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  1. #1
    MCmec's Avatar
    Lives in lowestoft, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 3 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 11.
    Hi all pretty new here and still learning.

    I have a couple of MAC's that are ageing now and am thinking about buying or building a CNC Router for woodwork.

    I'm not sure what system I will end up with but thinking about starting with a Arduino DUO or maybe MACH3.

    Regarding picking a suitable laptop would the following spec be suitable?

    Dell Latitude E7470 Laptop
    Intel i5 processor
    14inch screen
    8gb RAM
    128gb memory
    Windows 10 pro

  2. #2
    If you are going to run Windows 10 then you can't use the parallel port on any PC with Mach3, so you must use some kind of external motion control hardware. Something like UC100 is the most basic of the usual choices. If you use an external motion controller like that, then any PC capable of running Win10 will run Mach3. However, if you are buying something then it probably makes more sense to use UCCNC software (same manufacturer as UC100) which is more modern and still being supported. Unlike Mach3 which froze development years ago.

    The motion control hardware offloads a lot of the computation needed to drive a machine which means that the PC used becomes much less important.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Neale For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Save yourself a lot of trouble and use dedicated controller without PC. for 200eu you have a 4 axis one.
    project 1 , 2, Dust Shoe ...

  5. #4
    MCmec's Avatar
    Lives in lowestoft, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 3 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 11.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boyan Silyavski View Post
    Save yourself a lot of trouble and use dedicated controller without PC. for 200eu you have a 4 axis one.
    Which controller would that be?

  6. #5
    MCmec's Avatar
    Lives in lowestoft, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 3 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 11.
    Well after Neale's advice I purchased the Dell Latitude E7470 Laptop,I think I will need it to download up-to date software for CNC use as my Mac's are running old systems that do not download some of the current software. Al I need to do now is find a, not too costly, good used CNC router, Buy a cost effective new one or try building my own! Either way I now have more options than before.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by MCmec View Post
    Well after Neale's advice I purchased the Dell Latitude E7470 Laptop,
    If you are using a Laptop then you will definitely need an external motion controller and ideally an Ethernet-based one. USB is too flaky and even worse on a laptop which uses heavy power management and not all can keep the USB turned on all the time. They will shut USB down when ideal which isn't good for CNC.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by MCmec View Post
    Which controller would that be?
    DDCSV cnc controller . Have the earlier version on my machine and still working like a champ. I am tired of saying how much trouble was Mach 3 + Windows. Check on internet there is enough info and videos on Youtube.
    Have not had time last year , so dont know about the latest if any actual changes.

    PS. I see you have purchased already the laptop. Justifying buying computers instead of concentrating on the CNC machine needed. I guess once you finish what you are doing and remember what i said, you will start understanding what i was saying
    project 1 , 2, Dust Shoe ...

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Boyan Silyavski View Post
    DDCSV cnc controller . Have the earlier version on my machine and still working like a champ. I am tired of saying how much trouble was Mach 3 + Windows. Check on internet there is enough info and videos on Youtube.
    Have not had time last year , so dont know about the latest if any actual changes.

    PS. I see you have purchased already the laptop. Justifying buying computers instead of concentrating on the CNC machine needed. I guess once you finish what you are doing and remember what i said, you will start understanding what i was saying
    Boyan, We all have different needs and just because something works for you doesn't mean it works for everyone or that your way is the only way it must be done.!

    For instance, I've got one of the earlier DDCSV which I don't like it one little bit and doesn't suit my needs. I use Mach3 based controllers with a Laptop and I'm happy with it because does what I need. The DDCSV cannot give or do what I need. I need control-software and hardware that is flexible and allows me to jump from machine to machine with just a few clicks. I also like to see a toolpath on the screen and the early version didn't, thou do believe the latest ones do have a basic toolpath viewer.

    I've also used most of the other common hobby CNC controllers/software and to be honest, most of them are very competent with little to choose between them when it comes to operating the machine. Ease of setup of the machine can differ greatly between them, esp if the machine requires advanced features, but this is mostly just a learning curve which comes with any new software and when the machine is set up correctly then you rarely need to worry about it again so no big deal.

    However backup and user base make a huge difference to new users and Mach3 still has a massive user base which is why I use it on machines I build. The fact it's not supported by Artsoft is not a big deal for the routers/mills I build because the current build works just fine and does everything my routers need. Once it's set up this side never needs to be seen by a user.
    What's more important is the fact a new user who is only interested in USING the machine not configuring it. Can go to a forum or youtube and ask a question on how to operate the software or do what he needs to do to get a job done and someone will come back with an answer quickly. Mach3 blows all others away in this respect purely because it's a numbers game.

    Are there better more stable software/hardware controllers out there, HELL YES, but everyone's needs are different and for your average CNC machine any of them will do the job perfectly fine. However the end of the day It's down to the individual user and there needs along with comfort level and MACH3 with its PC based controller offer a nice comforting easily accessible userbase for most new users.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Boyan, We all have different needs and just because something works for you doesn't mean it works for everyone or that your way is the only way it must be done.!

    For instance, I've got one of the earlier DDCSV which I don't like it one little bit and doesn't suit my needs. I use Mach3 based controllers with a Laptop and I'm happy with it because does what I need. The DDCSV cannot give or do what I need. I need control-software and hardware that is flexible and allows me to jump from machine to machine with just a few clicks. I also like to see a toolpath on the screen and the early version didn't, thou do believe the latest ones do have a basic toolpath viewer.

    I've also used most of the other common hobby CNC controllers/software and to be honest, most of them are very competent with little to choose between them when it comes to operating the machine. Ease of setup of the machine can differ greatly between them, esp if the machine requires advanced features, but this is mostly just a learning curve which comes with any new software and when the machine is set up correctly then you rarely need to worry about it again so no big deal.

    However backup and user base make a huge difference to new users and Mach3 still has a massive user base which is why I use it on machines I build. The fact it's not supported by Artsoft is not a big deal for the routers/mills I build because the current build works just fine and does everything my routers need. Once it's set up this side never needs to be seen by a user.
    What's more important is the fact a new user who is only interested in USING the machine not configuring it. Can go to a forum or youtube and ask a question on how to operate the software or do what he needs to do to get a job done and someone will come back with an answer quickly. Mach3 blows all others away in this respect purely because it's a numbers game.

    Are there better more stable software/hardware controllers out there, HELL YES, but everyone's needs are different and for your average CNC machine any of them will do the job perfectly fine. However the end of the day It's down to the individual user and there needs along with comfort level and MACH3 with its PC based controller offer a nice comforting easily accessible user base for most new users.
    I agree with you , especially about the support. Agree also where mach 3 is much more flexible. I even have proper Mach licence that i payed to support them even that i have the cracked Mach3 working perfectly fine on mine machine.

    But people should know the other possibilities that work perfectly fine 100%. There is a text file that you can program load and jump from machine to machine, just FYI as probably you know that. And have talked out people to pay for their licences to support the software.

    But people also should know that mach 3 means a lot of problems like:
    - needs a windows 32 bit computer
    - needs a dedicated computer that you dont use for internet or anything else
    - the moment there is a but or something not working properly one needs to reinstall everything , clean windows and start again. Sometimes even reinstall windows and repeat everything
    - if a computer stops midway due to lack of electricity almost 99% sure the procedure from above should be done or else problems.


    CNC started as a hobby for me, to support my other hobby of musical instruments making. But now i have a small sign company. So IMO if someone is retired and has time to play around-great. But if someone is making money from his machine, then better forget about mach3 and the problems arising with what i said above.
    You remember when i build mine machine, i tried at least a couple of controllers, from Galil to Pokeys, and i have a couple fo good mach3 controls.

    Nothing nearly is good as the cheapest dedicated controller, and i will continue to repeat that. Eliminating PCs with its memory fails, hard disc fails, windows fails, cable connection fails, board connection fails, power supply fails, etc.. is a must for the person who values his time.

    And also i continue to believe that for the 99% of the people on forums who are for hobby in the CNC the DDCSV will do a fine job, for what they use or will use their machines

    I have mine machine in a garage and live near the sea. When it rains and in winter the humidity is 90% or more, in summer in the garage the temp could be even 50C. Almost 10 years in CNC and 6 pc later, 4 failed hard discs later ,many many problems from mach 3, from the time i use the little chino controller i have forgotten what a problem is.

    So let people decide what to use, but at least they should know they have that option. Nothing beats that for 200 euros. Even the shittiest computer is 50 euros with a proper SSD hardisc, mach 3 licence, windows licence, price of controller, price of software/ if not mach 3/ , etc...
    project 1 , 2, Dust Shoe ...

  11. Quote Originally Posted by Boyan Silyavski View Post
    Eliminating PCs with its memory fails, hard disc fails, windows fails, cable connection fails, board connection fails, power supply fails, etc.. is a must for the person who values his time.
    Every machine I've ever built runs a PC and I've had probably 3 fail in over 15yrs, nearly always HD related. Nearly always on Old PC's, that had been running for years. It's a simple and quick re-install from the backup and your working again, so big deal.

    But I agree if it's your lively hood then time is money, but this forum is mostly speaking to hobby users with little to no experience so having a big user base to fall back on is worth the risk of a PC failer every 5 to 10yrs.!

    If you are a business then downtime precautions need to be taken but that said I've got lots of machines used by business's running PCs working 12hr days and again with no issues. The fact you had issues doesn't mean others will have them, maybe you need to look at how you doing things.? It's poor workman that blames his tools.!

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