk. It's also quite heavy, around 53 lbs (24.13 kg), but its weight is needed to offer stability when in use.
So, yes, Autopress is large and heavy but it's also a sleek design with curves and a simplicity that echoes the rest of the Cricut range of craft and heat press machines. While other large heat press machines are basic hunks of metal that bely their industrial heritage, the Autopress is a sheeny, curvaceous device that looks as effortless as it is to use.
Cricut Autopress: how is it different
One major design feature is the four-point hinge, this means the 'lid' of the Autopress opens upwards like a standard 'clam shell' design but when it's brought down, and is above the ceramic hotplate the lid straightens flat and drops vertically. It's a design choice that makes the Autopress unique amongst large heat press machines.
This makes the Autopress easy to use and capable of using a variety of material thicknesses. The device automatically adjusts its pressure to the material you're using, in a similar way to other Cricut heat press machines, such as the Cricut Mug Press. This is an easy and effortless machine to use.
The Autopress is also fast and consistent, it reaches temperature in second and each project between its clamped lid and heat plate takes around 30-40 seconds to transfer a design. You'll be able to roll off design after design in minutes.
Cricut Autopress: how it works
Despite its bulk and weight, the Autopress is easier to use than you'd imagine. It has been designed to be used with 'two fingers', which means opening and closing the lid is easily done and a motor takes over once the lid reaches a certain point, so there really is no stress involved.
The same easy-of-use can be found once the Autopress lid clicks shut. The automatic pressure control kicks in, and preset temperature controls heat the plate to match your material, though you'll need to use Cricut's own materials to ensure it works just right to begin with, then experiment with any material you like.
The presets are customisable too, so once you have a project you need to make on a large scale you can set the timer and let the Autopress do all of the work. Materials come away from the heat plate easily too, there's no sticking or struggle.
The Control Pod can be linked to a computer and connected to Cricut Design Space, so you can manage your designs to the Autopress either wired or wirelessly. The Control Pod can handle any presets and a timer reads and shows the temperature; these can be manually adjusted and saved using the knobs.
Various safety features prevent you from burns, for example the Autopress can't be opened until its automatic cooling has completed and when in use the top of the machine is air-cooled so it's okay to touch – unlike some heat press machines.
Cricut Autopress: should you get one?
If you're creating large projects for craft fairs or an online store like Etsy then the Autopress is an enticing choice. We have a guide to how to make money with Cricut, and the Autopress can really make that easier.
The 15 x 12 inch heat plate is larger than any of Cricut's other heat press machines, which means it's ideal for designs and materials that can be more commercial, such as all sizes of t-shirts, and even bedding and framed art.
If you're serious about turning your hobby into a job or second income then the large Autopress is a great option, though you may want to start out with the smaller and cheaper EasyPress 2 or EasyPress 3 and then work up, as the Autopress retails for $999 / £899 (though there are often deals with $200 / £200 off to be found).
Cricut Autopress: frequent questions
What makes Cricut Autopress different?
The Autopress automatically adjusts its pressure to the thickness of the material you're using, up to two-inches thick. The unique hinge and lid movement ensures the Autopress clamps smoothly and accurately, avoiding pinched and creased material. Presets and connection to Cricut Design Space ensure Autopress is easy to use.
Do I need a Cricut Maker to use a Cricut Autopress?
Yes, you will need any brand or type of digital cutting machine to get your designs onto iron-on materials and use infusible inks. The ideal machines are the Cricut Maker 3 and the Cricut Explore 3 as these use Cricut Smart Materials for ease, but you can also use an older Cricut Maker or Explore Air 2.
Is the Cricut Autopress worth the money?
It's faster and more consistent than other heat press machines, and the size ensures you can get more done for less time. If you're making large-batch projects, the Cricut Autopress is a great choice.