I was hoping for a cleaner cut than plasma. I have access to a plasma cutter already as well. I've been doing some more research and found I need to rethink my end goal. A 40-60w laser engraver may be more suited to my final project, but I was really hoping to be able to do some other projects being able to cut steel and aluminum that thick.
I found 1/4 hrpo steel cuts smooth at about about 1500 watts. At about 60 ipm, Using oxygen as an assist gas. I have only cut thin .040 aluminum (using Nitrogen) but for steel once you get through the materail it cuts pretty good. Using a mazak new turbo-x 1.5 kW.