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Old 02-19-06, 10:01 AM   #1
phantomcow2
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plasma cutter?

Anybody here have one of these? What is it like to use?
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Old 02-19-06, 10:05 AM   #2
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ummm...I am not sure ,exactly what does a "Plasma cutter" look like?
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Old 02-19-06, 10:33 AM   #3
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Think about a welder using ionized air blowing at the part.
It's kind of like a torch, except instead of using combustion for heat, it uses electricity. Pretty much the same. It's like open wire EDM with gas but a lot less precise. Cuts fast w/o the heating problems of an open flame.
I'll ask my gf, they're teaching her to program laser and water jet cutters where she works but I think they also have a plasma cutter.
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Old 02-19-06, 10:42 AM   #4
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Im still working on my arc and acetylene welding at school. Give me another year and ill tell you all about it.
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Old 02-19-06, 11:05 AM   #5
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I just want to know whats its like to use. Theres a guy that made on with a CNC table, making a CNC plasma cutter. Sounds like it might be a fun project. Well, one thng at a time
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Old 02-19-06, 12:42 PM   #6
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Most are computer control, put in the work piece, push the button and watch the fireworks. There is one here that cuts 14 inch wood chopper blades, nuts, but it cuts fast and smooth. Fun to program, work up a CAD file and load it into the table controller, away you go.
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Old 02-19-06, 12:54 PM   #7
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Most are computer control, put in the work piece, push the button and watch the fireworks. There is one here that cuts 14 inch wood chopper blades, nuts, but it cuts fast and smooth. Fun to program, work up a CAD file and load it into the table controller, away you go.
A Whopper Chopper!!..
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Old 02-19-06, 02:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
I just want to know whats its like to use. Theres a guy that made on with a CNC table, making a CNC plasma cutter. Sounds like it might be a fun project. Well, one thng at a time
Have you ever used an oxy-acetylene cutting torch? It's kind of like that, but more precise, and easier to use (although you have to get the current control dialed in to get the cleanest cut). You just pull the trigger and cut.

We have a CNC plasma table at work that one of the engineer's recently built for shop use. It's awesome. We can cut up to half an inch with it, and we have a program that generates tool paths from drawings. It's pretty fast, and very neat. There is a little bit of slag at the point where the plasma stream first hits the metal, so you have to take that into account when laying out your piece, but the rest of the cut is almost as neat as a bandsaw cut. It's way faster than a bandsaw, though, and you can cut way tighter corner radiuses.

You've been messing around with some XY motion control right? If there's a guy in your shop building one, that would be pretty interesting to see, and maybe help out with.
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Old 02-19-06, 03:36 PM   #9
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Heh actually i have it even better. Theres a good chance i will be getting an industrial, welded steel frame, with THK linear slides.
THis frame would allow for capacity 8x4 feet! All linear slides, enormous things. THis thing is very accurately made, 30" off the ground.
I might just use that for the router though...
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Old 02-19-06, 06:59 PM   #10
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guy i know has one that will cut a 12" wide path through up to 2 feet of steel.

it's cool but scary - he uses it in a marine salvage business. they had a crane barge fall over a while back, and he used it to cut up the boom, crane and barge into little tiny pieces to it could be raised and scrapped.

(they sliced it to bits because it had gotten badly tangled in an obstruction when it capsized, the insurance paid off, and the Coast Guard wanted it moved yesterday. otherwise a less destructive method would have been used.)
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Old 02-19-06, 07:13 PM   #11
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As I much as I'd like to buy one, unless I'm cutting apart cars or doing a lot of fab work, I'd invest in a better welder before I bought one... None the less, a very cool tool.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jhota
guy i know has one that will cut a 12" wide path through up to 2 feet of steel.

it's cool but scary - he uses it in a marine salvage business. they had a crane barge fall over a while back, and he used it to cut up the boom, crane and barge into little tiny pieces to it could be raised and scrapped.

(they sliced it to bits because it had gotten badly tangled in an obstruction when it capsized, the insurance paid off, and the Coast Guard wanted it moved yesterday. otherwise a less destructive method would have been used.)

I guess thats the type of thing they'll use on the that barge that got dry docked in the lower 9th ward.
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Old 02-19-06, 09:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
I'll ask my gf, they're teaching her to program laser and water jet cutters where she works but I think they also have a plasma cutter.
WTF!? i thought she worked at victoria's secret!
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Old 02-19-06, 10:05 PM   #13
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WTF!? i thought she worked at victoria's secret!
Yes, in the SECRET LABS.
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Old 02-20-06, 10:25 AM   #14
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Weird........I was helping a guy just yesterday setup a computer controlled plasma cutter. It has a 4'X4' bed but if indexed correctly will cut up to 4X20. We are not familiar(yet) with the CAD software that it uses but we got it working enough to play with it a bit. Scanned in, imported, and cut out a few woody woodpeckers and mudflap girls...LOL. Hey ya gotta start somwhere. Takes about 15 seconds to cut out a 6" woody woodpecker. We played with different cutting heights, different voltages and differnet cutting speeds. We are getting better but still have some learning to do. It's going to be pretty damn cool once we get it all figured out.

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Old 02-20-06, 04:56 PM   #15
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Plasma cutters use 60,000 degrees of compressed air and electricity to cut steel like the proverbial hot knife through butter. They look very similar to a MIG welder.
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Old 02-20-06, 06:20 PM   #16
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The one I've used was set up on a track for making straight cuts, not a handheld. They make pretty much any option you can imagine, so I'd think getting one that could be used on your CNC machine wouldn't be too hard.

They're expensive though, the price goes up dramatically for the thickness you want to cut. If you're going to be mostly working with steel I'd suggest an oxy/acet cutting setup as it is a WHOLE lot cheaper. Of course if you're NOT working with steel then the plasma cutter is the way to go.
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Old 02-21-06, 01:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
The one I've used was set up on a track for making straight cuts, not a handheld. They make pretty much any option you can imagine, so I'd think getting one that could be used on your CNC machine wouldn't be too hard.

They're expensive though, the price goes up dramatically for the thickness you want to cut. If you're going to be mostly working with steel I'd suggest an oxy/acet cutting setup as it is a WHOLE lot cheaper. Of course if you're NOT working with steel then the plasma cutter is the way to go.
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Old 02-21-06, 08:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
Heh actually i have it even better. Theres a good chance i will be getting an industrial, welded steel frame, with THK linear slides.
THis frame would allow for capacity 8x4 feet! All linear slides, enormous things. THis thing is very accurately made, 30" off the ground.
I might just use that for the router though...
Right...and where are your parents going to let you stick that?
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Old 02-21-06, 09:04 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by iamlucky13
Right...and where are your parents going to let you stick that?
Yea, i know . The plasma cutter is out of the question.
I did talk them into letting me get the router table though, but it wont be the 8x4'
It will be a 3'x3' and aluminum extrusion construction, still has the THK's though .
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