Vectric VCarve?

Like most people here I started with Carbide Create which was great for the steep learning curve that I was on at the time, however I really struggled with some aspects of the software.

Two years ago I purchased Vectric v-carve pro and haven’t looked back! So many things became SO much easier that I was more than happy with the one off payment to Vectric.

I appreciate that there have been many upgrades to Create since I moved on but Vectric also continues to improve. Compare the the many videos of the two products and make your decision depending on what you use your cnc for.


Having previously owned a non-Shapeoko product, I worked my way through all the free cad products and eventually opted for a paid Vectric desktop. I now run Aspire, which is often derided as “too expensive”. Is it the best? Depends on what you want to do. For me, it is because I entered the CNC hobby as a graphic designer and I like to create 2d+ carves. Reading most beginner questions, I would call it overkill. But it is wildly enjoyable for those times when I just want to create something and subsequently share it as an STL. But I think it’s like a language in that one will converse fluently in their chosen programs. There seems to be an equivalent number of basic questions in all software forums regardless of the chosen software.


I am going to purchase Aspire myself, Create just doesn’t have the options I want and after seeing firsthand the same signs etc ran off aspire vs. Create7>>> absolutely Aspire wins hands down.

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I prefer V-Carve to do my design work.
I also sell SVG and DXF files on Etsy. I like to be able to change the color of individual Toolpaths and change the Material Colors, etc. I think it helps my listings stand out.
Carbide Create listing:

VS Vectric.


I was using Carbide Pro when my Mac stop working it was time for Windows and I started to invest in vCarve Desktop and I was very happy I did. They have much more tutorials with more details. I was able to do many 3d projects without having to purchase Aspire.



I really don’t think I could’ve pulled these projects off using Carbide Pro with the amount instructions they provide. Vectric just finished having their annual User Group.


Hoping for a Black Friday deal :blush:

Hi I have a shapoko pro 5 and I would like to switch to vectric but I am hesitant since I saw people complaining about the bit changing or bit zero issues what pp did you enter in vectric?

You can use Collars on your bits. That eliminates the need for a Bit Setter.

Please see:

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I’m running a 3XXL with Vectric V-carve pro and CM using the PP(metric) written by @neilferreri. I use a rev 1 Bit Zero and a Bit Setter. They work very well, no issues.


$700 for vcarve pro, $2,000 for aspire. Pay for annual subscription and upgrades? Does it need to be internet connected to work?
Can someone please explain what vcarve pro or aspire can do that $120 Pixelcnc can’t do as good or better?
I have looked at the Vectric products pages and do not see the advantage?
I use Carbide Create Pro, Pixelcnc and lightburn. As far as what I have seen users ask for, Pixel has it all.
Carbide Create is (imo) best for straight forward design work. Pixel is better for 3d and such. Lightburn has a good set of options for image manipulation.

Maturity, stability, ease of use, and no required internet connection were primary considerations for me. V-carve pro was not cheap but it includes free updates thru the next major release, then there will be an upgrade cost to get to the next version. They are expecting a big UI overhaul with better graphics probably for the next major rev. When I switched to primarily using V-Carve pro, CC Pro was just rolling out and the feature set was just not extensive enough to justify the cost (at the time). I was also having issues with large V-carve projects not calculating toolpaths, this has been fixed in newer versions. V-carve didn’t have an issue and added rest machining to v-carves so I could use several different tools to increase efficiency and reduce times. I am still a fan of CC and use the free version for quick and easy projects, and I’m keeping an eye on the evolving feature set of CC Pro. Pixel CNC looks interesting but it was not on my radar a few years ago.

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Perhaps you could ask that same question on the Vectric forum. You might get more info. Don’t you think?


@LWSIV Well, they offer a free trial version. I hear it is laden with some kind of nag screen but you can look through all the features for free.
@CrookedWoodTex I’m not a member there.

It’s easy enough to join, just like here. That way you could find out stuff from users without the unsubstantiated hearsay.

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In the original post of this thread, the poster asked a question about “Vectric VCarve”.
The question was,

I answered with a considerable option in direct response to the question poised.
Since the question was asked here, why would I answer it at vectric?


$700 for vcarve pro, $2,000 for aspire. Pay for annual subscription and upgrades?

There is no annual fee.

I bought V-Carve Pro two years ago and have used it almost daily, I still haven’t used all the features that come with it. When I feel suitably “qualified” in its use I will only have to pay the difference between V-Carve Pro and Aspire, to upgrade to Aspire.

As far as I am concerned I just use Vectric to design all my work. I don’t have the time to learn Pixelcnc and Lightburn as well.

If you are happy with CC then my advice is to stick with it. Horses for courses!

I watched a review video of PixelCNC. It does look capable but totally foreign compared to CC or Vectric. One of the things I liked about the move from CC to Vectric was the similarity of interface and workflow. The learning curve during the transition was not difficult. If I was starting from scratch without a couple of years of CC under my belt or if I was coming from an illustrator back ground PixelCNC may be more compelling. Vectric had their own and @neilferreri provided post processors so I didn’t have any loss of functionality that a generic Gerbil PP would impose as far as bit zero and bit setter are concerned. Carbide 3D has probably the best community I have seen, Vectric also has a good community and there is a wealth of knowledge available in both to help keep you inspired, learning, and making chips. At the end of the day this is a hobby for me, I want to get the most bang for the buck and my time is valuable. Getting more features and a relatively small learning curve, even with an expensive initial cost, was worth it to make my shop time enjoyable. Is Vectric the best, I can’t say, it works very well for me and I don’t have the time or energy to explore every possible software package. I look forward to hearing how you make out with PixelCNC. I’m not opposed to having many options in my toolbox, I just need to hit a limitation with my current tools before I start looking for another.