Before You Buy A CNC Router


UCCNC

The most common cause for UCCNC running sluggish or slow, to the point where it is almost unusable, is because Windows had recently automatically installed an update in the background.  This is most common when using Windows 10.  CNC Drive, the makers of UCCNC software are very good with addressing these issues, however sometimes they have to wait until they even know there is an issue, which is usually when users notice the problem and contact CNCDrive or post online.  If this happens to you before a UCCCNC update is available, then the fix is to uninstall the most recent Windows update (or updates).  The following video shows you how to do this.

 

If this video still does not correct the problem, please email our support department at support@stepcraft.us

 

 

What software comes with the machine?

STEPCRAFT, Inc (USA) includes UCCNC machine control software with each CNC system.  The only software you need to additionally purchase is a CAD/CAM package like Vectric Cut 3D or V Carve.  STEPCRAFT also includes a free one year subscription to Fusion 360 with each machine.

STEPCRAFT in other parts of the world gives you the option to purchase the machines with UCCNC, WinPC-NC or without any machine control software.


Sometimes when you start UCCNC you will get the “Select the motion controller device from the list” message box that pops up. This is either happening because your UC100 interface or USB cable is unplugged or the device driver did not properly install. This video will show you how to fix this.

 

 

If you are still have trouble after watching this video, please contact our support team at support@stepcraft.us.

 

On rare occasions when you click the UCCNC installer, it will seem like it is going to run but then nothing happens.  In order for UCCNC to properly install, it requires the .Net 2.0 framework and some Windows 10 machines, it is turned off by default.  You can turn this on easily by following this video.

 

If after watching this video, you are still having problems, please email our support team at support@stepcraft.us

All STEPCRAFT software, including UCCNC and Vectric products require a Windows-based computer system or a Mac running Parallels with Windows.

  • COMPUTER:
    • 2 GHZ multi-core CPU
    • 2 GB RAM with Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista, Windows Version 7, 8, 8.1, or 10
    • 300 Mb Disk Space (Vectric)
    • 100 Mb Disk Space (UCCNC)
  • DISPLAY
    • 1024 x 768 graphics display
  • OPERATING SYSTEM
    • Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista, Windows Version 7, 8, 8.1, or 10 with 2 GB RAM

If you wish to run Fusion 360, that can be run on both Windows machines and Mac computers natively.

Please send an email to support@stepcraft.us and they will help you get a replacement.

Category: UCCNC

The different look is a different screenset, which you can install over an existing installation of UCCNC.  The new screenset has additional buttons and controls for the Tool Changer and for the Touch Probe. It can be downloaded from the STEPCRAFT.us website in the Automatic Tool Changer or Touch Probe product pages in the Downloads tab.

How many computers can I install UCCNC on?

There really is no limit, you just need to make sure you have the license file for the UC100 parallel to USB interface installed on each computer in the C://uccnc folder.  The limitation is not how many computers you can install it on, it’s the fact that you can really only “use” it on the computer that has the UC100 connected to it.  So if you have 5 computers with UCCNC installed, you would have to move the UC100 from computer to computer and connect to the CNC in order to use that computer.  The software is linked to the UC100 hardware.

Category: UCCNC

There are three basic software program types that you will need to have some knowledge of when getting ready to use your STEPCRAFT CNC system:

  1. A design or CAD program.  Design programs like Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, Corel Draw.  CAD programs like AutoCAD, Fusion 360, Sketchup, Solidworks, etc.  STEPCRAFT supports these and many more of the popular CAD/vector design software programs on the market.  Depending on what you are looking to do will determine how much knowledge you will need to have on a CAD or design program
  2. A CAM (computer aided manufacturing) program. A CAM program will take the vectors or 3D model that you have designed and allow you to tell the program which tools you intent to use as well as the material size and the speeds and feed rate that you wish to run for your project.  The CAM program will output a G Code file, which is basically common machine language for CNC machines. Vectric programs like V Carve and Cut 2D make this process pretty easy.  STEPCRAFT sells and supports the full line of Vectric programs as well as Deskproto Multi-Axis CAM software.
  3. UCCNC (or machine control software).  This program is used to setup, job and zero the STEPCRAFT CNC as well as loading and running the G Code file that was created from your CAM program.

So answer the question as to how easy it is to learn, really depends on what you are looking to do.

For example, if you are looking to do projects that are pretty complex and require that you design them in Fusion 360 or Illustrator, and you DON’T know how to use these programs, then you will have a longer learning curve since you will have to learn the design program as well.

Assuming that you already know how to use a design or CAD program, then the next program you would need to learn is a CAM program, such as Vectric V Carve.  The nice thing about V Carve (or Cut 2D) is that the interface is very easy to learn so you can be on the way of making your first CNC project in a matter of minutes.  However, as you progress, these programs have a lot of powerful features that will extend the limits on what you can create on your STEPCRAFT CNC machine.

As for UCCNC, this program takes about 15 minutes to learn how to use.  Much of what you see on the screen are buttons and features that you will not use (unless doing advanced features like automatic tool changing, etc). There are only about 5 buttons that you will need to focus on to successfully start creating projects on your STEPCRAFT right away.

This video gives you a basic overview of the software programs and how easy it is to get started right away.

How does STEPCRAFT provide UCCNC to the customer?

UCCNC comes on a disc inside the machine box.  There will be an orange USB drive in the box that will contain the License file for UCCNC.  In the event that you lose the disc, you can download a copy of UCCNC from our website on any STEPCRAFT machine page under the Downloads tab.

 

STEPCRAFT CNC systems require that they are connected to a computer via a USB cable.  Having the machine connected to a computer may not be as convenient but the ability to make file changes and reset parameters of the CNC from the computer saves a lot of time.]

Can I use a Mac with a STEPCRAFT CNC?

Yes! While the UCCNC and Vectric Software both run on Windows platforms, you can use a MAC as long as you run Parallels software which allows you to install Windows on your Mac.  You can not run UCCNC or Vectric natively on a Mac (without Parallels).  If you use Fusion 360 for CAD/CAM, then you can install that natively as they have a Mac version of that software.  However, UCCNC will still need Parallels with Windows.

NOTE: Since a Mac computer is typically much more expensive than a Windows system, and the fact that UCCNC does not need a powerful computer, we recommend using your Mac for the design work and then getting an inexpensive or refurbished computer (desktop or laptop) to use to run the CNC, since the area around the CNC can potentially have dust and chips that might get on or near the computer.