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Thread: Dumb question for you CNC folks....

  1. #1
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    Dumb question for you CNC folks....

    I haven't been bitten by the CNC bug (yet), but I was having a different problem which leads to my question. We are a Mac household, having given up on Windows right when they introduced Vista. So I'm wondering about the CNC software used, does it come for both platforms? On a few things Mac users are only an afterthought (if they're a thought at all). BTW, my other problem was related to learning Sketchup on a Mac...all the reference material I have seems to assume a Windows computer.

  2. #2
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    I had been trying to do some of the design and control for my little laser on Linux. There were a couple of programs that were pretty much windows only, and to be honest, some of the control software just worked so much better on windows I actually switched my shop computer out for on that ran windows 7.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
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  3. #3
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    I am an anti-apple guy.

    I know lots of folk love their apples and I like eating apples but I don't "use" an apple.

    I do know that Vectric does not have an apple version of software available unfortunately.

    I don't know anything about the other stuff - I have been and always be a PC based user.

  4. #4
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    Mac user here. I bought a refurnished PC w/Win 7 for the CNC. Vectric and Mach 3 are PC based. If there are multi-platform CNC related software, I am unaware of it. Vectric programs and Mach 3 are the most user friendly, popular programs out there. The small machines like Dan and Bill have their own machine language. What Leo and I are into, Mach 3 is the machine language. Not sure what Brent will be using. Vectric allows the cad (drawing) function and the cam (toolpath creation) function. Mach 3 translate the tool paths into actual movements of the hardware.

    SketchUp is multi-platform. I use it on my MacBook. It saves files in its own native format which is transferable to a PC base with no issue.

    So you can draw your project in SketchUp and transfer it to cam software which creates the tool paths. Or you can import graphic files into a Vectric program and set up the machining parameters for the CNC. I am not sure if you can draw from scratch into the Vectric programs. Leo can answer that one. And correct me if I have led you astray here. Which would be very good for me if that is the case.
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  5. #5
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    this is coming from someone who has worked with computers for the last 30 plus years. apple only has about less than 6% of the business market. don't get me wrong now, they're big in non-business functions. that could be one of the reasons why the majority of cnc software is pc based.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Noren View Post
    apple only has about less than 6% of the business market. ..........that could be one of the reasons why the majority of cnc software is pc based.
    That would be my guess.

  7. #7
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    Thanks folks. I guess I understand the part about small part of the market...just thought maybe something out was written to work with OSX. Kinda sounds like if i ever do get a CNC, I'll have to do what Carol and Brent suggested...get a refurb dedicated computer.

  8. #8
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    that's what i did fred. i picked up a lenovo/ibm laptop from craigs list, for $119.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

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