CNC plasma cutter build

ShawnR

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Looks great @David_R8 . Thank you for posting these tips and experiences. I ordered the electronics yesterday. Plasma cutter should be here this week.
Lastnight, I emailed the dxf files to a local shop to price out laser cutting. I don't think we have a water cutting option in the area. But, honestly, I don't know the results of the different cut methods. Why would you not cut the pieces yourself with the plasma cutter? Time? or warpage or edge finish? Before I really start on this, I plan on having the belt sander done so will have a new piece of equipment or two I am just itching to use so am wondering if I might just cut the frame pieces myself. ;) And I need practice at everything, ie, cutting, layout, ...!

I went back to see the photo of your motor, wondering if we got the same one. I then discovered openbuilds.com, and then maker.ca...I did not realize there was so much support for these kind of projects. Very cool...:cool:!

Cheers
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Premium Member
Looks great @David_R8 . Thank you for posting these tips and experiences. I ordered the electronics yesterday. Plasma cutter should be here this week.
Lastnight, I emailed the dxf files to a local shop to price out laser cutting. I don't think we have a water cutting option in the area. But, honestly, I don't know the results of the different cut methods. Why would you not cut the pieces yourself with the plasma cutter? Time? or warpage or edge finish? Before I really start on this, I plan on having the belt sander done so will have a new piece of equipment or two I am just itching to use so am wondering if I might just cut the frame pieces myself. ;) And I need practice at everything, ie, cutting, layout, ...!

I went back to see the photo of your motor, wondering if we got the same one. I then discovered openbuilds.com, and then maker.ca...I did not realize there was so much support for these kind of projects. Very cool...:cool:!

Cheers
I think it would be very difficult to cut these by hand if you want them to have the same level of precision. I do think it would be possible to make reasonable facsimiles with the same dimensions but it would take me forever if I had to do it.

Make sure that you tell the laser cutting company to cut two end pieces (the angular one) and two motor mounts. There's only one of each in the .dxf file. Also note that not all of the pieces are the same thickness. Most are 1/8" but the two long axis pieces and the torch holder are 3/16". Plus you need maybe 6-8" of angle iron.
 
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ShawnR

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Whoops I said I was going to post that didn't I @Janger
Steel and cutting was $100 plus tax, $112 all in.
There's two 24" x 2.5" pieces of 3/16" as well that aren't shown because well they don't fit in the picture. :D
Where did you get the metal cut @David_R8 ? I just priced cold rolled sheet at Metal Supermarket and it is over $100 for 4 square feet of 11 gauge, not even .125". That is more than is required but would allow me to make mistakes, if I was to tackle it. The local place was using hot rolled and so I did some reading. Sounds like cold rolled is a better material for this so it might actually be worth it for me to order from where you ordered the parts.

ohoh...getting sucked in....need to work on other projects first....:eek:
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Premium Member
Where did you get the metal cut @David_R8 ? I just priced cold rolled sheet at Metal Supermarket and it is over $100 for 4 square feet of 11 gauge, not even .125". That is more than is required but would allow me to make mistakes, if I was to tackle it. The local place was using hot rolled and so I did some reading. Sounds like cold rolled is a better material for this so it might actually be worth it for me to order from where you ordered the parts.

ohoh...getting sucked in....need to work on other projects first....:eek:
I didn't buy any metal per se as they waterjet company provided it. I thought $100 was more than fair given that they had some work to do in the .dxf file.
Hot rolled would be fine too. The parts are small enough to easily do a vinegar bath to remove the mill scale.
 

Tom O

Ultra Member
I am thinking about using 1/2 aluminum for the end plates the v groove bearings could be placed in a shouldered t slot to keep it square and for up/down adjustment it can be archived by a setscrew in the top.
 

ShawnR

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Victoria Waterjet.
Where are you located?
Northwestern Ontario. Nothing local but I could look into places in Winnipeg or Toronto...or just go with the local guy. I thought that the CRS is worth looking into a place that uses it or I am looking at buying it, then maybe taking it to the local guy to laser it...getting complicated. I figured find one place that can supply and cut.
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Premium Member
Were it me I'd go the low-hassle route. I bet if I had bought the material and took it to be cut it would have been more.
I had the same company cut the top for my welding table. If I recall correctly a 2' x 3' x 3/8" piece of plate was $190.
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Premium Member
Weight shouldn’t be a problem that would affect anything with it being the base support and feet can be attached with bolts.
Whoops, I think I misunderstood. I thought you meant using aluminum for the uprights that hold the Y-axis.
 

Tom O

Ultra Member
I haven’t looked at those yet lol but I did go back to look at your adjustment/bend problem could you not use a threaded rod or hex to extend the bolt for adjustment.
 

ShawnR

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
@David_R8 I see in the plans that if you wanted to make it bigger, it is suggested to just order longer rail components. I was wondering though about doing a larger sheet in parts. Will you be able to index it somehow and then use 4 drawings/files or 2 or whatever it takes? So for this 2 foot unit (cutting area 16"?) could you do a 4'x4' panel? How do you set home position? I assume the machine just goes out x and y from what it considers home so you position the unit over your home or what you consider 0:0 to start?

How are you going to hold it in place? I was wondering if dragging the cable around would move it? clamps? Welding magnets?
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Premium Member
@David_R8 I see in the plans that if you wanted to make it bigger, it is suggested to just order longer rail components. I was wondering though about doing a larger sheet in parts. Will you be able to index it somehow and then use 4 drawings/files or 2 or whatever it takes? So for this 2 foot unit (cutting area 16"?) could you do a 4'x4' panel? How do you set home position? I assume the machine just goes out x and y from what it considers home so you position the unit over your home or what you consider 0:0 to start?

How are you going to hold it in place? I was wondering if dragging the cable around would move it? clamps? Welding magnets?
I expect to just clamp it to my welding table.

I have yet to have this thing under power so take this with a box of salt.
In theory you could put the unit anywhere on a big sheet and start cutting.
I've only laid out single parts in Fusion360. When I do, I specify the size of the stock. For example, lets say I have a 4" x 4" bracket. When I do the CAM programming I have to locate the 0, 0 postion and enter the stock dimensions. I would say .125" thick and add .25" to the edges.
I expect I could cut that out, move the machine to a new spot where the 0,0 position would work, and fire it up again.

I know that in dedicated plasma cutting software such as SheetCAM there is the ability to nest parts together. I haven't investigated that because I run a Mac and SheetCAM is PC only.
 
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