View Full Version : What software ??

11-08-2007, 07:13 PM
Hi just thought this would be an excellent topic and one that has my simple head spinning :lol: :lol: :lol:
Ok I want to download some free software so I can practice using and also understand with ease the programming and running of a homebuild CNC machine which I will undertake very soon. Just was wondering what is the most easily to understand and more importantly get to working quite quickly without any steep learning curves. I have read on the other forums about Mach 3 as this seems like the holy grail in what everybody tends to use. I again would love the thought of using a UK based software which is easy to understand,use and programme. What would you guys recommend and also what did you find easy and which did you not :) The routout CNC software seems like it would be a good starting point. Maybe the board admins could contact Mike Gaylor and make him known that there are guys on this forum that would love to here from someone who could save us alot of work and errors JMHO ?? :D

Lee Roberts
11-08-2007, 08:11 PM
I'v been in contact with mike, ill give him an email after this and see if we can get him to come over.

I thought i'd suggested it to him befor i ordered from him, but i'v had a look and it seems i havn't so ill let you know what he says.

John S
11-08-2007, 10:54 PM
From a hobbyist point of view there a few out there.
In no order there are Desk CNC, Turbo CNC, Mach 3 , CNC pro and EMC.
This isn't a full list by any means but its a list of well supported programs.

To go thru them quickly in the same order as they are stated.

Desk CNC is reliant on a serial board from the same company and support for this isn't too good in the UK.

Turbo CNC is well though off, it's still in DOS but the download isn't crippled in any way although they do ask you to register this.

Mach 3 is probably one of the best out there, over 10,000 registered users and a fantastic support group both web based and on Yahoo. Very powerful and even beats some industrial controls. The demo is limited to 100 lines of G code

CNC Pro is now in the public domain and is no longer supported but still has a good following. Not all G codes supported but most of the popular ones are.

EMC runs under Linux and is free but unless you are very Linux savvy it can be a long learning curve.

There are others but most seem to be very limited versions of art type programs.

John S.

Lee Roberts
12-08-2007, 12:42 AM
Hes now a member, not got an email back but he has posted on the other topic.

24-08-2007, 11:24 PM
Hi Kam
I'd recomend Mach3 with Lazycam included in the deal from your friend. That way you can get on the phone and torture him :twisted: at every setup screen.

Other solutions work but support in 'the same language' makes a big difference. I suppose that is what the UK forum is all about :roll:

Lee Roberts
29-08-2007, 01:44 PM
I'v just asked mike to take a look at this post, i have looked at Mach 3 & Lazy Cam, lazy cam also has some vid's on the site so you can watch them using it and i think this will help you alot as i found it very good.

Routout CNC
29-08-2007, 02:25 PM
Hi All,

As I'm sure your all aware we are distributers for the Mach 3 And Lazy Cam software here in the UK, If I can be of any assistance with Either Mach 3 or Lazy Cam then please do not hesitate to call me on Tel 01269 841230. (8-30AM - 7.00 PM) Please note it goes without saying that any product (software or hardware) bought from us has full UK email and telephone support from us.

As I'm sure that you are aware the Mach 3 software is a very powerfull package, It is capable of driving Mills, lathe, Laser Cutter, Router, Plasma cutter.....the list goes on. I have personally converted / built all of these with Mach 3 as the controller Software. There is almost no limit to the machines that you can control, the only limit is your imagination.

Please let me know what I can help anyof you with.

Best Regards

Mike Gaylor

29-08-2007, 09:27 PM
Thanks Mike that is some sound advice and I know youre backup service and customer care is 100% top notch. I will certainly be in contact with you when I'm ready to purchase the whole shebang CHEERS! :D

01-09-2007, 08:21 AM
Mach3 is awesome, (it is made easier by the fact I use fanuc based Gcode all the time at work.)
It`s constantly being improved upon with an already staggering amount of features, I have a shuttlepro handheld pendant hooked up for selecting axes and manual jogging etc, even got a webcam setup with a viewing window in Mach3. The support available is phenominal, yeah I rate this software top class.

Lee Roberts
04-09-2007, 02:13 PM
Excellent, "shuttlepro handheld pendant" that sounds intresting ! how much are these ? Could i make one quite easy?

A WEBCAM? hows that work whats it for?

06-09-2007, 03:30 PM
Hi mate
here is a link to the shuttlepro I bought . In fact it`s 20 quid cheaper than what I paid.
http://cgi.ebay.com/New-CONTOUR-DESIGN- ... dZViewItem (http://cgi.ebay.com/New-CONTOUR-DESIGN-ShuttlePRO-V-2-Jog-Shuttle-Pro-V2_W0QQitemZ320153684000QQihZ011QQcategoryZ3761QQs sPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

much cheaper to buy them direct from the states. Mach3 has a plugin dll file made for it, no need to install the software that comes with the shuttlepro. In mach3 there is a whole list of functions you can configure with whichever button.

My project has taken a bit of a turn, instead of putting my whole machine into a freezer, I have bought a cheap tabletop freezer and mounted my Y axis inside the thing with the ballscrew motor mounted outside thru the back. I have cut a slot in the top to allow access for the Y and Z movement. I want the webcam mounted inside so I can see what going on when the freezer door is closed.
But yeah, loads of guys use webcams to see what their machine is doing, you can sit in the office or wherever and have the machine working away in the shed/workshop.

Lee Roberts
07-09-2007, 01:46 PM
Yea think i'm going to pop a webcam on mine, i'v got 3-4 old ones laying about.

I'v got this really small one its about 1" x 20mm in overall size its ment for a laptop.