What's New in VCarve V8.5 - including V8 features

VCarve 8.5 is now available. On this page you can read a summary of the features that were added in Version 8 and also features added in version 8.5. If you already have Aspire V8 then you should take a look at our page that covers just What's New in VCarve V8.5. Please note any features indicated as having been added to V8 are also in V8.5 which has superceded it.

On this page you can navigate by clicking items from the list on the right or by scrolling down the page. As well as written descriptions covering the features added in these versions there are a selection of “What’s New” videos included in the relevant areas. Alternatively, to read a detailed description of all the changes that were added first to V8 and then to V8.5 you can download the “What’s New” PDF document using the buttons below.

What's New in VCarve Pro 8 PDF Document

What's New in VCarve Pro 8.5 PDF Document

To skip to a particular section click on a heading below:


Click here to download the Trial Version of VCarve Pro 8.5


VCarve V8.5 Upgrades and the Customer Portal

VCarve V8.5 is free to customers who already own a copy of V8. The upgrade is accessed through the Vectric Customer Portal. Pricing for the upgrade from VCarve products below 8.0 to V8.5 can be seen on the Vectric Store Upgrade Page

 



3D Import and Assembly Tools

A major change for VCarve Pro is the support for importing and toolpathing of 3D models. The new 3D tools are covered in detail in the “What’s New” PDF. The highlights of these changes are below:

  • Import a Component or 3D Model
  • Component Editing and Management
  • Component Properties
  • Create Vector Boundary from Selected Components
  • Smooth Components
  • Scale Model Height
  • Slice Model
  • Shadow Shading
  • The Clipart Tab

At the top of the NEW Modeling Tab you will find the six 3D Model Tools icons. In order, left to right these are; Import a Component or 3D Model, Component Properties, Create Vector Boundary from Selected Components, Smooth Components, Scale Model Height and Slice Model.

The new 3D functionality makes it possible to Import a Component or 3D Model into VCarve Pro in a variety of file formats. If you're working with a 3D mesh-based model from another design system (STL, 3DM, SKP, 3DS, ASC, PRJ, DXF, LWO, WRL and OBJ) then you can bring in a single model. This can be scaled, positioned and then machined using the new 3D Roughing and 3D Finishing toolpaths. In addition the 2D and 2.5D toolpaths within VCarve Pro can also be combined with these 3D toolpaths to cut accurate pockets, drill holes etc.

The 3D functions of VCarve Pro provide even more assembly and 3D design options if working with Vectric Clip Art files (V3M file format) - an unlimited number of these can be imported into the software and then assembled together to make more complex 3D layouts. As with the individual 3rd party models these can be 3D machined with the same flexibility. As detailed above the software comes with over 300 Clip Art models that can be used for assembly and additional files and projects can be purchased from the Vector Art 3D and Design & Make websites.

3D Component Editing and Management is done by selecting Components from the 2D or 3D View or from the Component Tree. A 3D object can be selected, deleted, moved, re-scaled and rotated using either the dynamic editing tools (the handles controlled by the mouse) or by entering precise values in the transform functions in the same way you can edit vectors in the program.

 

Edit Components directly in the 3D View

Component Properties can be edited to change the objects name, adjust its combine mode, change its height either by scaling or moving it vertically up or down, create a fade or tilt affect to control how it overlaps with other models and adjust its appearance.

The Component Tree is located at the bottom of the NEW Modeling Tab, this area of the interface lets you select models, order them, group them, place them onto Levels for organization. You also control how they interact with each other by changing their Combine Mode.

This lets you create complex 3D assemblies by combining individual pieces, these can be added, subtracted or merged together to make the finished 3D model. The ability to make these changes directly in the 3D View creates a very fluid editing environment where you can immediately see the effects of your choices on the Composite Model.

 

The Component Tree lets you manage multiple 3D Clip Art files

 

Create Vector Boundary from Selected Components will fit a vector around the silhouette of the currently selected components. This can be used for machining operations such as the 3D machining boundary or profiling around to cut the part out.

Smooth Components provide a way to generally smooth out your composite model. For some shapes this can help to remove rough edges and create a cleaner blend between overlapping parts.

Towards the end of the assembly process it can be very useful to be able to apply a global scaling to your final composite model. This allows you to accurately fit a design within the available material or to manage the depth of cuts required, without having to individually adjust each of the contributing Components. Scale Model Height lets you define the overall height of your composite model to prepare it for material setup and toolpath generation. Enter a value in the Shape Height edit box directly, or use the slider to adjust the height of your component selection interactively. In either case, the 3D view of the component will update automatically as you adjust the value.

The Slice Model feature allows the user to divide the Composite Model into Z-Slices each of which will become a Component. This is for customers who need to cut a part which exceeds the Z depth of their machine gantry, the cutting length of their tools or the thickness of the material they are using. Once the slices have been cut on the CNC then they can be re-assembled to make the finished full depth part.

When this function is executed each slice will become a Component in the Component Manager and can then be moved into position and have toolpaths calculated on it. An example of this is shown in the images below, on the left it shows a ball component that is 2 inches thick, the image below right shows this divided into two separate components, each a 1inch thick slice of the original.

_________2 Inch thick model of a ball __________________________Ball model sliced into two 1 inch thick pieces

The Shadow Shading dramatically enhances the quality of the shaded model and is almost instantaneous to use. Activating this option creates more contrast in the shaded image to bring out the details in the part in the same way glazing a real finished part might. The resulting images are more effective when getting customer approval on the finished part or for use in creating marketing materials.

Shaded Image - No Shadow Shading __________________________Shaded Image - With Shadow Shading

With the addition of the 3D tools the software now has a new Clipart Tab within which you will find the Clipart Browser. If you have installed the Clip Art which is included with the new version of VCarve Pro (300+ models) then this will show up automatically in the browser. Each folder can be selected to display the selection of models or 2D files within it in the lower part of the tab.

The browser will only display 3D files that are V3M file format or 2D vector files in the native VCarve Pro CRV format.

Files can dragged from this part of the browser into the 2D or 3D view to import them into your part or you can double click on any file to automatically import it into the center of your job setup area. This makes it very easy to quickly build up a set of 3D clip art models to work with to create an assembly.

The browser lets you add folders to your library from any location on your PC so you can work on specific projects or to keep multiple set of models in different areas. The Folders can be added or removed from the browser using the buttons. You can also access a folder-browser style layout from on Local Files tab at the top of the form.

The size of the thumbnail images displayed for each model within a folder can be asjusted by cliking the black-square icons next to the divider between the top and bottom of the form. You can display 3 different sizes depending on how you want to browse your collection of models.

 

The Clip Art Browser lets you manage and import your 3D file library

3D Clip Art

With the ability to import and assemble Vectric 3D Clip Art added to VCarve Pro we are now including a set of 3D models (V3M format) in addition to the existing 2D clip art, with the new version.

The clip art includes 70+ models selected from the Vector Art 3D website - http://www.vectorart3d.com. Each of these comes in three styles; A-Regular, B-Dished and C-Recessed, totalling 200+ models. These models alone would cost over US$2000 if purchased. Along with other designs and variation this makes a total of 300+ pieces of 3D clip art that are included with the upgrade. You can see a few of these models in the image and all of them in the “What’s New” PDF.

A selection of the new 3D Clip Art models___---------___)




 

Modeling Enhancements

Smoothing Modifications
The Smoothing tool now has the ability to change the object being smoothed without exiting the function. This makes it quicker to apply different amounts of smoothing to separate components. When you have smoothed an object by your desired amount you just need to click the "Bake Current Smoothing" button and then select the next object you want to smooth.

Add Base Height to Levels
Levels which were introduced in V8 to help manage Components now have the ability to add a Base Height to raise up all the 3D objects contained on them. This makes it easy to simultaneously lift a set of Components to allow them to sit proud of a background texture or to make it easier to setup background and foreground shapes so they relate correctly to each other and stay in position as you further edit the layout of your design.

The Base Height value can be edited through the Properties form for a Level. This can be accessed by double-clicking on the Level's name or selecting it and hitting the Properties (wrench) icon in the Modeling Tools. From the form you can use the slider-bar to specify a Base Height or enter a value and hit the spacebar to see the affect of this in the 3D View.

Ability to fix Z-Height when editing the size of a Component
Within the "Set Size" transform tool there is now an option on the form to "Auto Scale Z". When this is checked the software will behave the same as it did in previous versions and will automatically scale the height of a 3D Component when its X/Y size is changed. If the option is un-checked then the software will now preserve the current Z-Height of a component while it is being scaled in X or Y. As this sets a modal-flag, the behaviour will continue whether the Set Size form is being used to scale the oject or even if its being scaled dynamically with the drag handles in the 2D or 3D Views.
To change it you will always need to go back to the Set Size form and toggle its current state.

While in most cases the way the software worked previously by always scaling the Z-Height of an object is preferable, there are also many cases when you wanted to disable this. For example when you had set the height of something relative to the material or another object. It will also be very useful in the case of something like a background texture where you typically don't want its depth to vary after you have set it even if it needs to be resized to fit a design modification.

Move to Level
From within the Component tree you can now right-mouse-click on a Components name to access a new function "Move to Level". This option will give you a list of the currently specified levels to choose from or the option of a"New Level". Picking an existing Level name will move the Component and positions it at the top of the list of Components on that Level. Picking the "New Level" option will prompt you to enter a name and Combine Mode for the Level that the Component is being moved to.

Import to Level
From within the Clip Art browser you can now right-mouse-click on the image of a Component Preview to access the new "Import to Level" command. As with the "Move to Level" option this will give you a list of the currently specified levels to choose from or the option of a "New Level". Picking an existing Level name will import the Component and positions it at the top of the list of Components on that Level. Picking the "New Level" option will prompt you to enter a name and Combine Mode for the Level that the Component is being imported to. The imported Component will be positioned in the middle of your job setup area (the same way it would if you double click an object in the Clip Art browser).

SketchUp 2016 file format support
Version 8.5 has added support for the SketchUp 2016 format for *.SKP files when importing 3D mesh data from SketchUp using the "Import 3D Model or Component Icon" on the Modeling Tab.



Toolpath Options

The Toolpath options in VCarve Pro have seen a number of important additions to the existing strategies, these help to improve efficiency and provide more control for the user over how parts are machined. In addition the ability to do 3D Roughing and 3D Finishing has been added to allow toolpath creation over the 3D model. Below is a list and summary of the Toolpath improvements which are covered in detail in the “What’s New” PDF.

  • Create Merged Toolpaths
  • Toolpath Setup Sheet
  • 3D Roughing and 3D Finishing for machining 3D models
  • Last Pass Allowance for Profile Toolpath
  • Pass Depth Control for Pocket Toolpath
  • VCarve option to start toolpath on surface at vector start point
  • Turn off ramped entry and exit for Texture Toolpath
  • Project toolpath onto 3D model
  • Vector Selector Options Remembered
  • Select specific toolpaths to show in Toolpath Summary (time estimate)
The merge toolpath option allows multiple toolpaths that use the same tool to be merged together into a single one. This means that all toolpaths (using the same tool) for an individual part of the job can be machined before the toolpath moves onto another area, this allows parts to be taken off the table as they are completed rather than only when you get to the profile toolpath. In some cases this option will also be used help to reduce cutting times and increase efficiency for some jobs.

The new Toolpath Job Sheet option (Toolpaths dropdown menu – Create Job Sheet) provides a way to easily create a summary of all the toolpaths for your part. It outputs a HTML file that can be viewed or printed from a web browser that provides a neat summary of the job, its size, material setup and toolpath information such as tool used, duration etc. This is a very helpful set of data to access at your CNC when running the different toolpaths. It can also be saved with the job to provide a quick reference file to remind you of the details of your archived work.

Job Setup Sheet - Summary of Job Details-__-_-----------------------------Create Merged Toolpath Option ------

A major enhancement for this release is the ability to import 3D models from other systems into VCarve Pro V8. 3D Roughing and 3D Finishing toolpath strategies have been added to allow the machining of imported 3D models. Rough Machining is used when carving 3D parts to clear away excess material when the part is too deep for the finishing tool to cut in a single pass. This strategy can either be created as 2D pockets on multiple Z levels to machine away the excess material or as a 3D raster strategy which more closely follows the contours of the 3D shape. Leads on the Roughing can be ramped into the material to reduce tool wear.

Finish Machining is used to machine the final pass on the finished 3D part. For most 3D Finishing cuts a Ball Nosed end mill is used with a reasonably small stepover (8 – 12% of the tool diameter). Variations on this tool type such as a tapered Ball Nosed cutter will also work and may offer more strength with smaller tool sizes. The size of tool will depend on the size of the part and the detail within the 3D part. The toolpath preview function allows you to easily check the finish quality and detail before machining and adjust the settings if required.

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3D Roughing Toolpath Preview (left) and 3D Finishing Toolpath Preview (right)

2D toolpaths such as as Pocketing, Profiling and Drilling can be combined with the 3D toolpathing to efficiently machine models with a combination of 2D and 3D features. Toolpath strategies such as VCarving and Texturing can be projected onto the models surface allowing decorative design elements to be added to the machined model incredibly easily

The Profile toolpath now has the option to use a Last Pass Allowance, this will force the intermediate passes in the toolpath to stay away from the part edge by a specified amount, leaving a small amount of material that will be cut by the last pass. Cutting full-depth like this can dramatically improve finished edge quality for some applications and material types. This new feature also has an option to cut the last pass in the opposite direction to the previous passes where that may be of benefit.

Last Pass Allowance

In VCarve Pro 7.5 a form was added to provide complete control over the toolpath pass-depths when Profile machining, Version 8 sees this also added to the Pocket toolpath strategy. This means you can specify any set of cutting depths when pocketing and even enter different values for each tool if pocketing with multiple tools. 

 

 

Create Multiple Passes with Pocket Toolpaths_____

When using the VCarve toolpath you can now specify to “Use Vector Start Points”, this will force the tool to enter the area to be VCarved from the start point of the vector and carve down into the part from that position. This prevents it plunging into a deep part of the job to start the cut, in some materials this will help to reduce tool marks and loading.

When the “Use selected vectors as pattern” option is checked in the Texture Toolpath strategy you can now choose whether the tool will ramp in and out at the ends of each selected vector - as was the default in the previous version. De-activating this can be very helpful, particularly when used with the patterns created with the new Vector Texture tool as not-ramping can be faster to machine and in some cases makes a cleaner panel edge when cutting the texture out.

For the new version of VCarve Pro all 2D and 2.5D Toolpaths have had the Project toolpath onto 3D model option added at the base of each Toolpath form. This is only available if you have imported 3D Models. If this option is checked then after the toolpath has been calculated, it will be projected (or ‘dropped’) down in Z onto the surface of the 3D model. The depth of the original toolpath below the surface of the material will be used as the projected depth below the surface of the model. This can be a good way to machine text onto a curved surface or for cutting a texture into a 3D shape, its most effective on fairly shallow areas of the model.

 

Check this option to Project a 2D or 2.5D toolpath onto the 3D model__

The software will now retain the settings for the Vector Selector making it quicker to associate Layers or other selection criteria with a particular toolpath. From an administrative point of view, the toolpath summary will now only display visible toolpaths when getting a time estimate, this makes it easier to look at data for a sub-set of toolpaths. If all or none of the toolpaths are visible it will still give you the total for all of them as before.

Moulding Toolpath
This powerful new feature is dealt with in detail in the dedicate Moulding Toolpath section of this page (below).

Deleting All Toolpaths
Version 8.5 now has an option to Delete more than one toolpath, this can be accessed through the right-mouse-click menu in the Toolpath List. When you right-click on a toolpath name and choose Delete from the menu it will give you four choices to either delete the toolpath you clicked on, delete all the toolpaths or delete either the currently visible or invisible toolpaths. This will dramatically speed up toolpath deletion if you need to remove more than one at a time.

Toolpath Undo
This version has added the ability to Undo and Redo toolpath deletion. This is a very welcome addition for anyone who has accidently deleted a toolpath that they did not intend to, as you can now just hit the Undo icon, Edit - Undo or Ctrl+Z to get it back. This will also work with the new multiple-delete option detailed above.

Increased Toolpath Preview Simulation Resolution
Two additional choices have been added for the resolution that is used to create the Toolpath Preview material block. There are now five choices that can be accessed from the "Toolpaths" drop down menu and its sub-menu "Preview Simulation Quality". These choices are; Standard, High, Very High, Extremely High and Maximum. The first three are the equivalents of those available in previous versions of the software, the last two offer options for substantially more detail to be displayed when previewing the results of your Toolpaths.

This Preview block is defined by a dense grid of very small points (pixels), the more pixels used to create the block then the better detail from a toolpath that can be rendered. There is however a potential performance penalty for choosing a higher resolution and a guide to this is indicated on the drop-down menu showing how much slower it may be to perform the simulation, this will of course vary a lot depending on your computers specifications and what options you have displayed in the Preview Toolpath form (Animate Toolpath - Draw Tool).

The images show the Toolpath Previews for the same part which is a relatively small part on a larger piece of material, the one on the left shows it with a "Standard" setting and the one on the right with the new "Maximum" option selected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Moulding Toolpath

This is a completely new feature added to v8.5 that allows you to generate an efficient and smooth toolpath to cut 3D shapes such as mouldings, arches and frames that have a constant cross-section. The shape is specified by selecting two vectors; the first will represent the Drive Curve of the shape and define its position in the job setup area, the second vector defines the Cross Section that will in effect be extruded along the Drive Curve to create the swept shape when machined. As the shape of the toolpath is generated from vectors rather than being projected onto a 3D model the results will generally provide an excellent finish and also be quicker to machine.

The Moulding Toolpath function allows you to specify two tools, one to in effect "Rough" out the majority of material with a larger tool and then the other to do the "Finishing". This lets you efficiently and safely machine parts too deep to cut in a single pass. In addition, the Moulding Toolpath has some clever options to further improve finish and efficiency. For the "Finish" tool you can opt to "Vary Stepover", this can be used to improve finish on shapes that have a lot of steep angles or curves on the cross-section. For the "Rough" tool you can choose to have it finish any flat (horizontal) regions on the cross section, which are common on a lot of Moulding shapes. If the tool has a flat bottom (which is typical for roughing) then it will allow these areas to be cut faster and also give a better finish on the edge of these areas than if they were cut with the "Finish" tool. Using this option also allows you to choose to avoid creating a "Finish" toolpath in those flat areas further increasing time-savings when running your toolpath.

 

 

 

 

 

The Moulding Toolpath shows a preview in the 2D View (left), then creates very clean toolpath moves (center) to cut a smooth shape (right).

 


3D Toolpath Enhancements

Retract On Stepover
When creating a 3D Finishing Toolpath with an Offset pattern Area Machine Strategy you now have the option to specify a “Stepover Retract” value. Entering a value larger than zero will retract the tool by this amount when stepping between each contour of the toolpath. This can be beneficial as it will remove the perpendicular tool marks which would typically be left by the tool stepping over which are difficult to remove in some types of material.

The image to the bottom right shows a close up of the toolpath cutting part of a dome and how the tool can be made to retract between each contour by entering a value for this new feature.

 

Setting the Model Height from the Material Setup Form

In previous versions of the software if you realised at the Material Setup stage that your Composite Model (the visible 3D Components) were too thick or too thin then you had to exit the Material Setup form, go over to the Modeling Tab and click through the process to "Scale Z-height of model". This would take a bit of time and also could be distruptive to your workflow. Version 8.5 now has a button directly in the Material Setup form to access the Set Model Height dialog directly. The current Model Thickness is displayed in the form and if you wish to edit it you can just click the "Set..." button and enter a value to scale the Composite Model to a more suitable value. Reducing time and improving work-flow.

 

 


Drawing Tools

The Drawing tools have a selection of powerful new features added along with enhancements to existing tools to make vector drawing and layout more efficient. Below is a list of the Drawing Tool highlights which are expanded upon below this list and covered in detail in the “What’s New” PDF.

  • Create Vector Texture
  • Trim Objects to Vector Boundary
  • Mirror Node Editing
  • Angled Guidelines
  • Various other updates to filleting, snapping etc.

The new Create Vector Texture drawing tool allows you to very quickly generate wave-based vector patterns to machine decorative panels. By adjusting the controls you can quickly iterate from a standard set of waves through randomized curves and even create grain patterns with added “noise” to make them appear irregular and more natural looking. This can be used to make everything from architectural wall panels to faux woodgrain for the background of a sign. 

 

Create Vector Texture - Vector Pattern and Toolpath Examples

 

The Trim Objects tool lets you select any set of vectors and trim them inside or outside a second set of selected shapes. This makes trimming large sets of vectors very quick and easy. 

Trim Objects inside or outside of a boundary

Nodes can now be edited symmetrically by hitting the H or V key while in node editing mode to create Horizontal or Vertical mirror line. This helps save time when editing the individual parts of a job that has a mirrored layout. The Angled Guides and improved Snapping make it easier and quicker to create accurate vectors realtive to other objects in the 2D View.


SVG Import 
Version 8.5 has added support to import vectors from an *.SVG format file. SVG is a commonly used format on webpages and also as an output choice from design programs like Inkscape. Designed to be scaled SVG files often contain useful data which can now be extracted when importing vectors. Currently text entities are ignored by the SVG import, so they should be converted to curves in an SVG editor before importing if required.

Dimensioning and Snapping
Dimensions applied in the software can now snap to guidelines and also the corners and mid points of each side of the specified job setup area. This makes it easier to add measurements using locations which are not specified by a vector entity in the job.

 

Filleting Improvements
The vector Filleting tool has been improved so that the corner filleting no longer needs to lie between two straight line spans on a vector. It is now possible to add a fillet between any of the vector span types; Straight Line, Arc or Bezier Curve. In addition if the software finds a fit for the specified Radius it will add the Fillet across multiple spans. These enhancements add
a lot of flexibility to vector design within the software making it possible to easily add fillets to any area on a vector shape.

 

Extra Symmetry and Shift options added to Create Linear Array (Block Copy) tool
The Create Linear Array (Block Copy) tool has had some powerful new options added to it that give you much more flexibility when copying objects. The "Symmetry..." area on the form has four buttons with L shaped icons. Clicking any of these buttons will cycle through four possible options to adjust how the group of the first four objects in an array will be laid out relative to their direction. This pattern will then be propagated across the complete layout. The L-shape on the button indicates the layout that will be used relative to the objects original orientation.

The other addition to this tool is the ability to add a "Shift" distance to alternate Rows or Columns in the array. Adding an X shift will move every other row horizontally by that value. Adding a Y shift will move every other column vertically up or down by the value input. This allows you to easily create things like a brick pattern layout. Combining these new options along with the existing tools in the function makes it much easier to create a greater diversity of layouts with the Array tool.


Clipping Region for Bitmap Vector Fitting

When fitting a vector to a bitmap you can now select the region of the image that the fitted vector will be limited to. Selection is done by dragging a box with the mouse over the area of the Bitmap that you want to isolate the fitted vector. If a box is specified then vectors will only be fitted to the area of the Bitmap within the box and the edges will be closed. If no additional area is selected then the vectors will be fitted to the entire image as with previous versions.

 

Move to Sheet (Applicable to VCarve Pro only - NOT Desktop)
When working with data that has been distributed across multiple "Sheets"by the Nesting tool you now have the added flexibility to manually move objects from one Sheet to another. Previously it was not possible to move objects between sheets. Simply select the object/s you want to move in the 2D View and right-mouse-click on them to access the "Move to Sheets" option from the pop-up menu.

 



Miscellaneous

In addition to the direct improvements to Drawing, Modeling and Toolpath functions in VCarve Pro there were some other important general changes to the software as shown in the following list and summarized below, these are covered in detail in the “What’s New” PDF.

  • 64-bit Support
  • Bitmaps now imported from PDF files
  • Increment and Save
  • Document Variables
  • SketchUp2015 file import support
  • All new Tutorial Videos and Video Browser

VCarve Pro 8 sees the introduction of a 64-bit build, this will be installed automatically on operating systems that support 64-bit technology. The 64-bit version will see increases to both the speed of calculation and the file sizes that can be handled, particularly for memory hungry operations such as importing very large 3D mesh files (STL, OBJ etc.), calculating complex toolpaths or nesting many objects.

In previous versions of the software we would only extract vectors from a PDF document and if none were present you would see an error message that no useful data could be imported from the PDF as it only contained bitmap data. Version 8 will now import any images that are present in the document along with the vectors. If it’s a multi-page file then a separate layer will be created for the contents of each page of vectors and/or images.

Increment and Save (Ctrl + Alt + S) will allow you to save the file you’re working on without overwriting the original file. It automatically adds a new suffix to the file-name to differentiate it from the previous saved copy. This makes it easy to save iterations as you progress with your design while retaining the ability to open a file from an earlier stage of its development.

VCarve Pro 7.5 allowed the use a limited number of variables in equations in the calculation edit boxes. This was useful for picking up values automatically such as “Z” to get the value for the material block thickness etc. This has now been extended to allow user-defined variables, not just the ones offered by the software. They can be added or changed from the Edit drop down menu by selecting Document Variables; these can be utilized to specify often used but changing values across a part or within different jobs.

The SketchUp importer has been updated to be compatible with SketchUp 2015 allowing import of 2D and 3D data from SKP files.

VCarve Pro 8 has a large set of tutorial videos made up of completely new examples combined with existing tutorials that have been updated and re-recorded using the new version of the software. These are supported by a new Video Browser that provides a choice of how you view the tutorials, they can now be ordered by category (Getting Started, Drawing, 2D Toolpaths etc.) or you can show the individual projects so that all videos relating to that specific example are shown.

The new Video Browser makes it easy to view tutorials

Specify the number of files in the "Recently Opened Files..." list
There is now an option to specify the number of files to show in the "Recently Opened Files..." list on the left hand pane when you first start the software. The number of files displayed are controlled in the Edit - Options menu, simply enter a value for "Recent File List Size", then once you re-start the software the list will build up to the number entered as you open or save new files.

The image to the right shows a list that has been edited to show 8 files.

SketchUp 2016 file format support
Version 8.5 has added support for the SketchUp 2016 format for *.SKP files when importing 2D vector data.

Animating the 3D View

Movements between the 4 set viewing directions (Iso, Along X, Along Y and Along Z) in the 3D View are now animated and will transition between views rather than instantly change. This behaviour can easily be toggled using the "Animate Camera Moves" entry in the Edit - Options drop-down menu.

 

 

 

 


Gadget Enhancements

IMPORTANT NOTE: This section applies to VCarve Pro users only as VCarve Desktop does not support the use of Gadgets

Gadget Shortcuts
If you have Gadgets installed that you need to frequently access you can now associate a set of short-cut key combinations to run them automatically. The Gadget Shortcuts function can be found under the Gadgets drop-down menu. There is a list of 9 key combinations shown - Ctrl + F1 through to Ctrl + F9. In the box to the right of each of these it will say "Currently Unset" when you first open the form. Click on any one of these and then you can use the down-arrow to the right of the box to select from the list of currently installed Gadgets to associate them with the adjacent key combination.

Once set you can hit the specified key combination to run the Gadget, this makes access to your most used Gadgets much quicker and so help maintain a fluid workflow.

Job Setup Sheet Editor Gadget
Another addition to the Gadget drop-down menu in v8.5 is the option for the "Setup Sheet Editor". Clicking this gives you access to a form that will allow you to customize the Job Setup Sheet. You are able to change the logo displayed on the sheet, change the title, change the color of the header, footer and border and also choose which sections you want to output when you generate a Setup Sheet. You can also use the Reset button to return it to the default formatting.

 

 

 



Click here to download the Trial Version of VCarve Pro 8.5

 
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