A poll for the VCarve users

VCarve Users:

I’d like to know how much time that you’ve found yourself using VCarve in the shop. This would be in a scenario where you are doing your CAD/CAM work elsewhere (i.e., somewhere more comfortable) and then going to the shop to send the GCode to the X-Carve.

Reason I’m asking: I’m about to pull the trigger on VCarve (Desktop) but I’m having trouble getting it to run (using Wine) on my Linux box in the shop. If everyone comes back to say “oh yeah, you really need it in the shop” then that will give me some pause, at least.


If you’re doing your work in cad, yes will need a program to convert to g-code, but there are tons of free options. Solidworks works has a free plugin, Fusion 360 is free; you can bring your cad program in and convert it to g code or use fusion 360 as your cad program. There are a lot cheaper routes than vcarve. Vcarve is a powerful software, but not necessary if your doing the hard part (the design) in cad.

thanks @BrianSaban. I am comfortable doing 2/3D in SketchUp but I haven’t given it much of a chance in VCarve yet. What I like is that VCarve has knowledge about the whole v-carve thing (duh) and it will import SketchUp models nicely. I’ve run a couple of the test carves using their X-Carve post processor and they both came out flawlessly (not that I would imagine that they wouldn’t).

I’m just thinking that $350 is a good total to get me carving in 3D, with a software stack that seems reliable and intuitive.

At the end of the day if it makes you comfortable go for it, $350 is a good price as again it’s a very powerful piece of software with a lot of uses on here to offer help. Just pointing there were less costly options. Also I’m not a hundred percent sure what the difference between desktop and pro, but I remember reading on here about it; you may want to look it up.

I never use it in the shop. The computer in the shop only runs Mach 3. I export the g code from v-carve and either send it on the network, or more typically just bring my thumb drive into the shop. Check out the v-carve inlay process and tutorial. It’s brilliant and super easy to do flawless inlays with sharp corners!

Also, you can upgrade to Pro for the price difference when you are ready. There are cool “gadgets” that you can add in pro.

I do a lot of dovetails and cabinet work and I find I need it both in the house and in the shop. I find no matter how I design it in the house I end up tweaking it when the wood is actually on the table. This may be to avoid a bad piece of wood or to recut something that went wrong.

I have Vcarve desktop on my main PC and do all the design and toolpath creation there. The laptop in the shop is only used to run UGS and send the gcode to the XC.

I have never once used the laptop to edit a design in Vcarve (I suppose I could load it on the laptop but I have not)

If the design is not correct or the gcode has a problem, I head back to my home office and do the work on my big dual monitor system in a comfy chair with nice music in the background.

I have sometimes done a quick design in Easel on the laptop in the shop and then immediately cut it out. But that is a rare occurrence. Usually only when I need a unique hold down clamp or just want to square up a piece of material.

In my opinion Vcarve is a “must have” option for the XC, I really did not want to spend the $350. But after watching the tutorials and playing with the free trial (just wait till you see how it can make a vbit dance and sing). There was just no way to avoid the necessity of having software that can make the XC do what I wanted.

@KeithGrunow it would be very handy to have it in the shop as well for that very reason. Just last night I started cutting a profile and noticed I had it set fo .01" per pass. Stop the job, pull the USB stick, back into the house, changed to .125" DOC, then back into the shop… nearly every time there is SOMETHING.

Will they allow you to run two copies on two different machines? I guess I never tried it.

I’d agree that V-Carve is worth the dough. I have “Desktop”, and I use the heck out of it! Recently I’ve been working with Fusion360 more, largely because the ability to use imported solid models in V-Carve is very poor. But for making signs, engraving graphics, etc? NOTHING beats V-Carve. It’s also wonderfully easy to use for just tossing down a profile cut from a graphic or something like that.

I view V-Carve, MeshCAM, and Fusion 360 (the three I use) as totally separate entities, all useful for their own purposes.

I have Vcarve set up on 3 computers without any problems. In the shop, in my office, and on a laptop.

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Well, I pulled the trigger on VCarve Desktop. Thanks for all of the input. Seems like I’m going to have to dust off my helpdesk hat to get it working through Wine on Linux. If anyone remembers any gotchas in getting that done, I’d sure appreciate the intel.

Thanks again everyone.


Earwigger, The vCarve license allows installation for a single user on up to 3 PCs.

That’s great news. It’s weird when you do something a certain way for so long it just becomes “the way you do things.” I think it all started because my original computer in the shop to run Mach3 was just an original pentium, so I never really considered it a “computer.” Sure would save some time. Today I made 3 separate trips toting the flash drive trying to cut out 24 tiny fish. Just could NOT get the depth and tabs right to keep them from flying across the room or having to sand the backside off to free them.