1. #1

    This is my First Posting.I am a complete Novice on all things CNC, any help or advise would be greatly appreciated. I hope to buy my first cnc machine before Christmas, I wish to do 3D Wood Engravings, The Software for this ,is very expensive,as I say ,I am a complete learner,is there anyone who could put me in the right direction , for Software that would suit my needs, that does not cost a arm and a leg? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Yours Kindly Paul

  2. #2
    Hi Paul, when you say 3d wood carving do you mean on a 4 axis CNC ? People tend to get confused with 2D and 3D? 3D would be something like a Knight Chess Piece where the subject is rotating at the same time being milled. 2D is flat bed work say letters on a plaque.

    Fiction is far more plausible when wrapped around a thread of truth

    Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. Hi Paul, what do you class as an arm and a leg? Vetric is pretty reasonable in terms of cost.

    Build log...here

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by njhussey View Post
    Hi Paul, what do you class as an arm and a leg? Vetric is pretty reasonable in terms of cost.
    when i started my CNC journey it quickly became apparent that you could buy the best constructed and most accurate machine in the world and it would be wasted without good software, many people have found free software that does the Job But as you said i found V-carve from Vectric very reasonable and an ideal platform to start to be able to produce commercial grade Products,

    Take a look at this link and see if this is the sort of thing you are after producing..

    VCarvePro Wood Gallery


    P.S. At first look maybe the software seems a little pricey but as a percentage of the hardware cost it is very reasonable and by the time you have made a few signs for your friends and neighbors with old bits of wood collected from the Woods you will be well on your way to recouping the software costs and you will get practice with the machine as well..
    Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other - Abe Lincoln

  5. #5
    As has already been said depends what you are looking to do & what sort of machine you have, if you are buying a 4 axis machine they are generally commercial packages & come with the required software, if it's a 3 axis machine then there are a lot of people selling cheap machines that come with nothing. Just remember you get what you pay for generally speaking so if your buying a cheap machine (in relative terms) it will be far more limited in the type of work it can do & the materials it will be able to machine.
    If you don't already have any software you can use then a package like vcarve pro that Rick suggested is a good option, yes you can get cheaper but Vetric seem to have a very good support system in place, the tutorials are very good & they also have their own forum which is suppose to be very good, it's actually very reasonably priced for what it is & what it does.
    What your planning to do with the machine will also be a factor, if your just looking for something for your own use & have loads of free time available then a different option might suit you better.

  6. #6
    Software at level of Vectric Aspire or Delcam Artcam isn`t cheap but its`s aimed at a market where time is very much money and everything integrated into one process means being able to keep up with the orders.

    At the level of market where probably spending some time trying to generate the orders, some lower cost options.

    Free engraving software, Fengrave now got to V1.0, handles V-Carving and plays well with Cambam


    CamBam which is strictly 2/2.5D but will import a BMP to do relief carving, but only in one directional passes:

    CamBam CNC Software

    BMP2CNC is a similar relief generator

    MR-Soft Nc Software Tools - Bmp2Cnc

    Meshcam is similar to Vectric`s Cut3D , has a fully functional trial available, it does a very much nicer job than Cambam on imported bitmaps.

    MeshCAM - CNC Software - CAD/CAM Software

    Its worth trying them all out to see what you feel most comfortable working with.


  7. #7
    Thanks a lot for your help, I looked at the forum and i have to say ,the work produced is very nice, The kind of thing i would like to do. I am a bit confused over the pricing of Aspire, is it 2000 dollars, there is so many variations of this software, working out the pricing is a bit funny.

    Yours Kindly Paul

  8. #8
    Prices are given in dollars, pounds & euros, in that order so yes it's $1995 for the full latest version, most of the other prices listed are for upgrades from other Vetric software which you don't have anyway.
    If your looking to buy the vetric software it might be an idea to start off with vcarve pro which is a cheaper option but is more than capable of getting you started, then in the future upgrade to aspire if you feel you need to, won't cost you a lot of extra money as you will get a discount when you trade vcarve pro in.

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