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chris
16-01-2014, 08:18 AM
I have just bought my first CNC router (Exel sl6090 pro) used of ebay. I plan to use to for 3d wood carving in an outbuilding.
I need to decide on CAM and control software and could do with some advice.

The router comes with a DSP hand controller but as I am completely new to CNC machines I feel I would probably find it easier to have a PC with Mach 3 as my user interface with the machine. Any thoughts on this?
I plan to use Deskproto as my CAM software on my modern powerful laptop and then transfer the output file to the router PC in the workshop. How would I do that? Flash drive? Or is there a better way?

I am about to buy a refurb' PC off ebay to run the router using Mach 3. I was going to go for an IMB Thinkcentre with flat screen monitor, keyboard and mouse. Anything to look out for when buying an old desktop to run Mach 3 for 3d routing? They seem to come with windows XP or 7 depending on how much you spend. Is one better than the other for running Mach 3.

Any advice on hardware/software choices much appreciated.

Chris

EddyCurrent
16-01-2014, 09:28 AM
I am about to buy a refurb' PC off ebay to run the router using Mach 3. I was going to go for an IMB Thinkcentre with flat screen monitor, keyboard and mouse. Anything to look out for when buying an old desktop to run Mach 3 for 3d routing? They seem to come with windows XP or 7 depending on how much you spend. Is one better than the other for running Mach 3.

If the machine breakout board has the parallel port interface then you need a PC that has a parallel printer port otherwise you would need more hardware.

Neale
16-01-2014, 10:18 AM
...and to transfer files, the most convenient way is over a network connection but if your wifi network signal won't reach the outbuilding (and you can't run a bit of Ethernet cable to it) then flashdrive is fine. I do this a lot as my wifi signal is a bit flaky in the garage. The gcode files aren't that big, compared with the size of even a cheap memory stick.

irving2008
16-01-2014, 10:56 AM
A low-end Pentium 4 or Pentium 5 with XP is more than adequate for most small CNC machines. I used to use an IBM ThinkCentre 50 (P4) circa 2002-ish with 1Gb RAM and 40Gb disc.

chris
16-01-2014, 04:12 PM
Thanks for the replies. I just had an email from Exel recommending that I stick with the DSP controller as the machine electronics are designed for that.
So. Looks like I need to learn how the DSP works instead. I will no doubt be posting lots of questions about that very soon. If anyone would care to explain the basics of CAM to DSP to router, it would be much appreciated. The guy I bought the machine off mentioned the need to run the DSP software in Windows XP, and use USB sticks of 4gb or less. The learning curve sure does look steep from down here.

Chris