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Discussion Starter #1
I am about ready to make the jump to CNC routing and I need advice.
I am settled on Vectric software but I need recommendations on Aspire vs V-Carve Pro.
Secondly I have narrowed the machines down to Axiom, Shop-Bot
or Industrial with a 2 ft x 2 ft or 2 ft x 3 ft bed.
Lastly is there a class on Vectric near Seattle, WA?
Dick
 

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You can try searching Aspire and V-carve Pro with our Community Search function. I know both have been discussed quite a few times.
 

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Vectric.com has tutorial videos on their web site for how to use most of the features of their software. I doubt you need to take a class if you take the time to watch the videos. You can also download trial versions of VCarve and/or Aspire to compare, and even better to use for following along with the videos.

Aspire is their high-end app, with features included from all their lower priced stand-alone apps. 3D modeling to me being the most significant feature that VCarve doesn't have.

You might also have a look at the CNCs sold by Probotix.com. I like their models for the open frame design, which allow cutting joinery with boards mounted vertical or at any angle under the bit. Last week I had an assembled student cabinet hanging inside the frame of our school Meteor so we could cut a joinery detail on each bottom corner for mounting tapered legs to it. You can't do that with an Axiom. Probotix CNCs come complete with a PC running Linux and LinuxCNC to run them. All their models start at under 5k.

4D
 

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I am about ready to make the jump to CNC routing and I need advice.
I am settled on Vectric software but I need recommendations on Aspire vs V-Carve Pro.
Secondly I have narrowed the machines down to Axiom, Shop-Bot
or Industrial with a 2 ft x 2 ft or 2 ft x 3 ft bed.
Lastly is there a class on Vectric near Seattle, WA?
Dick
Aspire gives you 3d modeling, meaning you can actually design in 3D(a very high learning curve most never actually get into much) as well as having all the Vcarve features and more to boot.

IF you want to do bas relief carvings, but are not going to design in 3d and just use ready made 3d basrelief files(what 80+% of most all people actually do) then you can get Vcarve Pro with Cut 3D for the 3d bas relief files as an add on.

If you don't ever see yourself doing bas reliefs and lets face it, that's the coolest part of cnc for many of us, just get Vcarve.

Last, if you are only going to do very basic stuff like a flat cut out parts you can get away with very basic Cut 2D.

I know where you can get the software legitimately on sale here:

Software - THE MAKERS GUIDE
|
What will you be cutting? If you would consider building a machine the joecnc forum for 75.00 is worth every cent, you get info to build several different CNC models and access to the forum. You can get a much better machine for the dollar and learn a heck of a lot more. If nothing else you can learn so much about CNC just being there, even if you dont build one of the Joes machine:

http://joescnc.com/

If you want a less expensive turn key machine I have some belt drives I purchased from Zenbot and they are nice little table tops. I have Never had an issue with them and they cost less than what you are looking at. Depending on what you are cutting they may be fine for you. The Zenbot 48"x48" for 1999.00 is a steal really, all you need to do is add a controller or get one from them. I would never sell any of my machines, I have several, but the Zenbot are inexpensive and work very well for small projects, they even have a larger footprint machine now. I mean light weight as router or spindle power and size, if you want or need more than an 8lb router (like a 2.5hp) they may be too light. I use a little DeWalt 611 up to a Hitachi 2.5hp on my Zenbot table tops. I have examples of stuff I have made on them if you are interested.

Zenbot CNC Routers

You have probably done so, I suggest spending time on the vectric web site and practice with the demo software, you will find out pretty quick what you like best:

http://www.vectric.com/
 

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I have Aspire now but started with Vcarve 6.0 and upgraded, I believe that if I was starting out again I would still begin with Vcarve Pro as the newest version will let you do quite a bit with 3d models, and will work well if you are not creating your own models. Also if your machine has less than a 24" x 24" cutting area I would start with the Vcarve Desk. You can always upgrade to Aspire later if need be and I believe that Vcarve may be all you ever need. Basically it is a lot cheaper to purchase and you learn a lot. It will not cost you any extra to upgrade to Aspire later as Vectric will give you credit for what you already purchased. Vectric is a great company and really gives their customers a lot of value for what they purchase.

Glenn
 

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David
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I'm hardly one to chime in as my CNC machine won't be here for a couple of months, but I'm getting a new model 2'x4' from Fine Line Automation (new model isn't on his web site yet). I don't mind doing some assembly, figuring it will make me a bit more familiar with the machine and also save a dollar or two. Nate has been great to work with, btw. I have yet to decide on software but am looking at the same as has been mentioned.
 

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I'm hardly one to chime in as my CNC machine won't be here for a couple of months, but I'm getting a new model 2'x4' from Fine Line Automation (new model isn't on his web site yet). I don't mind doing some assembly, figuring it will make me a bit more familiar with the machine and also save a dollar or two. Nate has been great to work with, btw. I have yet to decide on software but am looking at the same as has been mentioned.
That's mostly all just cncrouterparts.com stuff. - www.cncrouterparts.com

The new machine is probably the pro here:

PRO4824 4' x 2' CNC Router Kit | CNCRouterParts

The machines work as well as any, you will be happy.
 

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Dick,

It will really depend on whether you intend to make you own 3d models but you could make your models in other software and import them into VCarve, run toolpaths and carve the 3d models with VCarve.

I posted a PDF of a presentation I did on Creating Shapes in Aspire here: http://www.routerforums.com/cnc-routing/81146-creating-shapes-aspire-v8-0-a.html . It might help you understand the basic tools in Aspire can do.

You might check and see if there is a local CNC users club, we have one here in Dallas, Texas and it is based on the use of Vectric software.
 

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Boy I have had Aspire so long I didn't even realize the last few versions of Vcarve allow stl imports. Since that's the case 90% of people simply dont need aspire. Just get the vcarve pro and you will be good to go.
 

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Aspire gives you 3d modeling, meaning you can actually design in 3D(a very high learning curve most never actually get into much) as well as having all the Vcarve features and more to boot.

IF you want to do bas relief carvings, but are not going to design in 3d and just use ready made 3d basrelief files(what 80+% of most all people actually do) then you can get Vcarve Pro with Cut 3D for the 3d bas relief files as an add on.

If you don't ever see yourself doing bas reliefs and lets face it, that's the coolest part of cnc for many of us, just get Vcarve.

Last, if you are only going to do very basic stuff like a flat cut out parts you can get away with very basic Cut 2D.

I know where you can get the software legitimately on sale here:

Software - THE MAKERS GUIDE
|
What will you be cutting? If you would consider building a machine the joecnc forum for 75.00 is worth every cent, you get info to build several different CNC models and access to the forum. You can get a much better machine for the dollar and learn a heck of a lot more. If nothing else you can learn so much about CNC just being there, even if you dont build one of the Joes machine:

Joe's Cnc Home

If you want a less expensive turn key machine I have some belt drives I purchased from Zenbot and they are nice little table tops. I have Never had an issue with them and they cost less than what you are looking at. Depending on what you are cutting they may be fine for you. The Zenbot 48"x48" for 1999.00 is a steal really, all you need to do is add a controller or get one from them. I would never sell any of my machines, I have several, but the Zenbot are inexpensive and work very well for small projects, they even have a larger footprint machine now. I mean light weight as router or spindle power and size, if you want or need more than an 8lb router (like a 2.5hp) they may be too light. I use a little DeWalt 611 up to a Hitachi 2.5hp on my Zenbot table tops. I have examples of stuff I have made on them if you are interested.

Zenbot CNC Routers

You have probably done so, I suggest spending time on the vectric web site and practice with the demo software, you will find out pretty quick what you like best:

Vectric Ltd - Passionate About CNC

Sorry guys the discount Vectirc link above I posted is for Joe CNC forum members only, I missed that. I tried to edit it, but I can't. I dont like that I cant edit past posts, I make mistakes, I suspect there are thousand of posts here that have bad links because of this rule. Oh well I should have read the fine print.
 

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You have a 30 minute time limit. The Mods have no time limit. What would you like changed?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for all the replies to my original post. Lots of good info there.
I have narrowed my choice down to Axiom and Laguna 2' x 3' capacity, and am leaning towards axiom for their optional base.
V-Carve seems to be the software that most people use.
Has anyone had experience, pro or con, with customer support by Axiom and Laguna. I am sure that I will need lots of help along the way.
Again thanks for your help.
Dick
 

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Sorry guys the discount Vectirc link above I posted is for Joe CNC forum members only, I missed that. I tried to edit it, but I can't. I dont like that I cant edit past posts, I make mistakes, I suspect there are thousand of posts here that have bad links because of this rule. Oh well I should have read the fine print.
I took care of correcting the link.
 

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I know I am the odd duck here, but I have a PlasmaCam 4x4 DHC2 table and two Samson 510 CNC plasma tables and the DesignEdge software. I chose the PlasmaCam and the Samson 510 tables because I reasoned that I can run a router on a plasma CNC table, but I cannot run a plasma cutter on a router CNC table.

I use V-Carve PRO to make the more complicated carvings with my router, because the DesignEdge program was written by guys who believe that the PlasmaCam is ONLY a plasma table. So their software falls short when it comes to fancy routings, but you CAN import a G-Code file created in V-Carve (desk or pro) and the PlasmaCam table with a router on the carriage will carve it out quite nicely.

My You Tube Channel
 

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David
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That's mostly all just cncrouterparts.com stuff. - CNCRouterParts

The new machine is probably the pro here:

PRO4824 4' x 2' CNC Router Kit | CNCRouterParts

The machines work as well as any, you will be happy.
Thanks, Dovetail. Yes, Nate's machines are basically from CNC Router Parts with some modifications but his new machine is not. I think it's his own design.

Right now I'm trying to decide which steppers, controllers, power supply, etc. to use.
 

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My 2 cents worth is buy the best or most that you can afford. I went with the nebula by probotix and I absolutely love it. The software I use is aspire. I did not want to start out with a lower program and wonder what if so I went all in.
Mark
 

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Thanks, Dovetail. Yes, Nate's machines are basically from CNC Router Parts with some modifications but his new machine is not. I think it's his own design.

Right now I'm trying to decide which steppers, controllers, power supply, etc. to use.




1) We need see the exact machine before we can decide on a controller and know how it works type of drive system, ratios, mechanicals etc.

2) We need to know the weight of the gantry.

3) We need to know what you are going to cut most.

Without knowing these choosing a controller is a mistake. I design my own controllers using off the rack components(as 90% do), but there are some ready made turn key controllers made up of of off rack parts that might fit the bill depending on the 3 items above.

The "best" is the machine that's designed to meet the users criteria for speed of file cuts, precision and accuracy and ultimately the end results of the items being cut.
 

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I am about ready to make the jump to CNC routing and I need advice.
I am settled on Vectric software but I need recommendations on Aspire vs V-Carve Pro.
Secondly I have narrowed the machines down to Axiom, Shop-Bot
or Industrial with a 2 ft x 2 ft or 2 ft x 3 ft bed.
Lastly is there a class on Vectric near Seattle, WA?
Dick
The great thing about Aspire is that you can download it and try it for free. the only thing the free one won't do is convert your designs to a tool path for actual carving.

Try it. If you are going to do your own 3 D modeling, Aspire is critical. If you are just going to do lettering or up load and morph existing models than V Carve should work.

Try it out, the tutorials that Aspire has are great and will get your started..
 

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