View Full Version : VCarve Pro 4.0 "if you missed it"

06-25-2007, 09:17 PM
In case you missed it like me in VCP 4.0 you can select your cutting order in a toolpath. It cuts in the order you select the vectors... WOW! that's if you missed it.


06-26-2007, 01:16 PM
I got mine Sunday night just as I was going to bed (G) I had to stay up a bit and try it out of course.
works pretty good and it is far more useful for drawing. hope it takes care of the need for parts wizard.

06-26-2007, 01:58 PM
I won't be using parts wizard again. VCP4 has many new features. I can live without guide lines though I do wish they had added them.

I completely reworked one of my production files in VCP4 and ran it this morning. It runs 9 minutes faster than the PW version. I know there is virtually no jogging but the biggest change was in the arcs it produced. When it turns the corner while cutting roost grooves it hardly slows down. The same curve in PW and the tool noticeably slows to take the turn. Don't know why... don't guess I care right now, I'm just happy to have the extra 9 minutes!


Brady Watson
06-26-2007, 02:51 PM
That's a really interesting observation. Did you use the same type of post processor on each file? (EG - Arcs or Standard)


06-26-2007, 03:09 PM
On VCPro I used arcs, on PW, to be honest, I don't even know how to choose the PP. I just answer yes to update the PW Post Processor questions whenever I install updated SB3.

My sbp files from PW only have M3 moves in it, no CG commands or anything like VCP4


Brady Watson
06-26-2007, 03:58 PM
When you save a TP in PW you can select from a list of posts. It's in the bottom right-hand corner of the save TP dialog box. Chances are you chose the standard (no CG) post...I know I suggested that you use the arcs post before...now you know what I was referring to & how to change it!

Thanks for the info. I'm sure others will find this useful when trying to streamline production.


06-26-2007, 05:39 PM
Yep, you're right, never noticed that. It does make a difference. To be honest, I never embraced PW and had no enthusiasm to spend time learning more about it or improving my files in it. I have no problem with PW working well or having great features. My biggest hangup (real or imagined) was the lack of export. I don't like feeling trapped and that's how I felt. No matter how much I learned or improved... my files would be trapped and that killed PW for me.

A quick review after working with VCP4 for a couple of days...

VCPro 4.0 is a very complete tool now. I was able to complete everything I needed without going to Corel or any other CAD. I have moved my last two production files over to VCPro and finished my test cuts.

The layer control is FANTASTIC! I can turn those roost grooves off and get them out of the way. I've also created "alternate" configurations in the same file. I have a roost groove option that writes "HabitatForBats.org" on the landing board. I can hide that layer and see my normal layout or swap. Create toolpaths from the same file and save them without having to ignore one set laying on top of another.

Lead in RAMPING!!! This has allowed me to confidently increase my Z plunge speeds. I love watching it do the little bot zigzag as it starts a cut knowing it's prolonging the life of my expensive spindle bearings.

The measuring tool leaves a little to be desired but is functional. I couldn't find a way to snap the end of the tape measure to the center of a circle. It looks like it only snaps to corners or intersections.

Now that I'm aware of it, setting the toolpath cut order by order of vector selection is a real timesaver during cutting.

BLOCK COPY!! Need I say more?

Text on a Curve! Now I don't even have to go into Corel.

I have not used the built bitmap tracing tool yet but it'll be a welcome addition when I start doing that sort of work again after the bat rush.

I agree that a few nice features are still missing like the guide lines but I'm willing to live without those features and stay portable. One quick File - Export and my work can be migrated or even tweaked in another CAD software package and brought back in whole.


06-26-2007, 08:33 PM
I'm too busy using my new VCP4 (which I downloaded over the weekend)to say much other than I'm once again much impressed with the quality and value of all Vectric products. I'm a professional sign maker and have used Vectric's products almost exclusively since they have been available. I would have spent half the time and earned twice the income if I'd had Vectric's programs when I bought my ShopBot seven years ago, and yes I know Vectric didn't exist then. Unfortunately I have no financial connections to Vectric and didn't even qualify for the recent buyer discount.

06-27-2007, 07:44 AM
I went to the web site to purchase new and it shows that the purchase will be for version 3.1. Has the web site not been updated? Will I get 4.0? It shows free upgrades for 12 months, what about after that? Thanks, Terry

Brian Moran
06-27-2007, 11:17 AM
Hi Terry,

If you purchase VCarve Pro from the WebSite now, the version you will receive will be V4. We are just in the process of finishing up the new updated web-site for V4 and hopefully that will go live this week.

As you said, you will receive free upgrades for the first 12 months after purchasing. After the 12 month period there will be a charge if you wish to upgrade to a new version. As an indication of cost, the upgrade for existing customers who bought VCarve Wizard (as it was then) more than 12 months ago is $130.


06-27-2007, 11:19 AM
Drop them an e-mail but I'm sure it is 4.0.
They have been too busy to update the site.
After 12 months you will have to buy the new version, by then it could be 5.0.

06-27-2007, 03:50 PM
Terry / Roger,

Just to clarify - Customers receive Free Updates for 1 year after purchasing any of the Vectric software products.

After the year is up they don't have to purchase a new version, but have the option to purchase an upgrade at approximately 25% of the list price.

The upgrade price to version 4.0 for customers who have owned VCarve Pro for over a year is $130.

I hope this makes sense.

Note - All VCarve Pro customers should have received an email about the V4 upgrade. Please contact Vectric - info@vectric.com - if you haven't received this information.


06-27-2007, 11:10 PM
Thanks Tony.
That is an excellent deal for your customers.
Keep up the great work.

06-28-2007, 10:02 AM
Sorry, I misspoke when I said I didn't qualify for the buyer discount.
I got the discount, I just didn't qualify for the free upgrade because I've had VCarvePro for over a year.
I'm happy because $130 for the upgrade to version 4 is a bagain and the upgrade paid for itself in the few days I've had it.

06-28-2007, 09:16 PM
So the new version still does not have block copy?

Brian Moran
06-29-2007, 04:50 AM

VCarve Pro V4 does include block copy in both rectangular and circular arrays.



06-29-2007, 09:13 AM
that was what I was waiting for.
Are all the features such as grid snap and snap to objects simalar to PW. How about the trim function and welds?

06-29-2007, 09:20 AM
No grid snap, no snap to objects, no trim but there is weld.

Check out http://vectric.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1665&start=0 and scroll down a little, there is a "new features" list.

I grant you the tool is not perfect/complete but it is MUCH improved over 3.1


07-02-2007, 08:06 PM
Has anyone tried the bitmap trace function? Works better than anything else Ive tried.
Robert. You mentioned getting the vectors to cut in order of selection. I cannot seem to get that to work. Is there anything you need to do to get it to do that?

07-02-2007, 09:34 PM
I have little need right now for the trace function, but I did use it on a couple of projects. One guy wanted a superman symbol for his den. It works very well and is task specific so there is no overhead in excess tools to do other things.

For the cut order, once you have your create toolpath dialog open, make sure no vectors are selected then select your vectors using the shift key in the order you would like for them to cut.

There is a catch... VCP4 will not honor your selection if it thinks it has found a more efficient toolpath. If you are trying to create an efficient toolpath going CW or CCW or some other order you're generally in good shape. If, however, you want VCP4 to cut in a specific order jogging all over the table you're out of luck, it will override your selection in favor of its own.


07-03-2007, 01:43 AM
Oh dear, thats exactly what I wanted to do...jog all over the place. I guess I am back to making toolpaths one by one.
I try to cut in a way that keeps pieces joined to the largest mass for the longest time to prevent slipping.

07-03-2007, 12:24 PM
there are a few quirks that have been getting me. like layers and that if you lock one you can't copy the piece. thats a bummer I want to luck it but use that layer to copy the piece. also layer 0 is where you import stuff. or I should say where it goes to when you import stuff. you have to watch it and make sure the item stays in the current layer.

Brian Moran
07-03-2007, 01:24 PM

Layer 0 is almost certainly the layer the data is on in the DXF file. VCarve Pro 4 keeps the data on the layers it was on in the DXF file when it imports or opens the file. If you import an eps / ai file it is created on a new layer with the name of the file you imported.


07-03-2007, 01:42 PM
took me awhile to figure that out (G) I have not imported anything but dxf so far.