Remote(ish) operation of the Shapeoko?

I have my main design computer in the house for running the CNC in the garage. I have a old laptop that is pretty slow but probably fast enough for sending code to the machine. I want to use the old laptop to run my XXL but have access to the fast computer for any design tweeks I need.

My other thought was to remote into the fast computer and use it to run the Shapeoko. The only problem is the USB connection directly to the CNC.

Thoughts or ideas?

First I have to insert the obligatory reminder to never leave the machine running unattended, or at least always be in a position to tell if something goes wrong (sight / sound / smell) and react in a few seconds.

But it’s not clear to me if your usecase is not “just” to do CAM in the house, and then go and run things in the garage. In which case, using your old laptop in the garage near the Shapeoko, and setting up a shared network drive, is a common solution. Then you can do your CAD in the house, write the G-code file in the network share, go to the garage, and load the file from the garage computer.

Once you have the garage computer on the home network, you can then easily remote into it to do whatever.

Another popular option is using a Raspberry Pi connected to the Shapeoko, to run CM. That’s just an alternative to using your old laptop.

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We recommend no more than a 6’ length of USB cable — folks have managed longer by using powered hubs and active repeater cables, but it’s not supported or recommended.

As @Julien noted, don’t leave the machine running unattended per:

You shouldn’t be farther from the machine than is necessary and close enough to monitor it and deal w/ a fire or other emergency.

I think I have a similar setup to what you may be thinking about.

My ‘old’ Windows 10 laptop is in the shed/workshop and is where I’ll be when running projects.

My main PC (anApple Mac Pro) is in the house, and I can connect to my old laptop using Microsoft Remote Desktop as they’re both on the same network. I’ve achieved this by using PowerLine connectors between the house and the shed, but this would only work if they’re on the same supply. I also use a NAS to store all my files, which is also on the same network.

This setup allows me to use CC in the comfort of my home, saving the files onto the NAS, and then loading the .nc file on my laptop in the shed. This connectivity also allows me to make quick changes in the shed, should I need to.

In theory, as the laptop’s desktop is accessible from my Mac and assuming everything is switched on in the shed, I could use CM to control the machine from the house, but obviously you can’t do any of the physical stuff.

Of course, that leads on to… Why can’t I just get everything up and running, then sit at home and watch telly until the job is finished, maybe even install a camera to keep an eye on thing? Well, you could do all that, but the dangers of doing so are very real. The safe option is to be by the machine - when it’s operating - at all times, and that’s what I do. It I need a comfort break, I’ll pause the machine before I leave and restart it when I return, and I won’t leave it running overnight. Being in the shed allows you to take any necessary action immediately and limit any damage.

Of course, if your shed is in the middle of a field and you don’t care about losing it and everything in it, then go ahead :grimacing: , but don’t say you weren’t warned :rofl: :rofl:

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I think your first suggestion is best: use the old laptop to run the Shapeoko and remote in to the shiny design computer from the garage for CAD/CAM changes.

You really don’t need any sort of power for running the Carbide Motion software, there’s another thread around here about running it on a Raspberry Pi, which I imagine is substantially less powerful than any laptop made in the last decade or so.

You don’t want to connect to the Shapeoko remotely because aside from the safety issues that have been pointed out, you’ll need to be around it to do your setup and everything anyway.

That said, if “remote” means “on a different computer in the same room”, I’d look at CncJs, which works in a browser.


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