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Offline DMF

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advice please
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2011, 05:49:16 PM »
I have an old CNC router with an 18"x18" table, running with DanCad on a Windows 98 machine. I am thinking of updating the computer. What do I need besides an new computer (netbook for portability and other uses), a docking station to provide a parrallel port (this is the interface in use today), and Mach3? I am also looking at buying TurboCad or ViaCad to do the drawings and building the .dxf files.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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advice please
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2011, 02:18:38 AM »

Welcome to the forum.

From experience, I suggest that an old PC (WinXP) with a parallel port but not having on-board graphics, which is dedicated to just running the machine with Mach3, may be more suitable.
Your laptop/netbook etc could then be used to run your CAD/CAM and create the GCode (I use a USB memory stick to transfer the GCode from my laptop to PC).
CAD/CAM software is really a matter of chioce but there are plenty, perhaps function limited 'try before you buy' to help you choose. No one software does it all so you will end up with a few different types depending on what you are planning on making with your machine.

There is a wealth of knowledge here on this forum and a wealth of members only too willing to help if you need assistance.

Good fortune with your project.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.