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Author Topic: CNC Router Convert to Plasma Questions  (Read 2938 times)

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Offline RICH

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Re: CNC Router Convert to Plasma Questions
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2018, 07:01:26 AM »
A friend uses his router table to do plasma work in his house basement / workshop. He
replaces a spoil board section with a water pan, which has a drain, uses decking boards with
evenly spaced nails sticking up to support the work. He uses an axial fan which attaches to a make
shift hood above the table and table and simple pull down clear shades to keep debri and fumes
inside the curtain area ( the router table is not ruined form plasma use) and draw out
exhaust fumes to outside.

He uses a macro to touch and fire the torch which is done using a macro.
So the macro provides probing, removes floating head travel and sets the Z height, and
acivates a output from Mach3 to fire the torch.

Controller is located close / under the table, the plasma machine about 4 feet away from the
table with the computer about 8 feet away from both the table and plasma machine. Has no
problems with fumes, sparks, electronics interference, etc.

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 imputs for torch specifics. I didn't put a plasma module use section in the manual.

So he has both worlds and frankly for min investment realy dose nice work with both machines.
It is a stepper system. You don't need to spend a fortune to do things sometimes. I must note that he
was a professional welder and knows how to set up a plasma machine to work correctly and
that in itself is half the battle to do good cutting with it.

Personaly don't use a plasma machine but thought this info would be of value.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 07:04:42 AM by RICH »
Re: CNC Router Convert to Plasma Questions
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2018, 08:27:27 PM »
Rich, thanks, that's helpful. It made me ask some questions.

What does a CAM software or Post Processor do for plasma? I figure it creates a lead in and lead out and offsets the cut for the width of the plasma stream as well. Anything else?
Re: CNC Router Convert to Plasma Questions
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2018, 12:26:50 AM »
Another question, all the designs i'm looking at have a 'touch n' go' system where the torch is hooked up to a floating slide attached to the Z axis. I understand how to build this and how it works, but I don't understand the execution.

I understand it lowers the torch until it hits something and the floating Z keeps it from damaging anything then it backs off until it hits a limit switch. So electronically what's happening? I mean does it use the tip of the plasma torch as it would an electronic touch sensor? And it always backs up to the limit switch, the switch doesn't change based on thickness of material. Kind of confused on how the electronics know all the distances, distance of the torch to the material and why it's hitting a limit switch?

Offline TPS

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Re: CNC Router Convert to Plasma Questions
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2018, 02:52:05 AM »
if you Google for: plasma floating head
you will get a lot of Information, how a Floating head works.
anything is possible, just try to do it.
if you find some mistakes, in my bad bavarian english,they are yours.