Switching to Vectric

We have made switching to Vectric as easy and seamless as possible. below are a list of commonly asked questions by customers who have been looking to move to Vectric software from their current CAD/CAD provider. 

We would strongly advise downloading our free trail software to ensure you choose the software that is right for you. You can also test the software on your CNC machine by cutting one of our free trial projects. 

To download the free trial click here


Take a look at the most commonly asked questions about switching to Vectric

Simply click on a FAQ to reveal the answer

Why Choose Vectric

If I buy a Vectric product will I actually own the software?


Yes – from day one you will own the software outright. In addition, unlike most software companies Vectric allow you to transfer your licence to another user if you sell your CNC on the payment of a small licence transfer fee.

How easy will it be for me to adapt to Vectric products?


Our experience with lots of users moving to Vectric products over many years is that the changeover has been pretty simple. The Vectric drawing tools are similar in style to the ArtCAM tools with the same approach to drawing Bezier curves, node editing, trimming etc. The modelling tools and type of model used are also conceptually similar in many ways. We encourage all potential users to download the trial versions of the Vectric products they are interested in and work through the free training videos we provide to make sure they will be able to succeed with our products. As Vectric was started over 11 years ago with the express aim of being able to sell CAD/CAM software directly to end users, ease of use has been critical to our success.

Will I be able to use my existing files?


Although we can’t open a .art file directly, – we can import both 2D and 3D data exported from ArtCAM

  1. 2D Data - Cut2D, VCarve and Aspire can import vector data exported from ArtCAM (eg. DXF or EPS)
  2. 3D Data - VCarve and Aspire are able to import ArtCAM 3D relief files (.rlf)

VCarve can import a single .rlf file per session 
Aspire can import multiple .rlf files per session
As per current versions of ArtCAM, the .rlf files need to be exported out as V9 compatible files.

Will I have to pay maintenance?


No, there is no yearly maintenance fee and there never will be.

Am I entitled to free support?


Yes – Vectric have a dedicated support team (email & telephone) to address any technical issues eg. post-processors.
In addition the vibrant Vectric forum at forum.vectric.com is an excellent resource for gaining knowledge from thousands of other Vectric users.

Am I entitled to free upgrades?


Any major release of the software released in the 12 months after you purchase the software is supplied free of charge. 

Minor updates are always free to anyone who has the same major version (e.g V10.5 would be free to all owners of V10 no matter how long they had owned the software).

After the 12 month ownership period, you would need to purchase an upgrade if you felt the new features justified the upgrade for you.

When there is a new release do I have to upgrade?


No – you do not have to upgrade. 

If a new version is released within the first 12 months of ownership, you get the upgrade for free.  Customers outside of this period can evaluate the new features (with the free trial download) and decide if they want to pay to upgrade or not.  

For the cost to upgrade please click here and choose the product you are looking to upgrade.

If I don’t upgrade for say 5 years then chose to upgrade what will it cost?


If you chose not to upgrade for several years, unlike many software companies, we do not ask for back-payments, you just pay the standard upgrade cost for your specific program and this will enable you to jump to the latest release. For example whether you are upgrading from version 4 to version 10 or from version 8 to version 10 you will pay the same price.

For the cost to upgrade please click here and choose the product you are looking to upgrade.

If I want to upgrade to another product what would it cost?


You just pay the difference in price between the two products. Vectric do not penalise a customer if they want to start with one of our cheaper versions and later upgrade to a more full featured version. We actively encourage our customers to start cautiously and upgrade when they are ready.

For the cost to upgrade please click here and choose the product you are looking to upgrade.

Will I have to use a dongle or hardware key?


No – all your need is a licence code. This is automatically issued when you purchase the software online.

How many computers can I use the software on?


Vectric's license allows any of our software programs to be installed on up to 3 PC's for a single user.

If access to any one of the computers is shared with work colleagues, or anyone who is likely to access the software, then the software must only be installed onto one computer.

We have many users who have the software installed on their main design pc, the computer attached to their CNC and a laptop. As long as these three systems are only used by the same single user, this is completely legal.

What are the limitations of the Free Trials?


The Trial Versions will let you use all functions within the software with the exception of saving the toolpaths and performing some Export functions.

The Pro Versions of the Trials also do not allow you to use additional Gadgets.

There are a collection of special "trial version specific" files made available for each program that are setup so you can save the toolpaths from them and verify compatibility with your CNC machine by actually machining the samples.

Do you have an educational license for Vectric Software?


Our educational classroom license is designed to be used in a single classroom environment where up to 40 pupils need to get access to use the software as well as the tutor. The price of a multi-user educational license is the same as a standard single user license. You can find all of our product pricing here.

The terms for an educational license are as follows:

  • Can be installed on up to 40 computers in one single classroom.
  • Cannot be installed on students individual or personal laptops.
  • Can be installed on one teachers laptop, which may be used outside of the classroom.
  • License must be registered to an individual school rather than a school district.
  • License must be registered using an email address belonging to the school or university.
  • An educational classroom license is non-transferable.

For more information on our educational license click here.

Vectric License Transfer Policy


Can I transfer my Vectric software?

Unlike the vast majority of software companies, Vectric does allow the original purchaser of a software licence to transfer it under certain circumstances, and subject to a licence transfer fee. However this is NOT an unrestricted right of transfer, and Vectric reserve the right to refuse to transfer the licence, at its sole discretion, if it reasonably believes there is evidence of the license conditions having been broken. If you upgrade a product from say Version 4.0 to Version 5.0, you no longer have a valid licence for V4.0 and so the licence for the older version obviously cannot be transferred.

Software licence purchased directly from Vectric or an authorised Vectric partner

If you have purchased a single user license directly from Vectric or one of our authorised partners, we would usually allow you to transfer the single user license to another individual or company, subject to the licence conditions having been adhered to and the payment of a licence transfer fee (currently $50).

You cannot transfer a license that you have not directly purchased (i.e. one that has been transferred to you, from a previous licence holder). The original purchaser of the software licence can transfer it once, but subsequent owners cannot.

If you upgrade a product to a more expensive one, you cannot subsequently transfer the initial product licence. e.g. if you upgrade VCarve Pro to Aspire, the VCarve Pro licence has been 'traded in' against the Aspire licence and you no longer have a licence for VCarve Pro.

Software licence transferred from a previous original owner

If you have obtained a licence from a previous original owner, you cannot subsequently transfer that licence to a new owner, unless the software licence was originally bundled with a machine, and you are transferring the machine along with the licence (see section below for this case). The transfer rights for the software are only available to the original purchaser of the software from Vectric or one of our authorised partners. If you are planning to buy a 'used' licence of Vectric software from somebody, it is essential that you contact Vectric first via sales@vectric.com to ensure that the licence in question can be transferred.

Software licence originally bundled with a machine tool

If you received Vectric software bundled with a machine tool from an approved Vectric partner, you may transfer the software along with that machine tool, providing that you have not used the license to upgrade to a different product. This applies even if you are not the original purchaser of the machine.

If you have upgraded the software, the upgraded product would need to be transferred along with the original media supplied with the machine. You do NOT have to transfer the software licence when you sell the machine, but the new owner of the machine will need to purchase their own copy of the software if they wish to use it in this case.

Educational Software Licence

Educational classroom licenses cannot be transferred.

Please email details of any license transfer requests to sales@vectric.com

What are Gadgets?


A Gadget is an external add-in program that performs a specific task. New Gadgets are simply copied to the "Gadgets" folder (one of the Application Data Folders) and when the program is restarted, they will be available from the Gadgets menu.

The program is shipped with a number of Gadgets and more may be made available from the Vectric web site over time.

Click here to find more information about Gadgets.

Switching to Vectric from ArtCam

Simply click on a FAQ to reveal the answer

Switching from ArtCam

I have ArtCAM Express – which software is suitable for me?


If you only need to perform 2D machining operations then we suggest Cut2D.  If however you need to also create 2.5D toolpaths such as V-Carving or import a 3rd party 3D model for machining then VCarve would be ideal.

I have ArtCAM Insignia – which software is suitable for me?


If you need to create and edit 3D models then Aspire would be most suited.  If however you only need to import 3rd party 3D models as well as full 2.5D machining then VCarve would be the ideal product.

I have ArtCAM Pro – which software is suitable for me?


Aspire would be most suitable.

I have ArtCAM Jewelsmith – which software is suitable for me?


Vectric does not have a product with equivalent capabilities to ArtCAM Jewelsmith. You could look at the features of Aspire, but we have no equivalent of many of the Jewellery specific tool for making rings, showing jewels etc. and we would not promote Aspire as suitable for many of the tasks ArtCAM Jewelsmith is used for.

What are the differences between all the Vectric products?


For a full feature-by-feature comparison please click here.