VCarve Pro and VCarve Desktop provide a powerful but intuitive software solution for cutting parts on a CNC Router. There are tools for 2D design and calculation of 2D and 2.5D toolpaths and along with the ability to import and toolpath a single 3D model (STL, OBJ, SKP etc.). There is also support to import multiple Vectric Clip Art 3D models (V3M) to create advanced 3D assemblies.
The software can import 2D designs from other programs but also provides a full set of drawing and editing tools. The toolpath options cover all typical 2D routing operations such as Profiling, Pocketing, Auto-Inlays and Drilling as well as 2.5D strategies such as V-Carving, Prism carving, Moulding Toolpaths, Fluting and even a decorative Texturing strategy. For 3D you can Rough and Finish the model and there are options to project 2D and 2.5D toolpaths onto the 3D surface. Each toolpath includes appropriate options to customize the settings and provide a high level of control for different types of operation. In addition all toolpaths can be previewed to show just how the part will look when it is actually cut, this allows instant feedback to allow toolpaths to be further optimized.
VCarve includes the functionality demanded for complex work while remaining incredibly easy to use and affordably priced. The software is used by cabinet makers, wood workers, sign makers, prop makers, plastic fabricators, hobbyists and in many other applications.
Comparison between the Pro and Desktop Editions
What are the Desktop and Pro editions of Vectric software?
From Version 8 upwards, Cut2D and VCarve are offered in two variants; a Pro and a Desktop edition.
The Desktop editions are specifically designed for small CNC machines, typically aimed at hobby or non-production ‘maker’ environments. They include all of the non-production drawing, editing and toolpathing features of the Pro editions, but they cannot output large toolpaths as a single file and do not have all the production oriented tools in the Pro version.
The lists below and the product grid image at the base of the page detail the differences between the different editions.
Who would benefit from using Desktop edition?
The Desktop edition offers great value for money if:
- You have a small, light duty, CNC machine.
- You mostly work on parts that are smaller than 24” x 24” (600mm x 600mm).
- You do not require production level layout, cutting or toolpath optimisations
- You do not have a rotary axis on your CNC
- You are a hobbyist or maker on a tight budget
- …You are still unsure which edition you need! (see below)
Worried you might need Pro after all? Don’t worry, upgrading from Desktop to Pro will only cost you the difference between the retail prices of each product, so there is no penalty if you change your mind later.
Who should buy the Pro edition?
You should be looking at the Pro edition if:
- You have a CNC machine with a work area that is larger than 24” x 24” (600mm x 600mm).
- You are a commercial user such as Cabinet Maker, Sign Maker, Plastic Fabricator etc.
- You need to do production oriented work to maximize material yield or create multiple copies of the same part
- You are semi-professional and want access to all tools and features
- You specifically need any of the additional Pro production tools or features below
Additional Pro Features
- Unlimited physical job or toolpath size (no 25” x 25” limit)
- True Shape Nesting to optimize toolpath times & minimize material waste
- Toolpath Templates to automate & re-use your toolpath strategies
- Job Setup Sheets to automatically detail the required machine setup for each job
- Merge Toolpaths to optimize cutting paths & minimise air moves
- Array Copy Toolpath duplicates one or more toolpaths based on the dimensions you enter in its properties.
- Scripting support to add your own custom functionality or to automate repetitive processes
- Access to the Gadget library of downloadable plugins
- Plate Layout to insert external data lists into your job designs
- Rotary Axis – Wrapping support
Rotary Axis Support
The only Vectric products that support output to a machine with a rotary axis (for doing wrapped work) are VCarve Pro and Aspire. Cut2D Desktop, Cut2D Pro and VCarve Desktop DO NOT support Rotary output.