WinCNC Good or not?


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    Default WinCNC Good or not?

    Doing homework before purchasing a CNC router. Some of the more interesting machines from Cammaster and Shop Saber both employ WinCNC. There is something inherently distasteful about having to depend on Microsoft to operate machinery. I am a retired IT professional and after fighting MS problems for decades, anything Microsoft is immediately suspect what with all the vulnerabilities to virus, scum-ware, malware, instability and on and on. Not to mention the endless reboots and updates which are notorious for breaking things like device drivers. It looks like WinCNC also adds about $1000.00 (possibly more) to the price of any given machine.

    I would like to hear form some experienced WinCNC users. Am I being too skeptical? Have you experienced any issues caused by Windows? Would you recommend WinCNC?

    Thank you!

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    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Default Re: WinCNC Good or not?

    Yes, you are far too skeptical. Windows is not really the issue you think it is, except among the Windows haters.

    It looks like WinCNC also adds about $1000.00 (possibly more) to the price of any given machine.
    Only if you compare it to nothing controlling the machine. The machine has to have a control, which is going to cost money.

    I think that Camaster and Shop Sabre have decided that WinCNC is the most robust "low cost" controller available.
    The alternatives are the lower cost "hobby level" controls, which would probably be a support nightmare for those companies, or higher end industrial controls that can cost a lot more than $1000. Unless you were to go for a chinese control, with no or limited support.

    Gerry

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    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    Default Re: WinCNC Good or not?

    Thanks for the reply. It is interesting that you refer to WinCNC as a low cost controller. My only limited hands on experience is with a CNC Shark that uses a small windows app to execute the G code and position the router. It came free with the machine and required little processing power to run. It probably would be considered a toy machine but was enough to wet my appetite for a real machine. I discovered WinCNC during my research and it came as a surprise the complexity and cost of it. Obviously there is more to it than I realize. There are machines that are controlled by a handheld "Pendant" that comes with the machine. What is the disadvantage to such a device?



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    Default Re: WinCNC Good or not?

    My only limited hands on experience is with a CNC Shark that uses a small windows app to execute the G code and position the router. It came free with the machine and required little processing power to run
    It's not free, as the price is rolled into the price of the machine. There's also some electronics involved, that cost maybe $100-$150.

    There are machines that are controlled by a handheld "Pendant" that comes with the machine. What is the disadvantage to such a device?
    These are almost always chinese. The disadvantage is flexibility. With a pendant controller, you get what you get. With better controls, you have a lot of ability to customize the control.

    As I mentioned, the reason they are using WinCNC is because it's a more powerful, and stable package, which minimizes their support costs.

    My personal belief, is that some of the cheaper hobby controls, like LinuxCNC or UCCNC, can be every bit as good as something like WinCNC.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
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    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    Default Re: WinCNC Good or not?

    Wincnc is a great controller if you want to spend a lot of money. Look at planet-cnc MK3 or Mach 4 with smoothstepper. You will go from $1500 to about $250-300.



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    Default Re: WinCNC Good or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by CutMasterCNC View Post
    Wincnc is a great controller if you want to spend a lot of money. Look at planet-cnc MK3 or Mach 4 with smoothstepper. You will go from $1500 to about $250-300.
    Yes, I see that butthe machine under consideration is the ShopSabre 23 and they do not offer any alternatives to WinCNC.



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    Default Re: WinCNC Good or not?

    Or you could uses LinuxCNC

    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au


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    Default Re: WinCNC Good or not?

    I bought a practical cnc router running Wincnc. I ran the heck out of it literally 6 hour programs sometimes 3d carving with not a problem. On the other hand I converted a lathe to cnc using Mach3 and would consider that more of a tinkertoy, always seemed to have to mess with something.
    The Wincnc has it's own motion control card so windows doesn't really affect the program and I found it to be very stable.



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    Default Re: WinCNC Good or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by A1CNC View Post
    I bought a practical cnc router running Wincnc. I ran the heck out of it literally 6 hour programs sometimes 3d carving with not a problem. On the other hand I converted a lathe to cnc using Mach3 and would consider that more of a tinkertoy, always seemed to have to mess with something.
    The Wincnc has it's own motion control card so windows doesn't really affect the program and I found it to be very stable.
    That's good to hear. Thanks!



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    Default Re: WinCNC Good or not?

    technoholic..
    "It is interesting that you refer to WinCNC as a low cost controller."

    That's because the next step up is 4 to 5 times more costly. And just to be clear, with hardware, software and licensing fees the retail is over $2k, and worth every penny. I do service work for WinCNC customers and retrofit a good number of machines with WinCNC control. The majority of these are 10-15 year old machines where the OEM wants $10K-$15K for new control.

    There are close to a dozen branded machines that use WinCNC control. Some use WinCNC provided computers, cables and I/O boards, while others substitute cost saving alternatives such as cheapo computers, Chinese BOB's or even worse, a simple pin to pin BOB with no opto isolation or buffering at all. I use only OEM WinCNC products with my REZurrection line of control for WinCNC. I would want to know what I was buying if I were you.

    If you have any questions I can answer, fire away!

    Here is a link showing their top of the line I/O board posted on a similar thread on the Vectric forum: (last post) Vectric Forum ? View topic - Anyone Use Wincnc?

    Gary Campbell CNC Technology & Training
    Control & ATC Retrofits
    GCnC411 (at) gmail.com [url]www.youtube.com/user/Islaww1/videos[/url]


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    Default Re: WinCNC Good or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by islaww View Post
    technoholic..
    "It is interesting that you refer to WinCNC as a low cost controller."

    That's because the next step up is 4 to 5 times more costly. And just to be clear, with hardware, software and licensing fees the retail is over $2k, and worth every penny. I do service work for WinCNC customers and retrofit a good number of machines with WinCNC control. The majority of these are 10-15 year old machines where the OEM wants $10K-$15K for new control.

    There are close to a dozen branded machines that use WinCNC control. Some use WinCNC provided computers, cables and I/O boards, while others substitute cost saving alternatives such as cheapo computers, Chinese BOB's or even worse, a simple pin to pin BOB with no opto isolation or buffering at all. I use only OEM WinCNC products with my REZurrection line of control for WinCNC. I would want to know what I was buying if I were you.

    If you have any questions I can answer, fire away!

    Here is a link showing their top of the line I/O board posted on a similar thread on the Vectric forum: (last post) Vectric Forum ? View topic - Anyone Use Wincnc?
    I am learning a lot more than expected going into CNC and am looking very hard at a ShopSabre 23 machine. They as well as Cammaster sell their machines with a PC and WinCNC. I expect the supplied computer will be minimalist implementation so it will be dedicated to machine control only. ShopSabre supplied machine runs Windows 10 Home, 64 bit with 4GB of RAM which is bare minimum for Windows 10. I will probably add more RAM. Are you familiar with ShopSabre?


    After following the links you posted (thanks for that) I am getting more comfortable with WinCNC as the control implementation of choice. Also feeling good about ShopSabre 23 as the right machine for me. I probably should add that I am not an industrial user, just an old retired guy that likes to play in his wood shop. Thanks for the input!

    Last edited by technoholic; 08-17-2017 at 01:20 PM.


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    Default Re: WinCNC Good or not?

    technoholic...
    I just looked (to be sure) at my last WinCNC computer. Built (and warrantied) by WinCNC. Win10 64bit Pro. I took the 8gb ram upgrade, but its not needed. Loaded with WinCNC 3. They use, and maybe you are more familiar with the term, a "Windows embedded" system to ensure all the internal settings are appropriate.

    I did have a small issue with an older version (WinCNC 2 on Win7-32 Pro), but they logged on and made the required changes remotely.

    "Are you familiar with ShopSabre?" Yes I am

    All in all, you wont find a better system to run a new CNC on, unless you spend more than your proposed machine costs, just for the controller

    Gary Campbell CNC Technology & Training
    Control & ATC Retrofits
    GCnC411 (at) gmail.com [url]www.youtube.com/user/Islaww1/videos[/url]


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