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View Full Version : Vcarve and Zenbot



Mike96734
10-26-2010, 01:52 PM
I am torn between the Zenbot and The Shark. I do like the VCarve software that comes with the Shark, but wanted to know if i were to but the zenbot, could i leave out the Mach3 software and simply use VCarve if i purchased it seperatly? I am still new to the whole CnC world, pretend im a 5 year old.

DeadTom
10-26-2010, 05:50 PM
You need to have software (ie, Mach3) to control the machine, VCarve Pro is for producing designs and then outputting gcode that is read into the software that controls the machine.
What VCarve does is eliminates the neccessity of having a seperate CAD type program for design work. Although VCarve Pro is not a real CAD program it will do alot of work for you and then turn around and make the CAM process (outputting gcode/tool paths) a little easier.
Tom

Mike96734
10-26-2010, 06:41 PM
Thanks Tom, So the Zenbot comes with a package that can include the mach 3 software. I had planned on buying the Vcarve software because I played with the demo and liked it. It seemed to me that the Zenbot and The shark seemed similar but the zenbot was quite a bit cheaper. I initially planned on using my home computer to design the project, and then transfer the file to an older computer that would be in the shop with my CnC machine.

Zenbot requires a parallel port. I would prefer a USB port but I suppose I can buy a pci-Parallel port card to get by that. Do you happen to know if Vcarve will run on 2 computers (inside faster one to design, and outside dedicated one to carve?)

Thanks for the reply.

Mike

ger21
10-26-2010, 07:17 PM
Do you happen to know if Vcarve will run on 2 computers (inside faster one to design, and outside dedicated one to carve?)

Yes, you can install it on two PC's.


Zenbot requires a parallel port. I would prefer a USB port but I suppose I can buy a pci-Parallel port card to get by that.

You can use a Smoothstepper to run Mach3 via USB.
Warp9 Tech. Design - Home of the SmoothStepper - Home (http://www.warp9td.com)

oldmanmike
07-25-2011, 12:00 PM
I have something similar to what you are trying to do, 2 pc setup. I have a newer pc to design with mastercam x4 and V carve pro then i transfer the files through my network connection to my shop pc were mach3 is installed. its pretty simple to do, and the family gets to see me more,lol

rich909
07-25-2011, 06:19 PM
Hi Mike --



<snip> I initially planned on using my home computer to design the project, and then transfer the file to an older computer that would be in the shop with my CnC machine.

Zenbot requires a parallel port. I would prefer a USB port but I suppose I can buy a pci-Parallel port card to get by that.
<snip>


If you are using an older desktop computer it *may* already have a parallel port. If not, you should be able to add one inexpensively as you have suggested.

I have a Zenbot 1216 and I am running Vcarve Pro/Mach-3 with the Zenbot controlled via the parallel port and am very happy with this set-up. I am using a laptop to do the basic design/toolpath which I transfer via USB travel drive to my Zenbot/Mach-3 control computer (which is a desktop) in the shop. The USB drive transfer is painless and needed because my control computer is not on a network. Personally, I prefer to have the control computer as "stand-alone", with no network overhead or internet access. That eliminates the anti-virus nuisance and firewall issues, and works very well for me.

BTW, I also have Vcarve on the control computer since I have found it very handy to be able to make minor changes/adjustments when I am in the shop working on a project. That way I can quickly go back to Vcarve for adjustments and reload the new toolpath in Mach-3 without having to go all the way back to the design computer.

--Rich

kinetisist
11-09-2011, 12:36 PM
so...what did you do?? I am looking at the same issue and I am leaning towards the Zenbot also and to answer your question you need a control software that reads the gcode and tells the machine what to do.