Software/hardware suggestions

Is there a minimum software/hardware requirement for your computer people could suggest? I Bought the table and plasma cutter yesterday. Heading out to get a computer today. Thanks in advance for your help.

I use a 2019 MacBook Pro for my design stuff which is probably overkill. In my shop I have a 2013 MacBook Pro that I run everything on, including some editing of the graphics I’ve designed. I think it doesn’t hurt to run a slightly beefier machine for the graphics portion. You can do most everything on the workflow side of things on your design computer. The machine computer/laptop doesn’t have to be too beefy. If you use one laptop for both - just make sure it will run your graphics/CAD/CAM software.

I should mention I dual-boot these machines for Windows. I use Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, Sheetcam and of course MACH 3. Only sheetcam and Mach 3 won’t natively work on OSX.

Thank you so much for the info. I think I need to stay with a windows based system because my wife will also be using her Cricut on this. Thanks again. Maybe I will try to talk her into 2 computers…lol.

Lol. No worries. I also have a cricut and use my MacBook. You can’t go wrong with an AMD or Intel based system nowadays. Usually RAM is helps with graphics, etc. the more the better.

I’d look for at least an 8-core system with 12 gigabytes of RAM. Intel Core I-7.

Now for the other side of the coin, I am running an old Dell M4700 laptop that I bought on eBay for $275, Windows 10 pro, I7 2.7GHz with 16g ram, and it is doing everything that I need it to do, I am drawing in Vinylmaster pro and toolpath in sheetcam and running in Mach3.

It also has a hardware device that prevents any permeant changes to the system drive so I can run viruses and when I restart the computer it is like they were never there. It also has 2 M.2 ssd’s so it is probably a little faster than your regular M4700.

The possibilities are endless, but as Gunny says, the more RAM the better off you will be.

Good luck.


I was worried about my purchase and learning but the help …thank you so much. I will be sharing a ton of files when I get up and running. Thanks again.

For the design and programming I mainly use a 15" surface book 2, but also use my gaming PC. Fusion 360 only uses a single core, so getting something like a 8 core will not help with Fusion 360. A gaming graphics card will help the most. If the work you plan on doing is fairly simple, you can get by with a cheaper computer. You can design simple parts and signs using a cheap $300 laptop, and buy a better one once you get your feet wet and want to take the next step.

At the machine I looked for the cheapest laptop I could find that had windows 10, and a SSD. I also looked at a few of the other specs when comparing laptops. I ended up with a Acer laptop for $320, it runs Mach3 great. I use Microsoft OneDrive to sync my programs between machines, so I do not have to use a USB stick. I recommend using a cheap laptop on the machine, as to reduce the chance of damaging your nice laptop.

Okay so last question (for now). Do I download all the software with my code now, or wait for the machine to get here? Everything has shipped and I have my full purchase unlock code for mach 3.

I would go ahead and get the mach3 downloaded . Unlock it , get your mach3 full license file and place it in the propper place and get to know it the best you can. And download all the proper files from this site and get everything software wise done. watch all the vids . So when your machine arrives all that is done. Not sure what design software you are going to use but if you havnt downloaded it I would and go ahead and learn it . The table is the last peice of the puzzle. Design , creat tool paths , make a tap file open in mach and cut. Watch all the vids you can find and read anything in the forum that relates . and repeat the vids and forum part.


Thank you so much Jim. I’ll do that now. Have a great Thanksgiving!!!

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Your very welcome. When i purchased my first crossfire i didnt research it much. I was thinking put it together load a file and cut. Being my first cnc experience I never knew about all the design, tool paths, tap files. Never heard of DXF or a SVG file before in my life. The Pc work is about %90 of the time spent to cut out something. I about gave it all up a few times but the forum members pointed me in the right direction. Its all worth it in the end. And a very happy Thanksgiving to you and all the rest here.


So I am having an issue following along on fusion 360. I cant get the same tabs to show up. Mine says (personel-not for commercial use) I notice in the videos, his says ( education liscence). Do I have to download a different version?

Fusion did some name changing on the subscriptions. you have the not for comercial use, comercial use, education . Maybe more. Wich was hobbiest, comercial education… Before . They changed a few other appearence things. What was Cam tab before is now manufacture. Its all basically the same but with a few name changes here and there and a few functions in different places. You have the right one but i can see where it would be crazy hard to follow a video of it in its old form.As long as you have a bit of patience and dont mind asking questions and describing exactly what you mean you will get along fine with some practice.

Thank you again Sir. That helps tremendously. I’ll keep at it.

First off JimT…you are the man. I stuck to it and ran my first parts today, just circles…but still. Thank you!!! Second of all, I think I may have a problem with air compressor power. It ran the part fine but then air kept going…for a long time. Finally shut off plasma. Soon as I started it back up it fired on it’s own. Now I think I dont have enough air pressure to shut some hidden valve. Am I stupid or right? More likely a little of both…leaning to stupid though.

Glad your gaining. Its alot of fun when you get the hang of it all. Air kept going? Im not sure if your meaning it keeps blowing for a few seconds then stops after each cut like it is meant to do to cool the tip down or the air was stuck on and wouldnt quit ? I try to run 70 psi at the plasma cutter when it is cutting. So I have 130 psi at the Air compressor and about 80 psi at the gauge on the cutter. When the cutter fires it drops to 70 psi. What air compressor are you using? Tank size ( gallons) cfm @ psi rating. Long hoses that are to small can cause problems. Moisture in the system will cause havic. Do you have an air dryer of some sort?. Im guessing you have either the razorweld 30i or the 45?