I think sheetcam is a great p program.
So its a 5x5 frame with a 42"x42" cutting field and the Z Axis has 6" of movement. I'm having a water pan being made thats 3" deep and I plan to use 3" angle iron for slats. I bought the gantry plates from an ebay store called precision plasma and the 4 axis controller/driver is model TB6560 from hubbard. The stepper motors are 311oz.
The plasma cutter is a 50amp power plasma from everlast that already has a cnc port on it for trigger and THC.
Here are some videos of it running:
So here are my questions:
1. I'm getting good with the mach3 side of things and its running pretty well. I know lots of people have asked this before but I want to ask it again. Whats the easiest/shortest learning curve CAM software out there just for plasma. Also any good packages / training suggestions?
2. I'm not to familiar with plasma cutter parts and assemblies. I'm looking for a straight head/hose assembly for the cnc so i don't have an ugly handle hanging like so many others I've seen. Thoughts suggestions?
Last edited by crandolph; 01-04-2012 at 09:42 PM. Reason: Adding some links.
I think sheetcam is a great p program.
For the torch you will need a machine torch that you can only get from the manufactur of your plasma machine, I do not know of a universal torch, so if they dont offer it get used to the ugly handle
As to CAMsheet cam is as cheap and easy as i have seenvery simple to use and has a lot of features they hav a great forum to help if needed
CNC plasma first run.*http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ziwuOb3fyA]Mach3 roadrunner test - YouTube
It seems to be running choppy. I used a parallel port amp from Hubbard and I found that the second X axis I have as a slave was lagging behind but it moved much smoother. So my next test is I have a new parallel port on order and hopefully that will help. I'm getting closer....
Now I have to figure out how to wire up my trigger for the plasma and figure out how to fire it with lazy cam or sheetcam.
I must admit I am enjoying the learning curve as a noob.
You have moved along quick with your build. Hats off to you on this. I would think that everlast would have a machine torch, if not yet they surely must have one in the works. Have you contacted the company? Really, lots of people are running the hand torch and seem to get along fine. I would consider an easy way to remove and install, as I am sure you will find times you would need just the hand torch for general use around the shop. I do have a question about how you mounted your racks, what kind of tape and where did you find it? I never had any luck coming up with it. I did it the hard way, bolted. Again, congrats on what you have done so far looks good. I am sure you are inspiring others to jump in on a build.
I used 3M 03614 Scotch Mount tape to mount the gear, no bolts. After I mounted it I put a piece of 1x2 lumber over it and clamped it tight for the night to help it set firmly. Those rails are not going anywhere now. I also used aluminum for the travel arms so the gantry could move smoothly instead of steel that if i painted would make the movement not as smooth but I modified the mounting plate so i could bolt the aluminum on and not have to deal with welding anything but steel.
4'x4'x3" 18 gauge galvanized water pan made by a local metal shop (Since I don't have a giant bender) $175 and it looks good and ready for me to install slats in.
Good work using the aluminum sq tube, i tried steel and it wasn't precise enough (Thickness varied along the tube). I switched to the V-rail version for that reason.
How did you wire up that CNC port?.....did you use candcnc?
Also, where the heck does everyone get those plastic wire guide things that "roll up" as the gantry moves?!
I haven't wired up the CNC port yet but I'm planning on running it for awhile just using the trigger then maybe using candc THC later.
For your cable management its called a drag chain or cable carrier. McMaster carries them but they are very expensive. Check ebay and you can find it much cheaper. One good rule I've learned from drag chains so far is get bigger than you think you need.
For example lets say I'm running 4 Cat5 cables with each cable having a 1/4" diameter size. You would assume I only need a drag chain 1/4" tall by 1" wide. I would double what ever you guess is because the cables need plenty of room to flex inside. Also you can run the drag chain from the center of your axis because that will cover the whole axis when it flexes. They do have a bend radius to look at (if you can find it) So in my case I have 4ft of total travel and my drag chain is 3ft long (1ft for the bend)
"Bad decisions make good stories."
a few mini vans use cable carriers in there sliding side door auto wreckers almost give them away around here anyway