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Author Topic: is it worth plasma-rating?  (Read 1600 times)

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is it worth plasma-rating?
« on: June 15, 2013, 08:32:45 AM »
i gotta cut profiles in thin steel. 0.8 to 1mm. some 5mm for flanges, but thats only a small amount.

making tuned pipes up. see pic :)

so ive settled on a final layout, generated profiles, and so far...bandsaw, paper templates, cutting, time consuming. cool to do one or two, nightmare to do fifteen.

having played plasma cutter a few years ago, i finally decided i needed one.

now i have one :)

i got one quote for a set of profiles...roughly 10 a section, and with 28 sections to a pipe... not a nice quote at all. definitely not nice when im figuring to sell em around half that... with 13 sections only!

i want to cut profiles. just how accurate is a plasma cutter? ive seen good results, but never run a cnc plasma. does it have an offset like tool offset on mills that is the orifice diameter or something (kerf)? i know that by hand its a matter of give up. straight lines, maybe, but following a line, no way. great for hacking, bad for profiling.

i need these profiles to be better than i can get with the bsaw. thats pretty good but not perfect. each and every imperfection means i need filler rod means time means money! and also minor deviations from the exact result desired...a frustra! how frustrating :p sections of cones for the non geometrically inclined :)  

at the moment, im just happy to make a pantograph and trace the profiles with a timber template, but im looking at doing the cnc approach later as i have mach3 already. maybe i should build a table anyway and link it to a pantograph :) makes sense huh?

so. will it be up to cutting these profiles without rounding corners or under/oversizing? like, 0.1mm tolerance say? i know the slag is more a matter of my setup on the torch etc.

and then, whats the easiest software to convert my dxf templates into actual gcode? cheap cheap? :)

thc...tool height control? so, basically a short travel Z axis, thats reacting to arc current/voltage and material thickness somehow? has to be fairly rapid?

all so many things to learn!

thanks for tolerating me. if you do :)
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 08:49:23 AM by HeadSmess »