I am starting to design my plasma/oxyfuel/router table. I plan to use a lot of aluminium extrusion in the design. What are peoples thoughts on this and what is the smallest cross section I could use. I have started designing using 80mmx80mm but it is 50euro plus vat ($70) per meter. 80 x 40 is 40 dollars a meter. would this be sufficient if the 80mm was used in vertical orientation?? I reckon I need about 12m which is about 480 dollars? Is that crazy money? I have attached some screenshots of my design so far. I plan on using a guide system similar to a torchmate machine for the X, dual driven. The Y will be guided using two hiwin type linear guides and I still havent decided on the Z axis. I want to build it so that I can cut an 8' by 4' sheet of wood or steel. I'm willing to spend about 5,000 euro on the table (not including a plasma torch). Drive system is to be rack and pinion and the motors geared down 5:1 so that they suit both plasma and wood routing. I was going to build a mild steel base and then mount the alumimium rails on sections of channel or I beam so that they are adjustable? I havent asked my local supplier for prices of making the rails in mild steel or even aluminium. I want to have the table pretty much designed first before I get any quotes. Any suggestions are welcome. I'm still in the design stage but hopefully I can have a good model developed in the next few weeks.
I´m considering to use the same approach, but also use intergrated beltdriven units for the axes. This is my first sketch of the machine, but I have now changed the profiles to 40*80 mm. The gantry is a integrated unit 80*80. The total cost for this system will be about 14.000 USD, where 1500 USD is the frame only.