Newbie in need of assistance

Hi all, new to the forum and looking to purchase my first cnc in the coming months, the question I suppose I need to ask is what software would be best for my desired long term goals.
What I would like to do in the future once said software is learned is to be able to create large scale dolls houses and small furniture that sort of thing, so hoping some can point me in the right direction to start my journey into the world of cnc


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Hey Lee,

Welcome to the 1-F forum. I have been reading all of the topics in this forum for the last 8 Months and decided to check out Carveco Maker. The Monthly subscription is only $15.00 and there are lots of YouTube tutorials that will help you get started. There are a lot of folks on here that are using Fusion 360 (free),




Thank you for reply will have a look into those and see.

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I’m also using Carveco and it meets my needs and I find adequate support online when I have a question. The major competitor to Carveco is probably Vectric. One nice thing about Vectric is that Whiteside makes available Vectric tool data with all the bits they sell. A new user really appreciates that, as feeds and speeds can be challenging when you start out (and beyond). I went with Carveco because of its reputation for quality relief carving tools.

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I would recommend Fusion 360 for the modeling tools it supports. I think it will be beneficial to model your creations in 3D to see how they look and all the parts fit together. Then you can take the next step and fabricate all the parts so you can assemble it into your imagined designs.

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Hi Lee - welcome to the forums. I always recommend starting with something free, and then moving up as you need more. Conversely, DO NOT purchase software until you need it. To that end, Carbide Create and Easel are great, easy to use, free solutions. Fusion 360 is available for free, but not so “easy to use”. BUT - you can grow with Fusion and it will take you to awesome places (in my personal experience).

If you want to spend money now – sight unseen – then Vectric and Carveco are good choices. Especially if you want to do a lot of v-carving.

I have compared Easel and Carbide in previous videos, as well as the whole CNC workflow if you are interested.

I’m happy to answer any questions you have.



Thank you for the help and the reply’s guys, it is much appreciated, lots and lots to look at and go through.

Tough question since it depends on budget.

My budget included VCarve Pro and I was already a Fusion 360 (free version) user. I mostly use VCarve and continue to be impressed with its ability combined with the OF. BTW, Fusion 360 can have a very steep learning curve.

Tom gave you some good advice to start free and simple. Simple is important so you don’t have so much startup aggravation. Since this is your first CNC, this may be an excellent strategy for you.


Likewise, I’m F360 and VCarvePRO

F360 is a great parametric modelling tool.
I find the manufacturing /CAM a bit of “when i get it to work, then great but lots of fiddling around”. Good for more complicated 3d design models.

VCarve much better at handling SVG drawings and carving. Ive not yet given the 3d carving a go.


Again thanks for all the help and the info guys, very much appreciated and taken in, definitely want to go the simple route to start with, and then build my way up.

Here is another vote for Easel Pro - a little more expensive ($24/mo if you do month-to-month) but it has handled everything I need. Plus, since it is browser-based I can run it on my Mac in both my office and my shop.

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