Question for experienced users

? for experienced users

Postby SIBUD » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:25 pm

Do you mostly use the drawing tools in VCarve, a stand alone drawing system (if so, which one) or a combination of both?

I would be interest in hearing your thoughts/experience about what you use and why.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: ? for experienced users

Postby zeeway » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:48 pm

This is an oft discussed topic. I think you can go a very long way using only VCP's drawing tools for 2D work. I thought I needed Turbocad when I first bought VCP...but I have not used it. Some users who were experienced with Illustrator or other drawing programs before they started into VCP or Aspire, still comment that they find certain operations easier to do in the outside programs. But I would suggest learning VCP first.

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Re: ? for experienced users

Postby John Murphy » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:27 pm

I came from a metal machining background, and I've worked with several cad/cam systems over the years. When learning how to use a new program, it's common to become frustrated from time to time. I think allot of people tend to jump back to the previous system they are familiar with, when things are not going the way you'd like them too. Personally, I have had to force myself not to do that. I know that you'll never really master any program if your solution to a problem is to go to another program to complete the process. Only when I am forced to come up with a solution to a problem, that I really get a good understanding of what I'm doing.

I am not an expert using Aspire, but I read most all of the posting on the forum, because I have learned from the solutions that others are offering. I also try to review the tutorial videos(my CD is almost always in my laptop drive) when I have a few minutes.

All this being said, Aspire is a little weak when it comes to drafting. Don't get me wrong, I have yet to have to revert to another cad program to create the data I need, but I have over 20 years experience with cad/cam, and I know some of the newer users may find it challenging if they don't have that kind of background.

The only other program I use on an intermittent basis is Seimans "solid edge 2D drafting" to do dimensions for drawing that I need to show clients.

My advise is to stick to it, and try to challenge yourself. If all else fails, this forum is a great resource.

I keep in mind an old saying " A smart man learns from his mistakes, but the truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others", and believe me you could learn allot from me!

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Re: ? for experienced users

Postby Leo » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:05 pm

I am a lot like John in that I have many years of metal experience, and many Cad/Cam software packages.

Vectric does have drawing capabilities and does so very well. Vectric is primarily a programming software to create CNC programs, so that is where the strong point is. Using it to do CAD work is not going to be as efficient as a dedicated CAD program.

I use Vectric's CAD capabilities for the things I need programs for.

I have not created anything in my CAD - (Solidworks) program that I want a CNC program for.

If I need detailed CAD drawing, I use Solidworks.

If I need a CNC program, I use Vectric.
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Re: ? for experienced users

Postby esteeme1 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:34 pm

As others are stating it all depends on your application. I do all my vector work within Aspire/V-Carve It consists mostly of modeling and V-Carving/engraving. I don’t import my vectors from other software packages nor do I personally see the need to. Aspire and V-Carve have all the tools I need to finish the job I need to do. With that in mind my application is mostly artistic. I use Aspire to enhance my products and on occasion manufacture a simple part or two.
I’m sure there are others that find importing dxf files a necessity because many of their customers use dxf file formats as their drafting software or they use cabinet software that doesn’t provide the flexibility to create the tool paths they need. I’m sure the list goes on and you get the point….but it all revolves around your application and what works best for you.
I have worked with Sketch up as well as Rhino both are based off 360 deg 3D vectors projections. I don’t mind using Sketch up and find that manipulating the vectors to make extrusions relatively easy. Rhino seems to be a little harder to orient the vector. “I believe”, I use sketch up for what it’s designed for, furniture design. (LOL) As for Rhino I like the program and intend to use it more but only intend to create stl files to later import into Aspire.
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Re: ? for experienced users

Postby ssflyer » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:47 pm

I use Aspire for almost all of my work, but once in awhile I'll use Alibre to design assemblies, as I can easily see how it all goes together, and the analysis tools ensures it will all fit exactly the way I expect. Then I export the dxf files to toolpath in Aspire.

Here's a simple example...
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LithoBox.png
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Re: ? for experienced users

Postby rscrawford » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:03 pm

I used Autocad LT at first, because that was what I was used to. I haven't used it for over a year now because once I figured out all the nuances of vectric programs I find it easier to just design and toolpath all in the same program. There are a few things I like better in AutoCAD, like the fillet options, but there are simple tricks I've learned to compensate in Aspire (or V-carve) that still makes it easier than designing in AutoCAD and exporting the vectors.
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Re: ? for experienced users

Postby ger21 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:49 pm

I would say that if you are not already VERY comfortable with a CAD or drawing package , then just learn to do your drawing in V Carve Pro. It's very capable, and there's no reason to double the learning curve.

But for someone who is already a skilled user of another package, they'll often find it faster to draw in what they're more familiar with.
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Re: ? for experienced users

Postby 4DThinker » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:27 pm

VCarve 6.5 is VERY capable, with drawing tools that are better optimised for eventual toolpathing than the default drawing output of most non-CNC aware CAD programs is.

VCarve 7.0, which should show up VERY soon, will have even better CAD capabilities. The latest version of Aspire already has these.
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Re: ? for experienced users

Postby mrmfwilson » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:39 am

I use Sketchup for my 3D and assembly design. I use several plugins to help. Sometimes I take the DXF files directly from Sketchup. I also export STLs from Sketchup to use with Cut 3D. For my 2D I use V-Carve and Turbocad. Turbocad for more complex designs. I'm doing more in V-Carve as I learn more about it. Mostly from this forum. I really depends on what you want to do and how much time you want to invest in learning how to use the design software. I agree with the posts that suggest to use Aspire and V-Carve as much as possible. I own V-Carve and Cut 3D. I don't own Aspire but have used the demo to see what it can do. If you are planning to invest is Aspire, I would put my efforts into learning it. It is pretty powerful software and IMHO is easier to use than most other 3D software. Only lacking the ability to assemble parts and render them in 3D. Even though it is only 2.5D, with a bit of imagination it is capable of creating multisided parts. Aspire and V-Carve's ability to do wrapped parts add to the versatility.
Ron, Thanks for mentioning Alibre. I think i'll take a look it. It looks like an inexpensive alternative to Skecthup. Hopefully a bit better.

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Re: ? for experienced users

Postby GeneMpls » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:09 pm

Mike- are you using Sketchup Pro? I am wondering what the difference really is? Thanks Gene
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Re: ? for experienced users

Postby Adrian » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:32 pm

GeneMpls wrote:Mike- are you using Sketchup Pro? I am wondering what the difference really is? Thanks Gene


http://www.sketchup.com/product/whygopro.html
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Re: ? for experienced users

Postby mrmfwilson » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:44 am

Adrian wrote:
GeneMpls wrote:Mike- are you using Sketchup Pro? I am wondering what the difference really is? Thanks Gene


http://www.sketchup.com/product/whygopro.html


I use the free version. There may be some reasons for using the pro version. None that I have run into. There are a bunch of free plugins out there that have allowed me to do just about everything I need.
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Re: Question for experienced users

Postby Adrian » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:28 pm

The free version didn't exist when I bought Sketchup (a long time before Google took it over). I probably wouldn't have bought the Pro version if a free one had been available at the time.

The feature I like best about the Pro version is dynamic components. They allow you to resize a design without affecting the thickness of the material it's designed with for example. Layout is great for customer quotes too.
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