Cad software that you use, or plan to use

Like the topic says. What software are you using, or planning on using as your CAD, and why?
I am new to all of this and have been playing around with Carbide Create, but have no CNC to try any of the Gcode on. (hurry up December?) Just looking for the right CAD software for me. I am willing to pay some but not the $$$ some software is asking.

Most things I make go to Fusion 360 first for sorting out my thoughts and getting the design right.
From there I plan on handing off to Vcarve because they make tool pathing super easy.
Vcarve is not exactly cheap but it does things easily that is hard in other programs.

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I personally use Vetric Aspire.

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I usually go from Illustrator or Blender -> Fusion 360 -> CAM, because i enjoy things being incredibly difficult

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Is this a free software?

No, Aspire is Vcarve’s big brother and not cheap at all. There are free out there, but they are either hard to figure out or limited.
I feel that Vcarve is right for most people that is affordable, not cheap, just affordable, does what 90% of users need it to do, and if you do need the superpowers of Aspire, there is an upgrade path.

BTW, no, I don’t work for them, just a happy customer.

I was a Illustrator to Easel guy for the longest time (xCarve Owner) recently I’ve been teaching myself Fusion 360 (with the help of YouTube) and I really like it, the free version for Makers is an incredible thing they offer. Its a bit complex but if I can figure it out I’m sure anyone can.


Check out Carveco maker. They offer a monthly subscription for $15 a month. I haven’t tried them yet because I’m waiting to get my onefinity but my plan is to use their software till I make enough to cover the cost of the machine plus the cost of vcarve pro or aspire.


I’m already invested in Vcarve but that looks like a great way to try more complex software. $90 for the first year is not bad at all.

@MyersWoodshop wish I could afford Aspire, but I have to somehow not overspend too much on the hobby during the lockdown. Thanks @OnefinityCNC for choosing an open platform that accepts so many different options for gcode generation.

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So the black Friday special is still around… Anyone running this software?

It will be Vetric Aspire for me.
Though to be fair I started off with their Desktop version, then Pro, then Aspire, as I went. Their upgrade program is awesome.

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As a Vcarve Pro user, what do you find worth the $$ in Aspire? thanx

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I’ve been using Fusion for years now - works perfectly for mostly everything I need. But I would like to use Apsire or V-Carve. Too bad they are stuck in Windoze land.


What do you mean by that last statement? Is there a significant difference in pricing when upgrading step by step, instead of going straight to Aspire?

Dennis, go here then scroll almost half way down. There is a chart showing the upgrade prices.

Ahh, I see! I thought you meant a diagonal upgrade. So from Desktop to Aspire. My bad. :slight_smile:

If you buy Vetric Desktop and run that for awhile and then want to upgrade to the Pro or Aspire, they discount what you already paid when you bought Desktop, or Desktop Pro. They do this for upgrading to the Pro or Aspire. I started with the Desktop version because I just couldn’t part with that kind of money at the time for some thing like Aspire.

Honestly for me, I wanted to do more with the 3D stuff than I could with the Pro version. To be honest if it wasn’t for that I would have stopped at Pro.

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If you buy Vetric Desktop and run that for awhile and then want to upgrade to the Pro or Aspire, they discount what you already paid when you bought Desktop, or Desktop Pro.

Ahh, sweet! That is a nice offer indeed. Thank you for the info. :slight_smile:

After watching a few Roger Webb tutorials on You Tube, I have decided to use Carveco Maker. Seems very powerful and user friendly. Price is very reasonable. $15/month for subscription. They are still honoring a black friday deal–$90 for a one year subscription. Also used a “rogerwebb5” discount code for a 5% discount. I have been programming CNC mills since 1975, starting with straight G-code (before computers) and most recently using SolidWorks and Mastercam. Carveco Maker seem to me to give the control of a more powerful program while also adding artistic control. Apparently it was born from a program called Artcam. Looking forward to learning.