Running Shapeoko 3 with a mobile Macbook Pro

Basic question but more looking for watchouts. I currently have my shapeoko 3 running with a dedicated PC, but the PC is old and slow and I have moved on to iOS and a Macbook Pro. I know how to run Carbide Create and Carbide Motion, but any watchouts with not having the macbook connected all of the time. My idea is to build a docking station of sorts that will be used when Im using the CNC, and the Macbook will be disconneted when Im not using it. Any hints or tips on this type of setup will be appreciated.

I use my aged MacBook Pro to run Carbide Create plugged into the Shapeoko 3 on USB, all I did was put an old magsafe PSU in the Shapeoko bench so it doesn’t go to sleep whilst running the machine.

When I go to the shed I plug in the USB, power up the Shapeoko and tell CC to connect to the machine, not had any issues with that.

You could also consider just running CC on an Raspberry Pi and sending your jobs over the network to that, there’s a whole thread about that option

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I didn’t have a great experience with this. I bought a brand new raspberry pi 4 with a fast SD card just for this purpose, and plugged it in to the network with gbit connection. I did everything I could to set it up for success. But the performance was not that great. It was laggy and not very responsive to input. I replaced it with a mac mini attached under my shapeoko table. I have also had good experiences with intel NUCs. They use laptop CPUS and ram. Basically a laptop without the keyboard/touchpad/screen. Unfortunately I think the only linux release for Carbide Motion is for the raspberry pi, so to use a NUC, you may have to install windows and go through disable a bunch of stuff you dont want it doing.

For OP’s question, I don’t think there’s too much to running the machine with a mac. Make sure you don’t have a bunch of stuff installed and running in the background. Disable auto updates. Configure it to not go to sleep while its working. A lot of macbooks even from 2012/2013 only have like 4GB of ram in them. They can be pretty resource constrained fairly quickly, so don’t try to do a lot with it while running the CNC.

I’ve just set mine up with using the Raspad 3 enclosure and touchscreen, and haven’t had any issues, yet. I did install a 240 gig ssd, usb thumbdrive inside to boot and operate off of.
I transfer the files fully to the Pi, and Carbide Motion has been smooth.

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Yeah. Watch out for an overinflated ego and sense of self-worth that comes from using a Mac :rofl:

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I ran mine on a macbook for a long time, just plugging in via USB when it was time to cut something, never had any issues, used to edit video while the machine was doing its thing. As others have said, make sure to go into your energy settings and completely disable sleep when cutting something. Macs suck, and have always sucked, at going to sleep and waking up.

I guard against that almost every day, but fear I am losing the battle LOL

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