Chips N Dust

Starting CAM Software

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I have looked into the Vectric software a little bit due to the comments you CNC guys have said about it. My question is this: Which of the Vectric software would be the "correct" one for a beginner? I have noticed that one of  the main differences between the Desktop and Pro Versions seems to be that the Desktop is limited to a 24" x 24" project. Is there a way around that?

 

Thank you,

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Posted (edited)

You can start with Cut2D Desktop or Pro.  Desktop versions were created to make a cheap starting point for those investing in a small 24" x 24" hobby CNC.  Same with VCarve Desktop which adds all the features of VCarve Pro except nesting and is also limited to 24" x 24" cutting range.  If you don't currently have a CNC machine you can download trial versions of all their products for free to see which have the features you think you will need/use.   No matter where in their lineup you start, upgrading to a more expensive more capable version can be done for the difference in price.   If you have settled on which version in trial form you want, and do eventually buy the functional version all files you made with the trial will now work so long as you install the licensed version on the same PC as you had the trial version.   

 

Vectric, to me, has the fairest upgrade policy of any company I've ever done business with.  You upgrade to a better app for the difference in price.  You buy version 8.5 today and if they come out with version 9 tomorrow or 11 months from now you'll get that version for free.  Since 9 is "any day now" you'll get free any 9.5 update they come up with if it happens within a year. 

 

4D

Edited by 4DThinker (see edit history)
MEBCWD, Chips N Dust and p_toad like this

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I started with the Cut2D Desktop version. The 24x24 limitation is a booger but the program has the "tiling" feature so you can cut up to 24 inches on one axis (x) and tile a long work piece (y axis) and cut several tiles that are less than 24 inches in length. There are several tutorials on You Tube describing how to "tile" a project, and most importantly, how to index your work piece so it can be moved so the next tile can be cut.

 

I pan to upgrade to VCarve Pro shortly. I sent them an email asking how much to upgrade from Cut2D Desktop to VCarve Pro. Answer $550. Just like 4D said. It is just the difference between the two programs if you bought them individually.

 

Note: I am planning to cut some cabinet parts (sides) for upper and lower cabinets for a remodel that is coming up in the next few weeks.

4DThinker, MEBCWD, p_toad and 1 other like this

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Well, this morning I purchased the license for VCarve Pro. Happy, I am. Cut2D was OK and will do most of the things I have been tinkering with except the project size is limited to 25x25 inches.

 

I just finished carving a wedding sign for our friend's son's wedding. They wanted one for the guests to write on. By upgrading, I was able to lay out the panel with the long side on the x axis (24x36 inches). Otherwise I would have had to rotate the model and use the tiling feature to carve the sign.

 

The upgrade was simply the difference between the cost of Cut2D Desktop and VCArve Pro ($550 USD). This will last me a long time unless I win the lottery! :)

Andy and Lauren 1.jpg

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John Morris, p_toad, MEBCWD and 1 other like this

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Looking great!    You won't be disappointed and by upgrading now you should also get the upcoming update to version 9 for free. 

 

4D
 

!

MEBCWD and MT Stringer like this

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Looks good, Mike!  You're really cranking things out on that new tool - good job!

 

David

MT Stringer and MEBCWD like this

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Thanks all. The bride and mother in law will be stopping by to discuss the finish. Paint, stain, some of both, whatever.

This is the sample picture they sent me to use in the design. It came out pretty close.

Sign.jpg

difalkner, p_toad and MEBCWD like this

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BTW, I have been practicing making keyhole slots for the signs to hang on the wall. Yay, it worked. This sign now has two perfectly placed keyhole slots on the back...and I didn't cut them upside down! :)

 

MEBCWD, Chips N Dust and difalkner like this

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I'd like to add that where I work we also have Enroute, which came with the Multicam CNC the college bought.  I still have a running copy of version 5, but the college has pretty much abandoned using it.   The shop technician that now oversees that CNC prefers Rhino+RhinoCAM.  All our students are taught how to use Rhino so he doesn't have to teach them a new program. 

 

I started with VCarve Pro, which came with my original CNC Shark.  I'm the only teaching professor that knows how to run a CNC so VCarve/Aspire is what I prefer.  I cut all the student projects that aren't ideal to cut using the large Multicam.  I do dust off my copy of Enroute every now and then, but find it almost cryptic to use.   

 

As far as I know, RhinoCAM does not have post processors for LinuxCNC.   I haven't checked Enroute for compatible LinuxCNC post processors. 

 

4D

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