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Bruce, I have one. Its a nifty little machine but it has quirks. But once you figure them out it can do some very cool things.

If you haven't yet, also join the CW forum as well for real expert advice if needed. The group there is friendly and helpful. Also, as a bonus, there are also thousands of free patterns on the site that have been shared over the years. Quality of the patterns is all over the place so it does take some sifting. There is also a dedicated pattern store with excellent/decent patterns. Disclaimer: I sell on there.

The CW uses a proprietary format for its patterns. Pros and cons. No gcode worries. Upload the pattern with desired size, height and depth and the machine will cut it. What you see is what you get. After hundreds, if not thousands, of carvings I have no ideas what gcode looks like. The cons is lack of control. It will cut at the speeds programmed by the firmware based on the bit and pattern requirements. Go through the tutorials at the CW website. They will help immensely.

I have focused on pattern building using 3rd party software for it so I don't have a deep knowledge of the software. The software is sold as separate modules giving additional functionality but the base software is sufficient for most things. The software modules can get pricey but if you are not planning on making your own patterns then you really don't need them.

Best of luck with your CW. There is a lot of love it or hate it feelings associated with it and not much in-between.

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