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Messages - xcellprecision

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General Mach Discussion / Re: Newbie In Need Of Help On Where To Start
« on: April 30, 2018, 10:58:36 AM »
What is the plasma source - I use Hypertherm which is widely regarded as one of the best plasma generators out there.

I also use SheetCam for my CAM and various apps for the design, anything which can output a DXF file is good - InkScape, Illustrator, most CAD packages, and plenty of others.

You will need spare consumables for the torch - you WILL need these as they can be damaged by something as simple as a low pierce, pierce height - the point at which the torch sits the moment before starting a cut IS VITAL, get that right and repeatable before even plugging in the plasma source and it will save you $$$$$$

You WILL need a lot of scrap or other steel to practice on - don't go too thin, if you intend cutting say 3mm then practice on 3mm from the off - different thicknesses and types of steel WILL affect all of your settings.

There are a million and one other things to learn - it's taken me about 4 years and i'm still learning but can now churn out saleable parts in no time :)

Have you got a water table or downdraught table - different ways of dealing with terrible and dangerous fumes plasma tables can make, stainlesss steel in particular is bad, also aluminium, steel will just give you a sore throat and coat the workshop in black grime in no time at all :)


We are still looking into plasma sources, hypertherm caught our eye the most so we are likely to go with them.
What type of spare consumables would for the torch would be recommended to stock up on in the beginning?
You seem like you have a good grasp on these things, is there any tutorials or places online that have helped you when you were in the process of learning your table?

Thanks for the information!

General Mach Discussion / Re: Newbie In Need Of Help On Where To Start
« on: April 30, 2018, 10:54:20 AM »
Personaly don't use a plasma machine but  the following hobby level  info should get you started.

Note you need to have knowledge or experience  on how to set up a plasma machine to work
correctly and that in itself is half the battle to do good cutting with it.You don't need to invest a fortune
and there certainly is a difference between hobby and industrial use.

Mach 3 can be used and a simple CAD program along with a simple CAM  program will do.
A macro to touch and fire the torch is required. The macro provides probing, removes floating head travel
( if that is what is used) and sets the Z height, and acivates a output from Mach3 to fire the torch.
An axial fan which attaches to a make shift hood above the table with pull down shades can
provide for exhausting of fumes. 

You can use LazyCam to generate good gcode but to use the Plasma module you will need
a pro license. In use you import dxf and use the mill module as normal but prior to posting use
the plasma module as that has inputs for torch specifics.

If your shop uses CNC then the learning is machine specific, BUT, if you don't have any CNC
experience then get ready for a long learning curve. CNC is not plug and play.


Our shop runs cnc mills and lathes, with the use of mastercam to design our parts. Would mastercam be the best route since we already use it, or is there something else you would reccommend in place of mastercam? Also if you could give me an example of a macro to use with this set up it would give me a better understanding of the overall set up I should be looking to aim towards.

Thank you for the information Rich it is much appreciated!

General Mach Discussion / Newbie In Need Of Help On Where To Start
« on: April 24, 2018, 12:17:46 PM »
Hey all,

My shop recently pre ordered a cross fire cnc plasma cutter and are looking to start getting everything ready for its arrival. The person in charge has not had much experience with plasma cutters so this will all be new to them. A few questions I have for the community...

1) Can I run mach 3 only or do I need another software to support different functions?
2) What are the best CAD programs for this set up that jive with mach 3 the best?
3) Are there any websites or any direction someone can point us in where we could learn the basics from setting up, programming and everything in the middle.

Like I said this is a new machine for us and with very little experience we are reaching out to many different places for help with anything related.

Thanks in advance!

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