Vectric Aspire file printing/import

Hello folks:

Complete newbie here. I’m in the process of putting together my machine, and just looking at software options. I was really intrigued at all of the projects at the Vectric site, and was hoping to produce some of them on the cnc. Unfortunately most of them say “Aspire 8+ software needed”. That’s all well and good but the software is something like $2000! Ouch. Way out of my budget.

I’m just wondering if there’s any way to take some of the Vectric files designed in Aspire and print them in another software package? I will be purchasing Fusion 360, and not sure if it’s can import the 3D files or not. Doing Google searches is not really helping.

What makes the Aspire files unique? Surely there must be other software packages that can print them. I’m open to suggestions and recommendations. Maybe I’ll get lucky and fusion 360 will print them. The program appears to be very robust. No idea it will communicate directly with the X-carve, but assume so.

Many thanks!


As far as I’m aware only Aspire can work with files created for/with Aspire (possibly vcarve can as well to some extent, but a user with vcarve would have to confirm).

As for Fusion 360, you can get a free license for either hobby use, or business as long as your business makes less than $100,000 a year.
It is a great program that I am in the early stages of getting to grips with, but it can’t open files for vectric programs I’m afraid.

Also, Fusion does not directly control a machine, but can export gcode that you can run with a sender like Easel/UGS/Picsender (my personal favourite) etc

Design and make files (3d clip art sold by vectric)can be used from vcarve desktop/pro.
Aspire is a modeling tool for making your own 3d models soup to nuts.

Thanks for the response Jeremy. I’ll have to see if I can open aspire files in v-carve. I think they allow you to download a trial version, unless for some reason it’s not supported in the trial. There’s a lot of really great designs on their site, and would love to be able to carve some without purchasing a $2000 program.

Thanks for the response. I’ve are already started to watch some video tutorials, and seems like a great program for making parts and such. For some reason I thought that you could send G code directly to the CNC with the program though. I have been looking at mesh cam, and seems pretty easy to learn. I’ll have to take a look at picsender, as I’ve never heard of that one.

Thanks for the response. Yes, I just discovered this with the trial version. I’m wondering if there’s any other programs that could open the files, like ArtCam for example? When I look up on eBay, they generally say the 3-D files will work with Aspire or ArtCam. ArtCam can be had for about $180 a year vs. A few thousand dollars for Aspire.

While I may eventually want to purchase Aspire, I think I could keep myself occupied for quite a while with stock designs. I just need a way to get them to the CNC.

Thanks, most of the designs I was intrigued by were from Aspire. I think if you actually own the program you may be able to export for V-carve, not sure. I’m sure that Vectric wants you to buy their more expensive program to carve these more intriguing designs:) No big surprise there.


As I started this thread saying-- I’m a complete newbie at this. I’m just wondering if the STL files will work in V-carve? I could probably manage $400 for a program. Still need to look a little closer at Artcam, as it seems to be reasonably priced. I sure don’t like this proprietary business from Vectric! Seems like every other manufacturer of software produces files that are compatible with other vender’s software, but not Vectric. Not a big fan of proprietary software.

Sounds like I need to do a little more research for sure. I do like a lot of the 3D designs, and would love to be able to carve them without mortgaging the house to buy the software.

I purchased Aspire and have never looked back. Is it the best? It certainly is a contender in my opinion and it is my goto software for my projects. I has done everything I’ve thrown at it and I’ve barely touched the surface of what it is capable of. However, there are a lot of projects in the forum designed with vcarve desktop and vcarve pro. I don’t use a lot of the proprietary files either. Mostly stl or image files.

Ahh. Yeah. A CRV (native file for vectric) is locked to the product level. You must have a version greater or equal to the one that made it.

Yes, they will. vcarve desktop/pro have a limit of 1 stl per project. If you want to mix up multiple stl files you have to use aspire or a 3rd party app

Thanks for all the responses folks! I’ve learned a bunch, so I’m grateful for all those who took the time to respond. I decided to start out with V-carve, and looks like I can upgrade at any point to Aspire and pay the difference. I really need to get my feet wet before I take the plunge though.

Are the online tutorials the best way to learn this program or are there better YouTube videos by end users I should be looking at? I like to spend a few hours learning the program before I start butchering any wood:) There seems to be an overwhelming amount of information out there. I just want to be efficient in the learning process.

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Vectric has a decent forum as well. This is a good addition to the tutorials. I’ve reviewed both the Vectric and end used videos. Each has there own benefit. And, it all depends on what skill you would like to try that day :slight_smile:

Thank you Mike! I’ve signed up over at the Vectric forum, just waiting to be approved. I do at least like the fact that Vectric breaks things down into easily digestible videos. It does seem certain operations are needed for every project, like correct tool paths for example.

Easel seems pretty limited to me, but for someone just wanting to jump in and not be overwhelmed by a bunch of technical information, it has its place. I don’t see myself using it for long.

In my limited experience looking at various programs designed for CNC’s, vectors are pretty much the norm. Easel to me seems like CNC for dummies. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Inventables in my eyes is trying to bring something that is by its nature a bit technical, into something easily digestible by anybody.

That’s pretty funny Bob…

The vectric tutorial videos have 80% of the knowledge. You will spend 80% more time looking for the last pieces of knowledge on YouTube. One gem most people miss are the videos vectric makes of their yearly user group conference. Those are priceless.

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Thanks! That is what I’m am doing now. Slowly sinking in, but steep learning curve.

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Yes, was thinking two computers would be ideal yesterday. I was trying to do everything on one screen, and that got really old. I’m 55, so learning is not quite as easy as it used to be, but slowly sinking in as mentioned. I’m sure the more I do this, the easier it will get.

If your computer is capable of attaching two monitors, you can watch the video on one screen, pause the video, and practice on the second screen. Cheaper than a second PC. May take a cheap video card.

I use the left eye for the left monitor and right eye for the right monitor. How do you handle viewing 3 monitors @PhilJohnson

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