General advice & direction

Hi there. I’m running a 4 axis CNC milling machine at our Men’s Shed & am wanting to move to full 3d carving, first in relief & then on the 4th axis. I’m running full Win 10 64bit base on my personal computers & Win 10 32bit on the CNC machine with Mach3 driving it. I am having some hardware issues with the X, Y, &/or Z axis stopping for a second where Mach3 still thinks it’s all still moving. When the drive motors restart it’s out of sync & stuffs the whole job. (This a side issue I’m dealing with through linuxCNC forum though any help would be good.)
To achieve this, I’m looking at designing in blender & running the BlenderCAM internally to it though this has been impossible to setup under Win & appears to be a lot better under Linux. From there I’m thinking of running linuxCNC to drive the Milling machine.

Personal details. I’m 67 & running on a slow OS but I have programmed in a previous life & am a plodder to get through the problems & find a solution. The options out there are confusing.


  1. Am I heading int he right direction?
  2. Can I run all this off a USB external bootable HDD/SSD.
  3. What linux seam to be the better for my applications?
  4. How do Mint & Ubuntu shape up?
  5. Can I read Win 10 blender etc files on linux?

I’m no expert or particularly familiar with CNC milling and similar applications, like, for example, 3D printing. I will answer the questions with my limited knowledge, mainly based on what I heard my friend was doing with his CNC machine.


If you are using Linux under the hood, then yes.

Depends on the hardware and your personal requirements.

As any Linux distribution, it’d be possible to use them, as any other end-consumer distribution. However, those two are specifically designed for end consumers doing everyday tasks with their OS. There are distributions that have a different focus, which would most likely fit your situation better than those end consumer focused ones.

If you are serious about the whole LinuxCNC thing, you should carefully read its documentation:

A quick Thank You. I’ll give them my attention shortly.

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