VCarve Pro vs Desktop

Getting ready to pull the trigger on VCarve but…I’m new to CNC and Shapeoko and don’t speak the lingo fluently - I’m a long time IT Geek but it’s a different vocabulary.

Anyway, I’m not sure which one I should get. Could someone explain to me in non-CNC terms what the differences are?

Also, since I’m just getting comfortable in CC and CM, what differences can I expect to run into.

Thanks in advance for the help and advice.



John, the technical differences between Desktop and Pro are itemized at the Vectric site, but there’s an easier solution.

Get Vcarve Desktop and use that until you need something that is in the Pro version. All you will pay is the difference between the two at some time in the future. That’s the way they do it.

I have Desktop. It is much easier to edit with. I’m carving some 3D stuff now and can change enough of the 3D models to make nice stuff. The main limit of Desktop is that you are limited to a maximum carving of 25" (I think) square. Well, so far, I haven’t needed to do anything more than 24" square. I figured that if I start hitting that limit, I probably should buy a 4’ x 8’ machine.


Start with Desktop. It doesn’t cost you any extra to upgrade to Pro compared to buying Pro to start with. So start with Desktop and then upgrade later.


  1. You’ll have a cheaper and simpler environment to learn on.
  2. When you upgrade later Vectric considers it a new purchase and you’re ability to for the next major upgrade extends from the date you upgraded.



Here is a link to compare the Vectric products. Scroll down to the bottom for a nice matrix comparison.

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yes do the desktop first I have it and a XXL and it has been all I needed for now and the upgrade to pro will only be the difference in the price between the too so that is the best way to go

The only real reason to go pro is for projects larger than the Desktop allowed 24"x24"

I have Desktop and the only time I wanted to exceed that was when I made my waste-board, so I used CC.

You could always tile the project to get it larger in Desktop.

I use the Job Sheet pro feature quite frequently. I included a sample output (75.8 KB)

Thanks for the advice, everyone. Desktop it is.

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