View Full Version : NEW MEMBER: Newbie to CNC

12-09-2013, 01:39 PM
Hi all im very new to CNC equipment and the capabilities what these machines can do .
Im a retired heating engineer and has had interest in these type of machines for a long time.

I am always open to any questions and I suppose will ask many before I become any good at building a DIY cnc for my personal use.

I have a laptop with usb connections and a good workshop located in the garage where I plan to start the build but wanted to know if I need a computer instead of a laptop but would like to keep the cost down if poss.

I have some plans to work from but its the electrical side of it that im stuck on a bit.
Anyway I will continue reading your postys on hear and enjoy and learn at the same time thanks for now

12-09-2013, 06:53 PM
The laptop would be okay as long as you went with a USB breakout board, the other options are ethernet but the one that most people currently use is parallel port which I guess your laptop will not have. The best way I found is to read through as many of the Build Logs you can that seem relevant to your own requirements, and no problem with the electrical questions or any other come to think of it, the grand chaps on here know everything you will need.

12-09-2013, 07:05 PM
If you plan to use Mach3 then really you need a Desktop machine or dedicated motion control card to use with a laptop.
Reason being that most laptops have energy saving features and will shut down the parallel port or other little used process to save energy and this causes big problems to the control software.
The only safe way to use Laptop is with an external motion control card but these are expensive and can cost more than a desktop. They do work much better than PC parallel port and give much nicer running machine but it costs you.

Don't know if Linux CNC is ok with laptop or not.? Linux CNC is free and you need to be pretty Ok with PC's and setting up operating systems etc but other than that it works good I'm told. . . . . That said Thou if your new to CNC and not PC savy then I think you'll find Mach3 much more intuitive with lots of help and advise readily available.

12-09-2013, 07:13 PM
The laptop would be okay as long as you went with a USB breakout board,

Careful here because that's not strictly true You need to define USB breakout board.? Or point him to exact component you referring too because Some breakout boards use USB to power them but they still use the Parallel port and this could be misleading to someone new.!

What's needed is a motion control card or board, these can be connected in various ways depending on boards USB and ETHERNET are the main ways.