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Thread: What's on your CNC computer?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA

    What's on your CNC computer?

    I am curious, especially with you folks using Vectric products. And are you isolated from the Internet and connected? Do you have SketchUp loaded? Any other word processing or data management software?

    I have to make a computer decision soon. So far I have an HP cpu, monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse. No wifi or modem. My main machine is a MacBook that I love. I can draw on it and transport via a thumb drive as needed, but tell me what you think is practical.

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
    I have a computer on my CNC machine. It is set up with wireless connection to my home network. I do NOT use the CNC computer for anything except operating the CNC machine. No particular strategy, it's just the way it is. I do have internet connectivity, but that's just default, as the wireless network goes through the wireless router, which is connected to the cable modem.

    I program from my desk computer mostly, but also a little bit from my shop computer.

    Vectric is on my desk computer and my shop computer, but not on the CNC computer.

    When I post programs from Vectric I post directly to the CNC computer via the wireless network. The posted programs (g-code) go directly to the CNC machine and nowhere else.

    In the CNC computer I keep only the g-code programs I am working with. All other g-code programs get deleted. I do not save g-code programs. I DO save and organize the vectric files and all associated programming files, pics, previews, notes, spreadsheets, CAD layouts or any other pertinent information about the project in a separate and unique folder for the project. All of that is stored on my main desktop computer, on a separate and dedicated internal hard drive JUST for data storage. That is backed up to an external hard drive monthly.

    I don't use any Apple products at all.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    falcon heights, minnesota
    as it stands now, i have the new permanent brain (dell), with universal gcode sender, sketchup 8, vcarve, and cut2d on it. nothing else. no internet access needed, as i can do that at home. wireless trackball.
    benedictione omnes bene

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Thomasville, GA
    I updated my shop computer a couple months ago mainly because it was older and I wanted a new one. I got an HP at Office Depot on one of their deals. It has 12gb RAM and a 1TB HD. I run VCarvePro, SketchUP, MS Office and Internet routinely as well as using UGS to drive my CNC at the same time. Oh, and when there's a possibility of storms moving in, I have a window open with NWS radar in it. I'm running two monitors also.

    Edit: It's on wireless to my Internet router.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Vcarve, drobbox, mach3, and virus software, windows updates are turned off. I typically do my design and gcode generation on the shop computer and save them to dropbox, they show up within a minute or so on the cnc computer. I really don't need Vcarve on the cnc computer, had just loaded it when I was first setting it up. I'm not sure I really need the virus software since it's all scanned at my shop computer also. I don't get on the internet on the cnc pc either.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Sacramento, CA
    I do almost nothing on the computer that drives the CNC - it's just a really old PC with windows XP and mach3 on it - not much else. It does have internet connectivity but i don't browse the web with it. It's on my network so i can get files from the other machines onto it.

    I use my daily driver laptop for CAD/CAM work most of the time - vCarvePro is on this laptop and i do 99% of my drawing here. Then I generate the gcode and throw 'em on a network share that the CNC machine can get to from the shop. Copy the files to that machine, load up mach3 and send it running.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

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