So I have been doing a lot of cnc work lately as those who follow my youtube channel will notice.  My computer crashed recently and I have been reinstalling software pondering if better stuff is out there so I decided I would poke around a bit for alternatives.

 

Now I love when trial versions of software is available and when its not I am not going to shell out $650 bucks for a program or more.  so this being said what is the most you have spent on software?

 

Currently I am just doing 2 and 2.5d on VcarvePro 6.0

 

I am tempted to try .

 

 

VCarvePro ShopBot Edition 9.0

 

VCarve Pro V9.0 ShopBot Edition provides a powerful but intuitive software solution for cutting parts on a ShopBot CNC Router. There are tools for 2D design and calculation of 2D and 2.5D toolpaths and along with the ability to import and toolpath a single 3D model (STL, OBJ etc.). There is also support to import multiple Vectric Clip Art 3D models (V3M) to create 3D assemblies.

The software can import 2D designs from other programs but also provides a full set of drawing and editing tools. The toolpath options cover all typical 2D routing operations such as Profiling, Pocketing, Auto-Inlays and Drilling as well as 2.5D strategies such as V-Carving, Prism carving, Fluting and even a decorative Texturing strategy. For 3D you can Rough and Finish the model and there are options to project 2D and 2.5D toolpaths onto the 3D surface. Each toolpath includes appropriate options to customize the settings and provide a high level of control for different types of operation. In addition all toolpaths can be previewed to show just how the part will look when it is actually cut, this allows instant feedback to allow toolpaths to be further optimized.

VCarve Pro ShopBot Edition includes the functionality demanded for complex work while remaining incredibly easy to use and affordably priced. The software is used by cabinet makers, wood workers, sign makers, prop makers, plastic fabricators, hobbyists and in many other applications.

Version 9 includes some very significant enhancements, including;

  • Two-Sided Machining - Allows you to create double sided jobs and visualize them in the same session. The software flips the geometry to the other side avoiding misalignment in X and Y, giving you the ability to view the parts in a multi sided environment.
  • Transform Keys - Allows for quicker vector creation and editing where values can be typed to create shapes, move objects and nodes.
  • Smart Cursor - A new and exciting way to draw and move objects in the software more efficiently, you can snap to line extensions that don’t exist in geometry, reducing the need to create construction geometry enabling you to accurately align drawings and objects to other areas of the job.
  • Vector Validator - Identifies problem vectors such as overlapping contours or intersections that may be preventing toolpath creation. This means that with only one click, you can check all the vectors for issues before getting to the toolpath stage.
  • Export to PDF – Gives you the ability to export drawings to PDF allowing you to print to scale.
  • Mirror Mode - Allows you to define a component level so that it mirrors all its components. One way of thinking is that you can place virtual mirrors in the center of your job, vertically and/or horizontally, enabling you to quickly and easily create mirrored compositions.
  • Array Copy Toolpath - Allows you to duplicate one or more toolpaths as a block copy. This makes mass producing one item much more efficient as you only need to edit your design on the original copy and it will be automatically updated on all the other copies of the toolpath.

PartWorks 3D (Cut 3D) is now integrated into the VCarve Pro ShopBot Edition program.

 

Autodesk Fusion 360™

Fusion 360 is a cloud-based 3D CAD/CAM tool for product development that combines industrial and mechanical design, collaboration, and machining in a single package. With Fusion 360 you can quickly iterate on design ideas with sculpting tools to explore form and modeling tools to create finishing features. Engineer your models to test fit and motion; create assemblies, photorealistic renderings, and animations. Fusion 360 also allows you to work in teams in a hybrid environment that harnesses the power of the cloud when necessary and uses local resources when it makes sense.

CAM for Fusion 360 includes 2-, 2.5-, & 3-axis maching so you can create toolpaths to machine your components or create prototypes. The CAM capabilities of Fusion 360 share the same proven CAM kernel as HSMWorks and Inventor HSM™, enabling you to quickly generate toolpaths that cut cycle times, reduce machine and tool wear, and produce the highest-quality finished parts. 2D strategies include drilling, contouring, pocketing, facing, and adaptive clearing. Additionally, 3-axis CAM offers parallel toolpaths, horizontal clearing, penciling, scallop/constant stopover strategies, and spiral/morphed spiral for more organic designs.

At the time of a ShopBot tool purchase you will receive a code to register and activate your Autodesk Fusion 360 FREE 1-year commercial account. After the 1 year free commercial subscription ends you will be prompted to identify yourself as a hobbyist/maker or a professional. For hobbyists the subscription will remain free. Professionals will need to pay for subscription (rates published by Autodesk) at the time the 1 year subscription is complete.

Fusion 360 is a cloud-based 3D CAD/CAM tool for product development that combines industrial and mechanical design, collaboration, and machining in a single package. With Fusion 360 you can quickly iterate on design ideas with sculpting tools to explore form and modeling tools to create finishing features. Engineer your models to test fit and motion; create assemblies, photorealistic renderings, and animations. Fusion 360 also allows you to work in teams in a hybrid environment that harnesses the power of the cloud when necessary and uses local resources when it makes sense.

CAM for Fusion 360 includes 2-, 2.5-, & 3-axis maching so you can create toolpaths to machine your components or create prototypes. The CAM capabilities of Fusion 360 share the same proven CAM kernel as HSMWorks and Inventor HSM™, enabling you to quickly generate toolpaths that cut cycle times, reduce machine and tool wear, and produce the highest-quality finished parts. 2D strategies include drilling, contouring, pocketing, facing, and adaptive clearing. Additionally, 3-axis CAM offers parallel toolpaths, horizontal clearing, penciling, scallop/constant stopover strategies, and spiral/morphed spiral for more organic designs.

At the time of a ShopBot tool purchase you will receive a code to register and activate your Autodesk Fusion 360 FREE 1-year commercial account. After the 1 year free commercial subscription ends you will be prompted to identify yourself as a hobbyist/maker or a professional. For hobbyists the subscription will remain free. Professionals will need to pay for subscription (rates published by Autodesk) at the time the 1 year subscription is complete.

 

So since autodesk fusion 360 also comes with it which means another upgrade to since using sketchup right now for 3d modeling....does it make it better to swallow  650 dollars?

 

Well I am not sure where I am going to be going with this but its looking to be the best solution wish there was a better alternative tho.  Anyone else have any suggestions for 3d relief software?