I’ve been looking into different software packages and vCarve Pro seems one of the best for the price range on the Windows side but I was wondering if anyone knew of any Mac Alternatives.
I got Fusion 360 for free through the App Store on my mac
I use MeshCAM on mac. Not the same features as V-Carve (specifically, no actual v-carving), so I’m not sure if you’d call it an alternative (if that’s what you’re after), but if you want to carve full 3d models, it’s been working pretty well.
You could run V-Carve on a Virtual Machine using Paralles, like Robert mentioned, or an alternative is VMware. Both of these cost money, about 79 bucks each. You could also use VirtualBox, which is free.
For all these three solutions you need a valid Windows license.
Or you could just buy a cheap Windows machine,
I personally use VMware and everything works very well, no problems at all.
I have been using VCarve Pro for about 6 months - I have a short term evaluation licence from Vectric so that I can do my X-Carve work.
I can run VCarve Pro on my $200 (when new) rubbish mini notebook that is stuck on Window XP. That notebook had no future until the X-Carve arrived and it is now dedicated to the X-Carve and lives in the workshop - it is very happy there as it can chat to the other tools when I am not looking and I think it may be having an affair with one of the routers !
So for the sake of a few dollars spent on a second hand or bottom of the range notebook, go for the excellent VCarvePro. I am not knocking the Mac in any way but it is the simple answer.
With the added capability of easel to import vcarve gcode files. I have a virtualbox save it to drop box then cut using native mac. Less issues with dropped connections via USB
I run VCarve on my Mac using vmware’s Fusion without issue. With Fusions ‘Unity’ mode i have VCarve pinned to my Dock… I click the icon and the app comes up in a regular window (no need for ugly Windows 10 to get in the way ). You’d have to look hard to even see its a windows app.
Parallels should work also… its just a matter of personal preference between to two…
Virtual Box isn’t going to give you the performance of VMWare or Parallels but it should be ok.
Just save your GCode to a shared folder and use UGS (or Easel) to send it to the x-carve.
Hi, thanks for all the replies - I really appreciate the advice.
I’m a software developer by trade so I have licences for both VMWare & Parallels already (it sounds like they could come in handy!).
I’ll give vCarve a try and see how I get on with it as that seems to be working well for most people here.
If anyone else has any software suggestions on any platforms I’d love to hear about them.
Brilliant! You now I might just resurrect an old PC for V-Carve Pro myself. I’m totally Mac based (professionally) and have just invested in a new MacBook Pro with a view to using it in the workshop. Of course Easel works like a dream on the Mac, but V-Carve would require an emulator. Not keen on that at this stage. I do have a Fusion 360 subscription that I’ve been paying for now for just over a year. Really must get to grips with it. I believe that the CAM software built in works well. Oh, to have some free time! Hope all is well Peter. Best wishes Scott.
Good advice. Thank you Robert. I’ve never been adventurous with the Xcarve to date. Only really milling out flat objects. No 3D work. I love the machine, and use it almost daily. Really must get my head around the more advanced projects.
I myself just used boot camp, which is built into your Mac, it allows you to partition your hard drive with an area dedicated to another operating system like windows, so far it works great with vcarve. Google boot camp on Mac to get a better understanding.
I haven’t tried this yet for CNC, however I use Virtualbox every day for business-- it runs our older Windows financial software flawlessly on my Macbook Pro and is constantly being tweaked and improved. Best of all, it’s completely free. I don’t know how they do it.
I don’t know why I didn’t consider this option for my CNC sooner. It certainly opens up a whole world of possibilities for software for those of us who are otherwise happy with our Macs.
Not quite as capable, but Carbide Create is now freely available and runs natively on Mac OS X in addition to Windows.