I am purchasing the elite Forman and was wondering if the carveco programs are the way to go. I want to have the program installed on my computer and not have to do internet programming. Does anyone have an idea of this is a good choice?
Really going to depend somewhat on what you want to design. Carveco has 3 main programs. Carveco Maker (which Onefinity has been including a 1 year subscription to). That’s their basic one. They have Carveco Maker+ if you want to do 3D design work. Then at the high-end it is just Carveco, no additional words. Yes, the company is called Carveco, their premium product is called Carveco, and their more limited products have an extra word. If you are using Maker or Maker+ it is best to say so to be clear.
I’ve been using Maker+ for the past 3/4 year. It’s generally been pretty good. A few odd things and a few crashes. As my 1 year subscription is running out I got looking at Vectric VCarve pro. I’ve tried their demo licence and believe I may be switching to it. However, there are trade-offs that need to be considered.
To me Vectric’s software is more polished, it just seems to work a bit more intuitively, it seems to help you more than Carveco Maker+. For example, doing VCarves I often have problems with Carveco telling me there are issues with the lettering and it can’t do the tool path. It is often tiny little loops at the end of sharp corners or small overlapping lines. They give you a tool to help find these and then you can fix them. But I don’t seem to be having the same issues with Vectric’s product. I really should try the exact same font on both and make sure, but that is one example of where Vectric’s product seemed to make life easier.
One major PLUS of Maker+ is the 3D design work. This is what sets it apart from Maker and from the Vectric Vcarve products. If you want to do more design than some mouldings (frames) with Vectric VCarve you either need to upgrade to their very pricey Aspire or you need to do the work in a different product and import it to VCarve. Another plus of Maker+ is it will support the full size of your future Foreman CNC. To do that with Vectric you need to opt for their Vcarve Pro program or use tiling (which seems like a hassle).
I originally gave Maker+ a shot because the 3D design stuff was appealing, but honestly, I haven’t used it all that much. So I’m now thinking that Vcarve will be better overall and if I want to do 3D design work (vs importing somebody else’s models), I’ll have to learn another program for that but there are free ones. I may go for Vcarve Pro in order to go beyond their 25x25" limit of Vcarve, haven’t quite decided. At least they have a good upgrade plan where you only pay the difference.
So it’s not clear cut as to which product is best for you until you know what you want from it. There’s other products out there as well which can be used for free or lower costs. I tried out a couple early on and found the Carveco and Vectric products to be far superior (and more complex) if you go beyond basic stuff and worth the extra money. You’ll have spent a lot getting your machine going, might as well use it fully.