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Thread: CNC plasma cutter drive?

  1. #1

    Default CNC plasma cutter drive?

    I want to build a cnc plasma cutter. I'm not sure of the best way to guide/ drive it. I know there are alternatives to lead screws. Maybe a timing belt drive. just looking for ideas/examples. Thanks CA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    South Texas
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    966

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by craigavery123
    I want to build a cnc plasma cutter. I'm not sure of the best way to guide/ drive it. I know there are alternatives to lead screws. Maybe a timing belt drive. just looking for ideas/examples. Thanks CA
    Used to build commercial machines. We used a gear and rack to drive the machines. Was dirt tolerant and plenty accurate. We had to use hardened gears, but that was o9n machine running production, 2 to 3 shifts five days aweek. Top speed was 600 Inches per minute. Anything you are going to build for hobby work will last just fine with soft gears.

    How big a plasma unit are you going to use? how thick will you be wanting to cut?

    Biggest problem you might have to deal with is noise affecting the computer uyou use to control the machine. Had a couple locations where we had to do extra gounding to keep things working smoothly.

    Best of luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Mount Clemens, Mi
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    2,612

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    You may find this site helpful, I was given it by a guy that built his own cutter and is on it.
    http://plasmaspider.com/index.php
    Glen
    Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
    I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
    All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

  4. #4

    Default

    I have a Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52 Plasma Cutter.
    I would like to build a 4x8 table but my room is limited. I was looking at gear racks and I see they come 6' long so I was thinking about a table 6' long and wide enough to get about 4-1/2' of cross travel.
    I would like to cut at least 1/4" but could easily come up with 1/2" items. At some point, I would probably want to cut as thick as the plasma can handle.

    Thanks for the info. The rack and gear was just what I needed to get me thinking and the cnc plasma website looks to be a good resource.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Certral Coast NSW OZ
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    21

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    You might like to look at this:
    http://www.torchmate.com/cnc.html

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    South Texas
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    966

    Default THoughts on gear rack

    Mount your gear rack so the teeth are on a vertcal face and put 1/4 inch spaces under the rack so any dust and dirt can fall off and not interfere with the mesh of the gear. Mount the drive on a pivot and keep it engaged with a spring so it can deal with the occasioanl dirt in the rack.

    To splice the rack sections - cut off a 4 inch long piece of rack and clamp it to both pieces to space them, and then fasten them down tight. We mounted the rack on the commercial machines with 1/4-20 socket head screws spaced about every 7 inches.

  7. #7

    Default

    I've been looking at the torchmate stuff. By the looks of they're motors, mine are way big. lots of good ideas there though. I need to find the gantry linear rail they use or a cheap substitute.
    If I keep the table short enough to not splice the rack, I was thinking of using a 1" or greater rack and only attaching it at the ends. Point the teeth down, and just let the racks support the gantry on cam followers. I like the hinge and spring mounted drive idea.
    I do have 2 length of 45x90 Bosch, a length of 90x90 and some 45x45. If I make a 4x8 table all Bosch, I'd probably need a little more 45x45.
    Thanks,
    CA

  8. #8

    Default Samson

    Just got a catalog from www.SamsonCNC.com(719-489-3337) featuring a plasma cutter. Maybe worth a look-see. Karl

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Bellingham WA
    Posts
    315

    Default

    I have a plasma cam...4x4 table. It uses gear racks mounted vertically in enclosed tracks to protect from dust.

    I really love the machine. It takes a little getting used to but once mastered you can fabricate brackets...bumpers, hitches, whatever faster than you can imagine. I can literally rain parts out the bottom of the table faster than I can weld them together.

    Cheers
    Mac.

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