This came up on Support again, so I thought I’d put my thoughts down here for feedback.
Our system requirements are on our download pages:
Download Carbide Create V7
- Windows 10, or 11, 64-Bit (Intel or AMD)
- 8GB RAM
- Screen Display: 1280 x 1024
Note that Carbide Motion adds a requirement that a USB port be available when power (and any other accessories) are connected. The cable included with a machine is USB-A–B (the same sort of connector as is used for a typical computer peripheral such as a printer or scanner), but either a good quality adapter (Apple’s USB-A–C and an Insignia brand dongle from Best Buy are known to work), or a suitable cable with the correct adapters at both ends. If possible, a cable which has wire mesh braiding, and/or ferrite beads would help with potential EMI issues. Note that the total length should be 2M (6.6 feet) or less.
A couple of inobvious considerations:
there are two (or three) distinct tasks which a computer is needed for:
- design (CAD) — note that creating toolpaths (CAM) may be a totally separate thing (say if using 3D files and Carbide Create Pro or MeshCAM), or it may be an integrated activity as in Carbide Create
- communication with/control of the machine — normally this is what Carbide Motion would be used for
- If you don’t use the same computer for both of all of those tasks, you will need a way to move files from the CAD/CAM computer to the computer which is connected to the machine running Carbide Motion.
Screen resolution — note that this is the effective screen resolution, after scaling is taking into account, so if say, one has a computer with a 2880 x 1600 display which has a screen size which causes Windows to default to 200% scaling, it won’t work well at that scaling setting because the effective screen resolution is 1440 x 800 and the screen won’t have enough vertical pixels to fit the UI comfortably — adjusting the scaling setting down is one possible solution.
Suitability to the rigors of a shop — some folks will get rugged laptops, and a fanless (sealed) tablet is well-suited to the dusty environment of a shop, but the former can be quite expensive and hard to source, while the latter, while once commonly available with the Windows OS and Intel or AMD chips, are now quite rare.
drawing — some folks (well, me at least) like to draw with a stylus, so a tablet or convertible with stylus support is nice for the CAD aspect at least
interface considerations — Carbide Create uses the scroll wheel on a mouse for zooming in/out — depending on the driver implementation pinch/zoom gestures on a trackpad may work, but so far, there doesn’t seem to be a tablet implementation which works, so no pure drawing in tablet mode (yes, I am sad about that)