And just so you know, my opinion will probably shock you on the best overall. So, the credentials first. I am a small business that makes money “mostly” off of designs I create off of CNC programs and yes, in the last year I have had the priemium subscription to several programs. Let me take the headache out of this for you!
When you start learning the process of your new CNC machine you will inevitably hear about Fusion 360. And everyone will say, it’s the best.
Because it is. Fusion 360 is such an immense program that you can literally design a space ship with it. Based of Autodesks AutoCAD (the gold standard for drafting) it has so much power you can do anything.
The “yeah, but,” statement is that Fusion has a high learning curve. If you want to buy a file off etsy and cut something today, you may want to look elsewhere. I 100% say, go with Fusion. Here are some specs and things I like about the program.
Let me start with, I can only speak to VCarve Pro, because when I started out to solve a problem I jumped in with both feet and bought the Pro version. I understand the other programs under Vectric are very capable as well.
I love VCarve Pro. I use Fusion 360 when I am designing something complicated that has to be perfect. VCarve Pro is a program I can use 90% of the time. It is much simpler, with a moderate to low learning curve. And that is not to say that it is actually less capable than F360, I just spent the time to learn F360 and once you grasp it, it is an awesome tool.
In fairness, you will see I am jaded on this one. I started with Easel before it really had the Pro and ability to do 3D cuts. I was a good program and one that was EXCELLENT for someone that has never touched this type of software. Very intuitive.
With that said, it is the reason I have now tried several other programs. And, with the somewhat recent addition of the 3D CAD/CAM it got cooler, but worse. The crash rate for me on the program was unexceptible and some of the 3D rendering times were rediculous. I also dislike how you impliment demensions in the program. It’s clunky and combersome.
If I were just starting, I would buy VCarve Pro or one of the lesser level Vectric products. It has the power to do just about anything you can imagine. Like I said, I use it for most of my work. My really big super finite detail (or expensive material) projects I use Fusion 360. Hard for me to say one is better than the other, but in reality, I think Fusion 360 wins. It is just harder to use.
Hope this helps you out!
Hill Country CNC & Woodworking
#fusion360 #vectric #autodesk #vcarvepro #easel