I have a startup LIC with fusion. I got an email today informing my subscription is about to expire. Fusion offers me a 1 year sub for $350.00. Vetric vcarve pro is $700.00 lifetime for the current version.
My question is which software is most useful for the Shapeoko. Fusion is an advanced CAD/CAM general purpose package but Vetric seems geared toward Wood carving specifically. I have a Shapeoko XXL and a Shark pro hd. The Shark has no CAD/CAM software like the Shapeoko. I need something to run both machines. Both have gcode senders native.
Convince me which software is better. I would entertain others in the universe of CAD but fusion and Vetric seem tops on this forum.
Fusion is great for engineered parts. Things that need parametrics, real dimensioning, etc. Vectric is great for 3D carving, Fonts, signage.
Fusion is terrible at non-parametric sketches, and some lettering. But you are not going to build a parametrically driven assembly using Vectric.
I would also try the licensing with Fusion again. I know they changed their licensing structure, but I did not have a problem re-licensing as a start-up.
I mostly work with wood and carving. I am leaning toward Vetric. Even though the initial cost is highrer the lifetime support of the version you buy is good. I am still waiting for the CC pro. I like what Vetric offers and I can use it for my shark. I am thinking of selling the shark because the Shapeoko does everything the Shapeoko does even larger.
Don’t forget there’s also VCarve Desktop which is about 96% of the Pro version for half the cost ($350). If you decide to go Pro at a later date you only pay the difference in price between Desktop and Pro. Biggest limitation of Desktop is 24x24” working area, but it’ll do tiling which somewhat removes that limitation. I have an XXL, I use Desktop, have done very few projects that push the limits so I’ve never upgraded in almost 3 years. I can’t comment on Fusion360 since I downloaded it, played for a couple hours, didn’t like it…disclaimer here being I use a totally different CAD package at work and have little use for learning another one. I also never liked the idea of “the cloud”, or the idea that someday the F360 folks could say,”pay us money/more money or your designs are ours/lost forever”. I also have no idea what you plan to make, so that would also influence your software choices.
CC pro will be a subscription based software therefore, you need to continue paying to access/modify your designs and the software will not be close to the capabilities and reliability of VCarve for several years.
Thanks all who replied. In the end I must decide but I appreciate the input. Since I have the Shark I may buy the Vetric Vcarve Desktop and see if I ever need to upgrade. I really like Carbide Create but I am at a point where I have about reached the limits of what I want to do with CC. I much prefer to use the Shapeoko over the Shark but the Shark has a bigger router and I have upgraded to backplane for more stability. With the Vetric I can feed both machines. Both are hungry and are waiting for me in the shop.
Late to the party… I bought my wife a 3D printer for her Birthday. In an attempt to let her be able to do more than just download files, I have started her on TinkerCad (easy intro to basic CAD) so as not too frustrate her too much. On that note, i have started the tutorials on FreeCAD, which i believe will supplement my VCarve Pro once i get it figured out.
I echo everything that dan said above…in fact I starting to wonder if he works with me or is my twin or something because it’s dead on with my thoughts. I use Creo at work, and in my quick look at Fusion, it just seemed to be too different to want to learn it. I’ve had v carve desktop for 3 years too and it’s so simple for me. I have only had one project where I could have used the “over 24 square” requirement, and it was simple for me to tile it. When I showed it to a friend recently who has an XL as well, it took him about 10 minutes of watching me to realize he had to have it over the multiple options he was using. That being said, if I need a 3D model, I create it in creo and then use vcarve to create the gcode, and it seems simple to me.
Who me? We likely don’t work together as I’ve never used Creo, I use Catia. On the other stuff, I’m of Danish/German decent, I have 3 sisters, no living brothers, but my father had 5 brothers and let’s just say…they were busy guys, haha!!! It’s entirely possible that we’re related. I think something like 0.5% of the people of the World are related to Genghis Khan, there’s probably another 0.5% that are Nelson’s!
All joking aside. I’ve tried quite a few software packages between work, my 3D printers, vinyl cutter, XXL and laser cutter and by far the easiest to just jump into is the Vectric products. I’m not doing a lot of ShapeOKO lately, but I still do all of my sketches in VCarve, export SVG, then feed to my laser software. There’s a few things that are so simple after using more robust software that it can be a curse or blessing, but for flat work and V carving it’s tough to beat. I couldn’t imagine doing a big V carved sign in Catia, it would be frustratingly slow. I picked up VCarve Desktop fairly well within a few days of using it and just reading and watching videos. I go to proper Catia school for 2 weeks every other year or so just to stay up to date and proficient…no comparison, but that’s an apples to avocados comparison. I see folks doing incredible work with Fusion too, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea (foil hat maybe, but I don’t do Cloudware).
I agree about Fusion 360 that the cloud is not for me. I have limited bandwidth and even though Fusion eventually times out and lets you run local the local version is limited. I will sleep on my decision. I always sleep on what I consider a big money purchase to make sure I am not caught in a frenzy to get something. I find that waiting till tomorrow is best. Of course this rationale drives car salesmen crazy.
I tried Fusion and it was a big learning curve as I saw it I bought Vetric Desktop and love it did my first project on it in just 2 days of watching a few videos on it it was a very easy learn. I do mostly wood so that was part of my choice on software but I love Vetric Desktop and have no regrets on my choice.
I have used V Carve Pro for several years and can’t say enough about their quality and service. As for cost they upgrade regularly. They only require purchase of major upgrades. I have spent $1250.00 or so in the last 5 years. The big issue is will the software do what you want not the overall cost you get what you pay for in good tools.