Anyone else wicked frustrated?

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Anyone else wicked frustrated?

Post by hockeyhead »


If it's just me then fine, but I've been using this software for over a 2 years and I find it just an exercise in frustration for hours at a time. I know exactly what I want to do many times, but cannot get the software to do it. I watch you tube videos and everything is simple on the projects they show, but try to implement that on what you are doing and forget it! Most times I just have to settle for something I don't want or give up all together. I just don't know how anyone can actually output any work in any reasonable amount of time other than just some simplistic shapes or something or "canned" projects.

Sorry I'm sure many of you find this to be the greatest thing ever, and if so please advise me on how I can learn and understand this software. I don't want to just duplicate things I see on You Tube. I want to be able to apply them, and for me that is where it completely falls apart. Here's an example of something I just cannot get Aspire to do. I have a simple 12x12 in square piece of wood. I want to mill a 3d shape of an oak leaf into the wood. I don't want the bottom to be just flat, I want some undulation to it. Next I'd like the surface of the wood outside the oak leaf shape to be textured somehow. I've spent hours trying to do this and can't get it to work. The texture is everywhere and I don't want that, or the extrusion is up not down the way I want it. The rail sweep thing, I can't get any good results with......I've seen similar things on videos and cannot translate it to what I'm doing for the life of me. This is what drives me completely nuts about Aspire. Its a huge computer time sink with no woodworking results. God, I am so frustrated with this software!!

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Re: Anyone else wicked frustrated?

Post by Adrian »

First of don't watch YouTube to start with. Follow the tutorials designed by Vectric to learn the software either by using the Tutorial Browser on the Help menu or visiting the support site -

Don't just watch them. Follow along step by step and rewind if you can't duplicate the results etc.

Also make use of the excellent interactive manual (Help Contents on the Help menu). You can click on any part of the interface you're having trouble with and drill down to the details of it.

Like anything in life it takes time and effort. I've been using Vectric software since 2005 and I still learn something new pretty much every week on here.

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Re: Anyone else wicked frustrated?

Post by martin54 »

yes I get frustrated as well but that is due to my own inabilities not the software, half the problem for me is that I have been using 2D graphics for many years, most of what I know I picked up very quickly & I thought 3D would be the same, it is not, there is a lot more you need to think about & my progress has been much slower than I would have liked, not the softwares fault I am having more problems than I anticipated.
I think that it is something that you have to spend many hours learning & practicing & something that you need to be doing on a regular basis if you want to be any good. Look at some of the things created by people in the Gallery or some of the free projects & you soon realise that it's not the sortware but the operator that is at fault.
One day I am hoping to be an expert like some of the other people on this forum but I know that isn't going to happen any time soon & I need to keep working at it, until then I just stick mainly to things that I can do & 3D models I can either Buy or pay someone else to make for me :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Anyone else wicked frustrated?

Post by ger21 »

Break it down into individual steps.

Do one thing at a time, and if you have trouble with that one part, upload your file here, and you'll get a lot of help explaining how to do it.

Then, move on to the next step.

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Re: Anyone else wicked frustrated?

Post by TReischl »

There is 3D and then there is 3D.

Many of us come from a background where we understand mechanical 3D stuff pretty darn well. Doing more artistic work is nothing like doing mechanical design. Trust me, I have learned that the hard way.

Like Gerry said, break it down into steps. Look at the project as a series of steps.

Need an undulating base for a leaf? Learn how to do just that. Hint: You can start with a Two Rail Sweep.

Need a leaf? Now that you have figured out how to make an undulating base to put it on you can just draw a leaf and give it some depth. Put it on top of the undulating base you made earlier. See what the combine modes do.

There is an oak leaf video somewhere that will show you how to make a really good leaf. You do not have to use their vectors, create your own. But follow along with them to understand how it is done.

No, this stuff is not easy. There is no way to make it easy or they would. The real trick is to learn how to break it down into simple steps. Pretty much like most things. Think of it like an automobile. You do not just jump in the car and go. I have seen people who had to learn that in modern cars you must step on the brake BEFORE you can start it. After it is started you still cannot just go. You have to put it forward or reverse. Then the darned thing will still not go until you step on the gas. It is a whole series of steps that need to be done before a car will do anything.
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Re: Anyone else wicked frustrated?

Post by Leo »

I will fully agree that there is a LOT to learn about this stuff.

I will also agree that you cannot build a fantastic project without learning the needed skills to do it.

You said 2 years but really, how much effort have you put into it in those two years?

In order to learn this stuff there is a logical path, but you cannot start with a two rail sweep and fancy stuff.

First is the boring mundane stuff - learn the interface and some basic 2D stuff and move up through the levels of learning.

A first grader does not jump into calculus.

Two rail sweep is extremely powerful and extremely useful, but it is also pretty advanced and if you don't have a good solid foundation in basics you WILL get VERY frustrated with it.

Like Adrian, I started with Vectric in 2007, and it was a STEEP learning curve. Previous to that I was in mechanical CAD and CAM for a VERY LONG time on the job as a professional.

Even with soo much time at this I am still learning, and expect to continue learning.

Slow down, don't expect the sky, take smaller bites - POST HERE - ask smaller questions here. This forum has helped a LOT of people, including myself. If is was not for this forum most of us would not be at the level we are at.

Sooooo - Join us, and learn how to do this.

You are more than welcome to come and sit with us and chew the fat.
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Re: Anyone else wicked frustrated?

Post by highpockets »

All good advise. I would add I learn by trying to help others on the forum with their problems. Some times I help and other times I miss the target completely, but weather I help them or not I've worked the problem and learned something new.

The help you are seeking is in the Vectric tutorials and this forum use both these tools.
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Re: Anyone else wicked frustrated?

Post by Savannahdan »

You just hit the lottery, twice! First by getting a Vectric product and second by letting folks on this forum know that you are frustrated and need help. I first got into cnc in 2014 by purchasing a cnc machine I was glad to get rid of but it came with V-Carve Pro. I was trying to retire but kept getting delayed by the company I worked for and they gave me substantial bonuses/incentives to stay on longer. I used part of this to upgrade to Aspire and purchase a new, fast notebook computer. Guess what? I haven't even touched on a smidgeon of what Aspire can do. That's okay. Having the horsepower makes it worth it. This forum and the folks who participate on it are awesome. As has been said, just let folks know and you'll get plenty of useful, helpful advice.

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Re: Anyone else wicked frustrated?

Post by IslaWW »

As more than one have said; this is one of the easier software packages to learn.

And a very good example of an old saying: "Your level of success will be proportional to time spent"

Many of the users on here have 10,000 hours plus using these products, some more than that.
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Re: Anyone else wicked frustrated?

Post by rscrawford »

Gotta say, I LOVE the two rail sweep in Aspire compared to similar functions in other CAD programs.

Sure there are a few things that Vectric products aren't as good at as other programs, but I have 4 different 3D CAD programs (3 of them with CAM) and I still use Aspire for 99% of my work. Its a very simple and quick program to use, with enough power for nearly everything I need to do.

An interesting observation. Most beginners seem to focus on acquiring, rearranging, and cutting 3D models. One of the least productive things you can do with a CAD/CAM program and a CNC machine.
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Re: Anyone else wicked frustrated?

Post by SteveNelson46 »

You will find this forum your best friend. When you get stuck there are always those here who are not only willing to help with advise but will actually complete part of your project or post examples. However, there are a few that are cynical and post smart-alec answers like "RTFM" and actually think their "talents" are too valuable to give away free advise. I tend to just ignore those who post this kind of "help".

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Re: Anyone else wicked frustrated?

Post by Jim_in_PA »

One of the most important steps to take when you are going to be including 3D art within other 2D/2.5D elements is to establish a vector boundary for the 3D element(s). You'll need that to keep your pocketing, textures and other activities from overrunning your 3D art. The actual 3D element at that point doesn't even need to be visible as you establish your various toolpaths. It's the vector boundary of that element that has to be your focus.

And yea...there are some incredibly talented folks who hang out here who can help you when you "hit a wall".

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Re: Anyone else wicked frustrated?

Post by Xxray »

We all get frustrated with certain things but you need to realize, it is you and not the software and you'll get back precisely what you put in ,,, And I can't believe you have put in very much of an effort at this point, and this is your return. Not being snarky, just being real. There are no magic 1 click buttons where the software divines what you have in mind and spits out toolpaths for a masterpiece, you must hold its hand like a baby and guide it every step of the way - You are in charge of the software, the software isn't in charge of you. Start with the vectric tutorials in areas you are interested in, and of course this forum is a great resource for specific questions and problems, but to just say "I need help with everything" is a bit much to ask and actually is counter productive for your long term learning.

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Re: Anyone else wicked frustrated?

Post by RebeccaJ »

Hello hockeyhead,

We 100% advise users to work from the tutorials that come with the software directly from the tutorial browser: ... =1&order=1 - The browser was carefully created to link you to related videos, filter the videos you want to watch, help you search for key words and of course they provide the files for you to take a look at. The problem with YouTube is that you could be we watching an older version on there, and of course you don't have the file to follow along with.

As many other users have pointed out, there is definitely a learning curve with the software (as with anything that is new) which is why we release Aspire with over 90 videos that we update with each major release, to ensure that we cover every major area of the software to help everyone get started.

From your description of what it is you are wanting to make I would have a gander at these tutorials to help you out: ... ideo_id=61 - This shows how to model an oak branch, and covers quite a lot of the modeling tools. ... ideo_id=11 - This shows how to create a texture toolpath, that is contained in a specific area. ... ideo_id=68 - This is a guide on how to use the Two Rail Sweep

I hope this helps,
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Re: Anyone else wicked frustrated?

Post by hockeyhead »

Thank you for the reply Rebecca. I'll give those links a shot.

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