Damnit! I only found this now because I was going to post a post processor for Aspire to save others time. The only thing mine has additionally is gcode for a tool change using @pause and some movements to put the bit front and center, which works beautifully in Repetier.
@vicious1: I started with ESTLcam as per your recommendations, and it works OK, but Aspire (or even VCarve) are leaps and bounds over ESTLcam. There are 3 major features that are available that are deal-winners:
1) if you have a very detailed image that you want to carve, you can select everything and have Aspire carve it, in ESTL, I couldn’t figure out how to do this, I had to select each path individually.
2) 3d Preview: you can preview that final carved product on your material (there is a list with different materials to choose from, and it helps choose parameters based on that material, like slower feedrate in hardwoods)
3) optimized toolpaths. in ESTLcam, the bit would jump around making little dots in random places all over the board… Aspire seems very optimized that it doesn’t jump around much, making a project that took 1h45m in ESTLcam take 35m in Aspire with the same feedrate and tool movement speeds.
and then theres things like tiling, which i’m building machine to be able cut a 4×8 sheet in 3 tiles (48″x32″ cut area) which i’m not sure i’ll use, but a cool feature.
btw i’m not affiliated with Vectric, Just trying to help save others the time I put in looking at CAM software.