I figured after 2+ years of being registered here, I should make a post
I'm a cable network designer and draftsman by day and a tinkerer/woodworker/wannabe computer geek/mechanic whenever I have time in the evenings.
I bought my first mill, a Sherline 5400 with Xylotex 3 axis kit, about 18 months ago and haven't made the time to give it the attention it deserves.
I started out learning the basics of Linux and trying to do it with a VIA chipset (as opposed to Intel). Got the multiple driver issues figured out and TurboCNC installed along with a few other free/trial programs...all had the same problem...the machine wouldn't move. Turned out I had to swap two wires in the parallel cable, although I can't remember why.
Then I came to the realization that I couldn't just hand the computer my 3D file and say, "make this". haha
Anyhow, I've managed to do a few simple 2D parts and a basic 2"x1" box with 1/8" walls out of wood and some unknown plastic material. However, these projects were done by drafting the tool paths rather than the part. After that, I put it all aside due to a lack of patience.
Now, after over a year has lapsed I'm ready to get back in the saddle and try to do something a bit more productive with my little Sherline and hopefully on these forums as well.
I've already decided that I'll be purchasing an Intel based computer and using Windows based software. No more DOS or Linux for me. The software is what I need help figuring out.
Of course I'll try before I buy, but, I think I'm looking at buying MeshCAM and Mach3. Do I need both or something similar to both? MeshCAM to generate the tool paths and create the G-code and then Mach3 to send the code to the mill, correct?