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Author Topic: Need Help to Figure out PLASMA CNC  (Read 1800 times)

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Need Help to Figure out PLASMA CNC
« on: October 15, 2016, 03:38:12 AM »
Hello I Am thinking of building a low budget plasma cnc for my garage. I have already built a nice wood cnc but i have a left over stepper motor and a left over 3 axis driver board.

I also own a old plasma cutter so I have the most expensive things.

What i am trying to figure out is how i could operate the plasma on and off switch on the handle with the board i have.

Plasma cutter: Thermal Arc Pak 5XR

3 axis driver board: TB6560

Computer: Windows XP Running Mach 3

I have also attached a link to show everything and a peak at my wood cnc.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT9waSaieQY

The information on my tb6560 was on a eBay website that is apparently not existent anymore.

I Am pretty NOOB at this stuff especially the electronics part so if someone could help me figure this part out i think id be good to start building 8)

 ??? :)

Offline Davek0974

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Re: Need Help to Figure out PLASMA CNC
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2016, 04:24:53 AM »
Ok, is the plasma designed for CNC - if it is RF, scratch or contact start you will be in for a world of pain - been there done that.

The TB6560 does not have too many supporters i think, might be ok though, does it have a relay to control external stuff -  this is what is used to fire the torch.

CNC Plasma is filthy dirty, if cutting stainless it can be poisonous too - ventilation is a must, you can build a water table which cuts just above a tray of water maybe 6" deep and stops a lot of the muck but then you have water in the shop and that leads to rust......

The mechanics is the same roughly as the cNC wood machine, does not need to be built as strongly as there are no cutting forces - its a non-contact process but does need to be rigid to get decent cuts.

You will need a torch height controller or THC - these range from basic to very expensive but is really needed to maintain any quality.

You will need an air compressor and dry air supply big enough to run the plasma.

I  have built two tables and learnt a lot the hard way, in the end i bought a Hypertherm plasma system and have never looked back.

Suggest a look on a forum called PlasmaSpider - the Mach aspect of the system is a really minor point and simple to do, its the rest of it that takes the time and cash ;)
Re: Need Help to Figure out PLASMA CNC
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2016, 06:36:36 AM »
I fix welding equipment for a living, I quite like the 5XR, a venerable and honest performer.
Downside is its getting old, you cant buy the control boards anymore for instance. Likewise the
torch is an old design and takes a lot of current to cut a given bit of plate whereas a modern torch
will cut the same plate for a lower current.

In addition it uses HF start and it WILL play merry hell with any electronics/PC you use to control it.

Dave has recommended Hypertherm, I sell and service them and am biased. They leave the competition,
all competition, for dead. Hypertherm use a sort of scratch start but occurs in the plasma head under
pneumatic control, real smart and reliable and NO HF, God be praised!

My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Need Help to Figure out PLASMA CNC
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2017, 11:33:27 PM »
Hey guys hope your still here!

In the works of building a new 5x10 plasma table ...

Here's what I got.

CNC electronics components using nema 23 steppers geared.
Rack and pinion drive.
Cheap THC (https://www.amazon.ca/ToAuTo-Automat...ght+controller)
Hyptherm 45xp (https://store.weldersource.com/p-426...ge-088123.aspx)

Im sure ill have some questions when it comes to slapping everything together just trying to see if i missed anything or if someone has had bad experience with any of the products above.
Re: Need Help to Figure out PLASMA CNC
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 02:33:24 AM »
for a low budget plasma table you've spent a few bucks....does the Missus know? Good-on-ya!  Looking forward to see what you do.

My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!