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What's New in Aspire V9.0

Welcome to Aspire V9.0!

This documentation provides a convenient guide for previous Aspire customers to highlight new and enhanced features specific to this release of the software. It is intended as a way for existing Aspire users to locate just the new or changed aspects of the software.

If you are new to Aspire, don't forget that full documentation of all the features of the software can be found here, or by selecting Help ► Help Contents from the Main Menu on Aspire's main window.

New Drawing Tools

This latest version of Aspire introduces several entirely new drawing tools and features,

Smart Snapping

The way you draw in the software has seen some huge improvements making it quicker and easier to create and align geometry in the software with the introduction of Smart Snapping. Smart Snapping can dramatically reduce the time taken to create vector geometry. It enables geometry to be snapped to lines, extensions and intersections which don't exist as geometry thereby reducing the need for most construction vectors.

Quick Keys

In addition to the Smart Snapping feature we have introduced the ability to transform and create shapes using Quick Keys. This allows you to add more precision to your shape creation and editing process more easily by allowing typed values while creating geometry. This is supported for creation of circles, ellipses, rectangles, polygons, stars, polylines and in editing nodes or transforming vectors.

Pressing the Space-bar re-opens the last vector creation form you used. This is very useful when using other forms in between each shape / text / dimension you create.

Vector Validator

The Vector Validator is intended to help locate issues with contours after importing vector files to look for problematic issues that could potentially affect toolpath creation such as overlapping contours or intersections. It also indicates zero-length spans that are in the file, where the software can fix them at the click of a button.

Enhanced & Extended Drawing Tools

This section details the improvements that have been made to features you will already be familiar with from earlier versions of Aspire and includes the following:


Further improvements have been made to the way you can create dimensions in the software. It has been enhanced to allow faster placement and more freedom. You now have the option to edit existing dimensions while the form is open. Dimensions can now have custom text. This text is stored per dimension, so you change between calculated and custom text without losing a dimension's custom text.

Note: The Length, Vertical and Horizontal Dimensions allow the text to be placed freely with a snap-point-point at the center of the dimension line for consistency with previous versions (disable snapping by holding down a Shift key).

Shape Creation

Improvements have been made to the way we create shapes. If a shape is selected when a shape's form is opened, the form will load its values from the selected shape, otherwise it holds the same values it had when it was last closed.

When drawing a shape, the size of the shape you are drawing will be displayed, changing appropriately for the snap radius and job size. You can now edit a shape whilst in the shape form.

Creating Tangent Lines

Using the keyboard shortcut T in the Polyline Tool, you can create a tangent to and from existing arc spans or circles.

New Modeling Tools

Turn & Spin

The new Turn and Spin tool allows you to create a 3D component by turning or spinning a cross section. Turn takes a profile and turns (rotates) it around line from start point to end point to create a rounded symmetrical shape. Spin takes a cross section and spins it about its left end point to create a circular shape with the profile of the cross section that was used to spin.

Mirror Mode

Many decorative designs and patterns are symmetrical and the new Level Mirror Mode makes the process of creating and editing these sort of jobs much easier and far quicker. A dynamic and non-destructive mirroring effect can be applied to all of the components within a level so that you can concentrate on just one half or quarter of your design and let Aspire take care of the rest.

For more information on this exciting new feature read more here....

Enhanced & Extended Modeling Tools

Re-Grouped Modeling Tools

As Aspire has grown, inevitably the tool set has also grown. In this release we have taken a fresh look at the logical grouping of our modeling tools.

The tools are now ordered according to:

Modeling Tools
Create Shape Icon Two Rail Sweep Icon Extrude & Weave Icon Turn and Spin Icon Sculpting Icon Create Texture Area Icon Add Zero Plane Icon Model Creation Tools
Import Component Icon Created a Component From Selected or Imported Bitmap Icon Import Component Icon Model Import Export Tools
Clear Area Inside Vectors Icon Clear Area Outside Vectors Icon Split Component Icon Create Vector Boundary Icon Bake Selected Components Create Component From Visible Model Icon Emboss Component Icon Model Editing Tools
Component Properties Icon Smooth Components Icon Add Draft Icon Offset Model Icon Scale Z Height Icon Slice Model Icon

We hope you agree that this makes life a bit simpler and also allows for the continuing expansion of the modeling toolset in future releases.

Add Zero Plane Icon Add Zero Plane

In previous versions of the software, to access the Add Zero Plane command you had to select it from the Model main menu, to make this easier to find, the Add Zero Plane option now has an Icon that can be accessed from the Model Creation section of the Modeling Tab.

Import Component Icon Improved Quality of Imported STL Models

Previously, STL models were imported and converted at a fixed resolution. With the average computer being so much more powerful these days we have successfully enhanced this feature so that Aspire 's modeling resolution can be used. This means that for very dense STL meshes we can preserve the detail much more effectively when you are working within a high resolution model within Aspire.

Note: Ultimately the detail possible will still be limited to the initial detail of your STL mesh. We cannot add detail that was not there to start with!

Enhanced Toolpath Features

Setting Toolpath Start Point

Within the Profile ToolpathProfile Toolpath form, a new Start At tab has been added giving you more control over the toolpaths start position. There are three options to choose from:

This new third option allows you to make the start point to be closest to a selected point, to influence the start point define which part of the bounding box of the profiled vector it should start near and the software will look for the nearest point, from all of the endpoints of spans, and will start the toolpath from that point. This is particularly useful if you wanted to alter the start point to multiple vectors in your job to a common point without having to go in to each individual vector to alter them separately.

Note: Keep current start points and optimize start points are not new features but have been moved from the Machine Vectors section in the Profile Toolpath form to the new Start At Tab.

Create Job Sheet Icon Create Job Sheet Icon

To simplify your work flow the Job Setup Sheet command can now be accessed via its own Job Setup Sheet Icon in the Toolpath Operations section of the Toolpaths tab.

Preserve Arcs across Toolpath Tiles

Previously, when tiling a toolpath, arcs where smashed to small lines if they were going across a tile. Arcs are now maintained when tiling to creating smoother, more efficient toolpaths if arcs are supported by your CNC machine.

General Improvements

Two-Sided Job Support

Major changes have been made throughout the software to support jobs which require you to machine both sides of your material. Aspire now helps you to manage and organize your drawings, models and toolpaths for each side of your part using simple controls. The software helps with correct alignment of your vectors and toolpaths and even provides a full 3D preview of your part as it will look when cut from both sides. For lots more information please see the new Two-Sided Machining section of the full documentation.

View Toolbar

A new View Toolbar is displayed above the view window, which allows easier access to common tools. With the ability to create a double sided project you have easy access to switch between the Top and Bottom Sides of your project. The Layers Drop down bar has now moved from the drawing tab to the View Toolbar, making it accessible at all times. The other icons displayed in order of left to right are as follows:

Snapping Toggle Options
View Controls
Toolpath Drawing Toggle
Tile 2D & 3D View Windows

There are also additional tools available when you are working on a two-sided job. For more information, please see the Toolbar section of the documentation.

Export to PDF

You can now export your drawings to PDF. This is a useful and standard format but it also enables you to print your drawings to scale on a suitable printer using Adobe or other 3rd party PDF software.