So, after spending $1323 on shipping plus another $470 on import duty, I finally got my Journeyman sitting on its new bench I finished today (adding another $700 in timber, screws, wheels and so forth).
The next thing I need to purchase, obviously, is the software and that ain’t cheap either! At this point, I have decided to stop keeping track of what all of this is costing and I’m not telling the wife either! I have some cash stashed in a jar in plain sight, sitting on my desk that I will use so the software is “cheap” if ever asked.
Anyway! Im hoping someone has used both V-Carve Pro and Easel Pro to give some insight into which is the better option to purchase, or anything else for that matter. By the looks of it, most of you are using V-Carve Pro…? ( I know this is a “how long is a piece of string” kind of question…)
As you know, Easel Pro is subscription based which is much less for a year’s access or the same price as V-Carve Pro but for 3 years only, and V-Carve Pro is a once-off fee. I just don’t know which one offers the best value for money in terms of what you can do with it?
I currently have a large commercial CO2 laser I use for making signs and all sorts of home decor I sell online and locally, but it does have its limitations as all tools do, hence the CNC. So basically, we are looking at cutting and engraving in general and I’m sure once I get my head around the possibilities this machine offers, there will be even more stuff I would like to get into.
One other thing I noticed! The comparison shown on the Vectric site mentions “single model” import - see image. What does this mean exactly? A single model per file/job you are working on I assume, meaning you cant add something else to that job and combine them?
Thank you very much in advance to anyone who can shed more light on this for me! I know it has been asked before, probably many times already.
VCarve Pro allows you to import a single, pre-existing 3D model (STL, OBJ, 3DM, SKP, etc.) per project for use with 3D-milling toolpaths. VCarve, and its design tools, is mainly focused around creating and manipulating 2D vectors, for which there is no limit, and for which you are able to use all of the common 2D/2.5D toolpaths. Aspire gives you all the same capabilities as VCarve, plus an added focus on 3D modeling and tools specifically for that purpose, if that it something you need.
One minor point I would add regarding the pricing — while it’s true that V-Carve Pro is technically a once-off fee and the software you download could be used as is in perpetuity, there may be costs associated with upgrading to a new major version down the road, if desired. For example, I recently paid the upgrade fee to move from version 10 to the newer 11. But it’s not like they are putting out a new major version every year and I’m not trying to talk you out of it, just making you aware.
I cannot give you an Easel comparison, but I can tell you that I believe VCarve to be excellent software. Additionally, it may be easier for you to receive support or advice from people in this forum if you were to also use VCarve, as there are many who use the software and are familiar with its capabilities. If this sounds positive to you, it could add value to the upfront investment.
I’m still waiting for my Journeyman, so this is not an informed recommendation. I have a video in my watch list about using more than one 3D model in VCarve.
Did you reject Carveco Maker and Maker Plus? Or haven’t considered them?
No I have not seen those yet. Will definitely check them out as well. thanks for the mention.
Thanks very much for that feedback!
I did not think about upgrades in that sense to be honest. Suppose it also depends on what those upgrades are before you spend anything extra. If the current version does what you want it to, then probably no point.
Another thing that might be important is that Easel is cloud-based, is it not? V-Carve can be downloaded which is also a consideration for me since I live out of town with only 4G internet access. Not great when the weather is bad…
Onefinity has specials on for both the Vectric and Carveco software. https://www.onefinitycnc.com/software
I tried out both as demos and decided to go for Maker Plus, in part because the deal was pretty good. Figured I’d do the first year with it and see how it goes. It has a couple quirks but overall I like it.
Correct. I’ve used VCarve Pro for almost 10 years (I had a Shopbot Desktop before the OneFinity). But I didn’t upgrade from version 8 until I moved to 10 (& then 11) with the JM. Vectric charges for major version upgrades after your first year so I got both 10 & then when they released 11 a couple months later I got that for free. Interim updates are no charge but when they go to 12, I’ll have to pay for it.
One other good thing is that if you decide you want to create 3D drawings/models in Vectric (with all the shaping tools, etc.) then you can upgrade to Aspire which has those for just the difference in price. You don’t have to buy Aspire separately should you want to go heavy duty into 3D shape designs.
Josh - if you don’t need the features the paid versions provide you, then don’t purchase the software yet. Learn how to use the machine with the free versions, decide what you like and don’t like, and then decide. To that end, Fusion 360 is free for hobbyists, and it is far more capability in many areas that Easel or Carbide Create. V-Carve is great if you do a lot of 3D milling - if not, then Fusion will work perfectly IME.
I have just tried to purchase from this link, but they charge $35 shipping! What for exactly?
Im pretty sure all they have to do is send you an activation code via email. Why the additional $35?
What did you try to purchase? I bought Carveco Maker+ and didn’t get any shipping charges that I can recall. I just tried putting it my cart and it shows free shipping.
VCarve Pro - sent them an email and there is an error on their side. It should not charge additional shipping. Sorted now.
Just need to figure out now why my machine keeps losing its x, y and z position. VERY frustrating I tell you.