I have acquired a couple of old, but high quality Swiss made plotters. I thought they would be a good starting point for a plasma cutter project. The one I'm planning on using is about 4' x 4' of X/Y travel. I will of course need to fabricate a Z Axis. It's drive system is 36mm diameter Servo's connected via anti backlash gears to rack gears all surprisingly heavy duty considering this is just a printer.
I already have a Hypertherm Powermax 1000 to use with it. This is a budget build for home hobby use. One of the key elements I want to work into my design is I need it to be somewhat compact and I want to attach one edge to the wall with a hinge so I can fold it up against the wall when it's not in use. I can't have a massive table totally consuming a garage bay.
have a number of questions for those more experienced in this.
First has anyone used plotter parts to make a plasma cutter? who thinks this is a good/bad idea from the start?
How much Z axis travel do I need? Remember this is plasma only not a router and I want to keep it compact so I can fold it up to the wall when not in use.
Servo or stepper? Currently it has Servos, but I'm unsure of voltages or if these motors are even good. It also has HEDS encoders which seem to not be ideal require work arounds to make them work with Geckos. Then there's the added complexity of servos. I was wondering if I should just convert it to steppers. I have a Bridgeport BOSS 5 with steppers and it's great. All of my experience is with steppers, but Servo's are probably faster.
Here are some pictures of the plotters. The one that is still all together is smaller one, I'm planning on using the larger one.
This project is still in the planning stages and no real money has been invested so I can go in a totally different direction if this seems to be a bad idea. So don't be afraid of hurting my feelings if you think this is a bad idea, just please tell me the reason why.