Best computer for 3-D, building guitars

Hi, New to the group​:slightly_smiling_face: I was wondering if anybody could help me because I can’t find very many recommendations for A good computer that will not only run the machine but be good for 3-D for building guitars that’s compatible with the software and running the Shapeoko XXL I just ordered. Thank you so much for any help you can provide :guitar::slightly_smiling_face::guitar:

I would not worry about so much about the requirements for running the Shapeoko… A can of tuna could run it… Kidding of course… As long as you have the necessary USB port and run either Windows or Mac pretty much anything will do.

Now for your 3d software . That all depends on what you use. Check for any recommendations from the manufacturer.

There again, most PC’s these days are pretty capable. Mac or PC?


The system requirements for Carbide Motion are rather future-proofed:

and folks have been successful with far more modest machines (I use an Atom-tablet, Toshiba Encore 2 Write 10 w/ 2GB RAM).

For 3D you’ll want a decent video card and good OpenGL support — given the prevalence of gaming these days, that’s pretty much anything.

I think a fanless (sealed) tablet makes a lot of sense for a shop computer.

For doing 3D, while I mostly use my Samsung Galaxy Book 12, there are days when I switch over to my son’s gaming computer w/ nice video card and Connexion 3D SpaceMouse — if you’re using an application which supports it, it’s a game changer in terms of positioning/previewing. (Anyone who owns one, please send in a feature request to have it be used for the preview in Carbide Create Pro)

Surface tablets are used by the developers and seem to work well for High-DPI settings in Carbide Create (which my MacBook and Samsung are not), but I can’t stand the NTrig digitizer MS has been using since moving away from Wacom EMR in the Surface Pro 1 and 2.


I’ll add that there is no such thing as too much RAM.
I like to keep Fusion360 open at all times along with more Chrome tabs than I care to admit, and they eat a LOT of RAM.


If you want a system that is serious for 3D you need machine with a good dedicated graphics card. SSD hard drive. 32GB RAM is the min I would look at, and a decent I-5 or I-7 processor. Although the new AMD Ryzens are getting great reviews if you’ve got plenty of money.
You can get some pretty good refurbished machines from Newegg or even Ebay. Search for workstations.
I am running a Z2 workstation, and it has more than enough power.
just my 2cents


I’ve been Apple for the last 10 years, but my gear was a little slow rendering in F360. And to get something that didn’t remind me of a 56k modem, was unreasonably expensive.

I built a basic windows computer, shopped sales on “gaming” stuff that didn’t have expensive silly lights.
Ryzen seemed like the best value. Went with a 6 core 3600X, less than $200. Most recent x570 chipset, less than $200. Quality 16gig of DDR4, overclocked a little, but I don’t think it matters, less than $100. And a single 1tb M.2 SSD, less than $200. I went with a AMD 5700xt video card, seems overkill, and I’ve never heard it work.

Fusion will pull on the system, but I don’t believe I’ve ever logged full utilization of the 16gig of memory, a portion of which is already allocated by windows for system stability(I believe?). At least on my designs, computing adaptive and advanced toolpaths is about the only thing that will sometimes require time. Running Ryzen master, which itself uses some resources, I only see 1-2 cores being extensively utilized. GPU seems to barely notice most of the processes.

Upgrade path - I don’t plan to add any memory, as I don’t believe it will contribute any benefit. If I could gain some single core performance, I might swap CPU. I’ll probably swap the case fans with quality units someday when my HVAC isn’t so noisy.

I am not a computer guy, nor a gamer, but that’s my experience. I am happy with it.


Yeah, the inability of current systems to benefit from more memory sends me back to my younger days when I would optimize for a 20MB HD by zipping up games, and unzipping them to a RAM drive to play them — which made them wonderfully fast/responsive for aspects which were previously I/O bound.

I’m really surprised that there isn’t a Linux distribution which focuses on this — load the entire OS and current apps into memory and access from there rather than disk (of course, this would require folks would write things other than then obscenely bloated toolkit-driven things which are currently prevalent.


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