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Thread: Carveco's ArtCAM replacement now on sale

  1. #1
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    Carveco's ArtCAM replacement now on sale

    Carveco is a new company that bought the rights to ArtCAM software, originally developed by Delcam, which was bought by AutoDesk. Autodesk offered a versions of the software for a couple of years, but took it off the market early last year after having been in existence since 1993.

    Carveco’s offering is basically what was ArtCAM Premium, which Autodesk would rent to you for $3000/year.

    Carveco is offering for an unspecified “Limited Time” a perpetual license for 1200 (~$1600), including 1 year of support and upgrades.

    I have not seen or done a comparison, but I believe it is easily the equivalent of Vectric's Aspire, and has some features that I do not believe Aspire has (including a wizard to handle face profiles from a photograph).

    No affiliation, just been interested since I bought a one year subscription to ArtCAM Standard from Autodesk (and was given a perpetual license when Autodesk stopped offering it)

    Carveco.com
    Last edited by Richard Gonzalez; 03-28-2019 at 12:20 PM. Reason: add link
    Colorado Woodworkers Guild
    Colorado CNC User Group

  2. #2
    How long before someone does a comparison between Carveco and Aspire, I wonder...?

    David
    David

    Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine)

  3. #3
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    According to the website, Carveco and the last released version of ArtCAM Pro are equal. IF this turns out to be accurate, then from the machining end, 2D and 3D, the toolset will be much more robust in Carveco. From its inception, Aspire was a subset of ArtCAM Pro's full list of features.
    Gary Campbell
    CNC Technology & Training

  4. #4
    I haven't watched any videos yet but just curious, does Carveco generate G-code that I'll run with Mach4? I assume it has a CAM module, as well.

    All I've ever used is Fusion 360 where I do CAD/CAM in the same package and then generate G-code for Mach4, so that's where my limited knowledge exists, in the F360 world.

    David
    David

    Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine)

  5. #5
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    Yes, there are hundreds of post processors, including several for mach3-4 (inches,mm, with or without arcs, and with rotary parallel to x or y).
    Colorado Woodworkers Guild
    Colorado CNC User Group

  6. #6
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    It's for real... IBILD Solutions is now offering full support for CarveCo users and continued support for ArtCAM users. This includes custom video training showing how to setup and machine your 3D scanned part, just like we have been offering for the Vectric suite of software and ArtCAM Pro, since the beginning.

    I'm not sure that a comparison video would really tell the whole story. As a user of ArtCAM since v5.5 and Aspire since its inception - they're similar in a lot of ways, but different. I would say that Aspire is probably easier to learn if you aren't already familiar with this type of CAD/CAM. I have a lot of jewelers who use my scanning services that still use ArtCAM (because of the Jewelsmith functionality) - so CarveCo is a real life line for those guys. I also have a lot of 'old' CNC guys who cut their teeth on the DelCAM stuff that still use ArtCAM because they didn't see the need to learn a new program.

    As a power user of both programs - they each have their place and both are very capable. Both are fairly unique in the CAD/CAM world since they give you the ability to sculpt your 3D model using voxels (3D pixels) - which allows complete free form control over your model. This lets you retain all of the organic character of your model - including a slip of the chisel or fine surface texture, if that's the artist's intention, without the cold, hard-edged plastic shapes typical of most other CAD programs, like F360 or say Rhino.

    The 2-sided functionality in the newer versions of VCP and Aspire and rotary axis operations are very good and easy to set up. The advanced toolpathing options in CarveCo can drastically improve the finish quality of certain types of reliefs. They each bring their own set of tools to the party. I know that probably doesn't offer a whole lot of clarity - but I don't think you can sum it all up in a Chevy vs Ford debate. I also don't think that you necessarily have to chose one over the other...you can use both and there is a lot of cross over between the two with similar hotkeys and general workflow.

    FYI - It was a full $9,000 back in 2008 for ArtCAM with ArtREAD and a dongle. CarveCo is $1,600 right now. It's essentially the top version of the last iteration of ArtCAM 2018 Premium with ArtREAD and all the Jewelsmith functionality. For me, it's a steal - and I can keep on supporting my ArtCAM customers going forward. If you're a CNC professional (or CNC junkie) - it's definitely worth having a look.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    IBILD High Resolution 3D Scanning Services

  7. #7
    We bought Carveco Saturday so this is all good to know. Now I have to learn how to use it! LOL!

    I started going through the ArtCAM Standard tutorials but have only been through the first four - 1.1 to 1.4. I'll probably get to a couple at lunch. Fusion 360 just flows for me and I understand better how it works so I'm going to have an adjustment period with Carveco but am looking forward to the ride. Future questions will certainly arise!

    David
    David

    Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine)

  8. #8
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    Do you know if there is a post included for shop sabre in Carveco? I have a project that involves a highly detailed model from an artist and my current software has a limitation with the number of triangles in the .stl. This carving will be 31"x21", so I believe the details will show. I am considering an upgrade. The MecSoft trial shows a better result, but this has some nice features for carvings.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Shipton View Post
    Do you know if there is a post included for shop sabre in Carveco? I have a project that involves a highly detailed model from an artist and my current software has a limitation with the number of triangles in the .stl. This carving will be 31"x21", so I believe the details will show. I am considering an upgrade. The MecSoft trial shows a better result, but this has some nice features for carvings.
    Looks like it does.

    Carveco - Shop Sabre Post Processor.jpg

    David
    David

    Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine)

  10. #10
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    Thanks David. I thought it might, and worst case I could wait for help. Now to decide if I need even more software.

  11. #11
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    If anyone is interested, there are some Carveco discounts available, PM me and I'll let you know where to find them.
    Colorado Woodworkers Guild
    Colorado CNC User Group

  12. #12
    Hello,

    For a guy just getting started and looking at V Carve Pro to start. Is this a good package to get going with? Very familiar with Corel, and Illustrator and working with Vectors as I use these with my Laser.

    So if I have to start from scratch and learn a new program for the CNC which in your opinion is the better option?

    Thank you

    Phil

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Fenter View Post
    Hello,

    For a guy just getting started and looking at V Carve Pro to start. Is this a good package to get going with? Very familiar with Corel, and Illustrator and working with Vectors as I use these with my Laser.

    So if I have to start from scratch and learn a new program for the CNC which in your opinion is the better option?

    Thank you

    Phil
    As I understand the software origin and path each has taken, it looks to me like Vectric Aspire is based on ArtCAM Standard and Carveco is based on ArtCAM Premium. Not having used Aspire and just getting started in Carveco - so complete novice on both - the interfaces and functions appear similar. For the price I think Carveco is a better deal - Aspire (ArtCAM Standard) for $2,000 or Carveco (ArtCAM Premium) for $1,600.

    Both programs will likely far exceed what most of us are capable of doing and both will serve you well, at least from what I've read and seen.

    I've been using Fusion 360 for the last two years so this type of program is a bit different for me.

    David
    David

    Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Fenter View Post
    Hello,

    For a guy just getting started and looking at V Carve Pro to start. Is this a good package to get going with? ...

    So if I have to start from scratch and learn a new program for the CNC which in your opinion is the better option?
    I've used ArtCAM Pro for 20 years...and Aspire & VCP since the beginning. As a working job shop, I would say I know how to use about 95% of the capability in either program, fluently. With this kind of software, there's always room to learn more - even if you use it every day.

    I'm not a 'fan boi' of either software and could care less what the popular kids use - so I'll give you my honest opinion from the perspective of someone who uses both to make a living. They are BOTH good products. However, I have to say that in terms of ease of use and ease of learning, Vectric has it in the bag. They did a good job of making it intuitive and powerful at the same time. I would say if you have no previous ArtCAM experience, you will have a tough time getting going in CarveCo - at this particular point in time. Going forward, they may have additional training products and make it more intuitive than the ArtCAM developers made the last version.

    VCP is a fine program and by far, the easiest CAD/CAM program on the market to learn and to use. It's easier for new users to learn than F360, by a wide margin. Aspire is a super-set of VCP, so if you upgrade you won't lose what you learned, only build upon it. ArtCAM used to have a similar upgrade path. The newer versions of VCP let you machine 3D models just like Aspire. Unless you intend to model things in 3D, Aspire adds nothing new in terms of machining capability.

    David brings up one of the most relevant things to consider - if you permit yourself to be completely honest about how you will use the software:

    Quote Originally Posted by David Falkner View Post
    Both programs will likely far exceed what most of us are capable of doing and both will serve you well, at least from what I've read and seen.
    Nobody really likes to admit that...but the truth is, VERY FEW people on the planet can draw or make what they want, when they want, without hand holding and leverage all the power either program has. We all aspire to be the best...but, it takes --> time <-- the most precious commodity to learn a program fluently and quite frankly, you have to discipline yourself if you want to learn - and stop spending time on other things. If you DO wind up truly committing yourself to learning, the reward of satisfaction and the end to creative frustration could be the reward.

    I use CarveCo because it has 'a little extra' in terms of being able to control how the machine moves, modelling resolution and other features that the vast majority of router owners haven't wanted for - and wouldn't use if they had access to them. So do I regret buying in? No way...not at all - I am ecstatic that it is a possibility again - for the kind of work that I do. Do I think it could be improved? Yes, for sure. Did I stop using Aspire because I have CarveCo now? No, not at all. In many cases it's faster and easier to hammer out jobs that don't require some of those features I mentioned earlier.

    People - don't shop on price...Compare, ask...test...find out for yourself. If you shop on price you'll buy the cheap one and you might not like it...then you have to get the other one...and you've now paid double. Can I get a witness?
    IBILD High Resolution 3D Scanning Services

  15. #15
    Thank you,

    That was a great reply to a vague question. I have some items that I want to start with to be sure, Then I want to more onto other projects. At this time 3D modeling it just a thought, and will be awhile before I would use it. I ran an old SCM Tech 80 20 plus years ago when we had to make parts with G-code. I sure am glad software has come along since then. I remember paying 5-6K for Cabnetware back in the day. $700 for Vcarv Pro seems pretty reasonable.

    I think with the information here that is probably the best choice. Thanks again for the replies.

    Phil

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