Lots of CNC machines use VCarve Pro for the design aspect of using a CNC. If you’ve considered getting into CNC work, but wondered how complex VCarve Pro might be to use, there’s great news. You can test the software on your own computer, for free.
What you get
The trial version of VCarve Pro is fully functional, from a design perspective. You can experiment with laying out circles, squares, and a variety of other shapes. Add many styles of text. Work with 3D clip art. Create textures. And, very importantly, you can create tool paths. Tool paths are what will eventually be sent to the CNC machine to create your projects. One of the coolest aspects of VCarve Pro is the ability to do a virtual cut, right on your computer. By doing the virtual cut, you’ll be able to determine if you correctly created your design and tool paths. This is amazing!
What you can’t do
The trial version will not allow you to output your design through a post processor, and cut the file on a CNC machine. It doesn’t matter if you save the file and take it to a paid version of VCarve Pro, or try some other work around. You won’t be able to cut the file. If, eventually, you do purchase the software, and install it on the same PC the trial version was on, you’ll be able to open and cut the files you created in the trial version.
More on CNCs
Benchtop CNC machines are all over the woodworking market place today. If you want to know more, check out the great series of videos WoodWorkers Guild of America has created that will help you learn about VCarve and benchtop CNC machines.