How many computers? - X-Carve and VCarve

Aloha - trying to envision what will be needed to run X-Carve located in open garage shop.

I will be running my X-Carve in my garage shop and don’t want to have my XCarve/Easel computer located there as well.

The workflow I’d like to use is: (please correct me if I don’t get it yet)

  1. Design on XCarve/Easel and export G-code file.

  2. Send G-code to X-Carve controller via another computer attached to X-Carve with USB cable.

Questions:

Does the USB attached computer located in the garage have to have XCarve installed and running?

Does the USB attached computer located in the garage have to have be running Easel over internet?

While the X-Carve is running, is there any real-time monitoring available on the USB attached computer?

Any way to skip the X-Carve USB connection for a wireless connection?

Thanks! - Alan

You could make due with two computers like you say. One for your design phase using Easel or V-Carve or Fusion 360 or whatever you want, as long as you can produce an export a g-code file.

Once you have the g-code file you can take it to your other computer that is USB connected to the Arduino running your X-Carve and send it using Universal G-Code Sender.

What I do and it works well . I create on computer in house, copy to sd card, bring to computer in shop. And run it there. I have vcarve on both computers, but all u need is gcode sender on shop computer. Gcode sender jogs machine and sends gcode. The only thing it can’t do is edit file. But u don’t need to purchase second vcarve, u can use it on multiple computers.

If I were setting up that way, I would get a raspberry pi 3 (basically a $35 linux computer) and use that as the controller along with the Raspberry Pi CNC shield. http://wiki.protoneer.co.nz/Raspberry_Pi_CNC

That way you only need one traditional computer.

The CNC Shield was designed around the Raspberry Pi 2, but the pinouts are the same, so it should be compatible. The bonus for getting the Pi 3 is that it has onboard wifi. If you want a monitor and keyboard on it, you can hook it up easily enough (it has HDMI and USB), or if you just want to control it via wifi, you can do that too.

Thanks Chad - I read VCarve can be installed on three computers, do you know if an install can be uninstalled for use on a different computer. I have found computers to be generally unreliable and would be even more concerned about one running in a dusty shop environment.

Thanks! - Alan

@AlanSmith1 do you have internet in the garage?

Aloha Zach - yes I have WiFi coverage in the garage and could even run a network drop. It’s an open garage with a lot of street noise, when I’m using the table saw or band saw no problem. I just can’t picture myself sitting in front of a computer for any length of time out there. I’d like to design in the house, then load the file, start the X-Carve, and go do something else.

Thanks! - Alan

Oh in that case you can run Easel in the house and in the garage. That way you don’t need to worry about SD cards or file transfers. You login and all your files are in your account.

I don’t know if this will work or not, but something I do is use my main computer for most of my work, but occasionally have to work on something remotely via wi-fi. I have installed an app on both my computer and my tablet called LOGMEIN. It allows my tablet to act as a mouse, keyboard and display of my main computer. If you have a computer tucked away under your work table for your X-Carve, you only need the usb connection from it to the X-Carve, but you can wirelessly remote into that computer using LOGMEIN.

I’m looking to do something similar. I looked at a PI3 solution. By the time you get a good screen, mouse, keyboard, enclosure and power it’s not cheap. There was a thread recently about cheap intel windows 10 tablets for around 100$. Some come with a detachable key board and 10" touch screen. They need a usb 2.0 port and separate usb otg or charge port. An RCA tablet was mentioned. This is the path I think I will take. Since it is win 10 intel Any of the UGCS bcnc and other g code sending programs should work.