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Fred W. Hargis Jr

So, OK do I have to have a machine

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Both ------ Go to Vectric.com and download their trial version of Aspire (the best and, of course, most expensive version) or Vcarve.  These are the real programs.  You just can't download the toolpaths.  You can make things, and preview the cuts as they would actually look cut out.  They have a ton of tutorials which I advise you to watch.

There are also a lot of models that you can buy and just size them to your needs, load them, and hit go.

Fred, you sound intimidated at the thought of all this.  I was too, but if old curmudgeons like me or MT Stringer can do it, so can you.  Lots of support all around.  You DO NOT have to be a computer geek or electronics guru to get into it.  Mike (MT Stringer) did exactly what I suggested, and he just picked up his machine after playing with the trial versions of Vcarve.  Let him relate his experience.  We're both retired from real jobs and did the woodworker things thruout the years and got into this and have  had ball so far.  It's really up to you how far you want to go with it.  The possibilities are endless.  It's just another tool in your shop that can be used with all the others.

 

For instance -  the mortise and tennons that Steven is fighting and cussing with can be set and cut --  all virtually the same or different sizes (your choice)- with one toolpath file.  And if your settings were right, a perfect fit on all of them. 

Edited by honesttjohn (see edit history)

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Well, one problem I would have to solve first is to buy a Windows computer (ugggh) since we're a Mac household. But I get that it's just another tool, ans I see it that way. If I sound intimated, I am. I'm not one who really enjoys sitting at the computer doing things (problem one) and my days of being eager to learn new software kinda died the day I retired. I may look around at the pawn shops for a computer and try the trial versions of the stuff, but frankly I haven't even had the gumption to learn Sketchup....I'm pretty sure Vcarve and such would be just as big a struggle.

Edited by Fred W. Hargis Jr (see edit history)

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I noticed Vcarve indicates it's a 2d program, does such software still utilize the Z axis on the machine? I guess somehow it needs to measure depth even with a simple sign (or whatever). (Probably a dumb question, but still puzzles me.)

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You still need the Z axis.  There is depth to any cut no matter what.  You're probably thinking of the A axis, which is also called the rotary axis.  This is used for full 360 degree carving.  That one you can do without unless you want to get into that sort of thing.  I bought it with my machine (was gonna set the world on fire) and don't have a clue how to use it, or even install it.  Will probably never use it,  but it's there if I ever do decide that I'm good enuff to try it.  And it fits my machine so I don't have to worry about being able to get one in the future.

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11 hours ago, honesttjohn said:

Good question for one of the Mike's or Davids.  Can you use a MAC with Vectric's stuff?

 

Mt Stringer is a whiz at sketchup -- I tried it one evening and gave up.

Sorry the Vectric software is all windows based.

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11 hours ago, Fred W. Hargis Jr said:

Well, one problem I would have to solve first is to buy a Windows computer (ugggh) since we're a Mac household. But I get that it's just another tool, ans I see it that way. If I sound intimated, I am. I'm not one who really enjoys sitting at the computer doing things (problem one) and my days of being eager to learn new software kinda died the day I retired. I may look around at the pawn shops for a computer and try the trial versions of the stuff, but frankly I haven't even had the gumption to learn Sketchup....I'm pretty sure Vcarve and such would be just as big a struggle.

Personally I use Sketchup and of course Vectric software and I would say Sketchup has more of a learning cure than the user friendly Vectric software.

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9 hours ago, Fred W. Hargis Jr said:

I noticed Vcarve indicates it's a 2d program, does such software still utilize the Z axis on the machine? I guess somehow it needs to measure depth even with a simple sign (or whatever). (Probably a dumb question, but still puzzles me.)

Fred the only dumb question is the one that is never asked.  It is dumb because it never learns.

 

Fred actually VCarve both the Desktop version and the Pro versions v8.0 and above will do 3D projects and come bundled with a good collection of 3D models.  You can not create 3D models in VCarve, you would need Aspire for that.  There are limits when using 3D models in VCarve, you can only import one third party model per project but you can import as many .v3m (Design and Make format for Vectric software) models as you want to for the project.

Edited by MEBCWD (see edit history)

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On 6/29/2017 at 1:14 PM, Fred W. Hargis Jr said:

do I even need to learn the software,

 

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Dated cartoon.  As I watch each new generation hopefully it will cycle.  There was a moment in time when you had to know how to code as well as build your own PC because otherwise there wasn't much you could do with one to waste your time.  Now kids have a distracting screen on them at all times and don't have time or need to understand how it works.  JMHO.  ;)

Edited by 4DThinker (see edit history)

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Doesn't the Mac have a Windows environment option?  If so you should be able to run the trial in that environment. 

 

David

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