Adequate computer to run X-carve

Hi there. Total noob here waiting for my 1k x 1k X-carve to arrive. I am wanting to get my workstation set up and am wondering about an adequate computer system. It seems most are using a dedicated machine, which I’d like to consider. We have several Macs in the house, but it seems most serious CNC software is developed for the PC primarily. I have access to some older PCs and Macs and wanted suggestions on the ideal dedicated system. What do you need? What is adequate if running the CNC software is all this system is doing. I would likely be doing all my design on my iMac or Macbook Air, then transferring the models to the this system to prepare the toolpaths and run the machine. I have Aspire and am learning Fusion 360. Thanks for any advice.

Hey man, all I can advise is based on my current situation. Basically I am using a powerful PC to run cad/cam and export the G-code. the G code is then send to the machine from a very low powered laptop. Universal G-code sender will run on most things as it is very small. The trouble will be the CAD/CAM work. I have used sketchup on low cost pc’s and it runs just, I wouldn’t want to try anything more than sketchup, The PC I do cad/cam work on is an Audio Production PC I built, running mac OSX and windows. I do all of my work in windows for cad. Here are the specs:

Core i7 3770k
16GB ddr3 1333 ram
GTX 760 GPU superclocked
2 120gb SSD’s
1 2 tb media drive

It runs solid works perfectly

1 Like

If using Easel, the bigger thing will be your video card.

I have a not-new-anymore i3/3.4Ghz with 6G of RAM running Win 8.1 and on-board video, and, it’s fine for most everything. Actual CAD apps run great, as does the cloud-based stuff (I’ve been playing with OnShape).

For me, the Easel 3D-preview in Firefox is a bit slow, but, running it in Chrome is way worse.

That’s a nice set up , I’m running an hp laptop with 12 gigs ram
2 gigs nividia graphics memory
4th gen Intel i7 over clocked
1 tb + 8 gb nand ssd, and I purchased a second hard drive of same specs to run raid.

The comp I am using is a Pentium 2 Lol


I’m using a late 2013 Macbook Pro (i5, 8GB, retina screen) and have had overheating problems with Easel. I’ve corresponded with Zach but have not heard a solution. I’ve not had overheating problems with Fusion 360 Ultimate on the same machine.

Hi Bill, im on a 2011 Macbook pro and have not had any problems with overheating, as easel is browser based it’s unlikely to be the culprit, when running it do you have the lid closed as Macs vent heat through the keyboard which could cause heat build up perhaps.

I’m not using an external screen or keyboard so my screen is open throughout. I tried blowing out any dust and didn’t get much.

if youve had experience opening a laptop, then you should try to redo some of the thermal paste, the may help alot, removing the old stuff and add artic silver and that should help.

I have a raspberry pi b+ I’m going to try and use to run mine once it gets in. I’ll let you know how that goes but I know people are using it for the shapoko and in theory they are extremely similar.

1 Like

I also use a Raspberry Pi (using Zapmaker’s GrblController) to drive grbl; it works OK, and saves me getting my laptop full of dust. The only downside is that the Raspberry Pi (a model 1 B+ in my case) is that it doesn’t quite have enough herbs to run the display in real time - the Model 2 should be better in this regard. I’ve had no faults with carving, however.

Ordered my Raspberry Pi 2 B+ a few days ago. I have never used one. Any recommendations on the best OS to start that will run what I’ll need for the CNC? Apparently Windows10 will run on the latest model.

been using a pi for awhile for various things. i’d go with rasbian its the standard OS and seems to do that job. no idea on the win10 thing. but thats what i’m running on my Pi B+ and the GRBL controller comes up no problem HOWEVER i still dont have my x-carve to test with so grain of salt