If you have bought a Cricut or Silhouette machine you probably eventually run into to the thought of making your own SVG files. And what software to use, is one of the most common questions between cutting machine owners.I will list the best-known programs out there. Some are easier than others some were created for graphic designers so they may have much more tools then you will ever need, some you have to pay for and some that are completely free. There is no way of saying which one is the best software, as it all at the end depends on your own personal preference. All programs take a certain time to learn and some have better tutorials then others. Majority of paid software usually provide some kind of free trial period so that you can see if the program is a good fit or not.
Inkscape is open source software. It means that it was created by software developers all over the internet and their code was contributed for free so that the software can stay free for all of those who would love to do some computer graphics without the expense. Inkscape fills professional graphic designer needs and it does exactly same as the Illustrator. Some tools are not quite as good as in illustrator, but for making SVG’s it works just fine. You can find a good selection for SVG tutorials online too. The program will save in most vector file formats including DXF, SVG, and EPS. The program comes for both Windows and Mac users, but on Macs, you will also need XQuartz installed first.
ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR Monthly fee &29.99 for a whole suit (free trial and possible student discounts available)
Illustrator is one of the most popular graphics programs in a graphic designer world, but it does have a very long learning curve. There are however many tutorials out there which can teach you almost anything. I have to say for tutorials and help, Adobe is still one of the best programs simply because you can find an answer to any of your question. The program will also save in any vector files needed including DXF.
ADOBE PHOTOSHOP Monthly Fee $29.99 for a whole suit(free trial and possible student discounts available)
Photoshop can also produce vector files but it is however not its specialty. It is a software mainly for image editing, photo manipulation, and composition. The program is able to save the file in SVG and EPS but does not support DXF. All Adobe software works for both computer and macs.
COREL DRAW Depends on your choice of purchase (free trial available)
Comes as a part of the suit and it is a very advanced graphics software for professional graphic designers and photographers. Just as Adobe they offer a free trial which is awesome. They have been around for a long time and their developers had a lot of time to make their product worth the price. Corel has incorporated a number of additional features into the software that aren’t found in Illustrator, such as integration with the WhatTheFont service, which is a huge help whenever you’re trying to figure out what typeface was used in an image or logo. There are also additional “extensions”. Corel suit is probably most comparable to Adobe software and just as them they offer an annual subscription, but there is also an option for a one-time fee if you prefer that instead.
Krita is a free and open source painting tool and it is also an open source. I feel the platform is a little bit more user-friendly than other programs with almost the same capabilities as Inkscape has, but it also comes with an awesome selection of brushes and many other plugins. It saves in SVG and BMP but DXF is not yet supported.
GRAVIT DESIGNER Free
Similar platform to Krita. The developers tried to make software more user-friendly but it does vector images well. DXF file is not supported yet. The program seems pretty easy to use and there is some good basic documentation written if you need good help too. I love the option of browser version it comes in. The software is compatible with Windows, Linux, Mac and as I already said a browser version
There are some great and easy tutorials on their site and if you have never made an SVG file this program would also be perfect for you. Also offers browser version next to full download for Windows, Linux and Chromebook. The program is limited to exporting files only as JPG, PNG and SVG.
AFFINITY DESIGNER $49.99
The program was designed for both Macs and Windows and it is another software for making gorgeous illustrations which can be saved in SVG or EPS but DXF is not supported yet.
Obviously, there is much more available but these are the most popular programs. If you really want to make your own files for your cutting machine, I suggest picking one software and stick to it. Go through basic tutorials they offer, because the fastest method to learn the vectors is via trial and error. I hope this information was helpful to you and let us know how is it going!