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Author Topic: Anyone even built a plasma/torch tube profiling machine?  (Read 5741 times)

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Anyone even built a plasma/torch tube profiling machine?
« on: February 12, 2009, 02:17:32 PM »
I was thinking it would be quite easy. All i need is a worm reducer with a 4 jaw chuck driven by a servo and a single axis of movement to cut the profile. Just wondering if anyone has tried this and how the control could be worked to do this...

It could just be done by converting tubes into flat patterns and using the rotary axis as a flat axis, but the scale factor would have to be adjusted to ever tube diameters..

Any thoughts?
Re: Anyone even built a plasma/torch tube profiling machine?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2009, 10:47:54 PM »
I have wondered the same thing.  I am currently finishing up a CNC tube bender.  The machine itself wouldn't be too difficult to make.  How would you have Mach3 read the profiles?  I would think programming each pattern would be rather time consuming.  I might get started on this as my next project.
Re: Anyone even built a plasma/torch tube profiling machine?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2009, 10:13:29 AM »
Well, if you have a 3d cad software with a sheetmetal option, you can draw your tube with the profile and unfold it. But you would have to adjust the scale factor on the rotary axis to match the circumference or width of the flat pattern to match. I would just like to know how they do it on actual machines out there... i think you could easily achieve a result, but i dont think it would be all that intelligent or easy to repeat for someone else using your machine.

You could just have a difference mach profile for each tube diameter though....

Anyone run one of these?

Ps. Heres a tube a tried drawing in Inventor, i just drew 2 179.9deg bends off a center line on a flat pattern and applied my cuts once it was folded. Unfold it and you have a flat you could import into Mach3.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 10:35:32 AM by halkintool »
Re: Anyone even built a plasma/torch tube profiling machine?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2009, 11:32:16 AM »
Depending on what you intend to bend, a better design and more universal machine would be to have the torch rotate about the CL of tube while the chuck is fixed.  I use my tube bender to make roll cages, bumpers, etc for my Jeep.  It is rare that I need to notch a straight piece of tubing.  I know this would make the design of the machine more complex, but it would allow it to be a lot more universal.  Would you automate the adjustment of the torch from the surface of the tube to accomodate for different diameters?
Re: Anyone even built a plasma/torch tube profiling machine?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2009, 01:08:06 PM »
I dont think so, most torches have a manual height adjustment knob and unlike plate, the tube isnt going to deform or move around while you're cutting it. As for rotating around the part, i think this could have some serious problems while using most common plasma machines, i dont think the consumables would last long cutting upside down. If your tube is done right, you should be able to notch the ends before you bend.

Check out this setup,
http://www.youtube.com/v/qUuHfi0QmTI&hl=en&fs=1

Offline poppabear

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Re: Anyone even built a plasma/torch tube profiling machine?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 08:09:04 AM »
not trying to jump in here, but I dont think I understand your question, the machine build would be easy.........

the programming of that machine would be another issue? so, are you asking about a Wizard to program this? or a Good Cad/Cam package?

There is a guy somewhere on here, or the Yahoo forum that did a "4th axis Wrap", kinda example in where he took a "Flat Drawing" of the round profile, he
then converted the A axis to the Y axis and left the X as normal, he ran an equation on the Y converted to A axis I think it was a Wizard, in where you entered in your round diameter and then went to town............. 

I just cant remember where it is or what it was called, perhaps someone else who may remember better than my old noggin can point you there.......

scott
Commercial Mach3 & Mach 4, Design/Build/Retrofit CNC and Industrial machines.
http://www.ss-systems-llc.com/
Re: Anyone even built a plasma/torch tube profiling machine?
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2009, 10:23:37 AM »
Thats pretty much what i was wondering, what exactly other people have done to simplify the process of converting different diameters into a flat axis circumference etc. Is there software that can convert a tube into a flat pattern auto etc...