Vcarve pro vs aspire is it really worth it to upgrade?

Discussion/questions about software used with your CNC Shark and programming issues

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tpulley
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:31 pm

Vcarve pro vs aspire is it really worth it to upgrade?

Post by tpulley »

I read the upgrade and comparison chart for vectric desktop pro vs aspire. I am interested in making 3d stuff. I am not sure what the modeling and sculpting piece adds that I would need.

So say for example I wanted to build/cut a 3d porche 911 out of oak. Would the vcarve pro 8.5 do this or would I need aspire? I want to make as an example nativity scenes, chess pieces among a few ideas I have.

Any input? Its a substantial more investment to upgrade to aspire if what I have will do it. I do not foresee using the lithopane feature...
HD4 extended, Vcarve pro 8.5, 4th axis, Laser. Learning everyday...

Rando
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Re: Vcarve pro vs aspire is it really worth it to upgrade?

Post by Rando »

tpulley:

Like with all things, it depends on what you're tying to do. I'd grade the available offerings into four blocks, based on **how** you are thinking you'll turn a nice block of wood into a Porsche + sawdust.

If you downloaded the Porsche 3D model and you just want to carve it, then Vectric is gonna do you fine. And VCarve Pro, and even in some cases Cut3D will work sufficiently.

If you want to scan a bunch of photos of Porsche's to make a 3D model, and then carve that, then some outside software will be needed to build the initial 3D model. But, VCarve and Aspire can cut them (and even generate engraving toolpaths mapped onto the 3D surface)

If you want to start from scratch to create your own 3D designs, but you have no intention of ever designing two parts together in the same file, then Aspire will get you there. Wait...really...I just can't imagine that if you designed one part in a 3D environment, that you'd not ever want to design a mating part. That's loony! And if you decide to later on, and you have to change systems, then what do you do with the old designs? Remake them? No, that's insane; don't use this as your decision point; use one of the others.

If you want to start from an empty space and create your own 3D parts, multiple of them you can that fit together see how they move, or maybe design a folded sheet-metal enclosure (to cut on your Shark, fold on a press-brake), or a welded assembly, then something like AutoDesk Fusion360 (Free to students, $25/month, $300/year), Solidworks ($$$$), BobCAD ($$$$) or Vectric ($$$) is going to work well.

<<Correction: There is no Free Lunch anymore with Fusion: $25/month, $300/yr)>>

I went with BobCAD/CAM, though I don't use their CAD for anything but extracting edges of the geometry to machine, alignment-pin holes, that kind of thing. BobCAD's CAM output, is FAR superior IMO to Vectric's...for the kind of work I do. And because nearly everything I make is designed from scratch, I use Fusion for the 3D modeling work.

All the 3D design packages are FAR easier to use if you invest in a 3D mouse. No lying. Seriously. Even VCarve, ostensibly a 2.5D program, can benefit from a 3D mouse. I use a 3Dconnexion SpacePilot; love it!

Before you make the jump, at least try AutoDesk Fusion 360. It's Bloody well NOT FREE anymore (!!!!!). Students get it free. I've used it for years. I export the solid models into VCarve to make the toolpaths, if it's appropriate for that, or I import them into BobCAD, which is like a beefed-up VCarve more for traditional CNC machining. In addition, Fusion has built-in toolpath generation capabilities, at least as good as Vectric's from what I've seen. But, I have not used the toolpath facilities of Fusion, because I'm too lazy to customize yet another post processor file and enter my tool library into yet another CAD/CAM system. ;-).

If you really enjoy and feel at home with the Vectric interaction style (with the two panels of operations, and then the panels of options), then staying with Vectric might be a good idea for you. Otherwise, that $1000+ upgrade price could be spent elsewhere for differently-focused tools.

<<Correction: There is no Free Lunch anymore with Fusion: $25/month, $300/yr)>>

Hope that helps you out, tpulley.

Regards,

Thom
=====================================================
ThomR.com Creative tools and photographic art
A proud member of the Pacific Northwest CNC Club (now on Facebook)

tpulley
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:31 pm

Re: Vcarve pro vs aspire is it really worth it to upgrade?

Post by tpulley »

Thank you Thom. YES it does.. So many nuggets in the words you wrote. For one, I had never heard of a 3d mouse and I am a network engineer... The cad world is something I hadn't been exposed to since autocad 9 in the mid 90's.

For the cost comparisons, I can buy the upgrade for $1300, or rent the software. Renting break even point is about 4.6 years... Hmmm Wonder how far I will get to in that time... I downloaded the free trial and it says if you are a hobbyist its free. ?? I can only imagine I will "need" to create/design 3d "stuff" once in a while. To me an ideal solution would be to buy hours of time vs monthly. hmmm Maybe they will grow that model.

I am going through the tutorial on making stuff in fusion today. Starting with MY version of what a porche would look like. THen I will see if I can save that to a file I can import into my vcarve and even try making one...

I just hope my head doesn't explode after all this learning....

Thank you again for a great understanding/answer to my question.
Terry
HD4 extended, Vcarve pro 8.5, 4th axis, Laser. Learning everyday...

Rando
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Re: Vcarve pro vs aspire is it really worth it to upgrade?

Post by Rando »

tpulley:

Yeah, I'm THAT engineer who is not fond of bending license terms. I've made nearly all my lifetime income thanks to software in one form or another, and I'm just not in the mood to rip-off my colleagues. It's a personal thing, for me. And yeah, I actually do keep track of all my software licenses, across the more-than dozen computers I have...here in my house ;-).

My goal is to make commercial products, even if on a small scale and volume (using my Shark and other tools), so it's a difficult stretch to claim I'm a hobbyist route. The existence of business plans would probably quickly convince a jury of my need to pay $20k/day/copy, or whatever else the publisher asks for ;-).

If commercialization of your designs is not the intent of the use, then that hobbyist license could be ideal.

Cheers!

Thom
=====================================================
ThomR.com Creative tools and photographic art
A proud member of the Pacific Northwest CNC Club (now on Facebook)

mahi01
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Re: Vcarve pro vs aspire is it really worth it to upgrade?

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mahi01
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mahi01
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Re: Vcarve pro vs aspire is it really worth it to upgrade?

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mahi01
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