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Question #: 344

Question: CAN I USE AN APPLE COMPUTER TO RUN THE CNC?

Current Solution

There are several CAD/CAM programs out there for MacOS. Here is a list of a few: http://www.macuser.de/forum/f53/3d-2d-cad-395058/#post4499316
I've also read good things about punchCAD: http://www.punchcad.com/
Of course, there is always SketchUp if you are in a pinch. There are a few CAM plugins for SketchUp as well, but I've never used them, so I can't vouch for them.

CAD/CAM will get you as far as designing your parts and producing the g-code, but if you also want to run the CNC machine with your Mac, you will need a piece of software similar to Mach3 or EMC to run the g-code. I haven't been able to find anything like these programs that runs on Mac, so you may have to run Mach3 or EMC in Windows using Boot Camp or a virtual machine such as VMware or Parallels.

Personally, I would use the Mac to do all the CAD/CAM, then use a cheap PC to run the CNC machine.

Additional Information:


Additional Information:
EasyDNC for OSX
www.dnc-x.com

Additional Information:


Additional Information:
Hi guys I’m new to the cnc and I’m beginning to learn how to operate and cad-cam software also my cnc runs on Mach3 my questions is if I should use MacBook to do all designs if I can have all this software to run on Mac or I have to use windows software to operate it? I have separate small computer connected to the cnc table who have Mach3 on it please help. Also if you know any other software much easy for beginners please let me know thank you guys!
My email if needed is r1jastrzebski@gmail.com

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Hi , thank you for your advise!

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Hi , thank you for your advise!

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Hi , thank you for your advise!

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Hi , thank you for your advise!

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • DON'T WANT TO USE MY OWN MOTORS FOR THE REDLEAF CNC COMPUTER SYSTEM.

    That shouldn't be a problem. I will need the current rating for the motors. We can subtract the price of the motors. and you can add you own. If you want us to solder the cable to the round connectors and them motor, you would need to send the motors to us.

    Let me know and I can send a paypal invoice for the redLeaf without motors.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    DON'T WANT TO USE MY OWN MOTORS FOR THE REDLEAF CNC COMPUTER SYSTEM.

  • Can I purchase a computer off Amazon (I have a machine I want to use) and still use the USB interface to drive it with LinuxCNC?

    You will need to build the table unit for your machine. There are instructions on how to do this at the bottom of the product page here, https://www.buildyourcnc.com/Item/cnc-machine-blackFoot-v4
    There is no estimate on how much this will cost though, since there are too many variables involved to do this.

    - PC with parallel port and USB port
    - 20awg stranded wires for the motors - http://www.buildyourcnc.com/electronicscombo.aspx
    - 18awg stranded wires for power supply to drivers
    - 24awg stranded wires for breakout board to drivers
    (location and spacing of components varies from one person to another, so we do not provide cables/wires)
    - General purpose extension cord (cut the female end off) to provide power to power supply
    - USB cable to power breakout board
    - Parallel cable to communicate to breakout board
    - Router
    - (optional - instead of router) Spindle with power inverter http://www.buildyourcnc.com/SpindlesAndAccessories.aspx
    - (if purchasing spindle with inverter) General purpose extension cord (240v) (cut the female end off) to provide power to power inverter
    - End Mill(s) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/ProductsEndMills.aspx
    - CAD, and/or CAD-CAM software (to produce geometry, machine operations, and g-code) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/CNCsoftware.aspx
    - CNC control software (to read g-code and control machine) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/CNCsoftware.aspx

    This answer is applicable to most of our machines with the exception of the greenLean and the blueChick since those machines are equipped with a table structure.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Can I purchase a computer off Amazon (I have a machine I want to use) and still use the USB interface to drive it with LinuxCNC?

  • CAN I USE A MAC TO CONTROL THE CNC?

    There are several CAD/CAM programs out there for MacOS. Here is a list of a few: http://www.macuser.de/forum/f53/3d-2d-cad-395058/#post4499316
    I've also read good things about punchCAD: http://www.punchcad.com/
    Of course, there is always SketchUp if you are in a pinch. There are a few CAM plugins for SketchUp as well, but I've never used them, so I can't vouch for them.

    CAD/CAM will get you as far as designing your parts and producing the g-code, but if you also want to run the CNC machine with your Mac, you will need a piece of software similar to Mach3 or EMC to run the g-code. I haven't been able to find anything like these programs that runs on Mac, so you may have to run Mach3 or EMC in Windows using Boot Camp or a virtual machine such as VMware or Parallels.

    Personally, I would use the Mac to do all the CAD/CAM, then use a cheap PC to run the CNC machine.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    EasyDNC for OSX
    www.dnc-x.com

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Hi guys I’m new to the cnc and I’m beginning to learn how to operate and cad-cam software also my cnc runs on Mach3 my questions is if I should use MacBook to do all designs if I can have all this software to run on Mac or I have to use windows software to operate it? I have separate small computer connected to the cnc table who have Mach3 on it please help. Also if you know any other software much easy for beginners please let me know thank you guys!
    My email if needed is r1jastrzebski@gmail.com

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Additional Information:
    Hi , thank you for your advise!

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    CAN I USE A MAC TO CONTROL THE CNC?

  • HOW CAN THE ROUTER BE CONTROLLED OR CONNECTED TO ELECTRONICS COMPUTER?

    The parallel breakout board has a relay that can turn the router on and off according to the control software in the computer. The router will turn on automatically prior to the machine moving (a time frame can be set so the router is up to speed). When the machine is finished and is not moving, the router automatically turns off. This is with the m3, m4, and m5 codes in the g-code.

    If you are interested in the USB breakout board, you will need to get an independent relay board.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    HOW CAN THE ROUTER BE CONTROLLED OR CONNECTED TO ELECTRONICS COMPUTER?

  • HOW CAN THE ROUTER BE CONTROLLED BY COMPUTER?

    The parallel breakout board has a relay that can turn the router on and off according to the control software in the computer. The router will turn on automatically prior to the machine moving (a time frame can be set so the router is up to speed). When the machine is finished and is not moving, the router automatically turns off. This is with the m3, m4, and m5 codes in the g-code.

    If you are interested in the USB breakout board, you will need to get an independent relay board.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    HOW CAN THE ROUTER BE CONTROLLED BY COMPUTER?

  • I'm looking for a complete CNC router, out the box ready to use system. Computer and software. What do you suggest? I need a working area of 12"x24"

    The bluchick CNC router is a perfect small format CNC that can handle most jobs. Please check here to see the latest information on this CNC router. blueChick CNC Machine. The machine can be purchased assembled. Al you will need is a computer and spindle.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I'm looking for a complete CNC router, out the box ready to use system. Computer and software. What do you suggest? I need a working area of 12"x24"

  • IF MY COMPUTER DOESN'T HAVE A PARALLEL PORT, HOW DO I RUN THE MACHINE?

    If your computer does not have a parallel port, all you will need is a low cost PCI parallel adapter card (these can be found on amazon for $15-$20). If you plan on using a laptop (not recommended) you can try to find a PCMCIA parallel adapter, but many people have frequent issues with this setup. A more expensive solution would be to purchase a USB smooth stepper board. Unfortunately, we do not supply any of these adapters and cannot attest to their reliability.

    Additional Information:
    ur gay

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    IF MY COMPUTER DOESN'T HAVE A PARALLEL PORT, HOW DO I RUN THE MACHINE?

  • what program do I use to install ubuntu on my computer?

    Here is the direct link to download ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop), now installing it to your HDD you will need to install it to a USB or burn it to a DVD. Here is a following guide to install ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/try-ubuntu-before-you-install).

    Additional Information:
    Ubuntu comes with a program that will replace the controller software (ex Mach 3/Planet CNC), called LinuxCNC, here is the main website (http://www.linuxcnc.org/) and the main download page(http://www.linuxcnc.org/index.php/english/download).

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    what program do I use to install ubuntu on my computer?

  • How do I go about ordering the redLeaf or redSprout computer cnc system?

    To order the system, just go to this page:
    http://www.buildyourcnc.com/category/cnc-computer

    Make sure to also order the 4 conductor cable that you will need for the connections between the motors and the drivers. This length will depend on your machine, where the motors will be attached, and where you plan on setting the computer system.
    The cable can be found here:
    http://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-cable-wire-20awg-wrcon

    If you want to use Windows, you will also need to purchase that on the first link I provided. If not, we will install Linux with EMC2 and linuxcnc

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How do I go about ordering the redLeaf or redSprout computer cnc system?

  • When I try to run Mach3 It just crashes and restarts my computer.

    What Windows version are you running? I have heard of a windows update that crashes Mach3. Try uninstalling Mach3 then re-installing it to see if that works. Make sure to save your .xml files under the Mach3 folder or you will lose your settings. Also, copy your license file under that folder so you can re-copy it into the new folder.

    Another solution is to roll back the windows update to a previous version (just prior to the update).

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    When I try to run Mach3 It just crashes and restarts my computer.

  • I need to replace the on board computer of my laser engraving machine

    What model laser cutter and engraver do you have? What is the model number of the laser controller within the laser cutter and engraver?

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I need to replace the on board computer of my laser engraving machine

  • My computer doesn't have a parallel port connection. Can I use a usb to parallel port cable to communicate with my breakout board?

    A parallel to USB adapter will not work. You will need to use a USB interface like the ones below:

    Mach3 USB interface:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    Poeys57CNC Interface:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach4-mach3-USB-ethernet-Board

    Additional Information:
    To answer the question in more detail, the parallel port is actually an extension straight from the CPU and is also called the GPIO (General Purpose I/O) pins. These pins carry signals independently, hence the description as being a parallel port.

    The stepper motor driver receives a pulse train (series of pulses). A single pin on the parallel port sends a pulse train to one stepper motor driver and stepper motor for a single axis. Another pin on the parallel port sends a pulse train to another stepper motor driver on another axis. This happens simultaneously as with the direction signals for each axis.

    If a parallel port is adapted through a USB (using an adapter), the parallel port cannot have these signals happen in a simultaneous fashion and will cause the stepper motors of a CNC router or machine to be very clunky, if it works at all. To elaborate, the computer sends an instruction to the USB to send a high signal to pin 1, so it does, then another signal to pin 2, so it does. This is happening one after another. The speed at which this happens is reduced dramatically, and the position of one axis may now be out of sync to another axis.

    The reason the USB interfaces (linked above) work is that the USB delivers broad instructions to the interface (to a microcontroller) and the interface parses the instructions and outputs simultaneous signals to the stepper motor drivers.

    Hope this helps.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    My computer doesn't have a parallel port connection. Can I use a usb to parallel port cable to communicate with my breakout board?

  • Hi I live in South Africa and want to know if i can buy a wiring and component diagram for the readleaf plug and play computer system?

    The best wiring diagram that can be used for the redLeaf and redSprout CNC computer system would be found on instruction #1 (datasheet for the breakout board) on this page: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Hi I live in South Africa and want to know if i can buy a wiring and component diagram for the readleaf plug and play computer system?

  • Hi I live in South Africa and want to know if i can buy a wiring and component diagram for the readleaf plug and play computer system?

    The best wiring diagram that can be used for the redLeaf and redSprout CNC computer system would be found on instruction #1 (datasheet for the breakout board) on this page: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    Hi I live in South Africa and want to know if i can buy a wiring and component diagram for the readleaf plug and play computer system?

  • I would like to use Mach3 instead of the software for my CNC router. Can you fix the electronics for me?

    Yes, you can send your electronics to us for repair, or retrofit to work with either Mach3, Mach4 or LinuxCNC. You can send us an email at customerService@buildyourcnc.com to set up your appointment.

    Some of the types of CNC electronics we will consider.

    - We will work on electronics from other manufacturers as long as you are ok with the Mach3, Mach4 or LinuxCNC control software for your CNC machine or CNC router.

    - We will repair or retrofit used CNC electronics.

    - Some customers find that electronics are overwhelming to put together so we will finish these electronics wiring and assembly for you.

    The cost for these includes labor cost for the time it takes to finish the CNC electronics repair or retrofit and for any parts that need to be replaced or added.

    Here is an example of CNC electronics that we worked on for a customer:



    This is the type of response that you can expect to receive after the CNC electronics are repaired or retrofitted to work under Mach3, Mach4 or LinuxCNC. You can see the entire work, which also shows the time involved. We also show what we were able to accomplish at the beginning of the video.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I would like to use Mach3 instead of the software for my CNC router. Can you fix the electronics for me?

  • ALL OF A SUDDEN THE REDLEAF COMPUTER WONT TURN ON...THE CNC PART WORKS FINE, BUT MAIN ???

    For our redLeaf CNC computer system, if the computer system section is none response check if you have power coming in from your wall outlet. If a spare PSU (power supply) is available, try replacing and running with the replaced PSU.


    Additional Information:
    Other considerations will included, RAM module (memory stick), and motherboard. Please verify you have power going to your motherboard first, by noticing if any LED's are turn on. If not Check PSU first.

    Additional Information:
    Yes there is power to the unit. There is a small green light lit on the motherboard and another green light lit near the usb ports. Usually when I press the yellow reset button, the computer starts, but now nothing happens...

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    ALL OF A SUDDEN THE REDLEAF COMPUTER WONT TURN ON...THE CNC PART WORKS FINE, BUT MAIN ???

  • where can I find the videos to connect the cnc electronics?

    The electronics and wiring videos are located under the tutorials section (click Tutorials on the top menu. The Title is "CNC Electronics and Wiring". The actual link to these videos is: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/CNCElectronicsandWiring.aspx

    Additional Information:
    You will also find the electronic wiring videos for the USB controller at: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/tutorials/tutorial-Electronics-USB-Interface-Wiring

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    where can I find the videos to connect the cnc electronics?

  • What wire AWG can I use to connect the power supply 24v 8.3 amps

    Most of our power supplies allow for a 9 amp current draw.

    For the Neutral, Live and earth ground, wire gauge for that level of current is 14 for relatively short cable lengths. Increase the gauge for longer lengths past 25 feet.

    For the DC 24V output terminals to the drivers, 20 gauge is fine. If the power supply is connecting to only one driver, increase the wire gauge to 14.

    Additional Information:
    What gage wire should I use from motor to driver

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    What wire AWG can I use to connect the power supply 24v 8.3 amps

  • I had to wipe my computer due to virus and now can not download the USB software again. I get a "unhandled exception" error message. Any suggestions?

    An unhandled exception generally means that, in the program code, the program is not checking against every possible exception that could occur. Most likely, this exception is caused by some limit that is being exceeded (or the other way around). I would remove any files that could be associated with the program, like setting files, or even register configurations associated with that software. Also, make sure that you completely update your version of windows.

    Check to make sure all of the drivers are current for your graphics hardware. Make sure that your graphics hardware works in other programs as well.

    If you upgraded the Windows version, check to make sure your graphics hardware is compatible with the new version of Windows. Unhandled exception issue may be associated with graphics hardware and compatibility.

    Customer Response:
    I've given up on the wiped laptop and loaded the program on a different computer using windows 8. At first it won't operate my CNC until I read on Planet-CNC forum about loading the drivers on windows 8. All working now. Will run through the calibrations again today. Thanks

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I had to wipe my computer due to virus and now can not download the USB software again. I get a "unhandled exception" error message. Any suggestions?

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