If you were looking to build a table what would you need to consider if you wanted it to do multipull functions?
Say a table of 9' x 11' (the largest sheats we use are 5' x 10')
Having a choice of using either a plasma machine torch (so it may have a water bed), a router for cutting wood, a shotblasting head for 'drawing' on stainless sheet and possibley a mig torch for welding and maybe even a gas torch for cutting thick stuff.
Could you either make a standard plate fixing for your gantry so you could fit a plate to each item (torch, router etc) and drop them into bushed holes (so the plasma assembley would contain the thc etc) or even make a gantry that extendes over the bed so you could have multipel heads mounted and chose which one to use.
How many people use one machine with mort than one head and is there much advantage to be gained for having a dedicated machine for one use?
In designing a universal table I'd look at shielding the screws and slides well against liquid/dust/splatter. I would add the capacity of being able to run coolant or flooding the table. I would design the mounts for the different heads so they all zeroed at the same point. I would have some quick connetcs for the different hoses/wires, etc for each head. Basically if you are designing from scratch you should design so swapping the things out is aas painless as possible. If it takes you an hour to swap from one to another then youll probably wish you jaut had a different machine for each process.
The advantage to having dedicated machines is that you can run a few jobs at once!! The advantage of a single machine is that the work can stay clamped down and lined up so you can run two processes one after the other without misalignment.
I don't see it as much of a technical difficulty, but the question is, can you get all these different jobs? If so then maybe get 2 separate machines so you can run two jobs at once. For hobby use, then definitely go for it, the more capacity the better! Lets see, router, laser, plasma, waterjet, sprayhead, haha -a fun thought.
How about a machine with two gantries, you can lock one down onto the carriage and disengage the other, slide it back (I guess you'd have extensions of the rails off to either side for the "offline" gantry) while the other does its job.