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  1. #21
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    Stanwood, WA
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    New Holland T1510

    Default Re: Anyone have (or access to) a small CNC plasma/water jet/laser cutter?

    Wow, great rates JimColt.

  2. #22
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    Northeast MA
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    Kubota B3200 with BH77 backhoe, Kubota B50 SSQA w/ 54" & 60" buckets, LandPride FDR1660

    Default Re: Anyone have (or access to) a small CNC plasma/water jet/laser cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarrett View Post
    I'm making a bracket to mount my 15 gal sprayer to my ZTR mower and I need some steel sheet cut out. I already have some material and can do it myself with the few tools that I have (portaband, grinder, etc.), but I don't really have the time to spend on cutting these out. I got prices from a few local shops here, but they were all way more than I'm care to spend. One shop quoted $3+ for material and $80 labor (laser). I'm not saying they're out of line. These are large shops with large machines, so their overhead just to start the machines up is high I'm sure. I don't know of any other shop locally that is a smaller operation with smaller machines and lower operating costs. Does anyone here do this line of work or know of any place online that provides these services? I've attached a picture of the bracket.

    Attachment 314687
    What software did you use to produce that drawing?

    I'm looking to do something similar (get some brackets and other pieces made) - and as a first step I'd like to get some halfway decent drawings done.

    Or maybe a more appropriate question is (to the guys who know plasma CNC) - what sort of file format is generally used in these systems and what's an "easy" software package to use to produce them?

    I've been reading up on some of the plasma cutting tables like PlasmaCam and Torchmate and I seem to remember it being mentioned that the software included in those packages allows you to scan things in and convert them to a drawing that can be used by the table. What I don't know is: is software like that available independently of buying the table.

  3. #23
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2013
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    Edmonton, Alberta
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    MF 135

    Default Re: Anyone have (or access to) a small CNC plasma/water jet/laser cutter?

    Just use a standard cutting torch with the smallest size tip like a 000. 1/8" is thick enough it won't warp too bad. 3/16", you'll have no problem at all. Make sure your tip is real clean and use a straight edge on the longer cuts so you can go faster. Have a spray bottle of water to keep them a little cooler. You could also cut them with a zip disc on a grinder and just use a torch for the curved cuts. It doesn't sound too critical what you're making. $80 is reasonable for a cnc machine.

  4. #24
    Silver Member
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    Jan 2010
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    New Hampshire
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    Kubota 4310

    Default Re: Anyone have (or access to) a small CNC plasma/water jet/laser cutter?

    The industry standard for CAD drawings that are used for Plasma, Water Jet and Laser CNC machines is the AutoCad .dxf format. These will generally directly import into the CAM software used by most cnc cutting machines.

    Software that can scan a drawing and convert it to the .dxf format is called "Raster to Vector" conversion software. My PlasmaCam software has the ability to do that. Another package that I have used is from a company called Arbor Image ..they have an excellent rastor to vector software designed for cutting applications.

    JimColt



    Quote Originally Posted by jim_wilson View Post
    What software did you use to produce that drawing?

    I'm looking to do something similar (get some brackets and other pieces made) - and as a first step I'd like to get some halfway decent drawings done.

    Or maybe a more appropriate question is (to the guys who know plasma CNC) - what sort of file format is generally used in these systems and what's an "easy" software package to use to produce them?

    I've been reading up on some of the plasma cutting tables like PlasmaCam and Torchmate and I seem to remember it being mentioned that the software included in those packages allows you to scan things in and convert them to a drawing that can be used by the table. What I don't know is: is software like that available independently of buying the table.

  5. #25
    Member
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    Jun 2011
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    sw Pa, just north of morgantown
    Tractor
    dk55 , ck20s

    Default Re: Anyone have (or access to) a small CNC plasma/water jet/laser cutter?

    Any HVAC sheet metal shop could make those for you in no time.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Anyone have (or access to) a small CNC plasma/water jet/laser cutter?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimcolt View Post
    The industry standard for CAD drawings that are used for Plasma, Water Jet and Laser CNC machines is the AutoCad .dxf format. These will generally directly import into the CAM software used by most cnc cutting machines.

    Software that can scan a drawing and convert it to the .dxf format is called "Raster to Vector" conversion software. My PlasmaCam software has the ability to do that. Another package that I have used is from a company called Arbor Image ..they have an excellent rastor to vector software designed for cutting applications.

    JimColt
    My longer term plan is to get a plasma CNC table like the PlasmaCam or the Torchmate. I've looked at them off and on for years but haven't had the space to put one or the money to invest in one. My space is nearing completion - but I've got a few things I'd like to make in the mean time and I was just figuring that if there was an easy way to convert a scanned drawing or image into .dxf format now it would make it easier to send it out and get it made now - and it would be easier down the road if I wanted to make more of them and finally got a table of my own.

    I've looked quite a bit at the PlasmaCam software and that is one of the things about that table that appeals to me - the software seems relatively easy to learn and use. I've played with a few different packages here and there over the years that would produce .dxf format drawings and always let them drop because the time investment to learn them didn't justify the small amount of time I would be using them.

    I took a quick look at the Arbor Image software you mentioned - Ugghhh - something like $1200 for the package. I think I'll take a pass on that for the moment too. I'd rather save the $1200 and put it towards a table.

  7. #27
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    Caldwell Co. NC
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    2006 Kama554; 92 Belarus 250AS

    Default Re: Anyone have (or access to) a small CNC plasma/water jet/laser cutter?

    For personal use you may be able to download a student version of the major programs for free.

    Otherwise for 2-D CAD you can look at programs like ViaCad and TurboCad priced around $40 for the 2-D version.
    2006 Kama 554, 92 Belarus 250AS, Bombardier Outlander Max 400.

  8. #28
    srs
    srs is offline
    Platinum Member srs's Avatar
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    Jarrettsville Maryland
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    Kubota B3030 HSDC

    Default Re: Anyone have (or access to) a small CNC plasma/water jet/laser cutter?

    To Jimcolt, beautiful workmanship! I too will keep you in mind should I need any work, very impressed with your quality. Stanley
    Stanley----Kubota B3030 HSDC

  9. #29
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    Wichita, Ks. metro area
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    Default Re: Anyone have (or access to) a small CNC plasma/water jet/laser cutter?

    I'd love to find one of those old Linde pantographs for my home shop. Perfect for one off projects on a budget.

  10. #30
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    New Hampshire
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    Default Re: Anyone have (or access to) a small CNC plasma/water jet/laser cutter?

    The old style pantographs used a motorized magnetic roller to drive an arm around a steel part, you mount an oxyfuel torch (or plasma torch) on the arm and you can make copies of the part the magnet follows. These machines are good for repetitive parts, however are not good for "one off" parts as you have to make a pattern for the roller to copy. There also are older technology photocell tracer machines....which can trace a heavy black line drawing and cut the same shape with a torch or plasma. An issue with bost pantographs and tracers is with maximum speed....which generally is in the 35 to 75 ipm maximum range. For most thin materials the speeds and accuracies are simply not fast enough to get decent cuts with a plasma. Too slow and you get a larger heat affected zone, heavy dross and warpage. This issues are all eliminated with cutting at the proper speed.

    You can still buy pantographs from a few suppliers new.

    Jim Colt


    Quote Originally Posted by Jim in ICT View Post
    I'd love to find one of those old Linde pantographs for my home shop. Perfect for one off projects on a budget.

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