Question on the x carve

after much research, I’m finally ready to pull the trigger on a CNC machine.
right now my dilemma is the software.
Shapeoko comes with all the necessary software so its a stand alone operation.
The X carve needs the internet to use their software.
I do not have internet access in my shop.
I have even seen other systems that will run off of a USB stick.
I need a little help here understanding.

There are lots of options for running an X-Carve with no internet connection.

The main thing you will need is a Gcode sender like the Universal Gcode sender (UGS) this is just some code that will send the gcode from your shop computer through the USB cable to the X-Carve controller. UGS does not need any internet connection and you can load the Gcode you want to send from a USB stick if you want.

There are other gcode senders available also.

You will still need to create the Gcode. If you have another computer attached to the internet you can use it to run Easel (the free CAD/CAM software from Inventables) and design your project and create the toolpath. Then you can easily export the gcode and copy it to the USB stick.

Or you can use any other CAD/CAM software. Some are free (Fusion 360 is free for hobbyist, F-Engrave ), some are a few hundred dollars (Meshcam), Vcarve Desktop is about $350. There are hundreds of programs you can use to generate gcode.

Do not let the lack of an internet connection stop you from purchasing an X-Carve if that is the machine you want.

Allen,
thank you for the response.
if I buy the vcarve pro, will I have everything I need to be a free standing system?
(this is how dumb I am when it comes to CNC)
I just cant be tied to the internet to run my router.

V-carve is a program used to design your project and generate the toolpath’s/gcode. It does not however control the machine. You need a separate program (the ones Allen has spoke about) to send the gcode to your machine.

I guess he spoke about a lot of them. Lol I use Aspire (Vcarves big brother.) for my design, and universal gcode sender to run my machine.

Vcarve Pro is great software, with that you will be able to design 2D import 3D objects and make signs with Vcarving. And allow you to make the tools paths (gcode) for everything you design. You can download the free trial to be sure you like it before you purchase. You can even purchase Vcarve Desktop first and then upgrade to Vcarve Pro later if you want. The upgrade program they have is great you will only need to pay the difference between what you already purchased and what you want to upgrade too.

But you will also need the free Gcode sender UGS to send the gcode you create in Vcarve to your X-Carve. UGS does not need a connection to the internet.

Another vote for VCarve pro. Great program if you can afford it.

I too use UGS which I run on a really really old Mac mini out in the shed. VCarve runs on a separate Windows machine inside (won’t run on a Mac natively) Files are moved between them using either Dropbox or a USB stick.

I use vcarve desktop, and transport to the garage on a usb. I use an old xp computer, fresh install with Java and UGS.

As @DavidAnnetta says, make sure to update Java on your machine. Also, don’t use the “latest” version of UGS, use the “most recent stable version” which is found on their page .

WOW…
Thank you all for the great information.
I think I’ll order the X carve with the vcarve pro.
where do I get the gcode sender?
I have an old laptop that I can take out to my shop.

I’ve had great luck using UGS and Sketchup with SketchUcam plugin (free) search youtube for video’s on using finding and installing both. also Autodesk 360 Fusion is free and popular.

Easel is limited although very easy to use and fast to make simple signs and such.

You can download UGS here

http://bit.ly/1hftIhy

That will download the lastest build. You will need to load this onto the computer connected to your X-Carve. (it is a ZIP file that contains a Java JAR file) Unzip the JAR file and place it somewhere you can find it (Like on the desktop). Also be sure you have the latest version of JAVA loaded on that computer, you may need to take that computer somewhere that it can access the internet to get the latest JAVA version

Gary,
where do you get Fusion for free?
when I go to their website, they either want a monthly or yearly fee.
I’m al about saving money if I can.

@JanVanderlinden

When you go to the Fusion 360 website http://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/overview Download the free trial. Create your Autodesk account. You then just need to register as a hobbyist/ startup and that will unlock the program for you.

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@JanVanderlinden others may have already shown you, but you can also download a free trial version of Vectrics software (VCarve Pro, Aspire etc) here
http://www.vectric.com/downloads/trial-software.html

There are some limitations on the free versions obviously, but they also have some really really great training videos online showing you how to do many many things using their software (some here http://support.vectric.com/training-material).

Lots of options, lots of software, lots of opinions…
:wink: