CC, Alibre, Vetric and Others

As a general rule, professional software developers are best suited to produce professional software. If you’re measuring the quality and ease of use of software products, for a variety of user personas, you are most likely to find the bullet-proof, clear, usable, well-documented solutions coming from software companies. It boils down to the “Find what you do well…and do that” mentality. So many hardware companies think they can produce software (think IBM). Do any of these companies produce only software, or are they all developed to support their hardware businesses?

My first introduction to any of this came with CC, since my first CNC was my XXL and I had not done any work with CAM software in my past. Therefore, CC was a steep learning curve, primarily because of the quality of the documentation / videos - Remember: Viewed by a CNC novice.

CC Pro Modeling took the learning curve to a new level. It has zero documentation - and this has made adoption extremely difficult for me. Watching the videos of folks making ashtrays clarifies very well how to make an ashtray - but applying that to “any job” and understanding how the parameters work and interact has been a lesson in trial and error - and lots of questions here in the community.

However, having customers who are coming from a position of innocence is usually an asset to software companies. Having been in software development most of my life, I have a lot of opinions on quality of code, documentation, layout, testing, accessibility, ease-of-use, etc. I’ve tried to make those types of suggestions through this channel and through the CC 5 Pro beta - we’ll see if any of those make their way to CC Pro. If so, then Pro might be my choice.

This is a timely thread, as I was also beginning to think about purchasing CC Pro. It’s a hard decision because I don’t know what the product will have in it (features, usability, etc.) and what level of documentation is going to come with that $750 price tag. For the majority of 2.5, CC is fine…I understand it now and have become proficient at it. I would love to stay with one product. I suspect I will be doing more modeling, however…and so, if CC Pro stays as-is, might need to investigate other similarly-priced software options.

Yes, Inkscape does have single line font options. But once you convert it to Hershey, it stops being text and any text base formatting you have used on it breaks and your design turns to crap. If you are doing a simple straight forward design of just a regular horizontal text, then sure it could work. But any amount of intricacies becomes a nightmare.

As for why single line text. it is pretty simple. In any regular font, even the simple letter “I” consists of 2 separate rectangles that will be carved. An inner and outer line. For most applications this is fine, but the smaller the text you are attempting to carve, the more prominent this limitation becomes. As for the weight of the line, that is a result of the depth of the cut and angle of the endmill, so I am not sure how you are attributing it to the single line fonts in general.

Single line fonts can take on any form. Essentially a single line font is nothing more than how we write text on a regular basis. There is no limit to the style that it can be done in. It just for a cleaner carving in a small design.

I hate writing with ball points which yield the same monowidth line which a single line font yields, and have been using chisel-edged fountain pens for most of my life:

I know not a lot of people will qualify for this, but I want to plug SolidWorks once again for their Educational version of software for US and Canadian Veterans for US$20 / CAD$40 year. By the way, even for students, it’s $99/year, so this is a great deal.

The SOLIDWORKS Student Edition cost to qualified US and Canadian Military including reserve, active duty and retired/discharged military personnel.

I just sent in the paperwork to get my 5th or 6th year.

Other than that, the only other way to get SolidWorks at or near that price is joining EAA for $40/year and getting access to what appears to be a “Premium Education” version of SolidWorks. I have not done this, so I have no idea exactly what you get. If anyone does go this route, please let us know how it went.


This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.