what is the best cnc software - Page 3 - Router Forums
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post #21 of 164 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 07:41 AM
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Default BobCAD CAM

Updates / Maintenance

BobCAD offers same series updates free of charge. So if you purchased V24 and updates we have for the version are available to download off our website.

Software Updates | BobCAD-CAM

We do come out with upgrades every 12 -18 months. Upgrades will be made available at a discounted rate to customers. If you choose not to purchase the upgrade it will not effect your customer status.

Now CUT2D and CUT 3D and Aspire are very nice software packages. To learn more about shark users and CUT 2D check out CNC Shark Forum • Index page



BobCAD CAM Software products are more mechanical in nature. You may find the vetrics product to be easier to navigate and BobCAD more rigid.

In the end it's up to you to decide what product is best for your needs. You can download both packages and do a test run.

If you have any questions about BobCAD CAM products and would like a live demo I can help.

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post #22 of 164 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 08:29 AM
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Mike brought up a key point earlier in this post, the pricing. And then, you have to understand what you get with the lower priced options.

I downloaded the demo version of Cut-2D from Vectric. It was inexpensive at $150. Using the demo I found it had a lot of good features, but you were restricted in that package to closed vectors. What that means is if you want to CNC a series of unconnected lines, it is not possible unless you make them extremely small rectangles. Think about making a ruler with lines every certain distance, you would have to make each line a rectangle and slightly wider than your cutting tool.


Steve.
Steve,

Actually what you said about Cut 2D is not accurate. Cut 2D has some ability to create parts that are not constructed of rectangle etc and you are restricted to closed vectors..

People often miss the fact that Cut 2D has a node editing feature similar to that used in Adobe Illustrator. There are several powerful commands that allow you to manipulate the control points of a drawing. You can add points, remove points , convert them to Bezier curves with control handle etc.

When you use node editing then there is very little that you can't draw inside Cut2D. However , it may be easier to draw in a dedicated CAD package or drawing package and import the drawing into Cut 2D.

I hope that helps someone looking at Cut 2D. I have no association with Vectric other that being a happy customer. If anyone need help with their software let me know I would be glad to help. I own V-Carve Pro, Photo V-Carve, Cut #D and Aspire.


Bill
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post #23 of 164 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 09:01 AM
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post #24 of 164 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 09:10 AM
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Here's my 2 cents worth, price is a factor when choosing a cad/cam package. Cut2D is an entry level software that is very powerful tool for $150.00 USD. You can import 3 dimensional models into it, except they have to be imported from VectorArt 3D Machinist, Aspire, PhotoVcarve, (only Vectrics software). Another GOOD entry level is ArtCAM Express. Very powerful tool for 2D, 2.5D, and 3D work. Can import many formats, I like to use stl file they are a generic 3d file commonly used. If your budget lets you purchase more advanced software there is BobCad, VisualMill, Aspire, and many more. The software I use is ArtCAM, PhotoVcarve, Cut2D, VisualMILL, VisualART, and Alibre cad. Just to add all these have their uses. Many decisions when starting out cnc routing. Have fun and Happy Cutting.
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post #25 of 164 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 01:09 PM
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Here's my 2 cents worth, price is a factor when choosing a cad/cam package. Cut2D is an entry level software that is very powerful tool for $150.00 USD. You can import 3 dimensional models into it, except they have to be imported from VectorArt 3D Machinist, Aspire, PhotoVcarve, (only Vectrics software). Another GOOD entry level is ArtCAM Express. Very powerful tool for 2D, 2.5D, and 3D work. Can import many formats, I like to use stl file they are a generic 3d file commonly used. If your budget lets you purchase more advanced software there is BobCad, VisualMill, Aspire, and many more. The software I use is ArtCAM, PhotoVcarve, Cut2D, VisualMILL, VisualART, and Alibre cad. Just to add all these have their uses. Many decisions when starting out cnc routing. Have fun and Happy Cutting.
I couldn't agree more. There are uses and functionality that each package has that are unique to those packages. I also use a mix of programs. All the ones you mentioned are good.

Bill
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post #26 of 164 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 07:46 AM
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Ditto that is what I use and will be upgrading to VCarve Pro..
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post #27 of 164 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 08:27 AM
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I own V-Carve Pro, Photo V-Carve, Cut #D and Aspire.
Bill,

Can Aspire work like a full mechanical CAD package? Can I spec a gear or spiral and have it drawn in position? Can a file have multiple line to line parts?

Also, anyone who wants a non-factory opinion of Vectric, the people at Sawmill Creek Woodworkers Community - The Sawmill Creek Press are huge fans of Vectric.

Steve.
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post #28 of 164 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 10:12 AM
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Bill,

Can Aspire work like a full mechanical CAD package? Can I spec a gear or spiral and have it drawn in position? Can a file have multiple line to line parts?

Also, anyone who wants a non-factory opinion of Vectric, the people at Sawmill Creek Woodworkers Community - The Sawmill Creek Press are huge fans of Vectric.

Steve.
Steve,

The short answer is no. A mechanical CAM package is designed to work with assemblies. The feature you are describing is called Parametric modeling. You specify the parameters of a design and they DRIVE the drawing.

There are ways to make a gear easily in Aspire using the Circular array command. Simply model one tooth and Copy/rotate it around the center point automatically.

I am not sure what you mean by Line to line parts. If you mean a nested bunch of parts laid out on the work piece, then yes. Could you please explain further?

Several forums have active posts about Vectric products. CNCzone, RCGroups etc. In my opinion, Vectric software is good because it work well without too much brain power needed. It does a lot of things well. No product is perfect but I will say they have some of the best customer service I have ever experienced.

Bill

Making the world a better place, one project at a time. CNC Router, Aspire, Cut3D, PhotoVcarve, Alibre, Rhino, Laser cutter, foam cutter.
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post #29 of 164 (permalink) Old 12-26-2011, 09:52 AM
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Bill,

Next month I will be able to start answering my own questions on Vectric. I'm getting access to a Shopbot and Aspire. Really looking forward to it and will give an update later.

No personal knowledge, but have heard repeatedly about "best customer service I have ever experienced" being a Vectric strength.

BobCAD is not a challenger in the customer service arena. The earlier BobCAD support forums were mainly user moderator run and they have now went to a pay forum with an unknown level of expertise. I never used it, but they always had a "pay for answers" support line. This is not much different than high end industry software like Autodesk (AutoCAD) or Dassault (Solidworks), although I would question if BobCAD is in that level.

Steve.
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post #30 of 164 (permalink) Old 12-26-2011, 12:12 PM
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Bill,

Next month I will be able to start answering my own questions on Vectric. I'm getting access to a Shopbot and Aspire. Really looking forward to it and will give an update later.

No personal knowledge, but have heard repeatedly about "best customer service I have ever experienced" being a Vectric strength.

BobCAD is not a challenger in the customer service arena. The earlier BobCAD support forums were mainly user moderator run and they have now went to a pay forum with an unknown level of expertise. I never used it, but they always had a "pay for answers" support line. This is not much different than high end industry software like Autodesk (AutoCAD) or Dassault (Solidworks), although I would question if BobCAD is in that level.

Steve.
Steve,

Great news that you get to play with CNC next month. You will easily become addicted.

My experience with Vectric's customer service have all been good. The only time I was unhappy with their product really had nothing to do with customer service.

I had work quite a while on a file and then hit save followed immediately by hitting the RED X button to close the program. In an earlier version (two years ago) of the software you had to wait for the save process to complete before using the Red X to close. The program didn't check to see if any processes were still going...... Thus I lost the file. I wrote VECTRIC an email about the problem and they FIXED it immediately and put out a patch. That is what good customer service is about, fixing problems.

If you want to see what everyone is raving about, just download the demo programs and watch a few tutorial videos. You will quickly form an opinion about which software works for you.

Bill

So i guess my problem was with the expectation and not customer service.

Making the world a better place, one project at a time. CNC Router, Aspire, Cut3D, PhotoVcarve, Alibre, Rhino, Laser cutter, foam cutter.
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