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    Thread: New CNC plasma table

    1. 09-27-2011 04:52 PM #1
      Well after years of dreaming I finally pulled the trigger on a 4x4 CNC plasma table system with full torch height control. This really has put the capibilites in my small fab shop up there with the big boys. Shop is in Campbell CA with full CAD and Illustrator software (11x17 scanner to digitize too)

      Thin Aluminum (.090 in):



      1/2 thk Aluminum (yes .50 inch)





      1/4" mild steel:





      10 gauge Stainless:



      So anyone need anything burned out or want to bounce some product ideas off me. email me at dragrabbit@yahoo.com

    2. Member BARELY LEGAL's Avatar
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      09-27-2011 05:50 PM #2
      Dope bottle opener!

    3. Member fastg60's Avatar
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      09-27-2011 07:19 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by BARELY LEGAL View Post
      Dope bottle opener!

      Ha, there's a product idea.

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      09-27-2011 07:42 PM #4
      New machine day is always fun.
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    5. 09-27-2011 08:13 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by fastg60 View Post
      Ha, there's a product idea.
      I thought I would be doing more engineering and design, but so far I am making Bear's, Yankee's and VW and Audi bottle openers.

    6. Member nubVR's Avatar
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      09-28-2011 12:03 AM #6
      What kind of machine is it?? Pics please, also pros and cons when you get more use out of it

    7. 09-28-2011 02:23 PM #7
      Thanks for your interest. I am sure you are ready for one in your shop too. There is a company who builds fuel cells on the Pirate 4x4 forum who goes straight from the plasma table to weld.

      I bought a Plasma Cam. I went this route based on some others (namley a fellow by the name of Jim Colt who works for Hypertherm) and his near laser cut quality out of the box. I am using a Hypertherm Power max 45 torch for now and plan to upgrade to a PM85 soon.

      Since I have been running the machine for a few months, I can honestly say the learning curve is less steep than others lead on. If you follow the recommendations of the manufacture the cut quality is ultra nice leaving your time where it is best spent on design and fab.

      I went with Plasma Cam mainly due to the speed of servo drives and encoders which means the controller knows where it is at on the table at anytime. Others using steppers are relying on counting steps to tell the controller where they are at. In general servos are better that steppers and for the money I was going to spend I wanted to get the most bang for my buck. One or two missed steps on a 4x4 plate and your whole part could be scrap.

      Plasma Cam has higher travel speeds than others (up to 300 in/min, cutting 1000 rapids) which is a must when cutting thin materials. You will never get there with a lead screw. You may not need to if you only cut 1/4" plate for example.

      Other considerations is the dust control and machine support. I had to design a water tray for the Plasma Cam and even with that you still need a vent fan for some smoke (very little) I have yet to see any dust on my mill and lathe with this smoke. Other machines allow you to put the water closer to the torch but since PCam uses a closed loop type of torch height control with Ohmic sensing the water on top of the plate can throw it off. My water is about 4 inches below the plate. machine support is good on Pcam, but excellent on Torchmate. I have not needed as much support as I thought.

      The machine decision was between a 4x4 plasma Cam DHC-2 (used) and a new Torchmate 2x4. The torchmate with height control would have been ~3k more. Both were suitable for hobby and light industrial use My Pcam was only used for a few hours (sucks to be that guy). I bought the Hypertherm PM 45 with a hand torch, but also a machine torch which I have yet to integrate, Motoguard filter, 60 Kobalt compressor, and a bunch of water seperators.
      Last edited by 77dragrabbit; 09-28-2011 at 02:37 PM.

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      09-28-2011 06:16 PM #8
      I saw a CNC plasma cutter in use the other day when I went to pick up a rool cage. It was cutting perfect notches in T45 tube - I couldn't believe how clean it could cut!
      Throw an Audi engineer down a hole with a ladder and he will fashion a shovel from it and tunnel his way out

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      09-28-2011 09:37 PM #9
      Man, perfect answer, thanks for the awesome reply. Ive been looking around, not quite ready to make the jump yet, at my DAY job, we have a giant, 15'x30' water table and all that other fancy stuff. Im lucky to get the luxury to use it.
      Plasma Cam is the route i was really looking into actually so that is awesome thats what you ended up with!
      Curious if you looked into just a plain down draft ventilation? Also if you have had to clean much mud/sludge from the water? Im guessing being 4" away there is gonna be less, On our big machine i try to get the water level to about 1/2" away, but i can also change that on the fly so it makes it real easy.

    10. 09-29-2011 01:26 AM #10
      Plasma Cam users for hobby and light industrial seem to fly under the radar. This makes small time users like me feel very uneasy upon purchasing but now its running I am very happy. Like I said the cut quality from jimcolt (google if you like) sold me.

      The down draft was my second choice because I was hoping to reduce ower consumption. I blower would be another 2HP electrical load which I am nearly tapped out on my 100 Amp home service. Now I crack the door and use a box fan to get air flow across the garage to clear the smoke.

      Another consideration is software. I think Pcam has a pretty weak version that was on their machines up to this year. It does all of the controlls fine and art file clean up okay, but don't expect to design anything easily with it. Now they have a newer version but they want you to pay for it. The user forum consensus is its pretty good. I have heard the Torchmate software is good too, out of the box. I do all of my design offline with CAD (day job)

      Water table folded up for me: cost $300, welding free fifty free (me)






      integrated water table (painted OSH blue to match):










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      09-29-2011 01:37 PM #11
      I'll take one of those bottle openers

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      09-30-2011 02:41 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by 77dragrabbit View Post


      What did you do to create the thin section on the bottle opener? Mill? I also thought about pressing them but I think in stainless it would just work harden pretty quick.
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    13. 09-30-2011 04:15 PM #13
      I used my mill. I'm not sure how stainless would react to a press. For 20 bucks you get a one of a kind-industrial bottle opener. As a pilot test there are a few bartenders using them here in Campbell. So far they like the weight and stoutness compared to the freebie chinese ones the beer vendors are giving them.

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      10-06-2011 10:45 PM #14
      how about branding irons for steaks

    15. 10-13-2011 02:28 AM #15
      Thickest stainless cut so far. 3/8 Plate. Cut at 18 IPM. Test fit the pattern on a new cylinder head for verification.









      Test fit the

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      10-13-2011 02:48 AM #16
      Why must you be so far away!?

      if you were closer you would most likely be seeing lots of my money in the near future haha
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    17. Member BARELY LEGAL's Avatar
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      10-16-2011 04:29 PM #17
      I'll cave. I have to get my hands on one of those audi bottle openers. Where and how much do I send you? Thanks!
      Cin City

    18. 10-18-2011 11:00 PM #18
      A little collaboration this week with a Vortex fabricator yielded a nice branding emblem. Nub had the graphics done up and I was able to digitize it to code make some branding emblems. .090 thk Aluminum (on left) and .025 thk SS (yes... twenty five thousandths) OA size is 1.5 x 2.5 inches






    19. Member nubVR's Avatar
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      10-19-2011 01:29 AM #19
      Im stoked dude

    20. Member J.Owen's Avatar
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      10-19-2011 12:44 PM #20
      we might need to call on your services in the near future. We have been working up some ideas and would love to support a forum member.
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    21. 10-19-2011 02:35 PM #21
      As you know being racers and fabricators who are allegiant to VW/Audi, we have always been innovators who "layed the first tracks"

      I am always looking to add value to all types of projects-be it parts on your race car or business/club sign in your shop. Let me know.

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      10-21-2011 03:49 AM #22
      Here's a for Eric with help on my project. I may have to get in touch with you about cutting a couple of brackets for me if I decide to move the headlights on my project further apart.
      Tobias

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    23. 10-27-2011 11:15 PM #23
      I have the same machine and have been using it for years. I absolutly love it. I have a water table and exhaust setup on mine as well. I will have to take some pics to share.

    24. 12-17-2011 06:05 PM #24
      I have been busy lately with some new endeavors, but found some time to help out a minicooper builder with some header flanges. 3/8 MS. 20/32 IPM







      Hit me up if you need anything burned.
      Last edited by 77dragrabbit; 12-17-2011 at 06:08 PM.

    25. Member Trickle X's Avatar
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      12-29-2011 09:19 PM #25
      Thanks again for the quick turn-around. I will be fabbing up a few manifolds next week if I get the rest of my stock in. I have a few guys chomping at the bit to get hold of these manifolds! They mate up to the head good as far as I had time to test fit. I will let you know if I run into any issues once I bolt up to the head. The alteration on the port size in the file i sent you came out exactly how I needed it to.
      Last edited by Trickle X; 12-29-2011 at 09:23 PM.

    26. 12-30-2011 10:23 PM #26
      Had some time today so I decided to make a new run of bottle openers. Contact me if you are interested.


    27. Member syracusegli's Avatar
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      12-30-2011 11:26 PM #27
      nice i was looking into setting up a table myself, not quite ready to pull the trigger on it yet tho, hope it works well for ya
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    28. Member J.Owen's Avatar
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      01-03-2012 10:19 PM #28
      What sort of pricing for a short run of bottle openers if I sent you a design?
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    29. Member nubVR's Avatar
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      03-13-2012 12:15 AM #29
      Email sent..... need more logos

    30. 03-16-2012 01:15 AM #30
      Me too.
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    31. 03-17-2012 01:39 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by nubVR View Post
      Email sent..... need more logos
      haha.









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      03-17-2012 10:14 PM #32
      Damn, that is so cool, you make any flange you want, couple that with a lathe and I would vband everything.
      2.0T+034efi+meth = 300+whp = Part out PM me for anything

    33. 03-17-2012 11:23 PM #33
      Nub and other logos finished today.



      Cheers!

    34. 03-21-2012 01:39 AM #34
      Here is another logo. Guess this is the fabricator's season. Hope you don't mind the bowtie. It was really hard to cut since my tow rig is a Ford.






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      04-06-2012 09:00 PM #35
      Sent you an Email !!

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