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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As of February 7, 2018 Autodesk has killed ArtCAM, you can no longer buy a subscription. I don't know if anyone else used ArtCAM, but I had recommended it as a cheaper alternative to Vectric's Vcarve or Aspire (which are very good - just expensive). There are some things that these programs do that are no where near as easy (or perhaps even possible) in programs such as Fusion 360.

My copy seems to continue to boot and run, even though my subscription has expired, don't know how long this may last.

Looks like I may have to bite the bullet and consider buying into Vectric.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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That was one of the programs I considered back when I was reviewing which software to use. I saw the other day that they killed it off. I just hope Fusion 360 is in for the long haul!!

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I just hope Fusion 360 is in for the long haul!!

David
I use Fusion 360 as well. I have a feeling it will stick around, I am not as confident their “free” startup and hobbyist license will continue indefinitely. Very rare for normally paid software to have a free license valid for commercial use. I know there are probably many that use free student versions for home/hobbyist use. Autodesk is pretty generous with their student licenses. All it takes is registering for a class at at the local Junior college, your student ID or email address is usually all you need. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You'll love Vectric ........ especially Aspire!
It’s not that I don’t think Aspire is a good program, it’s just that ArtCAM had almost the same feature set (including things not in VCarve such as 2 rail sweeps, merging multiple layers of reliefs, importing multiple STL files, etc.) for much less. ArtCAM also included the equivalent of PhotoVCarve functionality that is not in Aspire. Remember that I’m a cheapskate! Only paid $2700 for my CNC!

I paid $99 for a year, at full price it was $360 per year. With Aspire, after the initial $2000 you’re paying more than that after the first year to get updates, so you pretty much are also paying a subscription fee if you want to stay current.

Where Vectric definitely does a better job is with lots of free monthly projects and tutorials. It is also entirely focused on cnc routing. ArtCAM also catered to 3D printing and many of its users were in jewelry and coin design (Canadian mint uses it). Fusion 360 caters to metal machinists, injection mold designers, and even includes sheet metal functionality (also used by box and packaging designers) more than CNC Router users.

That said, everyone that I know who has Aspire is happy with it and does not regret buying it. Most also admit that they probably do not make use of most of the features that differentiate it from VCarve.
 

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That said, everyone that I know who has Aspire is happy with it and does not regret buying it. Most also admit that they probably do not make use of most of the features that differentiate it from VCarve.

So true on that. Betcha I don't use Aspire to 5% of it's capabilities. But........ there's always that project that you need just one of the features just one time. And if I ever get more hours in a day, I might even learn a little more about it. I didn't need the newest version for what I do, but had to have it to send files back and forth with those "pros" that do have it. All the free stuff and projects from Vectric are all made on the latest version. The biggest complaints I have is Aspire doesn't integrate with Vcarve and the earlier versions won't open files from later versions. I know why they do it. I just don't have to like it.
 

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I am an AutoCAD user. Have been since 1988. May of this year will be 30 years. Mainly I use it to create 2d drawings, but whenever necessary - I use it to create and edit 3d drawings. In 1988, the engineering firm that I worked for made the decision to go with AutoCAD and I am glad they did. Back then, there were quite a few CAD programs available - most were cheaper, but some were more expensive. AutoCAD had a big part of the market and was compatible with numerous third party software add-ons for specialized applications. Looking back, I'm very glad that I was provided AutoCAD as my basis to learn from and to build my knowledge base atop of. AutoCAD offers numerous ways to be customized to the individual user's preferences, and I find that very helpful.

As one who began my drafting career with hand-held writing instruments such as pencils, pens, scales, triangles, plastic templates, etc. I feel very blessed to have that history to look back-on and appreciate the benefits of the software and the knowledge to use it. I now own 3- very successful businesses and work from an office in my home. I'm using AutoCAD r2018, Inventor r2018, HP T920 plotter, scanners, small format printers, etc. and it's a world of difference from where I began in 1968!

Don't be surprised by Autodesk's takeovers - they have been doing it for years!

Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
 

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I have current paid versions of Fusion and V-Carve Pro, plus an older version of BobCad (V27). Each has some features that make them the go-to software for a job or at least to start a job. I never used ArtCam or AutoCad, but did use Alibre at one time.

My take is that BobCad is the simplest to make precision 2D dxf files. V-Carve is the ultimate for anything with lettering, basic pocketing or wood drilling. Fusion is hardest to get your head around and Parametric 3D focused, but its CAM side is incredible.

They each have strong points and if you were only doing a certain type of machining the choices would be easier. Of course you don't always know what you want to do in the beginning. Then you get into training and mindset for each software which doesn't carry over much.

Steve.
 
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