Home Forums CNC Technology What am I looking for in a laptop to just run my CNC?

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    Karan han

    I’m getting an openbuilds lead 1515 and want to have a dedicated laptop just to run the cam. I want to use fusion 360 for the cam. can I just get some cheap BestBuy windows laptop like $300-$500 range maybe some Lenovo thinkpad.

    Am I overlooking something? should I get something with some more power than some laptop with an i3 cpu, onboard gpu and 4Gb or ram??

    WillAdams daw

    People often use two different computers:

    One runs CAD, is powerful enough to run whatever CAD package smoothly (which itself depends on how complex the models are), and is in a place that is comfortable to be at for a long time while modelling (oftentimes, but not always, in a different room from the CNC machine).

    The other runs the g-code sender. This machine lives close to the CNC machine, so should be resistant to dust, and ideally be cheap to replace if/when it gets damaged.

    CAM software can be run on either machine. If you run it on the CAD machine, then nearly any computer that boots can be used as the g-code sender to run the CNC machine. If you run CAM on the g-code computer, then the CAM software’s requirements will dictate how powerful that computer needs to be.

    CNC design

    Get a raspberry pi and use it like a thin client for a more powerful VM.

    nthia Cy

    Octopi on a raspberry pi 4b runs a 3D printer like a champ. I imagine that a CNC would work similarly well.

    Charlotte DAS

    The biggest thing is making sure the gpu is compatible, CAM doesn’t need much CPU at all but I tried on an old laptop with integrated graphics and failed.

    You can sometimes get good milspec laptops on ebay for cheap. The specs are low but much more protected against dust and shock.

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