Overview

At Vectric we think owning and using a CNC is one of the best hobbies around, we even have two machines for our employees to use in the office. Visit the Vectric Labs. Not only does a CNC open up many other potential hobby avenues it is a great base for starting a weekend or retirement business.

The majority of Hobby/Craft users want a simple to use but powerful software program that will let them make a wide variety of projects. While typically working with wood to start with, often the flexibility of the CNC and software opens up the potential to work with lots of other materials and in many different applications.

Vectric have a unique focus which has made our products very popular amongst hobby and craft CNC users. First of all we offer genuine ease of use which is augmented by free high quality training materials, at the same time we do not compromise on the features that you will ultimately need to productively make what you want with the CNC.

The technical benefits are coupled with excellent value, a simple set of product options and the ability to try before you buy. Vectric do not sell long-term maintenance contracts, when we have a new upgrade available then you can download the trial and evaluate it and decide for yourself if you want to upgrade to the new version or not. If not then you can continue to work with the version you have. So the cost of ownership will only grow if your hobby/business requirements do. We also offer FREE monthly projects to give you parts you can make immediately or customize for your own use.

Many low-cost CNC manufacturers choose to bundle Vectric software with their machines. Their reasoning being that it gives their customer the best chance of making the parts they want as quickly and easily as possible and with a minimum support overhead. As with all the best business practices this also coincides with what is best for the end user, ease of use, good value, the product doing what they want with minimum ongoing hassles.

If you are new to CNC and have not yet read our “Introduction to CNC pages”

What can you make?

  • Decorative Carvings (mantels, panels, wall hangings etc.)
  • Clocks
  • Awards and Plaques
  • House and Business Signs
  • Boxes (Jewelry, Shadow, Toy Chests etc.)
  • Furniture – cutting components to assemble
  • Furniture - carved embellishments
  • Musical Instruments
  • Wooden Toys
  • Games (Cribbage, Chess, Backgammon Boards etc.)
  • Money Boxes
  • Cutting Boards
  • Picture and Mirror Frames
  • Home Projects (honey-do's) – spoon racks, magazine holders etc.
  • Dishes and plates
  • Display Cases
  • Coasters
  • Plaques, Awards and Trophies
  • Lithophanes

…and many others


Features and Benefits

  • Powerful set of 2D Drawing and Editing tools to layout your design, including the ability to import an image (photo or scan) to trace vectors

  • Ability to import and edit data from many other drawing programs (AutoCAD, TurboCAD, Inkscape, CorelDrawy, Adobe Illustrator etc.)

  • Ability to work with 3D Clipart (Vector Art 3D etc.), import 3D models from other 3D programs or create your own 3D models in Aspire

  • A selection of task specific toolpaths and control options to let you most efficiently produce high quality cut parts

  • High quality multi-color Toolpath Preview for part verification and customer approval – ensures you can see exactly what your part will look like before you actually cut it

  • Extensive high quality video tutorials make it easy to train staff to use the Vectric programs

  • Many free online resources including Free Projects, searchable FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) and a very helpful friendly online User Forum

Customer Sucess Story

SPalm Creative Hobbyist

In this case study we talked to Steve Palm, a hobbyist CNC woodworker from Columbia, Maryland, to learn more about some of the projects he has built with his homemade CNC.

Steve explained to us why he started out in CNC, his approachwork and how Vectric software has helped enhance his projects over the past 6 years. Steve was also kind enough to provide downloadable .crv files for one of his projects - the dowel hinged jewelry box.

Read More >

3D Great White Shark

For Tim, woodworking has been a lifelong hobby and passion and the decision to incorporate CNC technology within his well-equipped shop was seen by Tim as a natural progression.

Tim invested in his Shopbot CNC over 10 years ago and soon required more sophisticated design software to tackle the projects he wanted to undertake. However, he became disillusioned with the lack of choice in the market, especially when it came to price...

Read More >


Choosing your Vectric software

For the majority of Hobby/Craft users VCarve Pro will give you all the functionality you need for drawing or importing your 2D designs and creating the toolpaths to cut-out, pocket, drill, v-carve, flute and even texture your parts. Certainly if you have no prior computer design experience the easy to use design tools and in depth tutorials will help you draw the data you need and then translate that to code the machine can cut. Our customers often comment on how quickly they were able to start cutting parts after downloading the program. VCarve Pro can also import 3D toolpaths from Vector Art 3D Machinist or Cut3D (see below for more info).

For those wanting to do more with 3D CNC carving such as import, edit and combine existing 3D computer models or to create their own relief models from 2D vectors they we would recommend evaluating Vectric’s Aspire. Aspire has the same 2D/2.5D drawing and machining tool-set and ease of use as VCarve Pro but adds the 3D modeling and machining options. If your not sure about how much 3D you are going to do then you can start with VCarve Pro then you can upgrade at any time to Aspire and receive a credit of over 90% of the value of VCarve Pro against the purchase price.

For customers who have a 3D model created in another software program then Cut3D would be a good choice to calculate the toolpaths to cut your parts. It lets you step through a set of easy stages to create roughing, finishing and cut-out toolpaths to machine your free-form 3D parts.  With the slicing ability, tabs to hold the parts in place and multi-sided machining options, Cut3D makes a viable alternative to 3D printing for those who want to take advantage of the accuracy and material types that can be cut on a CNC. In addition Cut3D toolpaths can be imported into Cut2D or VCarve Pro to combine with the 2D and 2.5D toolpaths offered in those programs. If you are considering Aspire then it will also allow you to import 3D models and cut them but does not have the automated 2 and 4 sided machining (these can be done manually though if you do not do them very often).

PhotoVCarve allows you to create an etched picture or a Lithophane from a digital photo or scanned image. Again for those considering Aspire, that does allow you to make Lithophanes so PhotoVCarve may not be required.

A lot of our Hobby/Craft users find Vector Art 3D’s selection of clip-art to be a useful resource for CNC-ready 3D models. Their website has a large library (almost 2000 at the date of writing) of designs which can be downloaded, sized and toolpaths created to cut immediately on a CNC. This is a very quick and relatively low-cost route to start making 3D parts. Aspire users can import these 3D models to edit and combine to make more complex designs and the software is supplied with over 100 of the Vector Art 3D models as part of the included 3D Clip Art.  

Trial versions of each program along with tutorial videos and examples can be downloaded to see for yourself how easy the Vectric programs are to use and which set of features would work best for you.

Trial Download Software
To learn more about specific Vectric products click on one of the icons below.

Aspire

vcarve pro cut2d Cut 3D

 

© Copyright Vectric Ltd. All rights reserved.