VCarve Destop and Cut2D Pro

Is anyone aware of a deal-breaking difference between these applications, please?

I’ve looked at the product information pages, but was wondering if anyone’s bothered with Cut2D Pro over VCarve Desktop (which is a bit cheaper) and found any limitations.

Also, I see I’ll need to use @neilferreri’s post-processor as I have a BitSetter installed, but will these applications support BitZero and BitRunner out of the box, please, or do I need something for these too?

I’m also assuming I should continue to use CM to run the g-code file?

Thank you.

The Vectric folks have a comparison page at:

Yes, running Neil’s nifty post-processor (or any other post which enables tool changes) and generating all-in-one G-Code w/ multiple tools (w/ different numbers) is all that is needed.

You can run the G-Code files using Carbide Motion, or if you wish, Vectric’s own VTransfer.

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See, I knew I could rely on you to provide an answer @WillAdams :+1:

I have looked at the comparison page, but I’m still trying to figure out which ‘bits’ I need or don’t need.

However, I have noticed Cut2D Pro doesn’t include the Photo VCarve ‘module’.

Still, if anyone has experience of Cut2D Pro, I’d appreciate knowing how you got on with it.

I dunno that it’s that great an answer — the page gives me a headache looking at it, and I find a lot of it ambiguous (does VCarve Desktop have the same $2,000 worth of clipart as Pro, or do you get $4,000 worth of clipart if you buy the latter?)

They used to have a chart which I found clearer and easier to understand.

I guess the big consideration between Cut2D and Cut2D Pro is if you’re planning on doing projects larger than 24" x 24" w/o tiling — if you are, get Pro.

Aha, I was thinking of the difference between Cut2D Pro and VCarve Desktop not Cut2D! :thinking:

In that case, my understanding is:

  • unlimited size 2D projects — Cut2D Pro
  • Vcarving projects w/ textures, &c. up to 24" x 24" — Vcarve Desktop
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Just so I’m clear - and to prove I’m still NewToThis - does CC do everything Cut2D Pro does, then?

We have most of the basic functionality of Cut2D/Vectric Vcarve in Carbide Create.

Some notable differences — Carbide Create lacks:

  • option for ramping in/leading out
  • use of G2/G3 arcs when generating toolpaths
  • ability to import STLs
  • support for two-sided machining
  • nesting
  • printing
  • file thumbnails
  • support for gadgets
  • single line font option
  • fitting text to a curve
  • adjusting text spacing
  • import DWG, EPS, AI, SKP
  • dimensioning
  • rulers
  • guidelines
  • drilling
  • inlay toolpaths
  • custom shapes for endmills
  • diamond drag toolpath support
  • thread milling
  • array copy

presumably the drawing and layout tools are better in Cut2D (I wouldn’t know, I bought Vectric Vcarve Desktop for one project, but found the interface fussy and annoying and save for testing haven’t used it since).


Thanks, Will. Probably a bit too much to add to the Feature Request forum :blush:

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The ‘Pro’ product removes the 24" x 24" job size limit, whether that be Cut2D or VCarve. The whole 2.5d and 3D suite of Toolpath ‘strategies’ (their words) are only in VCarve. If you have any wish to easily do some 2.5D stuff, go VCarve - that was my choice when faced with the same dilemma.


I don’t think I’m so bothered about the size limits, but probably want to do more than 2D carving (I think?) so it looks like VCarve Desktop for now, potentially upgrading to Pro in the future (at least the upgrade path isn’t ‘loaded’.

And, it seems, Version 11 ‘changes’ are being announced in September, so this might become a free upgrade for any new buyers :+1: :thinking:

Can I use the BitRunner with g-code files exported from VCarve, or is there a ‘physical’ thing I need to do to enable it, please?

As I understand it, CC puts the start/stop code in by default, but I’m not sure about VCarve (and Vectric support wasn’t that helpful in this regard, TBH)

I use a spindle with a VFD and a BitSetter with GCode generated from VCarve with no issues.

The postprocessor pops the relevant instructions in (M3 S0000 or similar) when in the “tool change” fragment.

I used CC extensively for a while, and switching to VCarve had no impact on running jobs using CM.


I’ve got to say… I’m running the Avalon project - edited to reflect my own stock - and it’s working beautifully. I think I’m in love…

EDIT: Except it didn’t prompt for the tool change…?

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For the tool change prompt you need to ensure that:

  • tool #s are different
  • you’re using a post processor which supports tool changes

My experience w/ Vectric free upgrades was that one got the same new version (I bought Vectric 9.5 for free, then got 10 for free, then had to pay for 10.5 if memory serves).

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Hmm, that might do it. The tool number is the same, but the speeds and feeds are different for each toolpath.

I’m using @neilferreri post-processor, but Vectric provided it.

One new thing, though: the tabs weren’t cut out (in?) so I will need to investigate that, too. Probably user error.

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Just as in CC, this is fine. You can override each tool’s defaults inside the toolpath.

When you have a spindle and it is controlled by GCode, it spins faster and slower automatically without any pause in the process. Naturally, you don’t need to stop the machine to do this.

However, the post-processor won’t generate a tool change instruction unless the tool number changes. If you have a router that needs to be stopped in order to change the speed, you will need to think of tool number as incorporating the speed, and have a different tool number for 12K RPM and 18K RPM even though the bit itself is the same.

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So, this is more relevant with a router that doesn’t have speed control, as opposed to a spindle that does.

In theory then, the tool database in Vectric could have several 1/8" end mills (for example) each with their own unique identifier, but different only in their speed, and then for each material type? So one end mill could have nine or more entries?

Or am I overthinking it (again!)?

Probably not the right place to ask, but does Vectric support importing tool information from other sources?

For tool libraries for Vectric see:

(all listed from: Commercial Software - ShapeOko )

One day I hope to know as much - and be able to recall ‘stuff’ - as quickly as you can, Will! Thank you :+1:

So, I imported the Shapeoko tool database easily enough, but the speeds seem a little awry? For example, the 1/4"end mill has a spindle speed of 8333rpm, which seems a bit (haha) slow?

EDIT: Actually, I might be wrong here, but I don’t think it’s imported correctly. The spindle speed of the #122 is only 1563rpm. Surely that can’t be correct?