I'm just about to try and set myself up with a CNC machine - initially for hobby purposes, but developing ideas if I get the hang of it. I've read a lot of the vectric info, but with a very modest set-up budget ( £1000 max ) am unsure the spec of machine I'd need, the most appropriate software, and exactly what computer spec required - I believe a laptop isn't adequate ? I'd like to work up to 400mm x 300mm max size. Plenty of questions there - any answers ? Thanks. Stanza.
You'd better have a specific computer to run the machine control software, especially if it is Mach3 which is generally used with these chinese machines.
In this case uou need a computer with a parallel port. AFAIK avoid laptops. An old and cheap second hand XP PC without any internet access, screen saver or other software is OK. Mach3 users will give you better advice.
Run the CAD-Cam software (the Vectric stuff) on another computer. As other said, you don't need a high end PC.
FYI I run Mach 3 on a old IBM Lenovo laptop that I have decommissioned just about everything from and it runs Windows XP, but the controller is an Ethernet connection. It also runs VCP 9.xx just fine for those last minute corrections. My main design computer is in the house. I will never have Windows 10 on any of my work computers.
Do you mean "work computer" as in design or as in CNC control?
Now don't get me wrong, I am not a big fan of Win10, but virtually all of the top end CNC controllers currently require Win10 and being current on upgrades. I fought it, but I finally succumbed and am impressed. I setup maybe a half dozen a month and have no reported user issues. (with Win10 that is )
Gary Campbell CNC Technology & Training Control & ATC Retrofits GCnC411 (at) gmail.com