Alternative Software

Outside of Easel, what is the best 3rd party software that works with X Carve?
Any and all feed back would be helpful.

Greg M

Best depends on what you are going to do and your budget.

Somewhat pricey, but good products are made by Vectric (Aspire - very expensive, Vcarve PRO - expensive, Vcarve Desktop - not too bad). You can download trial versions of their software and they have really good online tutorials.

There are several free options that are very useful and powerful. Others can chime in with those.

For many months after I built my SO2 nearly two years ago, I used many of the free software products. F-Engrave is good as are some of the others. After trying VCarve Desktop trial version for a few weeks, I bought the full version and never looked back. I have since upgraded to VCarve Pro and find it well worth the price, even though I don’t sell anything.

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I have a remote server running GRBLWeb and I sometimes use F-Engrave to generate the code.

@GregoryJ_Macintyre are you looking for software to do design, toolpaths, g-code sending or all of the above?

Historically CAD, CAM, and machine control was done with 3 different pieces of software. With Easel we simplified these 3 pieces of software down to 1. The rest of the industry typically uses this 3 software “toolchain” approach.

In order to make Easel compatible with the rest of the industry we also allow for g-code import. This means if you want to use a more industrial CAD/CAM package you can export g-code and import into Easel. In industry CAD packages include SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, Pro-E, Siemens NX, and Onshape. After you are done with your design you would then import it into a CAM package. Example CAM packages include MasterCAM, HSM Works, Visual Mill, Espirit, and Solid CAM. There are lots of others.

From a machine controller perspective the X-Carve is running GRBL so if you don’t want to use Easel as the sender you can use other programs like Universal G-Code Sender (UGS) or Chilipeppr.

I hope that helps.


Thanks everyone for the input.
I will look at their Websites and try some of the free Demos.