View Full Version : EMC2 or USBCNC?

09-12-2011, 08:51 PM

I am getting to the stage where I need to start thinking about which software to start running. I have decided not to go with Mach3 but to either go for usbcnc or EMC2 for the machine control.

I am a linux user, so am not concerned with linux side of things but would like to know if I start using EMC2 I won't be missing much from the propriety tools.

On the other side, I like the fact that usb is the interface to the drivers rather than parallel port - but unfortunately the software is only windows. If usbcnc is really that good then I don't mind having a dedicated windows machine just for my cnc (i really do not have any other windows machines - even dual boots!)



09-12-2011, 09:26 PM
As far as I can tell, and I've only played with it a little, EMC2 can do everything Mach3 does and more but it requires more work to get it going. If you are experienced with Linux I doubt you will find it too difficult. Why not set your computer up to dual boot between your favorite flavour of Linux and Ubuntu/EMC2 and have a play.

One disadvantage: It doesn't like NVIDEA cards.

One big advantage: No Windoze!


Web Goblin
09-12-2011, 10:07 PM
USBCNC and I like it. It does have a few quirks which I suppose most bits of software have but once youve figured it out youre on your way. Its nice and easy to use. One thing I do like is that the operating screen is not stuffed full of info, just the basic stuff you need to see whats happening.



10-12-2011, 04:10 PM
Thanks for the posts. I believe I will have a go at the EMC2 software. I will be buying a dedicated pc box for my cnc and will install the ubuntu+EMC2 that comes 'ready to roll' - but I am sure I will still have to configure some things!
I intend to get it up and running and use some gcode downloaded from various sites to test it all out before I start creating my own.

I guess if it doesn't work after playing around with it I can then look at the usbcnc stuff.

On another note, are there many people here that use EMC2 or will I be entering a lonely world?



10-12-2011, 08:24 PM
I'll certainly be using EMC2 when I get my mill up and running. Two main reasons: I have been a Linux user for many years and don't want to go back to using Windows. The other reason is cost (free). There is good support on the forum on http://www.linuxcnc.org.


11-12-2011, 12:19 AM
EMC2 through and through and find it much easier to use that Mach3. Just make sure your PC has a fast on board graphics card or ditch it and get a decent seperate one. Thei site does have a PC comparison section in the wiki. The only thing i use Windoze for is CAMBAM. You can't have everything ;-)

12-12-2011, 11:31 AM
The only thing i use Windoze for is CAMBAM.
Will CAMBAM run on a Windoze guest on Virtualbox? If so I guess you could just delete the guest after the 40 day trial period and create another.


12-12-2011, 05:05 PM
It will run very happily on an VM, for it's just convenient as i have a windoze box with big screen that the rest of the family use. It also means that i'm not doing everything in the workshop ;-)

12-12-2011, 06:17 PM
Ive tried both Mach3 and USBCNC, and if your thinking of building a decent pc to cope with spitting out all them pulses (especially when you need to increase the Kernal speed) the my money would be 100% on USBCNC as the bored does all the hard work and using the ethernet cable makes it a doddle to setup and use. and for what it costs for a decent pc and bob its pretty close call with USBCNC

12-02-2013, 04:04 AM
I have used and installed over 100 USBCNC boards from its birth, V3 to the latest V5, I have heavily been involved with its development and testing, It would win hands down every time, but I'm biased, the max step size is 125k for a 1.8 microstep driver I can achieve 12 to 15m a min with decent torque, with servo I have achieved 90m a min using electronic gearing and planetary gearboxes. The operator screen is easily customisable and spindle speed is controlled via screen also, it has various output customisable, of which I install traffic lights, green good to go, amber m/c run, and red= error.

ethernet or usb is option, I use ethernet due to electrical noise disturbing comms, whats more usbcnc can be used offline to simulate your machine, so you can play with it and get confident prior to crashing.