Software recommendations

*New to wood CNC. Ordered the OneFinity X50 Woodworker. Wanting to know what would be the best software to get. We won’t get the machine until Nov, and wanting to get things going.

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You will find recommendations for practically everything under the sun (except writing g-code by hand, were not masochists here).

For me Fusion 360 is hard to beat. CAD and CAM under one roof, parametric modelling, design history built-in.


Agree with above with one caveat: If you ever work in a place without internet you are mostly out of luck. You can export to offline and cross fingers… but in my experience that is spotty at best.

It is web based software and has all of the pitfalls of being web based.

I have been using it and those pitfalls have me searching for something else.

But you can’t beat the price for the limited version.

Oh! They also change the interface every so often just to be evil as best as I can tell.


i am also a beginner and am finding that V-Carve pro allows you the ability to create quickly .I am not practiced enough to be aware of its limitations ,no major hurdles yet. i find this program easy to learn. it has a wonderful Utube presents for training

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Hi Greg - welcome to the forums. I agree with Nick but I will also say it completely depends on what you want to carve. If you want to do a lot of 3d relief profiles, I’d say Vectric is better than Fusion since it is more user friendly. Otherwise, Fusion is my go-to. You can check out my Digital Manufacturing 101 series as well as Part II of my CNC Hidden Costs video where I cover many of the software options.

Hope this helps.


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Thanks Nick, I appreciate the help. I’m sure it has a lot to do with what I want to create. I know I’ll want to go nuts and do a bit of everything

Thanks Ziggy. I have internet at the shop so no problem there.

Is Vetric software Aspire? I had a friend recommend Aspire. I have a plasma CNC table now, but I’m sure the wood CNC is a totally different animal lol. On the plasma table you convert DXF files to G-Code. I’m wondering if those files will be able to be used on the wood CNC

Everything helps… we will just have to see now if I’m trainable lol

One of Vectric’s (the company) CAD products is Aspire. It’s the most expensive. The big difference between it and its cheaper brethren is that you can do actual 3D modeling in the software. That’s a big step up for most people in terms of skill levels though so might be something you wait until you’ve got some miles under your belt. You can always upgrade to it from any of the other Vectric products for just the difference in price.

VCarve Pro is the next one down the chain and is probably the single most popular design program for CNC. It’s been years in the development and Vectric is always enhancing it and adding new features/functionality. Support is great and you’ll find lots of YT videos including whole channels dedicated to VCarve & VCarve Pro. It can’t do original 3D design modeling but you can take existing 3D files and use them in your designs to get 3D carves. It is also the version you’ll want if you’ve got a bigger table (larger than 24") or you’ll need to “tile” your designs which can be tedious. It’s about 1/2 the price of Aspire.

VCave Desktop is the entry level for Vectric’s software. It does everything the Pro version does but is limited to 24" drawings. To do something bigger you split the design across multiple “tiles” and cut one and reposition to cut the next tile. Again, you can start here and upgrade later to the Pro after you’ve got the basics nailed. Although needing to tile for anything that takes advantage of the full bed size of your OneFinity could get old fast. Depends on what you decide to make.

Sort of. I have a CNC plasma as well (and a laser) and share the files across machines all the time to take advantage of different materials or sizes not available on one of the others. You can’t use the G-Code but you can pull in the DXF files into your CAD software (like VCarve) and generate the G-Code the OneFinity requires by creating your toolpaths and using the OF post-processor. Easy Peasy.

Personally I hate the DXF format because of it’s hamfisted way of handling curves so I tend to save all my work in SVG. That’s compatible with most all design software now.


Thanks, all this helps a lot. Doubt I’m ready for the 3D stuff yet so will not do Aspire, at least at this point, snd appreciate the thoughts on that. So the V Carv pro will do up to 32 inches which is the work area of the X50 Woodworker? I will want to use the full 32 inches without breaking the work up. I’ve indexed work on the plasma table to do larger work, but it’s a pain for sure. Once I get this software stuff figured out I’ll bore you guys with which bits I should get lol.

I started with the free software - Carbide Create, Easel. However, once I started making even slightly more complex items I realized the value of a more robust program. I’ve used Fusion 360 for designing woodworking projects but find it a beast to use, especially the CAM port. I tried Carveco and it seemed robust and I like its pricing model. However, I just preferred the user interface of VCarve. I find it very well designed and it is very powerful. I never planned on the expense when I started but my time is money, and VCarve Pro is the software I am most productive and successful use.

The biggest thing for me is the sheer volume of YouTube tutorials from Vectric as well as many other YouTube contributors. No matter what I need to learn, I’ve found high quality tutorials.

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Yes it will. It doesn’t have job size limits. Of course you’ll have to tile if you exceed the 32" capacity of the WW.

I’ve had it for a Shopbot Desktop which is an 18x24 bed so didn’t really need it for capacity but with the Journeyman it will be handy to do either bigger jobs or nest a bunch of smaller ones.

Anyone use Cambam? I bought it and used for a little while with a 3d printer I strapped a rotary tool to. Seemed nice enough but its been quite a while!

One thing I would always suggest is to purchase and learn AutoCAD. It is by far the most versatile way of creating 2d tool paths. A lot of programs modeled their UI and general tools after Autodesk products anyways and are easily imported into any cam software. Maybe its just the CAD monkey in me talking …

I have been exploring Rhino3D and I find it difficult coming from a vector based system like Solidworks.

MOI3D This is another NURBS CAD program that is much cheaper than Rhino and apparently less intimidating.

Thanks for the feedback. Still waiting for shipment of our Woodworker X50, and the help from all has been great

Thanks so much… sounds like VCarv pro is the most recommended software. Thanks guys. Once we get our Woodworker, I’m sure I’ll be requesting more help. Appreciate it!!


Hey Tom-

Brand new to CNC here and was reading through the recommendations. Seems like a no brainer, but the free version of Fusion is probably sufficient correct? no major limitations for a hobbyist starting to learn?



Carveco is another software choice to look into. They have a subscription plan so you can try it by the month or buy the full license versions. If you buy it through the 1F website they offer a discount. To compare it to the vectric software, Maker = vcarve, Maker+ = aspire, and Carveco full has features not found with vectric software. One thing carveco ability to import multiple 3d reliefs and stack them to create more complex pieces.