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perry  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, January 9, 2024 11:29:33 AM(UTC)
perry

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I need to upgrade my laptop at home. I run ViaCAD Pro v12 on two machines - my iMac at work and my Intel-based Macbook Pro at home. The macbook Pro needs to be replaced due to a broken screen and I want to replace it with another mac laptop. I'm looking at an M2 Macbook Air.

I saw some other posts here about issues with Sonoma/Silicon and ViaCAD 14. But my questions are:


1) Does ViaCAD Pro 12 work at all on newer OS/CPU combos, or does it require an upgrade to 14? I understand it'd be in Rosetta, but that may be ok if it's stable.

2) If I have to upgrade, how stable is ViaCAD 14 under these newer machines? My main concern is with crashes and lockups, which were a major issue for me pre-v12. 12 is quite stable and does everything I need it to do, so I'll only upgrade if I have to.


thanks,

-perry
relaxibus  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, January 10, 2024 2:32:31 AM(UTC)
relaxibus

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I have a Mac Mini M1 with Big Sur (11.7.1) and I get lockups some times using SharkCAD v14 (but same as with V12). The lockups are not replicable and could happen if you do any kind of operation. I suspect this is a RAM issue as I have 8GB only.
perry  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, January 10, 2024 7:58:02 AM(UTC)
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Thanks. ViaCAD runs under Rosetta, right? If it's memory related that might be it. My understanding is that native apps for Silicon chips use memory somewhat differently, which is why the newer machines have less RAM. I'm still undecided on what I'm getting but I'm coming from the video and film world, where some of our workstations at the office have 128GB of RAM, so I'm used to having more. I'm thinking I'll either get an M2 Macbook Air with 24GB or an M3 Macbook Pro with 18GB.
relaxibus  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, January 10, 2024 8:41:38 AM(UTC)
relaxibus

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I'm waiting for the new Mac mini M3 as this have a new hardware accelerated Ray Tracing engine. Hope Encore will update its portfolio soon for native Apple Silicon and to take advantage of Metal and new ray tracing engine. Anyway, go for the Apple Silicon :-)
perry  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, January 10, 2024 3:46:11 PM(UTC)
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I ended up ordering an Macbook Pro 14" with M3 Pro 11 core CPU/14 core GPU and 18GB RAM, and I'm picking it up at the apple store on the way home tonight. Once I get the basics transferred over from my old Mac, I'll install ViaCAD 12 and report back. I'm going to hold off on upgrading to 14 until I know I have to for sure, since I'm fine with 12 in terms of functionality right now.

the only two apps I use that aren't native are ViaCAD and the CAM software I use for my CNC router, but I tested that out recently on a friend's Macbook Air -- it worked just fine and is pretty speedy. Fingers crosed ViaCAD just works.
relaxibus  
#6 Posted : Thursday, January 11, 2024 3:22:40 AM(UTC)
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What CAM software do you use?
perry  
#7 Posted : Thursday, January 11, 2024 10:58:30 AM(UTC)
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DeskProto - it took some getting used to but my hatred for Autodesk runs deep so it was worth it.

There are some things you can't really do with it that you can do in Fusion360 like threadmilling or adaptive clearing. On the adaptive clearing, there are some strategies you can choose that get you pretty close, and they're going to add some additional features to help manage high chipload cuts a little better soon. the developer is very active on their forum and responsive to change requests. But not having it be tied to the cloud or requiring an internet connection to work, or having to pay a subscription fee was key for me.
relaxibus  
#8 Posted : Friday, January 12, 2024 3:44:14 AM(UTC)
relaxibus

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used DeskProto in the past :-)

Yeah, now all are jumping on this subscription base train, very annoying!
damhave  
#9 Posted : Friday, January 12, 2024 1:49:40 PM(UTC)
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MeshCAM is also "no subscription" and crossplatform.
kind regards Danny
BR
Danny
______________
Windows 10 Pro,
SharkCAD v14 Pro (1635),
XPS 15,9980HK,32GB,GTX 1650
perry  
#10 Posted : Friday, January 12, 2024 2:44:07 PM(UTC)
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I tried meshcam a while back and it was pretty buggy but that was like 3-4 years ago. Maybe it's better. I've paid for Deskproto so for now I'm sticking with it. As I do more with it I'm finding I can get it to do what I want even though it's not quite as advanced as Fusion360. Recently made a silverware organizer out of solid Sapele, which involved some fairly deep pockets cut from the 2" stock. It was slow going but after I finished it I went back and redid the CAM and found that I could have cut the time in half with a few tweaks.

What DeskProto is really missing right now is an animated simulator, but that's on the way in the next version and you can use ncviewer.com for a pretty good approximation of what you're going to get, for free. So not the end of the world.
damhave  
#11 Posted : Saturday, January 13, 2024 4:38:22 PM(UTC)
damhave

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MeshCAM still has some bugs but it is better now in v9. I like using MeshCAM a lot.
kind regards
Danny

Edited by user Sunday, January 14, 2024 11:12:33 AM(UTC)  | Reason: added personal opinion

BR
Danny
______________
Windows 10 Pro,
SharkCAD v14 Pro (1635),
XPS 15,9980HK,32GB,GTX 1650
relaxibus  
#12 Posted : Monday, January 15, 2024 2:29:23 AM(UTC)
relaxibus

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MeshCAM looks so "clean" compared to Desk Proto. Didn't know DeskProto is also available for Mac, just used on Windows.
So you're happy with MeshCAM? Hmm... need to dust of my CNC machine.

Edited by user Monday, January 15, 2024 2:34:43 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

perry  
#13 Posted : Thursday, January 25, 2024 8:36:11 AM(UTC)
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I might take another look at MeshCAM but when I tried it a while back there were a ton of stability issues.

While DeskProto is a bit of an odd interface, I've found that I've been able to do most of what I could do in Fusion360 CAM. It's $250 for the hobbyist license, but even if you bought the commercial license, it's a $1000 one-time payment vs $650/year for Fusion. And who knows what features Autodesk will decide to roll into some other version you have to pay for, or when their cloud might go down when you're in the middle of something?

My main complaints about DeskProto are pretty minor: You can't do arcs in gcode - instead it slices the curve up into lots of small linear movements. But you can specify the "resolution" of these curves and basically you get the same result. The main difference is that instead of a single line telling the controller to do an arc from one point to another, you have many more lines of gcode. Hasn't been a problem for me, but is a little slower to process (curious to see how it does on the new M3 machine though, since that's way faster than my old one). The other thing it can't do right now is stuff like adaptive clearing (though you can get pretty close with some strategies), and thread milling. Other than that, I've found that it's more intuitive than Fusion360, and while it requires a little more thinking about how you go about things, that's probably a good thing in the end.
memphisjed  
#14 Posted : Friday, February 16, 2024 7:45:03 AM(UTC)
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Desktop proto is a handy secret weapon for cam work when all you have is a stl file. Oh gosh I detest stl and polylines…I am hoping soonish the stl to nurb function in power pack matures and works on even medium size stl.
It also has handy make mold function.
The lead in/out always retract is enough to keep it from becoming adopted more- and no real post control.
I like it as addition to a real feature based cam in my bag o tricks.
UGMENTALCASE  
#15 Posted : Friday, February 16, 2024 9:44:29 AM(UTC)
UGMENTALCASE

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Originally Posted by: memphisjed Go to Quoted Post
I am hoping soonish the stl to nurb function in power pack matures and works on even medium size stl.


Doubt they will. They rely on a very clean input file. I always retopo my stl stuff and then convert that model to a stp file.
Estlcam and Ecam v5 are very good for machining.
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