New CNC user MAC

Hello all. I am the lucky recipient of #147 that is scheduled for delivery today!! I have my table completed, vac purchased, and ready to learn. I work with cad software manufacturing crowns, bridges, smiles, etc in my day job as a dentist. Please don’t hate on me! Ha! But what I do is very user friendly. I have zero experience using gcode programs and I do own a Mac book pro. I have downloaded Carbide Create pro but have yet to use it. Is this my best option and will it be a good option going forward?
I also want to find files to use for flattening my wasteboard and creating a grid.
I am really thankful for any advice and appreciative of your patience with me. I have attached a pic of my table.
Thanks again!!

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Hi Christian - welcome to the forums. “best” is a loaded question. That’s like saying which is best - a onlay or a crown. It depends :wink:

To start out - simple is better (IME). Carbide Create and Easel take a lot of the details out of setting up a carve and getting started. Neither are great CAD tools (IMHO), but make CAM much more simple. So, starting out fresh without experience, Carbide is a great tool as is Easel.

When I started, the easier to use programs weren’t available, so I was thrown into the deep end and left to figure out what conventional vs climb milling was, chip load, depth of cut, step over, etc., etc… The good news you can now produce amazing projects without knowing any of that. But eventually you should probably invest some time learning the technical details, as it will help you push the boundaries and make your projects even better.

I’ve invested a lot time learning Fusion 360 and that is my go-to for CAD and CAM (I am also on a Mac). Occasionally I use other things like CamBam or Easel, but only by exception.

There are other threads about Mac CAD/CAM software so I won’t go into that here. But, you have a community here to rely on and that’s all that matters :slight_smile:



I currently use VCarve Pro to do my designing in and have heard that the learning curve for VCarve is a lot easier than Carbide Create. I cant speak to that fact but its been discussed on many forums. I have also heard that either will work on a Mac also.

BTW, nice looking table.

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thanks for the advice. I am a windows user at work and not super fluid on the mac operating system but it is what it is. As for the table I decided to weld it up out of some 1/8 x 1 1/2 metal tubing. Turned out pretty good!

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Thank you Tom. I have researched time and again and feel like I just need to pick one (carbide create) for now and have at it. I just wasn’t ready for this awesome machine to really show up!! I am the type that likes to know all of the nuts and bolts that make something work and I will take your advice on becoming familiar with the vocabulary!
Oh and an onlay is better in so many instances but insurance companies don’t want to pay for them!!

Carbide create is a great choice. Vectric will only work on a Mac with Crossover or some Windows VM setup (Parallels, VMWare Fusion or VirtualBox).

(and I had an onlay replaced with a crown after ~20 years - lots of pressure from the current dentist to go that way…:man_shrugging:)

Well good news is that my machine arrived yesterday! Haven’t set it up yet but excited to get going and learning Carbide Create. They had a “special” on the “pro” version so that is what I downloaded. I hope I’m not driving the Mercedes when I only need the Ford.
Oh and that’s why insurance doesn’t want to pay for onlays. They say you may still need a crown down the line. It’s a shame but insurance calls the shots with our health. I’m sure the crown was the right decision if the onlay lasted 20 good years.

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Nice shop Christian. Yes, I am wearing my envy on my sleeve.


Unfortunately, Vectric products, like VCarve Pro or VCarve Desktop, do not run natively on a Mac. The can be run via Parallels or Codeweavers Crossover products.

However, Carbide Create does work natively on a Mac.


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Good to know. Thanks for the information Karl.