Getting ready to purchase an XCarve

Okay, my wife and I are going to get an Xcarve. There is a huge price difference in the V-Carve Pro and the Aspire software. Would any of you recommend we purchase the Aspire software or is the V-Carve Pro software enough? We are getting the 1000mm version. I don’t want to say we are getting all the bells and whistles that come with it but we want to get what is necessary and important. Basically if it will be easier to use with an added option we want to get it.

Any advice would be appreciated.

What are you using the X-carve for?

Hi @JesusHernandez

Welcome to the world of X-Carve!

It depends on what you want to do with V-Carve, but I would go with V-Carve Pro and later, if you find it limiting, then you can upgrade.

Consider this though… you may find that you don’t even need V-Carve Pro… I personally would recommend that you get the machine, get to know it and Easel and then go from there. You may even find that Easel does all that you need it to, but if it doesn’t, then you’ll know and get V-Carve then.


I would say mainly for wood working. We screenprint t-shirts and I don’t think our CorelDraw program will work on this. I have found out that by going with basic software it will limit you with some things that you may want to do so with that being said I am asking if we should go with V-Carve Pro or Aspire?

there is a comparison sheet on the vectric website but it boils down to

  • Desktop: VCarving and 3D import file and cutting (editing tools are extremely simple)
  • Pro: +Gadgets (simple generator apps), +wrapped tool paths (requires rotary axis that XController does not support), +>24" work area
  • Aspire: +import multiple 3D files, +improved 3D editing tools (still not quite Fusion level)

Things to be aware of
there is no longer a discount on this software, so buying it direct is the exact same price
They have 2 upgrade paths… upgrade to current number version (9 as offered, is current)… and upgrade to more advanced feature version (only available for current version, cost is the difference between the two)

My personal advice? do all your initial machine setup and tuning with Easel, grab the demo for the cheapest version of vcarve that will fit your near future needs, and also grab the demo for fusion360. The former can be used offline (IMO it’s greatest selling point), the latter is online, but free after trial if you are making under a certain amount per year from it.


Okay so just get the free software that is offered? The only ptoblem is that I wanted a software that I could use offline. Is the Fusion 360 cheaper than the Aspire?

Fusion360 is free for hobbyist / start-ups and business under $100k.
It is however cloud based.

Before investing in software I’d advice getting to know the machine/how-to first, and let what you end up producing tailor which software enviroment that suit your needs, preferences and wallet.

My only concern is my internet connectivity. It is not very reliable in the area where I live. That is why I wanted to get a software that I could use off my laptop.

VCarve is expensive, it’s also very very good at doing what it does. If $$ are really tight, I’d be tempted to go with Easel and think about buying VCarve shortly afterwards.

Having said that - I bought VCarve pro at the same time I got my machine and use it constantly (I also have some experience, so I kinda pretty much knew what I wanted/needed). I can do all my design and tweaking sitting inside at my desk, I can then export the gcode and either run it from the old Mac I keep in the shed, or simply use my laptop.

Having bypassed Easel, I also use Universal GCode Sender (UGS) to feed the code into the XCarve.

I will be using a laptop to connect to the xcarve. I can sqeeze the price of Vcarve Pro into the inital purchase. I was just debating on getting the Aspire or staying with the Vcarve pro.

Unless you’re intending to really heavily into designing and doing 3D work, stick with VCarve Pro (even then you can still carve 3d stuff)

Another question. What accessories would you recommend with the initial purchase. There several options available. What options are a real necessity and what options not necessary?

A dust control system is must in my opinion. Everything else depends on what you want to do with your machine. I switched all wires to shielded ones and extended them, because my xcarve is in an enclosure a bit far away from my computer.
I also have @CharleyThomas Triquetra plate, but wasn’t able to test it yet (but I’m sure I will be very happy with it, regarding what you can read here; customer support was already on point!).
I added some bracket to my y axis as well.
Next upgrade for me will be a new z axis.

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Besides the dust control system, what about the Homing switch, Z-probe, and all the carving bits. Should I get them all or just some of them and which ones?

@JesusHernandez. Homing switches, maybe. Some people swear by them. I do not use them. Zprobe I think is a must. By bits based on what you are planning to carve. I bought a starter set and some of the bits I have never used. Do get some extras, you will probably break some

Interesting statement.

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personally, I went with Vpro and wish I had gotten Aspire instead. I do alot of 3rd carving. Without Aspire, I had 2 learn a second program to draw 3d images in and import into Vpro.
Another consideration, Vetric 3d file extension in a proprietary software. You can stack as many vmd’s as you wish but you will not be able to make them without Aspire. You would need to create your whole 3D image in another program and save it out to an SVG. Vpro only allows you to import 1 SVG per project.
For 2D imaging, Desktop would probably be fine.

@LarryM. Not sure what you mean. My statement is just my opinion. After all, everyone on this forum has their own opinion as to what works best for them. It’s up to the individual to evaluate all information available and then make the best decision that works for them.

Please share your opinion

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No offense meant.

It just struck me as interesting that you found the Z probe more essential than the homing switches. I did recognize your statement as an opinion and a valuable addition to the thread.

You can develop a perfectly acceptable work flow without either of these aids.

Each one of them help get the job done, and depending on the job, each person does, one feature may or may not be better than the other.

There are some features of G-code that are easier to use, and some require homing. Z probe does not open up any more features, but is a valuable feature in and of itself.