- Can I try the software before I purchase the machine?
- Where do existing customers get software support?
- Is the software compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems?
- What are the computer system requirements for the software?
- What should I expect from the look and feel of the software?
- Explain the 3‐D element libraries
- Can I add additional elements to the library?
- Please explain the surface‐scanning probe
- Can I import 2‐D graphics and carve them?
- Can I import photographs to be carved?
- Can I import files from other CAD packages?
- Can the machine use G‐Code programs?
- Can we run the software on more than one computer?
- How do I update the software?
- What text fonts will the machine carve?
- Can the machine engrave very small letters?
- Explain Centerline Text
- Explain Conforming Vectors
- Explain Pattern Editor
- Explain the DXF Importer
- Explain the STL Importer
- Explain 2D Vector Drawing Suite
- Explain 3D Pattern Modeling Suite
- Designer 2.0 Upgrade FAQs
The Designer software is available free of charge for 30 days. DOWNLOAD FREE TRIAL HERE This will give you full functionality of the software included with the machine aside from the ability to send the information to the machine or any premium features. Once you purchase your machine, you can continue to use the software after registering your machine.
Use the contact page at www.carvewright.com for methods of contacting software support. Visit LEARN on our website or the COMMUNITY and search the forum.
The software is available for Windows and Macintosh operating systems. Specifically the software will run best on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Mac OS X version 10.3 or higher.
Windows Operating System:
- Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
- 512 MB of RAM for XP
- 1GB of RAM for Vista, Windows 7 or 8
- 75MB of available hard‐disk space
- CD‐ROM compatible drive (With active internet connection)
- Internet access for registration and updates
- Graphics card supporting OpenGL 1.2 with 256 MB of Video RAM or VRAM (for Designer Basic)
- Graphics card supporting OpenGL 2.1 with 256 MB of Video RAM or VRAM (for Designer 2.0)
- 1.2Ghz Dual Core Processor
Macintosh Operating System:
- Mac OS X version 10.3 or later
- Mac X11 Windowing System (removed from recent Mac OS Mountain Lion – downloadable here: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht5293)
- 512MB of RAM
- 75MB of available hard‐disk space
- CD‐ROM compatible drive (With active internet connection)
- Internet access for registration and updates
The fundamental concept behind the CarveWright Designer software is that the user does not have to be a CAD designer or graphic artist to output unique designs. We liken the software to desktop publishing software where the design elements (in this case 3‐D patterns) can be selected from existing libraries.
The CarveWright design software is configured very much like a clip art program. There are libraries of 3‐D elements that the user can drag and drop into the design. These elements can be modified in many different ways once they are placed on the workpiece. For example they can be resized, rotated, stretched, mirrored, inverted, copied, deepened, constrained, dimensioned, outlined, or cut out. Thousands of additional library elements are available for purchase through our searchable online STORE database called the Pattern Depot.
There are several ways for users to add elements to the library themselves. First, additional 3‐D elements can be purchased through the Pattern Depot. Second, the CarveWright software can import standard 2‐D graphics files and place them in the user’s custom library. Likewise photographs can be added to the library. Third, adding actual 3‐D elements is possible with the CarveWright surface‐scanning probe, which maps the surface of an existing 3‐D element. 2‐D DXF files and 3‐D STL files can also be added using our advanced software features that are now available for purchase.
The scanning probe allows 3‐D pieces to be scanned into the software and added to the library. The scanner creates a 3‐D surface map by tracing the surface with the needle probe. The maximum scan depth is 1.0″. Most objects will need to be placed on a special scanning jig so that they can be fed into the machine. The scanning probe is now available in the online store or by calling CarveWright directly.
You can import standard graphic files like .bmp, .png, .jpeg, .gif with the basic CarveWright Project Designer software. (Other 2‐D graphics can be saved as a DXF file format and brought into the Project Designer software with our advanced software feature called DXF Importer.) It is important to understand how this process works and what type of carving will result. In a 2‐D image there is only limited information that the software can work with – the position and “color” of each pixel in the image. The Designer software imports the graphic and analyzes the“color” of every pixel in the image. Each pixel is then assigned a depth based on its “color” (the color black being converted to shallowest depth and the color white converted to the greatest depth). This means that if you have a black and white image that there will only be two depths to the carving. The most common misconception is that the software can convert a 2‐D image into a complex 3‐D element like those seen in the libraries. This is untrue and further, there is no software in the world that can do this because of the lack of information in the 2‐D image. Simple clip art designs and logos import and carve very nicely. Other more complex designs may take some additional editing to achieve the desired design effect. Also, the quality of the carved output is highly dependent on the resolution of the image that you are importing. High resolution images are recommended especially if the carving is large in size. The software allows you to quickly invert the depth scale if desired.
The same rules for 2‐D graphics formats apply to a photograph. Photographs can be imported directly by the software and added to the workpiece. The software converts the photograph’s color directly to depth (black and white being at opposite ends of the spectrum). Importing photographs and carving them into semi‐transparent plastic with backlighting creates a very interesting photographic effect (see the website IDEAS page). Carving realistic 3‐D photographs into wood takes additional image manipulation expertise simply because of the lack of information contained in the 2‐D photograph.
Yes, the designs need to be saved from the 3rd party CAD software package as a DXF file format and the customer will need to purchase the DXF Importer. The DXF Importer allows you to manipulate and prepare the design for import into the Designer software and then carved on the machine.
Each license allows the customer to install the software on up to two computers at any one time. Additional software licenses are available through the online store.
For users with a high‐speed Internet connection, updating the software is very fast and easy. Simply open the CarveWright Designer software and make sure that you are connected to the Internet. From the top toolbar select “Help”. From the Help drop down menu select “Check for Updates”. The software will then open a window that will display your current software versionand guide you through the update process if needed. If you do not have access the internet, please contact CarveWright to purchase an update disc.
The CarveWright design software is able to use all True Type fonts already installed on your computer (in the system “Fonts” folder). This means that there are no proprietary fonts that you have to buy to use on the machine. There are three distinct text effects that can be created with the software. Raster mode carves the letters with thin passes, one after another; similar to the way a dot matrix printer works. Outlining text produces a cut at the perimeter of the letter. Centerline text will generate a centerline and vary the depth of the cutting bit based on the width of the original font. Centerline is an advanced software feature that requires purchase.
The machine is fully capable of vectoring text but the design software is not optimized for engraving. That is to say that we do not maintain our own proprietary vectored fonts that are used to form letters. The CarveWright software draws on fonts already available on your system. The advantage to this is that you have an endless number of fonts available to carve and several different ways to carve any font. The drawback to this is it is more difficult to engrave very small fonts.
Centerline text functionality is another text carving option that will work with the fonts installed on your computer. The software will generate the centerline of the figure, similar to lettering seen in stone, and create the figure width by varying the depth of the cutting bit. The centerline text carving is done with a 60 or 90‐degree v‐groove bit. The centerline text module can be purchased from the online store.
Conforming Vectors is an advanced feature available for use with your Project Designer Software. Apply Centerline Text and all other vector cutting to a carved region or virtually any surface, whether domed or textured; even patterns. It can be any vector cut such as those done with our drawing tools, the Outline and Centerline Text and vectors brought in through DXF Importer.
It is sent via email as an activation code. Your software must be updated to the new 1.175 version. Centerline Text & DXF Importers sold separately.
The Pattern Editor is the software program that is included with the purchase of a scanning probe. It allows the user to clean up and import scans into the CarveWright software. Simple pixel level editing is possible using this software. Will CarveWright assist in designing custom pieces for a customer? CarveWright provides help materials that will instruct on general software functionality for putting together projects. However, we do not provide any design to suit services for your special project.
The CarveWright Project Designer now has the capability to import your favorite 2D vector files and carve them on your CarveWright System.
These 2D vector files can be designed in a variety of popular 3rd party drawing programs, and then saved in the common DXF (Drawing eXchange Format) file format for import into the DXF Importer.
The DXF Importer allows you to manipulate and prepare the design for import into the Designer software and then carved on the machine.
In the importer you have tools to allow scaling, rearranging, flipping, rotating, auto-connecting of lines, splitting (tiling designs), create boards to layout shapes, and importing boards into Designer. Watch the tutorials below to see how it works.
- What is the STL Import Software?
- Can I use the STL Importer to edit the CarveWright patterns to make them 3D?
- Is there a demo version of the software available?
- What is a STL file?
- Can I import an image (jpeg, bmp, gif, png) into the Importer for use?
- How do I use the CarveWright Designer software to create STL files?
- How do I use the STL Import software?
- Where can I find STL files?
- Does the “STL Importer” come with any files to import?
- What type of video card do I need to run this software?
- What computer requirements are needed to run this software?
- Can I use other 3D files instead of STL files?
- Do you sell a software package that creates STL files?
What is the STL Import Software? The STL Import Software is a new module used with the CarveWright Designer software which allows users to scale and slice three dimensional STL models at various depths or angles and make them into carve-able patterns. Once complete, all of the slices can be reassembled into an exact physical replica of the STL object.
Can I use the STL Importer to edit the CarveWright patterns to make them 3D? This tool is an Importer for bringing in data not already in the CarveWright format. Most CarveWright files are already 3D, if they are not then the Pattern Editor is the best tool for doing this.
What is a STL file? The data in a STL file describes the surface geometry of the three dimensional object. This format is an industry standard, used by all rapid prototyping, scanning, animation, and computer-aided manufacturing software packages (as an import or export option).
Where can I find STL files? Fortunately, there are several online repositories of existing historical and relevant cultural 3-D objects that can be accessed for free, meaning that you don’t even have to create your own models in many cases.
To locate 3D files to carve, you can Google “3D meshes” or “3D models” and find many sites offering free models. Below are links to just a few favorites we’ve found:
What type of video card do I need to run this software? We recommend a screen resolution of at least 1024×768 for the STL Importer, but any video card that works with the CarveWright Designer software will work. We have not encountered any that do not work.
What computer requirements are needed to run this software? We recommend at least 1GB of RAM, the more the better. Otherwise, there are no additional requirements beyond those of the CarveWright Designer software.
Vector Drawing Suite (2D Advanced)
Advanced drawing capabilites similar to popular graphics drawing programs along with other powerful features.
- Smart Spline (drawing tool for faster drawing and tracing)
- Import Tracing Image (import background images for tracing)
- Offset Path (offset a specified distance in or out of a vector)
- Trim Tool (join or remove overlapping vector segments)
- Copy Offset (repeat a pattern or shape)
Pattern Modeling Suite
Model your own patterns! This tool set allows you to model your own custom models and patterns.
- Puffing Tool (puffs vector shapes into curves, bubbles, bevels, and flats)
- Sweeps (sweep a profile along a vector path)
- Sweep with Rails (sweep a profile between two different vector paths)
- Extrude (extrude a profile inside a vector shape)
- Revolve (revolve a profile around a circle)
- Tilt Tool (tilt a pattern vertically and/or horizontally)