Carbide Create Pro vs VCarve Pro

Hey all, I’m getting close to getting my machine. I’ve been learning the demo version of VCarve Pro, but I’ve also played some with Carbide Create. Money is a factor of course, but why do so many people suggest VCarve over Carbide Create? I just want to understand this, especially if I’m going to drop 3 times the money for VCarve Pro. Honestly it looks like Carbide Create is just as easy to use, I’ve not tried the pro version. The pro version looks like the equivalent of Vetric Aspire, it does 3D and all that, for 1/4 the cost.

So please let me know what I could be missing if I didn’t go with VCarve Pro? If you mention features confirm the same features don’t exist in Carbide Create before claiming they don’t. Am I missing some sort of machine agnostic thing, or why do so many people suggest it?

I would start out with the free Carbide Create. The thing about Vetric is it quite expensive. The saving grace for Vetric is if you buy the desktop version and later want to upgrade to the pro version you only pay the difference in price.

If you have CAD experience then maybe jump right to Vetric. If you do not have any experience learn for free with the CC. The Vetric products are pretty good but the price is quite steep for me. So far CC has worked well for me as a hobbyist. If you are trying to run a business the Vetric price is just a cost of doing business and is likely deductible from your bottom line in taxes.


Yeah, I plan on making this a business. I’ve been learning VCarve Pro for a couple months now. I want to be careful not to get invested in training for something I may switch from eventually. So I want to decide early on, even if it’s a painful purchase.

Vectric is an older software company and they bought a largish clipart company — see Design and Make:

and they get a lot of exposure out of having a Makerspace oriented version bundled w/ more expensive CNCs.

That said, the underlying principles are the same for each, and what you learn in using Carbide Create will apply to Vectric (or other software packages).

The 3D modeling in CC Pro is modeled on the 3D modeling in Vectric Aspire, so a price comparison would be more fair at that level.


OK, good to know.

So someone in another group mentioned to me CC Pro:

  • Only supports 3 kinds of bits
  • Does not allow you to control climb vs conventional (Not that this sounds like something I would do)
  • Creating gcode for CNCs other than GRBL
  • Handle a rotary 4th axis
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The whole C3D library of bits and custom bits are able to be used in 3d CNCing in CC Pro. However you usually use ball nosed bits in 3D bt roughing can use flat end mills.

The climb cut useful for some things but not necessary. The pro does allow ramping.

CC can create generic gcode and gbrl gcode so you can use CC on other machines.

The Shapeoko cannot natively handle 4th axis. You can change the Y into the 4th axis but t is cumbersome to do so and requires rewiring. At the hobby level there are only a handful of machines that support the 4th axis and those that do are in a different price range.

You have to take all social media with a grain of salt. My points above are from 5 years of experience with the Shapeoko. There are many things possible if you spend enough time, energy and money but in the end they are not always practical.

I like C3D products and my Shapeoko. If you want to spend a lot more money you make a CNC sing and dance but at a price. What C3D provides is adequate for the vast majority of users. Unless you are going into specialized machining the C3D products will get you where you want to be. Again the specialized type of machines are at another level of money and expertise.


Good points, I want to make a business out of this, I’ll start with a side hustle. More specifically I will start with making stuff that interests me and have fun learning, then progress into other areas. I hope to do well enough to upgrade to a larger machine. But for a newbie, maybe I can give CC a try for now. I’ve played with it a little, but not extensively. I have learned a lot about VCarve Pro from 2 months of watching videos and playing with it. But the time to make a software purchase approaches now that my machine will be shipped soon.

Personally, I’m using CC Pro and it has done everything I’ve turned to it to do. The product has undergone some large-scale function and usability improvements over the past year and a half, which have really made it a much more compelling product - and, I understand there are more, very powerful capabilities coming over the near horizon, that are very promising. There is, of course, still room to improve / standardize / grow…particularly in the 3D space.

My business is custom furniture creation. As such, the CNC is A tool in the shop, not THE tool in the shop. As with any other tool, I work within the parameters (and limits) of my understanding and proficiency with it, to solve the challenges I face when creating a piece. Given that I can utilize a variety of tools to accomplish most tasks, I select the tool I use based on what I know I can do with it. Consequently, I can’t say that CC Pro does everything I need, but I can say that everything I’ve turned to do with CC Pro, I’ve been able to do with it — if that makes sense. Maybe I’d do more with my CNC if I used another design product…I don’t know.

Specifically with respect to 3D, Carbide (@robgrz ) has openly stated that they’re planning to overhaul the screens within CC Pro. This is a much-awaited (and much-needed) piece of work - as the current implementation is difficult to understand and use, is largely undocumented - and, since the UI is often inconsistent with the rest of the product, has an unnecessarily difficult learning curve. I’m hopeful, given the level of improvements lately, this overhaul will make the 3D functions accessible and usable to the majority of users - and increase the value of the Pro option.

My original thought was that I would use CC and change to Vectric if / when I NEEDED to. So far, that hasn’t happened.

  • Gary

Thanks, that helps a lot. I think I’ve gathered enough data to make a decision from here and several other places I asked. Thanks!

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