I have 9 months until my wedding, and I adore the laser cut wedding invitations but I do not like the prices at all. I am big into crafts, especially doing things myself when it comes to parties, weddings etc. So, I thought why not just buy a machine. Crazy expensive, can definitely see why they charge so much for the invitations. But I came across the "Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine", it looks as though it does just about anything and it is affordable and I could use it for many other occasions, but I am unsure if it would do the lace like paper. If anyone has this machine, or knows about it, or knows another way I could go about doing these invitations, please let me know! I attached the picture of the machine, and the invitation I am trying to get close to:
The Cricut and similar machines such as the Cameo Silhouette use very sharp knife blades mounted in a manner to allow the tip to rotate to follow the direction of movement.
They are nearly perfect for the pictured type of work. You may find it necessary to experiment somewhat to get ideal machine settings for your specific paper type, but that is easily accomplished, generally speaking.
For fine detail such as in the photo, you'd likely keep the travel speed on the low side. If it takes you three minutes to successfully cut the card instead of two minutes to gouge great tears in it, the difference in time is minimal.
The limitations of such a device are more based on one's ability to locate suitable designs on the internet, or to create one's own designs using the bundled software.
More deluxe versions (higher prices) usually mean the software accepts input from a greater variety of image formats.
The typical hobby cutter uses a plastic mat with an adhesive covering similar to very powerful Post-It note glue, which eventually wears out. Also, if one uses incorrect settings, the blade tip cuts more deeply into the plastic mat, leaving gouges that will later affect the craft results. The mats are more-or-less expendable, but not inexpensive, typically in the $15 and up range. It's far better to know your settings well, and save a dollar in the process.
The adhesive is quite strong, as it has to withstand the knife trying to move the paper off the mat. One should be prepared to use a tool to release the item from the mat, rather than peeling it by hand. Thinner materials are especially prone to ripping. Some of the cutters include such a tool, which resembles a tiny pancake flipper. A quality palette knife may not have as thin an edge but can be used.
This is an old question that asks specifically whether a particular machine will handle the task of cutting a lace design, and fred_dot_u answered that. The question also asks if there's another way to do it. Presumably, we're long past the wedding for which the question was asked, but for other readers landing here, I'll mention an alternative.
Another way this is commonly done is with an embossing and die cutting machine. A number of companies make them and they typically look similar to this example made by Sizzix (not an endorsement, just an available picture):
The crank moves a cassette, containing the paper, die, and spacers, through the machine, where pressure pushes the paper into the die and punches out the pattern. They come in various capacities and capabilities, and the range of prices runs less than the range of prices for the computer-based cutting machines, but they overlap.
The machine characteristics are different in a number of ways, besides the obvious difference that you manually crank one and the other cuts on its own.
The cutting machine will cut virtually any design, but you need to tell it how to do that (typically via a downloaded file or something you create on your computer).
The embossing machine punches out a pattern with a die, so you can typically only make what you can buy a die for (certain kinds of patterns are popular, so, for example, you are likely to find a lace pattern).
With the embossing machine, you buy each die, whereas the cutting machine doesn't cost you anything for a design you make yourself. Crafters who make varied use of their embossing machine can run up an investment in a collection of dies and embossing folders.
The embossing machine is much faster than the cutting machine. Once it's set up (which doesn't take long), it takes just seconds to crank a cassette through, and the whole pattern is punched out at one time.
The cutting machine works by tracing each line comprising the pattern with a blade, sometimes many passes. On a very detailed pattern (like lace), the cutting can take a long time to complete.
The finished item can normally be removed from an embossing machine die without tearing. With the cutting machine, the paper needs to be firmly stuck to the mat during cutting. Very fine patterns can sometimes be hard to remove from the mat without tearing, so there can be some wastage after the long cutting time.
Both kinds of machines can do more than cut or punch patterns. The embossing machine can also emboss (which, again, is a fast, all-at-once process, limited to the patterns you can buy, although crafters can make simple embossing dies themselves of lesser quality).
The cutting machines can often also draw, and fancy ones can emboss. Again, it's based on instructions you provide, and it can be slow (though faster than cutting), because it's done by tracing every line in the pattern.