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Remote use of CAM - how to do it?

Mud

Diamond
Joined
May 20, 2002
Location
South Central PA
My long time mill programmer now has conflicts that drastically reduce the amount of time available here to program for me on site. How do I set things up to allow him to remotely access the machine on his desk here from his laptop at home? I understand this built into Windows, but I've never tried it except to allow my CAD tech support to access my machine a very few times. What do I need to know, and how do I keep my network and other softwares safe from intrusion?
Is it possible to use a spacepilot remotely? Is windows enough, or do I need other applications/utilities? I've been reluctant to open my router to elsewhere, I haven't even used remote access to my security cameras.
The main software in question is Edgecam on W10 if that matters.
Does someone have to log him in on site here, or can it be one sided and unattended here?
 

jhov

Aluminum
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
You'll need a Pro or Enterprise version of Win 10 on the CAM software computer to host. You'll also need to port forward TCP port 3389 to the IP of the CAM computer and enable remote desktop connections on it. Then he can log in remotely using any RDP client using his existing windows login. I havent had luck getting my space pilot to work over remote desktop, but I didn't really look into it either. It will also probably be a bit slow, unless you both have very high speed connections.
 

Pattnmaker

Stainless
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Location
Hamilton, Ontario
I have done it using team viewer but the lag makes it very difficult and not very efficient. Moving and rotation of the model was among the biggest problem.
 

boosted

Stainless
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Location
Portland, OR
As VTM asked -what CAD/CAM?

We use SolidWorks and hyperMILL. I have things setup so I can work from home. SolidWorks license is online, so it works anywhere with internet. The hyperMILL network license has been setup to use port forwarding, so I can grab that at home over the internet as well. Our actual file server is setup with a Google Drive, so I can work locally on the drive, and it will push files to the physical server at the shop automatically.

It's not totally bulletproof, but this setup does work a lot better than any remote sessions I've ever used.
 

Volitan

Hot Rolled
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Location
Long Island, New York
I’ve programmed for someone who set us up with GoToMyPC. It worked fine. Maybe a slight lag when rotating a model but that’s about it. They left the PC on and I logged in whenever I had time, nothing special to do on their end except making sure the computer was on.
 

drcoelho

Stainless
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Location
Los Altos
I use Siemens NX, and we have floating licenses so can install in office and at home....this way you don't have lag and other issues.
 

Mud

Diamond
Joined
May 20, 2002
Location
South Central PA
I only have the one license, and I'm preparing to move to another CAM, so buying a different license isn't in the cards for this winter. I also want to enable Solid Edge remotely if possible. That is floating license here on the network, not on the cloud.
 

gustafson

Diamond
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
People's Republic
I use remotepc which is reasonable and fairly robust

I have not found Windows built in features do what I want.

Running cad is pretty laggy and frustrating, but it can be done. Modifying a drawing, sure, but snapping to a point with a 3 second delay? Imagine that frustration.

Honestly running something like Fusion on a home desktop, then sending files to the shop computer would make more sense.
 

gregormarwick

Diamond
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Location
Aberdeen, UK
Not sure how your licences will allow for it, but for cad/cam the best option is to run it locally and use a vpn to connect to your company network. Even on a fast connection the latency of any screen sharing / remote desktop becomes frustrating quickly when doing fullscreen anything.
 

boosted

Stainless
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Location
Portland, OR
Not sure how your licences will allow for it, but for cad/cam the best option is to run it locally and use a vpn to connect to your company network. Even on a fast connection the latency of any screen sharing / remote desktop becomes frustrating quickly when doing fullscreen anything.

I'll take this a step further and say that after dealing with the frustration of a VPN for too long, I have been very happy with the switch to network license over IP. For years I dealt with intermittent license drops and lag over several different VPN's. Once I gave up on that and setup port forwarding, there is zero performance difference between programming at home vs at the office. No login, no lag, no nothing. I just hop on and start programming. A cloud based license (like with SW) would be even better, but it's not going to happen anytime soon for our CAM platform.

Totally agreed that remote desktop has been pretty painful. I've got two monitors and a pile of hotkeys - the remote session just can't keep up.
 

len_1962

Stainless
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Location
Tempe
WIN10pro to Win10PRo works awesome! My wife has used some others and not as fluid\smooth.

I remote into all of the shops PC's from anyone of my 3 home PC's via VPN, lucky ASU has T1 or better speed (700 Mbps download and 900 Mbps upload) and my COX internet is around 130 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload. sorry I was on the remote PC at work so that proves you cannot tell which PC your working on using WIN 10 to Win10 remote desktop they look the same.

I run SW and HSMWorks, Surfcam Traditional and a couple of other graphic software's with no lag, feels like I am sitting at the shop, but am home in my PJ's :wrong:, plugin along.

Been doing this for over 2 years, no need to have the software on my personal PC anymore, hit the remote shortcut and BAM! connected and working.

so if your bandwidth is good shouldn't be an issue.

As for space mouse I haven't tried it, I will give it a go once I get back to ASU, been out on quarantine, have it on one PC will remote into other and see if it works on SW remotely.
 
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len_1962

Stainless
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Location
Tempe
I only have the one license, and I'm preparing to move to another CAM, so buying a different license isn't in the cards for this winter. I also want to enable Solid Edge remotely if possible. That is floating license here on the network, not on the cloud.

if it is a local network license you can setup a VPN, then have the programmer install the CAM at home then all he has to do is ping the network and the license file should activate the program on his PC at home.

I did that for years, was also able to access network folders so I was saving files directly to the office shared drive.

just some options for you.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
Another vote for a vpn but also, get real Cisco routers and use real professional tools. Doesn't have to be the latest, something like a 3725 router on each end with hardware vpn will make all the difference in the world.
 

Mike1974

Diamond
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Location
Tampa area
I have done it with a VPN and it was fine. Pretty sure they won't be able to use a piece of hardware (spacemouse, etc) over the "net". That said, the basic(?) spacemouse is only $100 or so...

https://www.amazon.com/3Dconnexion-...vtargid=pla-552724041547&psc=1#ace-9766277718

3Dconnexion 3DX-700028 SpaceNavigator 3D Mouse | eBay

I've bought a couple for myself over the years because it (for me) was so inconvenient to be without, I wanted at home when I was working from a laptop and VPN setup..
 

dstryr

Diamond
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Location
Nampa Idaho
Dell sonic wall with VPN access
Windows remote desktop.

I dont even buy computers for the house anymore. I just have a decent laptop with a largish monitor at home and remote to my desk. Its way easier than having to manage 2 different computers
 

carbonbl

Cast Iron
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Just to add on to the VPN suggestions.

There are a couple possible reasons for the wide range in quality of VPN experiences reported in this thread. If you're running a VPN server on your router (i.e. with the router's built in VPN service), lots of home/small business routers will be running OpenVPN as the server software. For the processors on consumer grade routers, OpenVPN is fairly taxing and you can easily max out the router CPU with typical home office bandwidth if your regular web browsing activities, downloading, video/music streaming are going through the VPN connection alongside your business critical tasks. This will result in increased latency and lowered bandwidth.

What we've been using for a while now is running a VPN server independently from the router, using Wireguard software. While we have this on a dedicated server, it could easily run on a desktop or other low cost machine (even a $30 Raspberry Pi). Wireguard is extremely fast, secure and has a lot of ease of use/quality of life features compared to setting up your own OpenVPN server software. It's much less resource intensive than OpenVPN. It also lets you very easily do certain things like only route traffic to certain IP addreses through the VPN, so your web browsing etc doesnt go through the VPN if not needed. It's not trivial to set up, but it is pretty easy compared to OpenVPN. You will need to use port forwarding to forward the wireguard port from your router to whatever machine is running the VPN. There are lots of guides on line for setting up the rest, although you should also have some basic networking knowledge to help troubleshoot issues.

The great thing about this is that it can be fast and secure, runs on pretty much any hardware (only requirements are a "server" machine that can be anything with a modern OS and a router that can port forward) and it's totally free. Professional "VPN appliance" hardware like the Cisco/Dell stuff suggested earlier is good, but a free, software-based wireguard setup is so excellent that it only makes sense to invest in serious VPN hardware if you're a big company that requires that level of physical infrastructure (and/or already has some sort of buy-in to the vendor's ecosystem with their other networking needs).
 

rcoope

Stainless
Joined
Sep 25, 2010
Location
Vancouver Canada
I have had fine experiences with Windows Remote Desktop running current versions of Solidworks and MasterCAM. Further to carbonbl's point though, this may be aided by the fact my office is one of the larger biomedical data centers in Canada so our network and Barracuda VPN are pretty robust. The video can be slow and there are occasional glitches, eg the backplot controls don't show correctly in MasterCAM until you mouse over them, although they show up fine in MasterCAM for Solidworks. But on the plus side, all the data is staying at your office so there is actually a lot less network load than you get from loading the files to your computer at home. I also like it because my office computer is the one that's set properly with all the keyboard shortcuts and artisanal MasterCAM configuration file weirdness in the right places. Further, if you have a network issue and glitch off, the office computer just sits there how you left it until you get back. Remote Desktop also means I can access the computer from other office computers and my laptop as well as the computers in our machine shop which are in a different building on a different network. We have network licenses so I could run these programs locally and if I did so regularly I'd set up some sort of SVN where it keeps the files locally until you're done and then pushes them to a repository in one shot. I would say this works best with simple assemblies or individual parts, but of course with CAM, you tend to be working at that level.

One interesting note on this. None of the programs we use for working with STLs work over RD. Geomagic Design X and Freeform don't and I think it's on purpose to prevent single seat license sharing. But Meshlab and I recall, NetFabb, don't either and both are freeware, which must be a display issue of some kind. That does suggest any of these programs need to be experimented with.
 
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