A poll on cnc software online or offline

I think this would be a very good and timely poll.
kind of along the lines of do you prefer

  1. online cnc software
  2. offline cnc software
  3. no preference

while it’s true there are both online and offline software ,both free of charge and commercial, It’s still nice to get feedback from people (if it’s constructive).
personally I fail to understand why online software is used at this time as internet is just not reliable or available in all suitable locations.

reasons to prefer online
There does seem to be a lot faster updating and bug fixing with online software.
regular new features added swiftly

reasons to prefer offline
obviously no need for internet
more stable, less likely to crash

Please expand on reasons for both online and offline

I’ve been working with offline CAM programs for about 5 years now and have machined some fairly complex parts. These have been in CNC mills. I ordered my machine on May 31 so have some time to wait before I start assembling and modifying it.
I will run the machine offline as well.

There may be a place for online programs for CNC work for the folks starting out and on a tight budget.


Offline. It just makes it easier to develop an idea when you don’t have an Internet connection.

I’ve been going through this process as I recently ordered an X-carve as well.

After much thought I decided to go offline.

I tried using Easel, but it was very slow and clunky for me. Forum members suggested much better performance with Chrome as the web browser and this did provide marginal improvement over Internet Explorer, but I became painfully aware of the limitations I was placing on my work by going this route.

Also, I have issues with storing my data “in the cloud”. I guess it’s best coached in vulnerability. You don’t have control of your data. It’s only available if all the links between you and the server are working (power grid, internet connectivity, ISP servers, and so forth).

With everything on my local machine, if I have power I can work. And if I don’t have power I have a generator.

Hum, could be a control freak thing.

Online or Offline is not a real consideration for me. If an online tool like Easel is able to provide the tools I need then I am very happy to use it.

Much more important to me than online or offline is the ability to design, create toolpath and control the machine all from one piece of software. Right now Easel is the only software (that I know of) that allows for this complete solution. So since Easel is online I really like online. But if Easel was distributed on 5.25" floppy discs then I would really like 5.25" disc software.

The only advantage that I can see currently to offline is to get away from WebGL. All of my CAD apps handle 3D views without issue. WebGL, not so much.

Honestly I think I “both”.
I love the ease of a web page, nothing to install or configure. But have been having problems with WebGL. It seems a bit “buggy” on my (older) computers. Until the online tools evolve into a more robust and stable platform I will stick with local software for “Serious” projects.

But the online tools do make sharing and collaborating so much easier! My plan is once I get my X-Carve up and running to have my friends use Easel as well. So when people ask me if I can carve something for them, I can have them lay it out in Easel. Then all I have to do is maybe tweak the file, and hit “Carve”. :smile:

I do this right now with my 3D printer and TinkerCad :wink:

I have had some minimal experience with SolidWorks and its great, but too expensive for me with my X-Carve… I recently downloaded the eval of Fusion360 and for all those who don’t think that on-line CAD/CAM can work, give it a try. Its a bit of a hybrid, a local app that requires an Internet connection. Its fast and while the cad is OK, the CAM features blow me away.

About 3 years ago, Autodesk bought HSMWorks (the same CAM software that comes with Solidworks), which they are using in Fusion360…

I do worry about apps requiring an Internet connection. I’m not sure I would use this for commercial use as one day without Internet and your production would be down as well. But, the software is very nice and will only get better.

offline- though I do appreciate the ease of easel. hehe I usually go for easel if i just have a simple 2D DXF or something but I spend most of my time in either rhino or solidworks soo…