Software for beginners

Quick question, After month of going back and forth rather to the buy a MK2 ,I have decided to take the plunge. To start out with I will be mostly cutting simple PVC signs. My question is can I get away with a free software for doing simple designs. Hopefully as I get better of running the machine I will buy the pro version software. Thanks

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@BigDaddy57 - By all means use free software. Easel or Carbide Create are used by a lot of beginners to get started. When you get ready and comfortable with one of those try the free trials of some of the Pro versions before committing.

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Thanks for response.Have you ever cut any PVC? If so, any recommendations

For plastics I think you want an O flute or zero flute end mill, I’ve seen them called both. I haven’t cut PVC but they work great on acrylic.

@BigDaddy57 - I have not cut either PVC or acrylic but see Michael’s response below.

I’ve made some signs out of PVC trim board.
Using the default plastic cutting parameters/feeds/speeds, I have successfully cut with 1/4", 1/8", and 1/16" 2 flute upcut endmills.

I’ve had also used 1/4" 90 deg and 60 deg V bits but find they leave a lot of “shag” that needs to be manually trimmed. Seems to melt and smear with the big V bits so might have to reduce the spindle speed or increase the feed rate to improve that…

And I used Carbide Create (V6) for about a month before I grew out of it :smiley: and ended up getting VCarve Desktop and have barely looked back!
Note though, due to worksize limitation in VCarve Desktop (limited to 24"x24" before needing to tile your job), I find I still do the occasional job in Carbide to avoid moving the workpiece.