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Monday, 16 June 2008

Welding 101

There are two ways to weld. They are:


All letters/pictures are typed into the one "object box". Here's an example:

Notice how there is one set of selection handles and one object box surrounding the entire word.  

PROS: It's quicker You only need to click Weld once You can reduce/enlarge and copy the whole tile at once The Nudge feature works

CONS: You can't rotate/skew/flip individual letters You can't change/delete or insert letters in between existing letters without backspacing from the last letter  

METHOD 2: Each letter/picture is created as its own "object". Here's an example:

Notice how each letter has a box around it. In the example above the last D has been selected and it's the only letter with the selection handles showing. Any changes you make will only happen to THAT letter.  

PROS: You can rotate/flip/skew/move/stretch individual letters You can weld multiple fonts/objects together  

CONS: You have to click Welding on EACH object. The Nudge feature doesn't work. You must use the selection handles or the arrow keys on your keyboard to move your object.  

Welding using Method 1 

 Select a font cartridge from the cartridge library and make it active. Using your computer keys (or using the mouse to select the keys on the virtual keypad) type the letters DAD onto the mat.

With the kerning figure set to 0.000 click the Apply button

The 3 letters will move closer together.

Click on any edge of the A. It will change to a dotted outline. Click the left Nudge button several times until the A slightly overlaps the first D. (You may want to change your view to 100% or 200% to better see the overlap.)

Select the second D and use the Nudge button to move it so it is also just overlapping the A. (In this case I moved it to the right. You can also use the up and down nudge buttons to move the A and the last D up or down.)

Making sure the word is still selected, tick the Welding box

Click the New Page button (Previewing from a new page clearly shows which lines your Cricut will cut.)

Click the Preview button

This should be your result:

If you're not happy with the result, return to the page with design on it and nudge your letters again. Make sure you return to the page with the design on it to cut with the Cricut.  

Welding using Method 2  

Select a font cartridge from the cartridge library and make it active. Type the letter D onto the mat. Press Enter on your keyboard

Type the letter A Press Enter

Type the letter D Press Enter

Each letter is a separate object (each letter has its own object box around it) and can be manipulated in any way, whilst not effecting any of the other letters. Let's make a change to the A. Select the A

Using the Proportional stretch button (bottom right handle) stretch the A to make it bigger.

Now we'll weld the letters together. Move the A over so it just overlaps the outer edge of the first D. (Don't move it over the inside edge of the D or the middle of the D won't cut out). Remember you can use your mouse to move the object by clicking on the Free Move handle (the top left handle) or by using the arrow keys on you keyboard. Use the CTRL key with the arrow keys to move the object in smaller increments.

Select the second D and move it over so it just overlaps the outer edge of the A.

Select the first D and check the Welding box Select the A and check the Welding box Select the second D and check the Welding box. Your preview should look something like this:


tdish said...

I have CDS and love it except it slices my words or designs when it moves. I thought it was the machine but with a new one it still does it when using CSD. How do I get it to stop making slices as it move across the mat? HELP

Narelle said...

Usually updating the firmware on your cricut fixes that problem. Select the File menu, then Update Cricut Firmware.

If that doesn't work try uninstalling DS, reinstalling then updating the firmware.

Jennifer said...

can i weld two rows of text? (top and bottom line) thanks.

Narelle said...

Do you mean something like THANK on one line with YOU welded underneath it? Then, yes you can. Just create the THANK word (make sure welding is selected on each part of it), create the YOU word, again making sure welding is selected, then make sure the top of the YOU overlaps the bottom of the THANK. Hope that makes sense.

Happymum2five said...

Thanks so much you are so informative Iyou have answeredall my questions on one site. I have only had cds for aboput 4 weeks and have so many questions to ask but unsure who to ask.
Thanks very happy now

pammesue said...


Can you make a shadow around a welded word with DS? I would really like that. Not around each letter per say, just a bubble like shape if you know what I mean.


Narelle said...

Hi Pammesue

You sure can. Just have a look at the tutorial here called Welded Shadows.


Andrea said...

Is it possible to weld vertically? I would assume it wouldn't make any difference, but I have not been successful welding individual objects together - only words in the same object box. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Narelle said...

Hi Andrea

Yes you can weld vertically. I have just uploaded a tutorial on that. It's the first post on the blog now.

Toni said...

Using Beyond Birthdays, I tried to weld the words Happy Birthday into one of the cards on the cart. It would not weld. Is there a trick to this?

Narelle said...

Hi Toni,

Are you trying to weld the words into the opening on the card?

If so, make sure you are running the latest version of the software (released Dec 08 - there's a link on this blog). The latest release fixed a problem with welding inside shapes.

I recreated what I think you are trying to do with no problem. Am happy to help you more. You can email me if you like.


Melissa said...

OMGoodness! Why didn't I find this site 2 weeks ago when I gave myself a crash course on welding at a weekend crop!?!?! Thank you so much!

sylvan.white said...

I cannot cut a welded image with DS. Every time I try the program jams and the "Not Repsonding" window appears so I have to shut down the program. I can cut non welded images so I'm not sure what I am doing wrong. Any help would be appreciated.


Narelle said...

Is this happening as soon as you click Welding or when you are previewing or cutting?

Try viewing at "Fit View" before you preview or cut.

sylvan.white said...


Thanks for responding so quickly. It happens when I click Cut. I've followed the instructions above for Method 1 and clicked the Fit View button but as soon as I clicked on Cut the egg timer appeared and when I looked at the task manager it said the program was not responding so I'm really at a loss as to know what is wrong.


Narelle said...

Is it a simple file? With not too many pages/objects?

I've never heard of that happening before. All I can suggest is downloading and installing the latest version again, then updating the firmware on the cricut.

sylvan.white said...


Thanks again. I did as you said with the program and the updating firmware and then tried to cut a welded image of "Happy". It jammed ! I loaded up the program again and tried to do the same thing again and it told me the firmware needed updating so I did that again. Then I tried to cut a welded image of "Evie". When it asked wether I wanted to check for cartiridges automatically I clicked Cancel and WOW ! I thought I'd cracked it it did cut the welded image of "Evie". However when I then tried to do "Happy" again the cut icon did not respond at all. So I closed the program and started again. It jammed when I attempted to cut the welded image !

What I can't decide is if it is my computer not handling the software properly or the Cricut Machine that have a glitch in its chip. I'm not really sure how I can find out. Have you any ideas ?

Thanks again for your help and patience.


Narelle said...

I don't understand why it only does this with welded images. Anyway....

The next thing I would try is a different USB cable, and also trying different USB ports on your computer.

Michelle said...

Can anyone tell me how you can weld a shape into lettering. For example:
image of soccer ball
I would like the Soccer, image & Ball all to be connected. I can get the letters to all weld together but I can not seem to get the image to weld to the letters.......Help!!!

Narelle said...

Hi Michelle,

So long as you have ticked Welding on each part of the design and they slightly overlap they should weld together.

I can email you an example if you can give me your email address. Email me at girlfromoz2009 at

Kim said...

I just purchased Design Studio and received it today. I am trying to weld a word, and I get it all set and press cut and nothing happens. I have restarted and turned on off on everything possible and its not working. Any help?

Krista said...

I was using my CDS to weld letters together and it was working. Something happened and now I can get the weld to work. I follow your instructions exactly, but when I go to preview it still shows it will cut each letter (dark lines overlap). Is there a setting or something that I hit to make it do this?

Narelle said...

Hi Krista

Not sure what could be happening but if you'd like to email me the .cut file I'd be happy to take a look at it for you.


Narelle said...

Sorry Kim, just realised I hadn't replied to your post.

Are you pressing Cut from the page with the design on it? Or from a preview page. You need to go back to the actual page with the design to cut.

ilovmy3kidz said...

I am working with the trial version, deciding if I want to buy. Using the cricut expression, so i should be able to use plaintain and accent essentials. I made a "shadow" with "court" on one line, "of" on line 2 and "honor" on line three and welded them together. I also added 2 accents next to "of" on line 2. When I look at the preview, everything seems welded together. When I cut, I only get the words, no accents. I have clicked on each component (each word and accent) and "weld" is selected on all of them. Again, when I preview, it looks find. Any suggestions?

Narelle said...

Sorry I've taken so long to answer.

When you select Cut does DS prompt you to insert one or both of the carts?

When you insert the cart/s are you leaving the Cricut turned on. (You DON'T turn the Cricut off to change carts when you're using DS).

lea ann said...

i purchased the cds and now i have no problem with that file. it was weird because i could cut other things combining the two cartidges. there somewhere on the web to download others .cut files and to add your own for others (other than the cricut site)

Cambrea said...

Thank you so much for posting this! The instructions that come with the software do not mention clicking on the preview button to see the dark and light lines, and I've been frustrated and disappointed with the welding option, thinking I was doing it wrong. Yay!

Narelle said...

Lea ann,

If you google "Design Studio Cut files" you'll find lots!

Fields Family said...

Hi, fantasic web site! I have had DS for quite a while, but I haven't bothered to use it because it is not just obvious to me. So now I am trying again. I am working on a chipboard book and some of my welding is working, but some isn't working. I have tried the "burping" you suggest but it isn't always working either. Do you have some suggestions, or would you be willing to look at it and see what you think? Like I said, some are good, but some not. Thanks!

Narelle said...

I'd be happy to take a look at the file for you. Just email it to me at and I'll give it a go.


ldkpowers said...

Why is it that on some of my cartridges I can not see all the pics on the "keypad" in design studio. I remember at one time, they had some kind of fix for this, and it worked. But now it is back like that again.

Narelle said...

There is a fix but it only works on the older carts:

Close DS

Delete your CricutFontsMetadata.xml file from c:/mydocuments/cricut/userdata.

Reopen DS.

Jules said...

Hi I tried this and selected all put kerning to -0.100 and it put all letters together nicely thank you for this

C. Lawrence said...

I recently purchased the CDS. I have tried to weld by the method 1 Eaample....Thanks The s is dotted when I am ready to click the k is does not happen and the handles disappear. I am so frustated:(

Narelle said...

Hi Connie

Sometimes the handles switch themselves off. Press the ALT key on your keypad and they'll turn back on.

The ALT key is also used to temporarily hide the handles so you can better see your object when you're moving or resizing it.

Hope that helps!


Jenne said...

Oh my you have saved my sanity! I tried the design studio when i bought it years ago and couldnt get it to work. Today I got it out again....still cant weld letters! Then I read your tutorial. This is so easy now. Thank you so very much. I am eternally grateful.

Lauren said...

Ah! Thank you so much! I have had CDS for about a month now, and although I have found it very useful, I was never able to figure out how to weld the letters properly! Every time I tried, it cut all the overlapping lines, which defeats the purpose. I knew I had to be missing something easy, I just didn't realize how easy the fix was until I found this post. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I have had success welding. Now, I am trying to copy and paste the welded text, but it will only copy one of the letters. Is there a way to group the letters as a welded word, then...copy and paste?

Narelle said...

Unfortunately not. There is no true Grouping feature in DS so you will need to copy each letter one at the time. The only way they'll be considered a grouped item is if you don't press enter or click on the mat between each letter. (As in Method 1 above.)

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