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CNC Plasma Cutter Gloat!

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  • CNC Plasma Cutter Gloat!

    Picked up this CNC plasma cutter today for TechShop. Made by Esab with a Burny 5 control. Just a little one, the Gantry is 14" wide with about 10' of travel and the rails are about 25' long with at least 20' of travel! It came with a Hypertherm 200 plasma cutter but there is no machine torch for it and the torches on it are for a Thermal Dynamics power supply and capable of handling up to 1000 amps and cutting 3" SS. They only want $500 for the power supply so I think we might get it. Bad thing is at 500 amps out the power supply pulls 320amps out of the wall at 240v 3 phase!

    Got it from a company that decomissioned it when they went full water cut.

    It will be probably a few weeks before its up and running. Need to figure out how all the parts go together. Also need to build a water table for it.

    Here's the pile of parts.

    Gantry and control:


    Plasma Power Supply:

  • #2
    Nice score!!!

    Nice score macona.

    You really do put in a great effort for and at Techshop. I hope others appreciate it.

    That plasma cutter would be awe-inspiring-inspiring with a huge "Wow" factor at Public and Open days and the like too.

    Well done.


    • #3
      Funny , just last week I bought a Thermal Dynamics power supply "an older one", and it didn't have the torches nor the leads. The one I'm looking for is a two gas model. Maybe we can talk!


      • #4
        The thing is big enough to make the cut-outs for boat hulls


        • #5
          Nice score Macona. Damn, I would hate to have to put that thing back together. It looks like it could be a real head scratcher. LOL



          • #6
            Well if noting else at least you have the gantry and the power source.Prolly worth what you paid for that.
            I just need one more tool,just one!


            • #7
              Nice score, but if power supply draws 320 Amps, how much is the compressor you'll need going to draw? How many cfm of compressed air do you need for that monster anyway?
              Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit


              • #8
                Oh sure.
                It's always fun until somebody has to pay for a new 0000 power line to be installed between the electricity store and the shop.

                Of course unless you really cut 3" stock (really? You going to do that?) then can't you get by on about 50 amps or less most of the time?

                What a huge thing. You could attach a robot arm and program it to clean the shop for you.


                • #9
                  If we used the max 200 as the plasma cutter we would be limited to a good quality cut thickness of about 1". You can cut up to 2" of steel but it is slow and inefficient.

                  Of all the commercial plasma cutters I have worked on in the past the only time you saw 40 to 50 amp machines was on cnc machines that ran gauge thickness sheet metal for hvac fittings. Everything else was 100 amps on up. You need the current for efficient piercing. Also the small plasma cutters on the market do not have a 100% duty cycle at their max rating so their use for cnc is limited.

                  The three inch rating in stainless is with two 500 amp power supplies in parallel. The torches are rated for 1000amps. Of course this means that we need 640 amps in! We do have a full 2000 amp service but that ain't going to happen. The torch has different sets of consumables for different current ratings. The smallest being 250 amp. I will probably limit the machine to 250 amps out. At this current it specs cutting 1/4" at about 200 ipm. If we use the water shield option it will drop the speed down by about 25%. The power supply can be turned down as low as 150 amps so I thunk it may be fine.


                  • #10
                    Sounds like it's time to open a shop in Seattle!

                    Nice find.


                    • #11
                      Got most of it together today. Bolted the rails to the floor and straightened them and leveled them out. One part of the floor was out of level 1" over 20 feet. Had to shim big time. All me measurements were right and the gantry set right in place. You can push it with your finger! Took about 9 hours or so...

                      I am so freeking sore right now...

                      Assembling the rails:

                      Greg, one of our members and the guy who bought it, relieved me from drilling the bolt holes. We used 1/2" self tapping concrete bolts.

                      Gantry sitting on its rails:

                      Close-up of the control:


                      • #12
                        Oye! Looks like that's going to take more quarters than a car wash! That's Big! Are you guys bidding on the new Interstate bridge?


                        • #13
                          You sir...are in for a mess. I have a 4x4 square plasma table and it was a nasty bugger until I put in vacuum collection for the dust. That damn black stuff was on everything and would later oxidize and turn red. I didn't want to put several hundered gallons of water in my shop and increase humidity so I opted to NOT use a water table below the torch..

                          I cannot imagine how nasty that big table will be. That being will really appreciate the abilities of plasma with CNC control. I love that I have it operating in a clean down draft dust collection manner.



                          • #14
                            Actually, I do. I used to work on these machines for a living.

                            This is just a little one really. The one out at The Steel Yard (Local steel yard) has a table something around 20 x 60 and the one out at Gunderson Marine has one so large that the operator rides on it.

                            This will have a full level controlled water table under it and have water shield on the torch as well. They run pretty darn clean like that. Humidity is not an issue, the building is 30k sqft and 24' ceilings.


                            • #15
                              At one of the shops I worked in once upon a time, we decided to go CNC Plasma and I ended up building the water table. It's a choice I'm glad we made. It was also level controlled as the table was built with an upper deck that supported the stock to be cut (5' x 10' table 10 inches deep) and the dump tank was located directly below. 3 inch dump gate allowed for super fast draining and a high GMP sump pump submersed in a sectioned / screened portion of the dump tank would fill that entire top section very quickly. The vertical supports for the stock were .25" x3" x5' spaced every 4 inches. We did have both the plasma and oxygen acetylene heads and cut from 16Ga. to 3 inch, mostly mild steel. If i were planning on ever putting together a system like that again I'd not hesitate to do the water table again, it's great not only for keeping dust down, but also submerged cutting is so nice with the really thing stuff, much more control on warpage.

                              The depth of the table was not entirely 10 inches as I had built in a slope on the table to allow us to "clean" the bottom before small parts runs. IIRC the table started at 6 inch depth on one end.
                              Last edited by Walter; 11-28-2009, 08:31 AM.