My Longmill Journey: Step 1. Computer Workflow to Car Port

Hello. This is, I think, my first post here. I saw computer-related topics in General Discussion.

Like some other people, I have to take the patient approach to my woodworking dream of CNC milling. I will take into account some absolutes for a successful outcome so I am not pulling my hair out later.

Long story short, I am a former traditional log home builder and finisher, including but not limited to custom woodworking.

My Longmill Journey begins with software and computers. The machine will follow when I get good at the first steps.

I have some money saved for a fanless computer and Vectric. My main computer is self-assembled and sufficient for design tasks. The fanless computer will be networked to the main computer. Details pending.

Concerns: I mentioned car port in the title because I wanted to help myself and others navigate less than ideal environment situations. I rent a house in South Texas with an attached garage that is an sauna in summer and an ice chest in winter… with sawdust.

Unless smarter people disagree, my fanless computer will be from The Linux version will cost less and enable me to install Windows 10, like on my main computer. It has optional case, network card, keyboard, monitor, and camera. Neat-o. (However, I was wondering if a touch screen of some brand would be better.)

Considering the above environment and choice of computer, is there anything I could be overlooking for computer to computer?

Thank you very much for reading!

Question about the Hackboard setup. What will it be doing? Just controlling the CNC? Will it be capable of running your CAD software, Vectric?

While it’s not essential to have your CAD software at your fingertips while operating your CNC, I personally find it incredibly valuable to have it readily available for any potential modifications that may be needed. This allows for convenient and efficient adjustments to be made on the go.

Thanks for the reply. Interesting perspective.

The wee computer is for controlling the CNC with some power to spare.

However, it would appear that the specs might meet the bare minimum requirements for Vectric.

Hmmm. Maybe I will try running Vectric on the hackboard before I commit to a small touch screen.


@Swinly brings up a good point, I can’t count how many times I’ve transferred G-Code files to my laptop from my design computer just to see a mistake in gSender’s preview. Then I scurry off to the design computer, fix the problem, save the G-Code, go back to laptop, grab the code and try again! Luckily for me both computers are in the basement so it’s not far.

1 Like

Thanks for the reply.

I remember basements when I lived in Northern states. They do not have them in Texas. Too much clay in the soil or something.

I have concerns about fanless computer and Texas temperatures. Any thoughts on that?

That’s a good question and I’m not sure about the answer but looking at the Hackboard 2 in the description it says:

Aluminum Anodized Black - Fitted with gasket - Optional

Fan: 2-pin fan connection 5v 0.2-0.25a

So it seems to me that you could opt to not be fanless. Do you plan on building your own case for the hackboard or buying their case? I can’t tell from the pics on the site whether their case takes a fan or not. If it was me I’d probably look into the heat sink and fan just to be safe and it shouldn’t add too much to the cost for a little heat sink and fan IMHO.