CNC plasma cutter build

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Premium Member
#1
I've been eyeing various CNC plasma cutters online but could not justify the thousands they command. Even the lowly Langmuir Crossfire is a solid $1500USD plus shipping and exchange, likely end up close to 2K CDN. And I still need a plasma cutter.
So I started looking around at CNC builds.
Biggest criteria is size; it had to be small enough to fit on my 2x3 welding table or be portable enough to store out of the way.
Discovered Dacs Garage and his design.
Screen Shot 2021-01-25 at 3.09.14 PM.png

Watched all the videos several times and decided to spend $10 for the plans which include .dxf file so the pieces can be waterjet cut if so desired.
The electronics are an Arduino Duo controller running GRBL and Universal G-Code uploader.
I run a Macbook so no Mach 3 or 4 as they require a PC. I may do that in the future but i need to get my feet wet first.
Parts are on order so follow along as I venture into a completely unknown land. :eek:
 
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kevin.decelles

Jack of all trades -- Master of none
Premium Member
#2
Yeah baby! It makes runaway g-code crashes more interesting thats for sure.

I may take part of this journey with you..... I have an interest in the Arduino/GRBL side. Currently running a LinuxCNC install and I like the ability to 'tweak' as required.
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Premium Member
#3
Yeah baby! It makes runaway g-code crashes more interesting thats for sure.

I may take part of this journey with you..... I have an interest in the Arduino/GRBL side. Currently running a LinuxCNC install and I like the ability to 'tweak' as required.
It’s my first foray into CNC so I’m sure that I’ll mess up lots.
I did manage to load GRBL onto the Arduino board last night so that’s a win.
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Premium Member
#4
@kevin.decelles perhaps you can answer a question for me.
What is an Arduino CNC shield and what does it do?
The plans I have do not include one. It's just PC -->Adrduino Uno-->steppers
 

kevin.decelles

Jack of all trades -- Master of none
Premium Member
#6
My first 3d printer was a rerap clone (GEEETECH) (yes, three e's). It ran a GT2560 which is an Arduino 2560 mega + a ramps 1.4 (stepper driver/controller and inputs). It is a single board, and runs Marlin firmware. It supports up to 5 steppers etc. I have two of these on a shelf (upgraded to a Ender Pro 3) so these may be put into duty. They are old school, and may not ultimately have enough juice to support a larger driver/stepper.

The good part...... out of the box firmware for 3d printing, probably software out there for CNC.

The 'shield' part is what are you connecting your stepper motors to? You'll have a driver chip, that plugs into a board, that accepts your inputs..... this is the shield. That in turn connects to your Uno (although I'd probably get an integrated one as it will likely just work).

I see a pile of them on Amazon for 30-50 bucks.

The GT2560 has the A4988 drivers which are good to a max of 2A.
 

Johnwa

Ultra Member
#7
I think the 2A ratings of the A4998 and the 2.5A rating of the DRV 8825 are optimistic. I’ve cratered a few running at less than 1.5A.
I find the TB6600s(rated 4A) are way more robust and still relatively inexpensive. They are external drives so you don’t end up with as neat of package as an Arduino+CNC shield though.
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Premium Member
#11
I was investigating parts for this CNC router and even ordering from overseas the parts list with shipping get close to what a new machine such as this costs.
Mind you, build my own lets me build exactly what I want.
 
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JohnnyTK

Active Member
Premium Member
#12
I was looking at the Crossfire Table, you have to weigh is this to generate revenue or just for hobby purposes? If it is to generate revenue, the quickest and most efficient route is to purchase. But if time is not a factor and you want to gain fabrication experience then building in my opinion is the way to go. I'm at the crossroads myself do I continue on a hobby that is just an outlay of money such as wooden boat building(rarely break even when sold) or do I transition into micro machining and develop my business on that side? Or maybe I will just make cutting boards. Ah life's questions.
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Premium Member
#13
I was looking at the Crossfire Table, you have to weigh is this to generate revenue or just for hobby purposes? If it is to generate revenue, the quickest and most efficient route is to purchase. But if time is not a factor and you want to gain fabrication experience then building in my opinion is the way to go. I'm at the crossroads myself do I continue on a hobby that is just an outlay of money such as wooden boat building(rarely break even when sold) or do I transition into micro machining and develop my business on that side? Or maybe I will just make cutting boards. Ah life's questions.
Including my import plasma cutter, I will be in for about $900 for the plasma cutter.
I could have done it less expensively I think if I knew more about what I was doing.
 

JohnnyTK

Active Member
Premium Member
#14
QUOTE="David_R8, post: 36503, member: 1518"]Including my import plasma cutter, I will be in for about $900 for the plasma cutter.
I could have done it less expensively I think if I knew more about what I was doing.[/QUOTE]
Does that include the Plasma also or just the cutting table? Also can you share your source.
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Premium Member
#15
QUOTE="David_R8, post: 36503, member: 1518"]Including my import plasma cutter, I will be in for about $900 for the plasma cutter.
I could have done it less expensively I think if I knew more about what I was doing.
Does that include the Plasma also or just the cutting table? Also can you share your source.[/QUOTE]
All in it will be ~900.
I bought plans for the design shown in the first post. That was $13
Then I sourced the parts from places like Amazon, Bearings Canada, Makerparts and McMaster-Carr. Total was $625
The plasma cutter was $289 from Ebay.
 

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JohnnyTK

Active Member
Premium Member
#16
Does that include the Plasma also or just the cutting table? Also can you share your source.
All in it will be ~900.
I bought plans for the design shown in the first post. That was $13
Then I sourced the parts from places like Amazon, Bearings Canada, Makerparts and McMaster-Carr. Total was $625
The plasma cutter was $289 from Ebay.[/QUOTE]
Thanks David.