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CNC Guide

A guide to using the Shopbot CNC machine in MAKE ll at Library 21c

Getting Started

What is VCarve Makerspace Edition?

VCarve Makerspace Edition is a special version of VCarve that enables patrons to use VCarve Pro on their home computers to create projects to use with the CNC located at Library 21c. Patrons can download the trial version of VCarve Pro and by connecting it to the PPLD Makerspace, they can have unlimited use of the trial version. Projects created on the Makerspace Edition can only be used in the Makerspace that they are connected to, but there are no other limits in terms of features or number of uses of the software.

Why do I need an account with Vectric?

After installing VCarve, you will need to sign into the software with a Vectric account. This will enable you to connect your copy of the software to PPLD's Makerspaces and have free access to it. The account is created, stored, and managed by Vectric Ltd and PPLD has no access to it other than to allow it to be used to connect to the Makerspace. Please see Vectric's privacy policy for more information on how your data is used by them.

Note: Prior to version 11.5, VCarve did not require an account and instead used a license key to connect home users to the Makerspace. It is highly recommended that users of previous versions of the software upgrade and create an account as files created in version 11.0 and earlier can have compatibility issues when opening them on PPLD's computers.

Creating an Account

Before using the trial version of VCarve, you need to connect it to the PPLD Makerspace by creating an account with Vectric.

  1. Go to the link below labeled "Makerspace Invitation".
  2. Put in your email address.
  3. Open your email and look for an email from with the subject "Vectric Makerspace Invitation".
  4. Open the email and click on the link in the message.
  5. Create an account with Vectric (or log into your existing one if you already have signed up).
  6. When you get to the page with a section titled "Pending Organization Invitation", click "Accept".
  7. Download and install the VCarve software from the link provided on the next page.

Important! If you have any trouble with this process, contact the Library 21c Makerspace, not Vectric's support.

Downloading & Installing

If you would like to install VCarve on your home computer, continue on from here. If you are going to only be using PPLD's computers for VCarve, you are done.

After creating an account, accepting the invitation, and downloading the installer, you need to install the program and connect your account.

  1. Run the installer.
  2. Open VCarve.
  3. Click the "Sign in" button in the upper right corner and a browser will open.
  4. If prompted, put in your username and password for your newly created account.
  5. When it prompts you for an Access Request, click "Allow".
  6. If you receive the message "Access Request Success", you are now ready to use VCarve.

Using Files at PPLD

Important notes about using the Trial version:

  • You cannot save toolpaths from your computer - you will have to bring in the VCarve *.crv file. In VCarve, click Save As under the File menu and save the file to your computer. Transfer the file to a USB flash drive or upload it to cloud storage to access the file from the PPLD computer connected to the CNC.
  • VCarve will need to authenticate your file as one connected to PPLD's Makerspace, which requires an internet connection. If the PPLD network is down, you will not be able to use your file. PPLD staff cannot override this authentication.
  • In addition to the computer connected to the CNC, Library 21c has several computers available in the Edit Bay that have access to the full version of VCarve Pro. These computers can be used whenever the library is open (talk to a staff member to get signed into one). Files created on these computers do not need to go through the authentication process described above and you are able to save toolpaths.

Creating an Account Screenshots

Screen shot of Vectric's initial page with the text

Registration Link

Enter the email address you wish to use for VCarve and click "Submit".

Screen shot of Vectric's initial registration page with the text

Email Sent

Once you get this message, go to your email account and you should have received an email from

Email from with the body reading

Email from

Click on the link to create an account and link it to the Makerspace.

Screenshot of's account login page showing fields for an email address and password, as well as a link for creating a new account titled

Login or Signup

If you have an account with Vectric already, log in here to connect it to the PPLD Makerspace. Otherwise, go to the signup link below the form to create an account.

Screen shot of the account creation page with fields for Full Name, Company Name, Email Address, Password, Confirming Password, and check boxes for agreeing to the terms and conditions as well as signing up for the newsletter.

Sign Up

Fill out the form and click Sign Up. You must agree to Vectric's terms and conditions before proceeding.

Make sure the email address is the same one used in the beginning.

On the next page there is a short survey that can be filled out. If the Makerspace at Library 21c is the only place that you have access to a CNC, the answer for Question 3 (type of machine) is 'Router' only, and the answer for Question 4 (size of the CNC) is 'Longest axis 24"-48"'.

Screen shot of the pending invitation page with the information that it is for the organization

The Invitation

If the account was created and linked properly, you will be prompted to accept or decline the invitation. Click accept to finish the process or decline to end it immediately.

If you click on decline your account with Vectric will still exist and you will need to contact the Library 21c Makerspace to accept the invitation.

Screen shot of the page with instructions on downloading and installing the VCarve software and then signing into your account.

Download & Install

One the invitation is accepted you can download the software from the link on this page. Once it is installed, run it, and then click on the Sign in button to finish the process.

Screenshot of Vectric's account linking page with a prompt asking to allow access, with the warning that this will give access to license codes, free clipart, and the tool database. There are options to allow to deny this request.

Access Request

Click on Allow to complete the process or Deny to cancel signing in to the software.

Screenshot with the message


If you reach this step, you have successfully signed into your Vectric account and can start using VCarve.