Best value on true 3d software

about to order my x carve and ive been pouring over youtube looking for the best software for me. i need to be able to carve true 3d (all 3 axis simultaneously) ive been eye-balling fusion 360 cause it seems to be the best combo of price, user friendliness and familiarity (ive read its easy to transition to for those familiar with autocad) but before i pull the trigger i just want to ask around to see what everyone else thinks. i dont need every bell and whistle under the sun, i just need something i can jump into fairly easily that will do true 3d carving and the less the expensive the better

Fusion360 is free. You may just want to start there.

You can get a free trial of Vectric Aspire. Take it for a test drive and see if you like it:

Ok I’m confused, what’s the $40/mo, $300/yr subscription for?

fusion 360 is free for hobbyists, but you are also tied to the “cloud” which I’m not a fan of.
Look at Vectrics V carve desk top.
That’s what I use and love it.

Do you have a link to the free fusion software? I can’t find anything other than the subscription

its been so long since I did it, but if you go to their web site there is a place where you can sign up for a hobby license.
There are a number of people on here that know more about it than I do.

Thanks guys I really appreciate that. Just saved me $300



meshcam is also supposed to be good. But value-for-money you can’t beat free i guess… :slight_smile:

I looked at a lot of software before making a decision. Fusion 360 is good, but has two drawbacks. First, it is we based, which if you have a poor internet connection can really mess things up. Second, it has a steep learning curve (my opinion). I ended up choosing Vectric Aspire. Its pricey, but it is also more intuitive. It also has tons of videos to help with the learning curve. And it does 3D.

Interesting… I’m going to be using this in my shop and the Wi-Fi is very weak there. This will affect the actual operation? Or just make it harder to download files?

Exactly one of the reasons I want nothing to do with the “cloud”
Take a close look at Vcarve desktop.
Watch the videos and do the free down load and try it out.
The free download is a full version other than you cannot generate toolpaths.
It does 3D work and you don’t have to spend a ton of money.

Thanks for the info. I’ll give both a try and may the best one for me win!

Actually V Carve does 2.5D, not 3D. And you cannot create 3D files with it, but you can import them. Aspire can actually create 3D files.

Personally, I don’t expect my CAM software to actually create 3D models. Even if it did, it would always be extremely limited compared to real 3D CAD software such as Autocad, 3DSMAX, solidworks, rhino, etc
I have a RhinoCAM plugin for Rhino, which I feel is pretty awesome as I get to do CAD and CAM in the same interface. But typically, I’d say you’re better off having a dedicated piece of software for every step of your workflow.

@PhilJohnson, you are correct. I decided long before I got my X Carve that I would spend the money for Aspire. I figured it into my budget.

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What do you use?