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switching to Vectric software products – what you need to know

switching from ArtCAM

following the recent announcement from Autodesk confirming the discontinuation of the Autodesk ArtCAM software we have experienced a high volume of enquiries regarding switching to Vectric VCarve or Aspire.

we would like to reassure users of ArtCAM that switching to Vectric is a quick and easy process with limited disruption to your work flows. please take a look through our frequently asked questions below. if you have any further questions contact our support team on alternatively you can download a free trial of our software by clicking here

will i be able to use my existing files?

although we can’t open a .art file directly, – we can import both 2D and 3D data exported from ArtCAM

2D data – Cut2D, VCarve and Aspire can import vector data exported from ArtCAM (eg. DXF or EPS)
3D data – VCarve and Aspire are able to import ArtCAM 3D relief files (.rlf)
VCarve can import a single .rlf file per session
Aspire can import multiple .rlf files per session
as per current versions of ArtCAM, the .rlf files need to be exported out as V9 compatible files.

i have ArtCAM Express – which software is suitable for me?

if you only need to perform 2D machining operations then we suggest Cut2D. if however you need to also create 2.5D toolpaths such as V-Carving or import a 3rd party 3D model for machining then VCarve would be ideal.

i have ArtCAM Insignia – which software is suitable for me?

if you need to create and edit 3D models then Aspire would be most suited. if however you only need to import 3rd party 3D models as well as full 2.5D machining then VCarve would be the ideal product.

i have ArtCAM Pro – which software is suitable for me?

Aspire would be most suitable.

i have ArtCAM Jewelsmith – which software is suitable for me?

Vectric does not have a product with equivalent capabilities to ArtCAM Jewelsmith. you could look at the features of Aspire, but we have no equivalent of many of the Jewellery specific tool for making rings, showing jewels etc. and we would not promote Aspire as suitable for many of the tasks ArtCAM Jewelsmith is used for.

so how much do the Vectric products cost?

for a full price list please click here

if i buy a Vectric product will i actually own the software?

yes – from day one you will own the software outright. in addition, unlike most software companies Vectric allow you to transfer your licence to another user if you sell your CNC on the payment of a small licence transfer fee.

how easy will it be for me to adapt to Vectric products?

our experience with lots of users moving to Vectric products over many years is that the changeover has been pretty simple. the Vectric drawing tools are similar in style to the ArtCAM tools with the same approach to drawing bezier curves, node editing, trimming etc. the modelling tools and type of model used are also conceptually similar in many ways. we encourage all potential users to download the trial versions of the Vectric products they are interested in and work through the free training videos we provide to make sure they will be able to succeed with our products. as Vectric was started over 11 years ago with the express aim of being able to sell CAD/CAM software directly to end users, ease of use has been critical to our success.

will i have to pay maintenance?

no – there is no yearly maintenance fee.

am i entitled to free support?

yes – Vectric have a dedicated support team (email & telephone) to address any technical issues eg. post-processors.
in addition the vibrant Vectric forum at is an excellent resource for gaining knowledge from thousands of other Vectric users.

am i entitled to free upgrades?

any major release of the software released in the 12 months after you purchase the software is supplied free of charge.

minor updates are always free to anyone who has the same major version (e.g V9.5 would be free to all owners of V9.0 no matter how long they had owned the software).

after the 12 month ownership period, you would need to purchase an upgrade if you felt the new features justified the upgrade for you.

when there is a new release do i have to upgrade?

no – you do not have to upgrade.

if a new version is released within the first 12 months of ownership, you get the upgrade for free. customers outside of this period can evaluate the new features (with the free trial download) and decide if they want to pay to upgrade or not.

for the cost to upgrade please click here.

if I don’t upgrade for say 5yrs and then chose to upgrade what will it cost me?

if you chose not to upgrade for several years, unlike many software companies, we do not ask for back-payments, you just pay the standard upgrade cost for your specific program and this will enable you to jump to the latest release.

for the cost to upgrade please click here

if i want to upgrade from one product to another (eg. VCarve to Aspire) what will it cost me?

you just pay the difference in price between the two products. Vectric do not penalise a customer if they want to start with one of our cheaper versions and later upgrade to a more full featured version. we actively encourage our customers to start cautiously and upgrade when they are ready.

for the cost to upgrade please click here

will I have to use a dongle or hardware key?

no – all your need is a licence code. this is automatically issued when you purchase the software online.

how many computers can I use the software on?

Vectric’s license allows any of our software programs to be installed on up to 3 PC’s for a single user.

if access to any one of the computers is shared with work colleagues, or anyone who is likely to access the software, then the software must only be installed onto one computer.

we have many users who have the software installed on their main design pc, the computer attached to their CNC and a laptop. As long as these three systems are only used by the same single user, this is completely legal.