For me it was always about what I wanted to do with the machine, not having a large bank account meant that I had to look at what I really needed for the work I wanted to do rather than buy a program that would be nice to have but would never get used to it's full potential
There were a few reasons why I settled on Vectric software rather than something else one of which was the upgrade path. When you upgrade you only pay the difference in price between the different programs so upgrading a few times over the years doesn't cost any more than buying the top package straight away.
I was working as a signmaker producing cut vinyl & digital prints, I bought an old broken CNC machine knowing I could fix it & had a pretty good idea what that would cost me. My intention was not to get into dimensional signage as that is a difficult market to crack in the UK & not only was I not a big enough company I simply didn't (& still don't) have the skills to be able to do it to a high enough standard especially when it comes to finishing
I intended to use it simply to produce flat cut letters, fret cut trays & other very simple sign related items for myself & perhaps supply a few local signmakers as a trade service.
Having expensive signmaking software that I was very familiar with that would do all the vector based graphics I needed I was really just looking for a cam program to toolpath what I had drawn, Cut2D seemed to fit the bill so that is what I originally purchased. That was all I thought I would need until I started to use the machine, joined the forum & discovered all the other really great stuff you can do with a CNC machine. It became apparent very quickly that Cut2D wasn't going to be enough if I wanted to be able to do some of this other great stuff so within a couple of months of purchasing Cut2D I upgraded to Vcarve Pro, the price I paid was the difference between the 2 programs so from a financial point of view it was just as if I had purchased Vcarve from the beginning.
From a purely business point of view I could probably still be using Cut2D as pretty much all of the other things I have been doing with the CNC are for me personally, yes I have sold a few bits I have made from wood & other materials on the CNC but probably not enough to make it a sound business decision
but that is down to me being a very bad business person rather than the actual software
From a personal point of view it was one of the best things I have ever done
, I have had so much fun over the last couple of years & made a lot of birthday & Christmas gifts for friends & family. It has also reawakened my interest in woodworking in general which has also been a great experience