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View Full Version : New Machine Build New 4x8 Table from scratch(pics)



Dustin407
02-25-2009, 01:43 AM
My name is Dustin and I live in orlando FL and I am going to build a 4x8 plasma cnc. I have completed 3 mnths of research/design and ready to build...

Dustin407
02-25-2009, 01:49 AM
Here is a pdf file of my 3-d plasma design. It is about 90 percent complete except minor brackets and stuff...

WP1
02-25-2009, 05:30 PM
Just a note from the been there, done that file -

The "minor" brackets and stuff are not "minor" and should be the center of your design. Otherwise when you're trying to make those "minor" brackets to connect the "major" components you will run into all kinds of clearance and adjustability issues.

Be sure you provide a way to adjust every axis to be properly planar and perpendicular to the other axes. This can be simple like bolted connections with room for shimming since it will only need to be done once.

You can easily do pitch error compensation in most control software, but I haven't seen anything with the ability to do 3D axis perpendicularity compensation, i.e. apply compensation to the Y axis based on the X axis position because they are not perpendicular.

Dustin407
02-26-2009, 12:38 PM
WP1

I have designed the entire machine to make sure I do not run into any problems.. That is the advantage of 3-D drawings to see any minor mishaps. I was waiting for the motors and roller bearings etc.. to come in so I can mic. them. After getting a true measurement on that peice I will go back and finish designing the brackets. Thanks for giving me the advice on the adjustable axis that is a great idea. I will bolt everything and plan to use fine steel shim stock....I will try to build the table as true as possible first. I have access to a full machine shop (my friends) this will help..

Dustin407
03-02-2009, 04:26 PM
I have just finished cutting and welding everything up for the waterbed stand. It turned out extremely well everything within a 1/16" square and level. I will start construction on the alum. waterbed this week...Here are some pics..

Weldtutor
03-02-2009, 07:35 PM
Nice start on the table Dustin.

Your research seems to have paid off!

Pictures show a great piece of welded fabrication.

Thanks for sharing & keep us posted.

Dustin407
03-10-2009, 01:59 AM
I am getting ready to order some paint for my waterbed table before it starts rusting to hell. Not the actual waterbed itself (out of alum)but just the metal stand in the pictures below.. What kind of paint should I use, I was thinking of the DP-40 epoxy paint or sandable primer and enamel. Im not sure on what to use.. Any suggestions in the paint realm....??

Dustin407
03-26-2009, 01:47 AM
I worked on the alum. waterbed this past weekend. Everything went as plan, just a few more things left to do on it. I have to epoxy/rivet the slotted alum. L channel to the 1-1/2" cross braces to hold the 3" x 8' steel slats. I will post more pics. as soon as it is finished...

millman52
03-27-2009, 05:38 AM
I am getting ready to order some paint for my waterbed table before it starts rusting to hell. Not the actual waterbed itself (out of alum)but just the metal stand in the pictures below.. What kind of paint should I use, I was thinking of the DP-40 epoxy paint or sandable primer and enamel. Im not sure on what to use.. Any suggestions in the paint realm....??

Might be worth checking out the POR-15 line of products. The POR-15 primer is specifically designed for use over bare & rusty metal. I have used it on badly pitted rusty metai & it does do what they say for stopping rust in it's tracks. http://www.por15.com/

The POR-15 primer really does quite well being brushed on. I was amazed that brush marks were just about non existent.

TerraWombat
03-30-2009, 11:25 AM
Might be worth checking out the POR-15 line of products. The POR-15 primer is specifically designed for use over bare & rusty metal. I have used it on badly pitted rusty metai & it does do what they say for stopping rust in it's tracks. http://www.por15.com/

The POR-15 primer really does quite well being brushed on. I was amazed that brush marks were just about non existent.

I can attest to the durability and effectiveness of POR-15. I bought their "starter pack" about a year ago to use on an old, rusty trailer that was sitting in some weeds in my backyard and the results were amazing. I brushed it on to eliminate wasting paint due to overspray (POR-15 isn't cheap) and like millman said, the brush marks are non existent. This stuff also goes on THICK and covers very well so you can usually get away with a single coat. Be warned that it is light sensitive and its color will dull if left in direct sunlight, but its corrosion/rust protection properties remain.

millman52
03-30-2009, 04:54 PM
I can attest to the durability and effectiveness of POR-15. I bought their "starter pack" about a year ago to use on an old, rusty trailer that was sitting in some weeds in my backyard and the results were amazing. I brushed it on to eliminate wasting paint due to overspray (POR-15 isn't cheap) and like millman said, the brush marks are non existent. This stuff also goes on THICK and covers very well so you can usually get away with a single coat. Be warned that it is light sensitive and its color will dull if left in direct sunlight, but its corrosion/rust protection properties remain.

I bought it to use on a truck dump body. POR-15 recomends the primer be top coated with another product to protect from sun damage.

The primer WILL NOT remove from skin if it dries there either. You literally have to wear it off.

POR 15 might be overkill for a plasma table in general but for a water tray..... Build it set it outside & let turn orange from light rust & REMOVE ALL MILL SCALE. Dry off & coat with POR-15 primer. I think it would be a nearly forever finish.

TerraWombat
03-30-2009, 05:08 PM
The primer WILL NOT remove from skin if it dries there either. You literally have to wear it off.


I painted the frame on my Jeep project with POR-15 and got a bit on my hands and arm. This was maybe three weeks ago and the stuff on my arm finally wore off a couple days ago. I found that if you get it on your hands, it'll come off in only a few days if you're constantly doing manual labor like I am. I also found that if you let your hands get "pruney" in the shower, it'll scrape off relatively easy.

Dustin407
03-30-2009, 11:41 PM
Thanks Millman and Terra for all the advice... Before I got a chance to read everyones post I went to a Tractor Supply store a day ago and bought Industrial Enamel made by Valspar. This paint is not regular enamel it comes with a hardener which is almost like an epoxy paint. I talked to a couple farmers in the store that painted their tractors and implements with valspar before and said it is some good ****..lol. It must be a great paint because tractors and tow behind equipment endure some of the most brutal conditions possible... Sun, rain, abuse, dust, full dirt contact... etc. For the one gal. prim. and one gal paint it was $87.00 The only downside to the valspar their was only five ugly colors to choose from, so I bought gloss black. I still have my receipt if you think I should get the Por-15 instead???, I can take back what I have already purchased. Thanks again for the advice..

TerraWombat
03-31-2009, 07:50 AM
Thanks Millman and Terra for all the advice... Before I got a chance to read everyones post I went to a Tractor Supply store a day ago and bought Industrial Enamel made by Valspar. This paint is not regular enamel it comes with a hardener which is almost like an epoxy paint. I talked to a couple farmers in the store that painted their tractors and implements with valspar before and said it is some good ****..lol. It must be a great paint because tractors and tow behind equipment endure some of the most brutal conditions possible... Sun, rain, abuse, dust, full dirt contact... etc. For the one gal. prim. and one gal paint it was $87.00 The only downside to the valspar their was only five ugly colors to choose from, so I bought gloss black. I still have my receipt if you think I should get the Por-15 instead???, I can take back what I have already purchased. Thanks again for the advice..

I have never used Valspar, but I've heard numerous positive results from others. I don't think you need to take it back based on the recommendations that millman and I made because, like he said, POR-15 may be overkill for a plasma cutter. I'm also curious to see what you think of this paint as I've contemplated using it on a few projects that I have going, but aren't worth enough for me to use my POR-15 stash :)

Just make sure you prep the metal properly or no matter what paint you use, it won't turn out right.

Dustin407
04-01-2009, 06:28 PM
The last couple nights I have been trying to finish up the waterbed. I used 3-m epoxy (820) and blind rivets to install the alum. L-channel to the alum. plate. This will increase its overall structural strength and keep the tank from leaking. I filled it up with water a few hours after the glue set and I was suprised ...NO Leaks...wooooohoooo I will have more pics next week..

millman52
04-02-2009, 08:28 PM
Preparation is a must especially on new steel. There is always oil & then mill scale. To get a really good paint job on these projects is very time consuming.

I didn't paint mine at all. I knew it would have taken me at least a week. After the build is complete, I felt I would have to disassemble it to clean it well enough for paint. Then would come the job of putting it back together again. It just wasn't worth it to me.

ynneb
04-02-2009, 08:34 PM
What would happen if you used sand instead of water?

Weldtutor
04-02-2009, 10:40 PM
Great looking water container Dustin407!

Don't use sand in it. The compressed air from the plasma cutter would cause the plasma "dust" to be blown around the work area, rather than being captured as is done by the water.

Dustin407
04-03-2009, 03:49 PM
Millman, I plan on sanding/polishing/grinding all the millscale off the steel and then giving it an acid bath. I have given acid bath to many steel /paint projects and paint seems to etch into the steel with the acid... Your are very correct with time consumption and I am not looking forward to this phase of the project at all... But I do want the table to look nice for people from disney and universal studios are my future clients and they will probably see it at some point.

Weldtutor & ynneb, You could use sand for your table but it would have to have water mixed into it (like drywall mud) so sand doesn't blow around like weldtutor said. But you would have no advantage compared to water, especially if sand got in your gears/ rails... nightmare.. The objective of the water is to take the vaporized metal dust out of the air. Also to keep certain material from warping like s.s.

millman52
04-16-2009, 03:53 PM
Dustin, How are you moving along with your project?

Dustin407
04-18-2009, 12:07 AM
good millman. I just got done ordering the four axis plas pack from Tom at candcnc and with extras came out to $2900. I am waiting for it to come in. Everything else is coming along slowly. I went to look at warehouse space this week and found a great location in downtown orlando. Keep you updated on the progress.

vishnu
04-18-2009, 01:58 AM
Dustin,

Nice progress & clean build, Could you please let me know the total project cost for the machine with split up Viz Mechanical, electronics, Plasma cutting machine seperately so could start budgeting.Actually i have completed my Mechmate Size 10' x 6' and planning to start a plasma cutting table in few weeks.

Vishnu

millman52
04-18-2009, 09:13 AM
good millman. I just got done ordering the four axis plas pack from Tom at candcnc and with extras came out to $2900. I am waiting for it to come in. Everything else is coming along slowly. I went to look at warehouse space this week and found a great location in downtown orlando. Keep you updated on the progress.

Did you go with servo or stepper system?

I used C&C's stepper Pak on mine late 2007 vintage. He has made several changes (upgrades) you can't see in the big gray box since then & the MP1000 although works on same principle is a whole new better animal. Not that there is much wrong that you or I could tell with the earlier MP1000 version.

I had a couple bugs when first fired up. But Tom was more than patient with me & had a bad componenet He cheerfully went above & beyond the scope of the warranty to make right. I am very pleased with his system & when I build a larger table I will use his electronics again.

Neil

Dustin407
04-20-2009, 08:57 PM
Vishnu I definetly will keep your question in mind. I have saved every receipt and will let you know what the total build cost... My total costs right now, with the cnc electronics package(4 axis), plasma, watertable/stand, other metals, new computer, kellog american 2 stage compressor ...... $7,300 ...... I probably have another $1,700 to $2,100 to go..

Millman I decided to go with the stepper system and since there is no cut force on the plasma head. Although I am building a plasma/drill ( go on youtube- grip-tech ) on the same z-axis, I will offset the drill on the opposite side of the plasma, and mach 3 has the option possible to adjust for this compensation.. I will run the drill off the 20 amp relay box inside the cnc controller, and mach can turn on/off the drill (auto). Since I have a stepper on the z axis my acme rod will be 8-10 tpi, this will help give me torque when drilling because tom recommends 5-6 tpi without a drill.

millman52
04-21-2009, 09:57 AM
Dustin, See if you can find a 10TPI 2 start screw. That will give you the 5TPI I really think the 500 oz/in stepper will have plenty of torque to run a drill at the feed speed needed for drilling. At least any size drill a hand drill is capable of turning reliably.

Dustin407
04-27-2009, 09:35 PM
After 3 days of hard work, sanding, grinding, sanding, acid bath, sanding.... I finally got the primer on it and ready to spray its finish coat in the next day or two (jet black). Its not that exciting but just keeping everyone updated. The valspar oil/enamel paint is awesome by the way for the money, it has rust inhibitors also... Just finishing up the paint conversation that some of you wanted to know if I liked the paint.

TerraWombat
04-27-2009, 09:50 PM
Thanks for following up on the paint convo. I stopped in a Tractor Supply that just opened up down the road from me and saw the stuff you were talking about. Glanced at the label and had a sales associate come over and talk to me about it a little bit. He says he's used it before on some random project and said it was very similar to POR-15 as he's used both. I also saw the color choice (or lack thereof) that they had, but the stuff is designed for tractors so it only makes sense that they have John Deere green and yellow, International red, and Ford blue!

The primer looks like it went on pretty well. I assume by the overspray on the ground that you used a paint gun rather than brushing it? One of the things I wanted to test with the Val-spar was if when brushed on, does it level out like POR-15 does. Probably time for me to quit asking questions and just pony up the money and buy gallon of this stuff for myself.

Dustin407
04-29-2009, 11:59 PM
FOR SALE!!!!!!!!

I have 125 Neodymium magnets (N 42s) for sale. Extremely powerful. The dimensions are 1/2" x 1" x 2" . Used on a perpetual motion test and they are in perfect condition. They can be used for torch head breakaways, used for rack/pinion debris pickup, dust collectors, also to keep parts from droping into a tank, etc... Just want to get rid of them. I paid $1,300 for 125. But willing to sell all for $500. I will sell singles, doubles to people that can utilize them on their machines. Any offers/questions just reply.

Dustin407
05-01-2009, 07:45 PM
Here are some pics of my slow progress... The finish coat turned out pretty well it almost has a reflection and very smooth. I put some compression foam on top of the tube...

Dustin407
06-02-2009, 03:09 PM
Hello everyone,

My 4-axis plazpak1A came in the other day. I was very happy with the overall quality of Toms stuff from Candcnc and well worth the money. Hopefully it will perform as good as it looks. Everything was color cordinated and labeled to connect the correct component into that port, to help electronically disabled people like me... I have continued my design in autocad, taking some measurements of the motors, shafts, v-wheels etc... Just trying to fine tune the design and turn on the green light for construction... I will post some pdfs of my final 3-D drawings probably at the end of the week, and after that I would like to have the machine running at the end of july....

Dustin407
06-05-2009, 07:33 PM
Here is a couple pics of some artwork me and my father made together last year. The pics are of a sea turtle (copper), small school of lookdowns (s.s.), and mangroves(copper). We make alot of art work that involves the sea for some reason, I guess we just find it to be peaceful and soothing..... Whenever the cnc plasma gets up and running we wish to make alot more art work along these lines... Enjoy

Weldtutor
06-05-2009, 08:01 PM
Here is pics of some artwork
All nice looking pieces! The fish are especially attractive in stainless.

When you get the electronics connected you are sure to have more fun.

Thanks for posting the pictures.

millman52
06-05-2009, 11:01 PM
Hello everyone,

My 4-axis plazpak1A came in the other day. I was very happy with the overall quality of Toms stuff from Candcnc and well worth the money. Hopefully it will perform as good as it looks. Everything was color cordinated and labeled to connect the correct component into that port, to help electronically disabled people like me... I have continued my design in autocad, taking some measurements of the motors, shafts, v-wheels etc... Just trying to fine tune the design and turn on the green light for construction... I will post some pdfs of my final 3-D drawings probably at the end of the week, and after that I would like to have the machine running at the end of july....

I'm sure you've had the lid off the gray box....... Pretty neat huh. Nice ribbon cables between all the boards, motor connectors via the Gecko EZ cards.

Now imagine having to mount,& hard wire all that stuff with individual strands of primary wire.

Now price the same quality components, a nice project box to mount it all, the many feet of wire, hours with a soldering iron tinning the ends to of wire to connect underneath all the tiny little terminal blocks that would be everywhere there is a ribbon wire. etc. etc.

Probably work out to your time being worth $1.00 per houror so. & you still wouldn't have all the safety features that is built into that main motherboard.


I for one was glad to spend a little more money.

mls
06-06-2009, 01:04 PM
Hi my name is Mike I am building a cnc table now also and ordered my electics from candcnc last tuesday how long did it take to get yours seeing yours laid out is motivating I cant wait to use this. I am also using a water table built in with the regular table (mine is not as fancy or nice as yours ) but i hope it will work. Your picture of electrics have v rollers and a rail did this come with you kit and what is that used for.
Thank you Mike

millman52
06-06-2009, 08:04 PM
Hi my name is Mike I am building a cnc table now also and ordered my electics from candcnc last tuesday how long did it take to get yours seeing yours laid out is motivating I cant wait to use this. I am also using a water table built in with the regular table (mine is not as fancy or nice as yours ) but i hope it will work. Your picture of electrics have v rollers and a rail did this come with you kit and what is that used for.
Thank you Mike

I can answer your questions, at least partially. For a time frame on the electronics it would be best to go to www.candcnc.com & ask Tom directly.

I'm sure Dustin can answer on his but the time frame will be different depending on CandCNC's current lead time.

Fancy has nothing at all to do with how well the table will hold tolerance. your table main frame must have the rails mounted straight & & your gantry must be adjusted exactly square (90 Deg.) to the main frame rails. You also have to limit any backlash in your belt reductions, rack & pinions, or whatever driving system you are using to as near 0.00" as possible.

The "V" rollers are the "precision rail" choice Dustin has decided to go with (at least for some part of his table) & as far as I know would not have came from CandCNC.

Hope this helps some Neil

Dustin407
06-06-2009, 11:24 PM
hey mike,

Millman pretty much answered all the questions, and I agree with him 100 percent... Just to add a couple things, Candcnc time frame depends what you ordered and how many orders they have at that particular time. The time I odered my 4 axis pack. it took about five weeks to get to the door. Even if it took six months I still think it would be a good deal....

The v-rails/rollers came from Modern Linear as a sample pack. It is free just so you can take a peek at their products. I am going to use v-rails on my x-y axis and linear guide rails(ball) for z axis and floating head. Some people use v-rails, cam rollers, guide rails etc... All depends on your budget/design, as long as the rails are straight and shimed properly it doesnt matter what you use.

Mike did you order the 3 axis or 4 axis plazpak?

mls
06-07-2009, 08:47 AM
I ordered the 4 axis bladerunner dragon cut cnc plasma kit if you go to his web site and click complte kits then over to table top kit about half way down this is what he suggested to me. Tom from candcnc seems to be extremly helpful he expained in full my every (100?) questions seems like a very nice guy that wants to help anyone he can. Wow I am excited to get this all working. I have never used any type of plasma cutter before I just picked one up a hypertherm 1000 ( 60amp ) wow this is cool thin sheet metal as fast as you can move the torch then I tried a pc. of 1 inch square stock I had and it cut right through my brother in law and I were laughing for hours with a grin on our faces.
Does any one have a pdf on these motors I think they are the 23 frame hybrid 3/8 shaft 600 oz type 3a I want to start making my motor mounts I have already emailed Tom from candcnc I dont want to keep buggin him he is probably busy.
Thank you Mike

Torchhead
06-07-2009, 04:09 PM
Here is the PDF of the 600 OZ-in 23 motors. It has the electrical specs for the earlier 570 oz-in version but the case and shaft are the same. The 600 Oz-in are 3.5A per phase and matched to the Gecko drives (G250) we use in the BladeRunner Packages.

mls
06-07-2009, 08:53 PM
Thanks for the info Now I will start to design up the motor mounts. With the new DTHC does the z axis have to have a limit switch on it so that when the torch comes down it moves the torch and hits the switch so that the control knows where z axis is zero, or does this hit and read that it is grounded or some type of voltage going through the torch to know where it is zero.

Again Thank You for the pdf Mike

Dustin407
06-08-2009, 12:19 AM
Mike, Im pretty sure but not 100 percent you will have to put a floating head on the z-axis. when the torch touches the material it then moves upward on an additional rail and hits the switch, the switch can be 1/16 or 5/8 inches away(basically any short distance) I believe you have to set this setting in mach. For example if your switch was a 1/4" away and your pierce height is a 1/4" the z axis would then move up 1/2" after it hits the switch, but the torch would come back down on the additional rail a 1/4". So you would be a 1/4" away from your material... (im confusing myself) If this is not correct please inform both me and mike....

dnels
06-08-2009, 10:43 AM
You will need a floating head. I bought my floating head from k2cnc. They sell just the z axis. When i priced all the parts i would need to build it was just a little more for a complete working model. Sheetcam is the program that i use for plasma cutting. It has a place in the post that you set your switch offset.The switch closes when the torch hits the material and then brings the torch up to your pierce height and then starts an arc then lowers to cut height. Sheetcam has settings for all the parameters needed for plasma cutting.
Dave

Dustin407
06-19-2009, 08:33 PM
Just trying to keep everyone updated. I finished up my watertable yesterday, putting in the alum. slat holders (rivets) and slipped in the 3" x 96" 11 Ga. slats. I also purchased 60' of 3.5" x 2.5" 7 Ga tube (in the pics to the right of the table)to finish up the rest of my machine. The rest of the machine is seperate from the watertable, and I have several reasons for doing it this way. One is transportation of the entire machine with ease ( the machine breaks down in sections). Two, the water table can be mounted on rollers, slide out underneath the machine(x,y,z, axis torch carrier) and sheets can be put on easier. Three, it is hard to design a water/downdraft table that accomodates the first two reasons. Four, I think the adjustability of the overall table is better... Ill keep you posted

DanOSB
06-21-2009, 01:32 PM
wow ur waterbed looks really clean very nice job..

im looking forward to seeing ur gantry build

Cheers
Dan

Richard Honey
06-23-2009, 05:25 PM
Looking good.

How come everyone else's sheds appear tidier and better organised than mine?

:wave:

DanOSB
06-23-2009, 05:26 PM
well he was cleaning it up just for the picture.. pretending its organized garage we all know the truth what it actually looks like :D

Dustin407
06-23-2009, 09:24 PM
Richard dont feel bad, you guys should see the other half of my garage.... Its a fukcin nightmare... Wait until my gantry build you'll see..... Its so bad I just dont know what to do anymore... So I went out and bought about 45 large rubbermaid tubs....

Dustin407
06-24-2009, 01:37 PM
Wooohooo.. getting a little closer to success... Ive been working late hours cutting tubing, drilling, taping holes, and welding. Have you guys ever had to weld in florida. Its like trying to weld in hell, weld for five minutes go back inside ,drink,sit, ac for twenty... I have fabed up one end section. Another section is to be made for the other end and tubing will bridge the two together. Gusset plates get bolted to the 1/2" holes that are threaded, 12 GP total. I am going to fill up the two end sections with concrete this week to weight them down a little more. This will help stop little vibrations or movement. Do you guys think that is a good idea??? Ill keep you updated

DanOSB
06-25-2009, 08:24 PM
concrete is a good idea but make sure you get really thin concrete like grout (im not good with the terms)

fill it all way up and some of them you can drill 1 inch hole on the highest point and pour everything up it flows like water.. and when its dry its really hard and strong..

Dustin407
06-26-2009, 08:27 PM
Just some more pics of the gantry table mocked up. The gusset plates are finished but not shown in pics. The bottom of the legs will receive 6 leveling feet. It will be painted gloss black to match the water table stand. Sheetmetal will be wrapped around the outside (like samson cnc table and most others) and pop riveted on all the way to the floor and sealed. If you notice the steel tube has a 2" offset all the way around the alum. waterbed. This will create a 2" air vacum/downdraft between the edge of the water table and the steel tubing. I will install a large blower/vac outside or inside under the table with a 4"-6" exhaust hose... This will hopefully catch any remaining vapors that the water does not capture.

DanOSB
06-27-2009, 12:15 PM
to be honest after installing my water bed i rarely see any dust or fumes from plasma cutting sometimes just steam.. so you probably will leave ur vaccum off all of the time..

also only time i got all thsoe dust/fumes was cutting a 2x2 hss tubes it was nasty i forgot how bad it was before i had waterbed..

Dustin407
06-27-2009, 01:49 PM
DanOSB to be honest after installing my water bed i rarely see any dust or fumes from plasma cutting sometimes just steam.. so you probably will leave ur vaccum off all of the time..

also only time i got all thsoe dust/fumes was cutting a 2x2 hss tubes it was nasty i forgot how bad it was before i had waterbed..


Dan, Thanks for the heads up... I hope the water captures everything, but I know their is a small percentage that will not. I have a very small shop with three guys that work in their with another company. I am just taking extra steps for comfortability with all of us. I just dont want to hear them complain about the fumes.. I also intend to cut light mdf, and foam so im sure I will use the vac for that.

CNCCajun
06-29-2009, 09:57 AM
Very Very Nice . . . .

I'm still confused as to how you will remove the water table . . .

Everything you have done so far is first class :)

Please keep posting . . .

Steve :cheers:

Dustin407
06-30-2009, 04:20 PM
[QUOTE][I'm still confused as to how you will remove the water table ./QUOTE]

Well the waterBed just sits on top of the water table stand (black). So they are two seperated units. The water will be pumped out of the alum. tank into an external overflow/regulator tank. Once all the water is removed (plus a few slates that just slide out for weight) the tank just lifts up by man power ( weights about 50lb. ) . Now if it is filled with a bunch of plasma sludge particles over a couple mnths it will be double or triple that. But it still can be moved if necessary.

Dustin407
07-19-2009, 04:47 PM
Things are moving along slowly... Due to a lack of funds this month mostly... All my v-rails will be ordered this coming week. 20' of t-3 and 10' of t-2. The t-3 v-rails will run on the y-axis and the t-2 on the x-axis. I also have been working on a torch cable swing arm. Basically it is a steel post bolted to the concrete, with an alum. pivot shaft and alum. swing arm. Two pillow blocks will be bolted to the post for the alum. pivot shaft, are not shown. I have a rough 3-D pdf of the swing arm and would like a little feedback on what you guys think of it, looks and function.


I have a few pictures of one corner just mocked up with the gusset plates, t-3 v-rail and t-3 v wheel. The gear rack will be mounted directly below the v-rail. This will allow for 1.2" between the gusset plate and gear rack, I will use a 1" dia. spur gear .2" of clearance. Other pics include the leveling feet bottom plates. They have a 2" dia. alum. pipe 4" tall epoxy on to the steel plate. Once the legs are filled with concrete this will allow the leveling feet to be screwed in without hitting the concrete. These pictures have been taken a week or so ago and Im currently on the paint process...

DanOSB
07-19-2009, 07:13 PM
about that swing arm i have seen some people doing it.. (mounting that pivot in the middle of the table on the edge of course) i think this system will work well..

ur setup is very very clean.. keep up good work

also if u dont mind me asking how much did u pay for thsoe v railing?

Weldtutor
07-19-2009, 08:28 PM
Dustin,
With enough slack between attachment point & torch, the swing arm for the torch cable should work well as you have described & drawn.

I use a 20 inch screen door type spring looped from the end of arm suspension point with the cable loosely slung through the spring.
This adds some flexibility & works well.

Dustin407
07-20-2009, 03:11 AM
DanOSB,

I have not yet placed an order on the v-rails but I did price them out roughly for 20' for the y-axis and 10' for the x-axis I believe it was $385.00 thats without tax or shipping.... Thanks for the feedback


Weldtutor,

Thanks for the feedback, I will definitely use some type of sling, I went out on mcmaster and tried to find something flexible with little spring tension but was unsuccessful. I guess I was not sure what type of spring or sling name to type in for the search... But I will definitely look up the screen door spring...

DanOSB
07-20-2009, 06:52 PM
thats pretty good price.. much cheaper than my shaft bearings for same legnth wish i knew about v bearing when i was building mine back then.. oh well now i learned something :)

millman52
07-21-2009, 08:54 AM
Dynatorch uses a swing arm on their industrial tables. Pic from DT's web site.

I am probably going to use a similar setup byt hang from the wall. I used an overhead festoon for all my other cables, hoses etc. Just so I'd have good access to the off side of my table for unloading. I don't really want to run the plasma cable the same route as my other cables.

tof1
07-21-2009, 10:28 AM
I thought you don't have to worry about interference if you don't have a high frequency start plasma?

millman52
07-21-2009, 10:35 AM
I thought you don't have to worry about interference if you don't have a high frequency start plasma?

I'm sure interference isn't as much of a problem with non HF start. I'm using an arm for a couple other reasons too. I don't have room in my E chain across the gantry to add it in there & It will make the plasma torch & lead easy to remove & swing back out of the way If I need to. Interference problems will or should be totally eliminated that way also. I just don't want to tempt Murphys Law!!

plain ol Bill
07-21-2009, 07:05 PM
Millman since that little Irish bastard named Murphy lives in my shop most of the time he should not be a bother to you very often. If I ever catch him I will box him up and mail him to you.
Like you I decided not to tempt fate and ran my plasma leads overhead on a swing arm rather than in the e-chain with all the motor wiring.

Dustin407
08-05-2009, 05:24 PM
Update, things are moving along pretty well. I have purchased my v-rails/wheels, cable chain, rack and pinion, 5:1 alum. pulleys and bunch of other little items.... Almost everything I need to finish. I also purchased a new computer this week to run the Mach 3 and AutoCad. I installed a non-integrated video card (nvidia 512mb) into the cp to help stop mach 3 from crashes in the future.

I finished fabing up my cable swing arm, just have to paint the tower stand and bolt on the pillow blocks. My buddy cut the swing arm side plates out of 1/8" alum. on his shop sabre cnc router. I took some alum. c- channel and pop riveted the side panels together. I also turned the shaft down 15 thous. to fit in the blocks.

Question?? I am on the process of mounting the rack/pinion and v-rail to the steel tubing. What is a good distance for mounting the 1/4" 20 bolts, center to center. 4" 6" ....etc. I was thinking 10",12" c to c. The gantry is alum. all together weights about 80lbs.... Just trying to save time, but not sacrifice performance.

millman52
08-06-2009, 06:42 AM
Update,

Question?? I am on the process of mounting the rack/pinion and v-rail to the steel tubing. What is a good distance for mounting the 1/4" 20 bolts, center to center. 4" 6" ....etc. I was thinking 10",12" c to c. The gantry is alum. all together weights about 80lbs.... Just trying to save time, but not sacrifice performance.


Isn't the V rail pre drilled for mounting holes? If not I wouldn't have a clue without actually holding a piece of it in my hand. Even then all I could give is an opinion. I used 3/8" X 3/8" 20 pitch rack gears on my table I have them drilled every 4" & mounted with #5-40 socket head cap screws. I believe I could have stretched the spacing to at least 5". If you have heavier cross section racking I'd think you could stretch out the bolt spacing accordingly.

ArtFab
08-06-2009, 09:34 PM
Back in post 54 (I think) you said something about putting concrete in the legs. Why? I'm soaking up every bit of this since I will be starting my own cnc table in a few weeks. Keep up the good work.

DanOSB
08-06-2009, 09:52 PM
the reason hes pouring concrete in the legs/gantry part to make it more rigid less vibration so the gantry will be running smoother

Dustin407
08-19-2009, 07:41 PM
Finished painting/primer.... I cut my v-rails to length/Drilled every 8" on C, I decided to go with 1/4"- 24 button head bolts. Going to drill my 1/2" X 1/2" 20 pitch rack gear this week and hopefully start the gantry build on monday. Trying to hurry with the build because I have two large bids in process....

millman52
08-20-2009, 08:49 AM
Finished painting/primer.... I cut my v-rails to length/Drilled every 8" on C, I decided to go with 1/4"- 24 button head bolts. Going to drill my 1/2" X 1/2" 20 pitch rack gear this week and hopefully start the gantry build on monday. Trying to hurry with the build because I have two large bids in process....

LOL Nothing like "the chance to make mone with it as compaired to spending money on it", to build a hurry up fire!!!!!

Dustin407
08-23-2009, 06:25 PM
Well, I finished fabing up the table and bolting everything together. I still have to paint the two long top rails of tube, but I wont do that until after the machine is running. Overall the tolerances of the entire table are extremely good (I was suprised on how close everything was) square, level to the slats and from rail to rail, nothing over a 32". I took off work for a week and plan to have the machine cutting parts in ten days(maybe). Here comes the gantry da du dwww...... I will probably have some wiring questions for you guys soon, thats my weak point...

ArtFab
08-23-2009, 08:07 PM
Looks great. Where did you get the feet? The look pretty heavy duty. All the ones I've found are pretty cheap, even at Grangers.

millman52
08-24-2009, 08:42 AM
Looks great. Where did you get the feet? The look pretty heavy duty. All the ones I've found are pretty cheap, even at Grangers.


I made feet for my table that work great. I used 3/4" X 2 1/2" square head set screws & rounded 1/2 of the square shank in the lathe. then for the foot pads I used 3/4" lengths of 2 1/2" round bar with a drill dimple in the center.

There is some detail here:
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31133&page=5 post 54

millman52
08-24-2009, 08:47 AM
Well, I finished fabing up the table and bolting everything together. I still have to paint the two long top rails of tube, but I wont do that until after the machine is running. Overall the tolerances of the entire table are extremely good (I was suprised on how close everything was) square, level to the slats and from rail to rail, nothing over a 32". I took off work for a week and plan to have the machine cutting parts in ten days(maybe). Here comes the gantry da du dwww...... I will probably have some wiring questions for you guys soon, thats my weak point...

Looks really good.... You shouldn't have much wiring problems at all with your www.CandCNC.com kit. About all you'll have to do is get everything set in mach Motor tuning etc. & you'll be running.

Dustin407
08-24-2009, 03:11 PM
Thanks millman and artfab,

As for the feet they are very nice for the money. I bought them from mcmastercarr part # 6111k63 swivel leveling mount with stud, nickel plated stl, 3/4"-10 thrd, 4" bolt, 7400# load, they cost me $22.71 each which is pretty good but I had to buy 10 of them the way I have my machine set up.


I may have a question or two about the wiring, but definetly on tuning the motors since I have never done it before. Question Im getting ready to order sheetcam what is the difference between sheetcam standard and TNG I think it is? Which one would work better for me?....

millman52
08-24-2009, 04:09 PM
Thanks millman and artfab,




I may have a question or two about the wiring, but definetly on tuning the motors since I have never done it before. Question Im getting ready to order sheetcam what is the difference between sheetcam standard and TNG I think it is? Which one would work better for me?....

I think you'll have to purchase TNG I don't believe Original Sheetcam is avalible any more. I purchased the upgrade liscense but so far have just played with it a bit in my office. I haven't downloaded it to my machine computer as yet. There are a few things in TNG that will make it a bit more flexable anyway.

Neil

Dustin407
09-07-2009, 02:41 AM
Well I wanted to have the machine running by now but the week I took off work I picked up a great side job with Universal Studios on the new Harry Potter ride that I couldnt pass up, which in turn didnt have alot of time to work on the machine... But managed to get the gantry off to a good start. Working on the gear reduction housings now that go on each end of the gantry....

Still looking for a small ballscrew and ball linear rails for Z-axis if anyone knows a good place to purchase it would help greatly...

In the pics, the x-axis carriage is just a test plate that I used to make sure the rails are the correct distance apart before I tighten the bolts...

millman52
09-08-2009, 07:53 PM
Sent you a PM I bought my ballscrew & nut from www.roton.com. don't know how their prices compair but they had it when I wanted it & could order online.

Linear rail I bought a longer length used from ebay that had 4 bearings. I cut the short length(s) I needed from it & saved the remainder for later.

Dustin407
09-24-2009, 09:41 PM
Well the gear housings for the y-axis is complete. Just a belt and couple set screws to be tightened.... Working on the z-axis, and x-axis gear reduction that is very similar. The ratio I decided to start with is 5:1 gear reduction, it can easily be changed with the motor shaft timing pulley to a 4.5:1 , 4.3:1 , 4:1...... I wanted to try to get good resolution/accuracy rather than speed.... I do have a very light alum. gantry so I may be able to drop it to a 4:1 and still have res/accuracy, but will pick up more speed.... I will have to run some tests in the future....Any questions or suggestions are much appreciated...

DanOSB
09-24-2009, 10:41 PM
looks good getting closer to cutting the metal :)

keep up with the progress

Weldtutor
09-25-2009, 10:04 AM
Fine looking construction on the gear reduction units & V groove wheel holders Dustin.
5:1 should be a good starting point.

Torchhead
09-25-2009, 11:02 AM
Any questions or suggestions are much appreciated...

Is there a way to adjust belt tension? Is the rack to pinion mesh (gap) fixed or adjustable.

TOM Caudle
www.CandCNC.com

Dustin407
09-25-2009, 03:49 PM
Thanks, Dan,Weldtutor....

Tom, I plan on using an idler/tension pulley to adjust the belt tension. I have not found any yet that are the correct size but they will pop up at some point. I also thought about using a cam roller that is on a cam bolt that I can turn into the belt for tension, kinda like a eccentric bushing....Also any suggestions for belt tension im all ears...

Sorry, I didnt post the spring picture on the housing but it is adjustable. The entire housing pivots off a 1/2" hollow shaft inbedded in between the v-wheel carriage plate and motor mounting plate. I press fitted two drill bushings one on each plate with 3m 810 epoxy to be safe. So two 3/4" drill bushings with 1/2" ID the hollow shaft slipes through both of them, then bolt goes through the inside of the shaft to hold the plates together(but not very tight to allow pivot). Im sorry I didnt explain it very well but I took some better pics....

The spring I have right now is pulling the pinion into the rack at about 10lbs of pull force. Should I go higher 15-20 or do you guys think that is enough...?

DanOSB
09-25-2009, 03:57 PM
im no expert here but from what i remember it was susposed to be aprox 40 lb force from reading on some forum..

Torchhead
09-25-2009, 06:12 PM
I think at 10lbs the pinion will try to walk out of the rack with heavy acceleration. I think the 40 lb range. It has to do with the mass of the load and the acceleration putting a tangential load on the teeth.

The rest looks really good. The accepted belt tensioning is either slotted motor mounts (or arc-slot three and fix one) or the idler. The idler needs to be adjustable but the ones I have seen that are spring loaded don't work well. Practical CNC (RIP) used a radial spring on an idler pulley (like a capstan on the old reel- to-reel tape units) and I watched as one came off the shaft, jammed the belt, blew the drive and racked the gantry , all in about 300 msecs! Their Servo controller had no overload shutdown and the drives were not even individually fused. The Rutex drives they used would not take a shaft stall on the motor. After that I was not an advocate of the spring loaded idler. They only used about a 2.75 to one belt reduction and with the big servos they used it would SCREAM at about 3000 IPM but at even half that speed things happen so fast all you could do was watch....no time to hit a button or even take a breath!

I have idlers on the belts on my big servo table with 10:1 belt transmissions. It's a two step reduction and a slotted motor mount only would adjust the first belt.

TOM Caudle
www.CandCNC.com

Dustin407
09-30-2009, 09:45 PM
Thanks Tom on the advice... I ordered some heavy duty springs in the 30-40 lb range, I put them on and noticed some sticking and very jumpy rack/ pinion movements (moved by hand). I dont know if this is normal but it was pretty bad I put the lighter spring back on and it didnt seem to stick that much but felt alot smoother... I have not put any grease on the rack yet but is this normal? I expect the rack and pinion to have to wear in for a couple weeks... Any personal experience on this would help....

I finished up some 3-d drawings for the x/z axis torch holders.. I feel pretty good with the design, went ahead and ordered all the parts for it on monday(ballscrew/nut/flange precision shafts, bearing blocks, bearings, shaft coupling, etc...) My buddy is currently cutting out all the alum. plates on his cnc router 1/4" and 1/2" alum. I took some pdfs in autocad for a quick preview...

Torchhead
10-01-2009, 12:42 AM
I saw the formula to calculate the sping tension: It's the tangent of the tooth pitch angle (in degrees) times the mass of the load. Remember that acceleration is a non-linear curve. The numbers for a 100 lb load are about 34 lbs of opposite force to prevent the gear from climbing out of the rack (20 deg rack angle)

millman52
10-01-2009, 12:03 PM
When I attached springs to my gantry drives it took much more tension to actually hold them in under power than it did to just hold them in at rest. They will not seem rough under power as they do pushing against them.

Neil

Dustin407
10-10-2009, 06:03 PM
I took a few pics today to show you guys my progress. The torch cable swing arm is complete. The z/x axis plates still need a little work and assembly. I have it just slightly mocked up.... Tom, I did the formula on the gantry, it weight about 55 to 65 lbs. so that would equal about 20lbs of force I would need for spring tension. As for the x-axis spring tension should I stay the same at 20 lbs or since the carriage it is moving weighs about 25lb.(the formula would say use a 9 lb. spring tension)???

Dustin407
10-17-2009, 03:16 AM
Well, the table is now mechanically complete and now comes the wiring phase ( my weak point but my computer skills are good). I have not called tom yet from candcnc to bug him but im sure I will have a few questions for him soon. Hopefully I will get this beast fired up soon and making sparks. I checked the table for square,level and any imperfections and everything looks pretty good. I clamped a sharpie marker to the front of the z plate and moved the gantry by hand ( made a large square shape on to the mdf) it is dead nuts square, which took a couple hours of tweeking. Any wiring suggestions/comments im all ears.... Just for some that are wondering the cost of the x/z carriage(alum. plates and parts) it cost about $600 which is not too bad and im very happy with it. Thanks millman I picked up the ballscrew from roton that you recommended.

DanOSB
10-17-2009, 11:08 AM
looking really good.. pretty soon you will start cutting you are almost there...

Mongkol
10-24-2009, 09:29 PM
Dustin,
I would like to see the first cut.

Mongkol

clembrant
11-10-2009, 10:02 AM
where did you get your linear rails and bearings

Dustin407
11-13-2009, 04:43 PM
Well, the machine has motion and is cutting nicely. I cut some simple geo shapes this week out of 1/8" steel and everything looks like it is working nicely. The edge quality was very smooth with barely any chatter lines. Im glad I went with the 5:1 belt reduction, it has the potential for 500 ipm and has the tight tolerances/resolution(3183 steps per inch). I will try to post some pics for you guys this week. My autocad computer went out on me and im in the process of buying a new cp and reinstalling the program. This may take some time so right now im designless. I was wondering if some of you guys could send me some dxf files of simple objects/shapes or small art files. I could cut them and post some pics. I still have the sheetcam demo so I can only run 150 lines of code , so more or less a small file.

clembrant I purchased the v-rails/wheels at modern linear and the linear ball pillow blocks from vbx.com I think it is and some parts from mcmastercarr....

millman52
11-13-2009, 07:34 PM
Here is a few for starters.

Dustin407
11-17-2009, 05:39 PM
This week I have been cutting some small parts. Everything seems to be working great mechanically. I just need to work out some of the mach 3 software. The parts in the pictures I cut out of an old sheet of Alum. at 80 ipm/60 amps. Thanks to millman and weldtutor for sharing those dxf files, they were a lifesaver. Let me know what you guys think....

Weldtutor
11-17-2009, 07:21 PM
Dustin,
Your many weeks of work & attention to the details of the build are producing great results, with the first cuts this week!

Congratulations. :cheers:

This project log is sure to be inspirational to others considering construction of a CNC plasma table.
Thanks for posting the pictures.

microdot
11-18-2009, 09:01 AM
+1000


Dustin,
:cheers:

This project log is sure to be inspirational to others considering construction of a CNC plasma table.
Thanks for posting the pictures.

millman52
11-18-2009, 09:48 AM
Looks good Dustin. If that round disk with the bolt pattern was from 3/8" mild steel I could sell it for ya. LOL.

adscnc
11-22-2009, 03:17 PM
Hi Dustin

I'm building a plasma quite similar to yours, Candcnc gear etc.
Can you tell me exactly what pulleys and belts you used in your reduction units. Where did you source them... cheers

Al

Dustin407
11-24-2009, 07:00 PM
Thanks Guys on the comments,

Adscnc, I purchased the belts and pulleys from Quality Transmission Components in New York. Go to the website and they have a full pulley catalog and diagrams/measurements. I went with the 5:1 gear reduction and seems to be working extremely well, im glad I went with that decision. I used a 1/2" shaft for both pulleys and the motor shaft coming from candcnc is a couple thousands over 1/2". I turned the two small pulleys on the lathe to make them five thous. over 1/2"( basically drilled the center hole larger because it only comes in 3/8").

Here is the part #s for the pulleys I purchased..

QPEXLA37014F10 (14 teeth alum. timing pulley)

QPEXLA37070N16 (70 teeth alum. timing pulley)

Dustin407
12-23-2009, 12:48 PM
Well over the past several weeks I moved my machine into my warehouse for its final resting place (I constructed it at home saved time from driving). When I disassembled sections of the machine I had some unfinished peices that I finished painting gloss black. I also installed two bulkhead fittings, one on the alum. watertank and one on the external plastic watertank. Connected the two bulkheads with 1" pvc pipe. When I want to drain the alum. water tank I just turn open the ball valve (red handle) and gravity feeds the water down into the plastic tank, to fill it back up I have a submersible pump in the plastic tank which uses the same pvc pipe. I am in the process of building a nice size office next to my machine with a couple of 3'x6' glass windows to see whats going on. I have cut more test parts out and things seem to be getting better by the day on cut quality...

Enjoy the pics... MY BUILD IS FINALLY COMPLETE... woohooo

now comes mastering the software..

Torchhead
12-23-2009, 01:32 PM
Dustin: If you are interested in rotary plasma cutting (Round/sqr/rect tubing & pipe) and would like to help us do beta testing on the new TubeSlicer(tm) software we have, then contact me direct and I can tell you what you can get from us for free and what mechanical things you need. I will upgrade your ESP control to handle 5 axis and keep you updated on TubeSlicer (including the Advanced versions that will not be free). It means maybe making your Gantry tracks longer so it overhangs the table on one side.

REALLY nice looking build BTW. Post pix up the Support Site too.

TOM Caudle
www.CandCNC.com
Totally Modular CNC Electronics.

plain ol Bill
12-23-2009, 07:30 PM
Dustin good to see your build that far along. Like you say "now to master the software". I have grown to love Sheetcam and what it is capable of doing. I ran a cut out last week w/ 14 mounted cowboys w/ ropes and rifles. Now that was a loooooonng G code program and it went throght it without a problem.

Weldtutor
12-23-2009, 08:51 PM
:banana::banana:MY BUILD IS FINALLY COMPLETE... woohooo :banana::banana:



Your very first post in this thread said you were going to build a table, & the completed project looks great!
It is a fine piece of construction indeed.

I'll look forward to more posts as the machine is put to work.
Thanks for the update.

.

Dustin407
01-05-2010, 01:44 PM
I have recieved my first paying job with a local metal fab. company. The job that is required is: (10) 12" x 12" squares cut out of 1/2" steel plate with four 3/4" holes in all 4 corners for bolt anchors. Basically a post will be welded to this and sits ontop of concrete. I have won the bid at $40 per item, and they are suppling the material. I was wondering if my bid is reasonable too low too high. I do not have any 1/2" in the shop for test cuts. I was wondering if some of you could give an opinion on IPM, cut direction just overall cut quality etc..... I will be using a 60a tip and volts cranked up. Any input would help...

Erick Davidson
01-05-2010, 04:08 PM
That came out sweet, Dustin407! Excellent craftsmanship on a very clean design and build. I am curious if you have any limit switches, are they on the gantry?

I am doing the final wiring on my project and ended up putting 90% of everything on my gantry, limits, e stops, everything. I have the switches in fixed positions on the gantry and the detents are adjustable on the frame.

Anywho, can't wait to see some of your cuts!

Cheers, Erick

kheri
01-25-2010, 06:29 AM
I am very impressed with your project and plan to build one like yours. May I ask how many teeth is your pinion gear ? Is there any effect on the performance if we use different size of pinion gear ?

mkweiss222
03-01-2010, 11:59 PM
You will need a floating head. I bought my floating head from k2cnc. They sell just the z axis. When i priced all the parts i would need to build it was just a little more for a complete working model. Sheetcam is the program that i use for plasma cutting. It has a place in the post that you set your switch offset.The switch closes when the torch hits the material and then brings the torch up to your pierce height and then starts an arc then lowers to cut height. Sheetcam has settings for all the parameters needed for plasma cutting.
Dave

cncpartskit.com has a floating head for about 250 bucks. works nice with the dragoncut

mkweiss222
03-02-2010, 12:04 AM
Hi Dustin

I'm building a plasma quite similar to yours, Candcnc gear etc.
Can you tell me exactly what pulleys and belts you used in your reduction units. Where did you source them... cheers

Al

cncpartskit.com has 5:1 belt reductions that work great and have almost no backlash if you tension the belt properly. they are made to mount nema 34 motors on but i built adapters to mount my 23 frame motors from candc.
They also come with a 20 tooth pinion installed...i bought the rack from them to match.

Dustin407
04-12-2010, 03:14 PM
Here are some pics of a sign job I did for the city of winter garden. I cut the letters, shadow letters and backing plates (1/4",1/2" alum.) and a partner company assembled everything and powder coated. I have alot of other projects that I have finished just need to take some pics and post them....
The machine is also running flawlessly and im very happy with every detail..


Sorry it will only allow me to upload 2 photos i will try to upload more another time..

Torchhead
04-12-2010, 05:17 PM
Three important "wow" moments of a DIY CNC project:

1. The first time it moves under control from the PC
2. The first time it actually cuts something
3. The first time someone PAYS you money to cut something!

Happy cutting!

TOM caudle
www.CandCNC.com

Dustin407
04-23-2010, 05:41 PM
Here are some pics of another sign project that I have finished. Just a couple paint/caulk touch ups on the stucco. The sign business is going very well for me so far, I have another four large jobs lined up... The sign is double sided with 1/8" alum. letters with standoff spacers, powder coated alum. Enjoy!!!!

oooh.. Almost forgot my thermal dynamics plasma cutter took a crap on me. I believe one of the capacitors exploded while cutting and started sputtering during cuts. A blue green ooozz ran out of the side, I am going to take it apart this week and see whats happening. May have to upgrade. :)

millman52
04-24-2010, 12:43 AM
Impressive work Dustin.

Unfortunately equipment failures from time to time is the nature of any industry.


I had to replace a lathe in my machine shop that had served me well for many years. Down time for the machine would have cost me more for repair than purchacing a replacement. So I moved the old out & drove a newer mod. in as a replacement.


It's a bit different for you as you haven't had your table running all that long. However you need dependability.

If your TD unit is economically repairable, you may still be better off to upgrade to a new plasma machine. Then repair & sell or keep for a back up unit the TD machine.

My shop does lots of heavy MIG welding 300-400 amp range. I keep at least 1 spare rig complete with feeder & leads ready for service at all times.

FUBAR62172
04-28-2010, 07:17 PM
:rainfro:I really enjoyed your thread and hope to build a similar machine in the future

Dustin407
05-05-2010, 10:49 AM
Thanks guys,

Just to keep you updated I am still working on my TD unit. I am waiting for a few parts to come in and it should fix the problem... In the future I am going to purchase a dryer system b/c orlando has 110% humidity and im sure this could be one of the reasons the unit pooped on me. I do have two drop filters both with silicagel but probably doesn't compare to a dryer system. I have a dehumidifyer lying around the shop, I may take the internals from that and make my own system...IDK just thinking..

Here are a few photos of the finished winter garden sign that we built in junction with another shop. Plus a few more of the completed shelter cove sign... Enjoy!!!

Boogiemanz1
05-08-2010, 01:40 PM
Dustin you very good work. What is in the upper corners of the farmers market sign?.......................jb

Dustin407
05-11-2010, 10:03 PM
Thanks Millman, Fubar and boogieman,

Boogieman, in the upper left and right corners of the Winter Garden sign is a composite mold of different scenes. The composite material is painted and their is different scenes such as oranges, firetrucks, cowboys etc.. Just stuff around the small town of Winter Garden that helps resemble the sign.

Well I cut some 3/4" low carbon steel plate today. It was a first for me in the 3/4" area. I also got my TD machine up and running again for very little money. The plate cut pretty well, didn't really know what to expect. I did eat up some of my nozzle tips rather quickly though. I was able to cut three to four parts per 60a tip. I ran the machine at 9 ipm 118v 70 psi, charged the client $25.00 per part, cut ten total. They seemed very happy with them. Here are some pics of the 3/4" tuning fork part....

Weldtutor
05-13-2010, 09:05 AM
Great looking project results coming from your machine Dustin!

It's nice to watch the build threads & then see the items the machines produce.

All your build time has been worthwhile.:cheers:

Dustin407
05-22-2010, 03:08 PM
Hey Guys,

Here is a link to a short video of my machine cutting some 1/8" alum. around 115 ipm. This is the first video I took of the machine running because I usually have other things on my mind while cutting. Enjoy!!!! I will try to record another video of a large G-code file I have to cut in a few days..


http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1191398923697

Dustin407
06-08-2010, 01:23 PM
hey guys,

Here are a few photos of a book rest I designed and constructed. I used my cnc plasma to cut out all the parts 14 gauge HR steel. Then I bent the u-shape brackets on the break, and spot welded them onto the upper and lower circle plates. Then off to the powder coating shop, I did one in blue, pink and black. The book rest has a telescoping arm that is made out of delrin that slides into the alum. tube. I am gearing up to make 1000 of these units for a client. Just a few minor changes and tweeks still left. Let the cutting begin.... :)

Torchhead
06-08-2010, 07:39 PM
REALLY NICE! I love to see builders use their tables to create neat things. There is no end to what you can do given the right tools and some imagination!

You may want to think about putting in your own powder coating line. I picked up an old environmental chamber surplus that had a 24" cubic space. It had circulating fans and was insulted. The small heating coil was replaced with a 30A unit from a clothes dryer and I installed a panel temp controller, 40A SSR and a timer. I put in a set of rails (cut on the plasma table) and some hangers that would let me hang and powder coat several and slide them (sandwiched) in to the oven. I powder coated tons of our decorative steel carvings in all kinds of finishes. I bought one of the cheap Harbor Freight powder guns. It was finicky to use and did not have enough voltage to do a good second coat but it painted a LOT of steel for $59.00! I don't use it much any more but it saved me a lot of money when we were cutting steel for a living. Virtually every customer when given the choice wanted their products finished. I used a commercial shop (bribed the foreman with some personalized steel carvings) for the big stuff. I once did a couple of 20ft overheads for a building in a metallic bronze powder. When the sun hit , it lit up like Disneyland! You will find all kinds of uses for a powder coat setup. You can get thousands of paint colors from a couple of sources that do not require you buy a 55 lb box to get decent prices. One of the biggest uses we had was for clear coating the plated pieces we made. You can get a crystal clear high gloss powder that looks almost wet when its finished. I tried spraying (nasty automotive type) liquid clear coats and I could never get them perfect and spraying in a moon suit in the middle of summer made me think I was in Gitmo for vacation.

We cut some 16 gauge sheets into 3" squares and left a tab so they stayed in the sheet and then painted then with all our "stock" colors to show customers. Strung them together with wire fishing cable (more about that further down) and made up sample "books".

Just having a plasma table will not fill your shop with business but having a table and some ideas with the willingness to sell yourself and your products and to work tirelessly trying new things, will ultimately make you an "overnight" success! I can't begin to tell you how many products we tried and how many fell flat, but I can tell you the ones that were successful were just part of a mix. If we had not tried lots of stuff we would never have hit the winners!

I did a series of hanging wind chimes using cutouts from spare space left on our larger jobs. There are always unused corners to nest in some of the small stuff. The black coated stainless steel fishing line used in saltwater fishing and the crimps make good strong "string" to hold a bunch of smaller cuttings to make up wind chimes. It was easy to "personalize" the chimes with a couple of hanging text shapes in the stars and spangles I kept in stock from the corner cuts.:p

TOMCAUDLE
www.CandCNC.com

millman52
06-09-2010, 05:06 PM
Great job Dustin,

I used to jokingly tell "the new guy" as they would produce a great looking run of machined parts "Gosh these look factory made". Most usually would take a couple minutes to soak in they are working in a small factory, not just a local machine shop.

The book holder does look FACTORY MADE. Literally fantastic work.

Dustin407
06-10-2010, 04:46 PM
Thanks millman and torchhead,

It feels good to have compliments come from experienced fabricators and great minds.... I will definitely have to look into building my own oven and chamber for the powder coating.. Thats a fantastic idea to shave a few dollars and pocket the same money... :cheers:

lukewarm
07-02-2010, 02:32 AM
Awesome work on the table and your pieces that you're cutting look great too!

Dustin407
08-01-2010, 10:39 PM
Hey guys,

Here is a link to a short video that I recorded on my blackberry. I was running a g-code file of sandhill crane wings for a local artist that sculps them. I live in central Florida so the sandhill cranes are everywhere. Hope you guys like the video. Hopefully I can get some photos of the finished product from him in a few weeks...

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Orlando-FL/Artistic-Design-Fabrication/116699328344510?v=app_2392950137#!/video/video.php?v=1243049774936

vishnu
08-01-2010, 11:43 PM
Hi Dustin,

Unable to view your video.

Vishnu

Boogiemanz1
08-02-2010, 12:11 AM
Thanks for the video Dustin...looking forward to the finished piece...jb

Dustin407
09-21-2010, 11:38 PM
Here is the finished job of the four sandhill cranes. The body is made out of 1/8" alum. The wings are thin gauge alum to help sculpt. The legs are thin rebar. I used brass and copper for the head and eye. The local artist in the picture is my father :) Enjoy the photos....

Weldtutor
09-22-2010, 09:16 AM
Here is the finished job of the four sandhill cranes.

Great artwork Dustin!

Congats to you & your father for a wonderful creation.

Boogiemanz1
09-23-2010, 01:02 AM
Dustin, there is no doubt that your machine works well and looks nice also. Do you think now that you are using the machine that the seperate tables was the way to go? I am not planning on moving my machine and am going to use 3/16 thick 4X8 rectangular tubing that I already have..

Also, did you pour the legs of the machine with the concrete or grout? I have needed to weight down some of the metalshaping machines I have built, and have found that lightly oiled sand packs very well with no condensation problems................jb

Dustin407
09-23-2010, 02:25 PM
Thanks Weldtutor I was looking at all your artwork the other day and it really looks nice too... We are artwork junkies... lol

BoggieMan, For me personally the two seperate tables works great. I knew that the table was going to be moved during the design process. If I had to do it over again I would have done it the same way maybe with a few minor changes. There are many advantages of the two parts; eliminates all crosstalk from plasma to pc, can be very easily moved in less than 4 hours, also had to cut a part that was 3' tall so I removed the waterbed and stand and was able to fit the part underneath the z axis, without this option I would have never been able to complete that good paying job. As for the concrete, I decided to fill the legs with sand that way i can easily dump it out for moving purposes, and the sand is just as heavy. Hope this helps a little.....

mohideenakm
10-30-2010, 03:12 PM
Dustin407,
This is my first post after years of membership in this forum, All I can say that your build is really awesome and Inspiring me to follow your footsteps.
Wish success in all your steps you take.

Dustin407
01-07-2011, 05:05 PM
Hello Everyone,

Here are a few pics of a sign job I did last month that turned out pretty well. The letters where cnc cut 5052 mill finish alum. that we polished. Then my friend cut 1" light MDF letters on his cnc router table from the same cut file and painted them to look like alum. He also cut the black sentra letters which are epoxied to the face of the alum. I used contact cement to glue the thin gauge alum. to the mdf backer. I have many other jobs I have been working on for disney that I have not taken pics of yet...

Boogiemanz1
01-07-2011, 11:32 PM
Dustin I'm glad to hear you are working your machine. The signs look as good as any I've seen. Any problems with the machine?.........thanks for sharing........jb

Pierke
01-09-2011, 08:20 AM
Verry nice job Dustin.
I'm looking forward to see pictures from you other jobs.

Succes!

dpac
01-14-2011, 06:11 AM
hello Dustin,

Well done on your build. Could you please tell me what system you used for your floating torch rail? and also why did you space the lower V rail on your gantry?

Thank you

winegar
01-15-2011, 05:01 PM
:cheers: .... I have been searching everyone else builds trying to decide on mine... I'm wanting to build a 3x4 or a 4x4 table very much like yours, just scaled down a bit... Question is... I'm going very low budget, If i done my gantry pretty much like yours (except for the Z)... Could i not go direct drive for my X&Y-axis?.... This 3 axis kit i'm looking at has either NEMA 24's 382oz or 425oz steppers... This would be enough "muscle" to move everthing i need right?... What would be the Con's to direct drive over gear reduction?..

Also, and i hate to ask, i'm sure this is pretty stupid.... but searching, i came up with nothing.... Buying a 3 axis kit.... = 3 steppers.... so, If X runs 2 steppers and Y runs one...... well, I'm out for my Z!.... would i just buy another for my Z... or buy a 4 axis kit?.... I guess what i really want to know is do i run both steppers for X off the same stepper driver or do they require there own???

I would like to hear from anyone on this... Thanks for taking the time to right me before i wrong!!!

Ubatoid
01-17-2011, 02:14 PM
That is some fine work there Dustin, I particualy like your reduction drives and Z assy. Did you draw these up and would you like to share your designs ?

Dustin407
01-18-2011, 11:30 PM
Thank You All.......

Boogiemanz,

Everything seems to be working in good order so far. I have not really had any major or minor problems mechanically. I have had some issues just learning software and settings.

Dpac,

Im not sure what you are trying to ask me about my torch rail, but this was a design from scratch system locating parts via. google (using AutoCad). Please clarify your question a little and ill be happy to answer. The v-rail on the gantry was spaced because the v-wheel would rub against the gantry if it was not... This may slow things down...lol

Winegar,

My machine was built with a flexible medium budget, it would be hard to duplicate and stay very low budget. I would recommend to go with 3 axis system for cost. I have a 4 axis setup which is Y= 2 motors(called a slave which usually is an A-axis) X= 1 motor and Z=1 motor... Would not recommend direct drive, you sacrifice torque and resolution. This is the most important thing.... You could go with a cheap acme or ballscrew which technically would act as a reduction housing. I would research a little more and write down your objectives of what u want your machine to be capable of..

Ubatoid,

Yes, I designed the entire machine in detail in AutoCad 2010. I have every part #, location,cost cnc files etc... I do not have build plans so you would be on your own. I just pulled dimensions from my pc as I was building. I would be willing to help to an extent because it would get time consuming for me supply you with everything you would need. I have thought about finishing the build plans and selling design/parts kits for cheap...

Ubatoid
01-19-2011, 08:14 AM
Ubatoid,

Yes, I designed the entire machine in detail in AutoCad 2010. I have every part #, location,cost cnc files etc... I do not have build plans so you would be on your own. I just pulled dimensions from my pc as I was building. I would be willing to help to an extent because it would get time consuming for me supply you with everything you would need. I have thought about finishing the build plans and selling design/parts kits for cheap...

Hi Dustin, I am currently working on my own design in Solidworks, its just nice sometimes to look at other peoples work for inspiration, and of all the builds on here, yours stood out from the rest. I fully understand if you want to keep details to yourself. I have a great pile of hand drawn sketches at the moment, its just finding the time to turn them into models that is the problem at the moment ,so any DXFs you want to make available would be most welcome.

Nice work Fella.

Dustin407
04-22-2011, 03:17 PM
Hello Everyone,

It has been a little while since ive been on here. Since then my warehouse lease was up this month so I moved my cnc machine to my house for now. The machine breaks down into many pieces very fast so the move was very easy. The watertable was not fun cleaning out.... :rolleyes: I felt like I was cleaning out a sanitation truck that has been sitting around for a year or something...

Well I am in the process of building a skirt that will wrap around the torch/tip to help stop water splashing and sparks shooting sideways... I have seen many people put up extra water gaurds and stuff attached to the watertable to stop these two nuances from occuring. I thought why not attack the point of injury instead of wasting all that material running down the entire length of the rails/watertable. So I went to mcmastercarr and purchased a flame resistant/waterproof kevlar fabric that I am going to use. So in theory the fabric will be in the shape of a cylinder offset by the torch tip about 1.5 inches away. When the floating head drops down to touch the material the fabric is soft enough to scrunch up allowing the z- home switch to be activated by the actual torch, when the z moves up to fire pierce cut the fabric will straighten back out. I plan on having the fabric about 1/8" lower than the bottom of the tip. Also I was concerned about the fabric catching on a sharp edge of the cutting material so I am going to attach it to my permanant alum. ring with contact cement. This would allow the skirt to break away if it ever got snagged... Here are some pics of my progress. The alum. cylinder will not be that long it will aonly be about 5/8" tall just enough to have a circle shape and glue the fabric to it.... What do you guys think of the skirt idea?? Help stop water spraying, sparks shooting, helps save rails and equipment on the machine etc....

Torchhead
04-22-2011, 05:27 PM
:cheers: .... I have been searching everyone else builds trying to decide on mine... I'm wanting to build a 3x4 or a 4x4 table very much like yours, just scaled down a bit... Question is... I'm going very low budget, If i done my gantry pretty much like yours (except for the Z)... Could i not go direct drive for my X&Y-axis?.... This 3 axis kit i'm looking at has either NEMA 24's 382oz or 425oz steppers... This would be enough "muscle" to move everthing i need right?... What would be the Con's to direct drive over gear reduction?..

Also, and i hate to ask, i'm sure this is pretty stupid.... but searching, i came up with nothing.... Buying a 3 axis kit.... = 3 steppers.... so, If X runs 2 steppers and Y runs one...... well, I'm out for my Z!.... would i just buy another for my Z... or buy a 4 axis kit?.... I guess what i really want to know is do i run both steppers for X off the same stepper driver or do they require there own???

I would like to hear from anyone on this... Thanks for taking the time to right me before i wrong!!!

1. The important factor in plasma cutting (besides the cut speeds) is the acceleration. To get sharp turns and square corners at higher speeds you need acceleration. Acceleration is provided by FORCE (linear force converted from the rotary torque through the drive mechanism) TIMES the MASS (equals the weight on a horizontal load). Without going into Physics formulas here are some things you should know:

A pinion gear presents a speed INCREASE and corresponding TORQUE and RESOLUTION DECREASE. So a 1" pinion rolls 3.1416 inches per rotation. You will have LOTS of speed (Up to 1800 IPM) but for that you give up 2/3's of you Torque and 2/3's of your resolution. So your 425 oz-in motor suddenly becomes a 140 oz-in motor. The only good news is that at the low RPM's you will be moving for normal cutting speeds you will get most of the motors rated torque from it.

If your gantry is light enough then it will hit the 20 IPS/sec acceleration rates you need for good plasma cutting. If it's too heavy then you will have to roll back the acceleration setting and live with rounded corners.

You cannot run two stepper motors off one driver. Motors are generators so they tend to cross talk badly and mess up things like microstepping. You could maybe run them in series (the coils) BUT that changes the power characteristics and does not yield double the torque.


A twin drive (with two drivers) will give you double the torque on moving the gantry so you will have a much better shot at getting the good acceleration you need.

TOM caudle
www.CandCNC.com

Weldtutor
04-29-2011, 10:21 PM
Well I am in the process of building a skirt that will wrap around the torch/tip to help stop water splashing and sparks shooting sideways...

What do you guys think of the skirt idea?? Help stop water spraying, sparks shooting, helps save rails and equipment on the machine etc....

Dustin,

A skirt should be a good addition, to work as you suggest.
The sparks that skip sideways across the surface of material being cut are actually tiny metal particles. They certainly do accumulate on equipment leading to problems and as well are not normally captured by a water table, resulting in more air borne plasma dust in the work area.

"Go for it.":idea:

low79fx
05-02-2011, 11:11 PM
Finished painting/primer.... I cut my v-rails to length/Drilled every 8" on C, I decided to go with 1/4"- 24 button head bolts. Going to drill my 1/2" X 1/2" 20 pitch rack gear this week and hopefully start the gantry build on monday. Trying to hurry with the build because I have two large bids in process....
Dustin407,when you say cut to length were able to find rack strips and v rail strips that were the total length or did you butt joint them?And how does the machine react as it transitions past and thru the the joint if thats what you had to do? The reason I ask is I cannot locate any rails longer than 6 ft could you help me out as I'm trying to start a bill of materials and parts list to try my luck at a build. By the way I am very impressed with your craftsmanship and attention to detail on your build very high quality!!

Dustin407
05-03-2011, 02:33 AM
Dustin407,when you say cut to length were able to find rack strips and v rail strips that were the total length or did you butt joint them?And how does the machine react as it transitions past and thru the the joint if thats what you had to do? The reason I ask is I cannot locate any rails longer than 6 ft could you help me out as I'm trying to start a bill of materials and parts list to try my luck at a build. By the way I am very impressed with your craftsmanship and attention to detail on your build very high quality!!

You probably wont find to many precision rails over 6' because there are a couple of reasons for that. One, the precision rails are not precise the longer the length (short length=precise tolerance), factory reasons for machining... Two, most companies have to ship this stuff so ups and Fmail charge double or triple over 6 to 8 feet in length. My table is 10' long for the rails so I ordered (4) 5' sections and then just milled the ends perfectly for a butt joint. The joints after playing with them and machining them for a few hours are perfect... Way more accurate than a cnc plasma could ever be (tolerance). As for the rack and pinion I ordered a 6' and 4'. This was a little more tricky to machine, the rack butt joint. The pinion gear flows right over without any glitches at all when done properly. Most of my cutting happens at one end of the table but I do get some larger parts 7-8' in length sometimes, and you cannot see any side chatter on edge quality from any joints....

low79fx
05-13-2011, 10:16 PM
dustin407


The floating torch assembly on your z axis,what exactly does it do and how does it adjust and maintain its height? As does it have some kind of preload tension, I don't see a motor for adjustment other than z axis motor. I do note that when torch touches work and rises there is slight movement on vertical torch slide. How is this achieved? I sound like a little kid asking the same thing over and over but I just gotta know how it works.

millman52
05-14-2011, 12:42 AM
dustin407


The floating torch assembly on your z axis,what exactly does it do and how does it adjust and maintain its height? As does it have some kind of preload tension, I don't see a motor for adjustment other than z axis motor. I do note that when torch touches work and rises there is slight movement on vertical torch slide. How is this achieved? I sound like a little kid asking the same thing over and over but I just gotta know how it works.

I'll try to answer your questions in general terms.

The floating head part of the "Z" axis allows the Z axis to move the torch into contact with the plate & trip a micro switch. This micro switch tells the "system" you have touched off on the plate & in turn moves the Z axis back up a pre determined distance, or to pierce height above the plate surface. (depending on your particular build. No two machines will be exactly the same)

The height is then most usually maintained by arc voltage. If the gap between the torch tip & plate surface increases or decreases the voltage varies & "the system" adjusts automatically up or down to maintain desired voltage. This value is pretty much proportional to gap or distance from tip to plate.

low79fx
05-14-2011, 01:07 PM
millman

Cool so once micro switch is trip goes to predetermined height or gap,upon rising to this setting gravity allows torch assembly to drop down to its resting place on small vertical slide leaving the z axis set and in full control from this point on thru the cutting process.Of course relative to all the other factors you mentioned,am I understanding this correctly? Oh thanks for responding to my questions I am trying to grasp the mechanical aspect in relation to the control concept. You guys have made this cnc concept attainable to almost anyone willing to take the plunge. It is making a believer out of me.Thanks again!!

joedesu1
05-14-2011, 01:11 PM
Dustin,
Your machine is clean as hell. I am about ready to start my own build. Most likely a 4X4 but I might go with something different like a 5X3 or 5X4 table. I am a grinder so probably going to make my own linear rails and such. I was wondering if the bearings for the rails are a must? I ways thinking about grinding a groove into some hardened steel and bolting it to I-beams that are ground flat and parallel to <.001 and grinding the opposite profile into the another piece of hardened steel then bolting them to the gantry arms and just lube the ways up as a means of keeping location. The fit would be about .0005" maybe tighter if I can get away with it. Is this a bad idea? I am trying for the ultimate DIY build to save myself the $, and my system seems a bit more accurate and true then vee rails, I am thinking rack and pinion on the y and x axis and acme screw on z. Is that a good idea as well? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Richard Honey
05-15-2011, 03:42 PM
joedesu1,

If you're looking at grinding your own rails have a look at this site: MechMate CNC Router - Build your own with our detailed plans (http://www.mechmate.com/)

The guy (Gerald D) is based in South Africa and has made an outstanding machine not dissimilar to a ShopBot router. A lot of very capable and smart people have added their collective brains to the discussion and the results from these builders are pro quality.

The design utilises affordable V bearings that run on home made vee rails.

The web site details how to create your own X, Y and Z rails from flat bar. The various alternative grinding processes use bench saws fitted with an abrasive disk, 4 inch angle grinders and (gasp) conventional surface grinders.

Given that you have the skills and access to grinding equipment following the MechMate advice you should have all of the rails finished by lunchtime ;P .

Due to the dusty nature of routing and plasma cutting I wouldn't put sticky grease on any exposed bearing surface lest it becomes a nightmarish dust magnet.

Cheers,

Richard

low79fx
05-29-2011, 12:23 AM
Dustin,
One question other than cost do you think servos would have made any difference on resolution and accuracy results after everything has been said and done.I was just wondering whether this cool build of yours would have a next level if any that one could take it to.I am sure you are happy with the final outcome but is it possible to make a good thing better? I am just wondering if servo ever crossed your mind.So far the one of the best builds I've seen yet.Still picking it apart!!

Dustin407
05-29-2011, 11:45 AM
Dustin,
One question other than cost do you think servos would have made any difference on resolution and accuracy results after everything has been said and done.I was just wondering whether this cool build of yours would have a next level if any that one could take it to.I am sure you are happy with the final outcome but is it possible to make a good thing better? I am just wondering if servo ever crossed your mind.So far the one of the best builds I've seen yet.Still picking it apart!!


Hi Low,

Servo vs Stepper.... servo crossed my mind for about 3 seconds and that was all... I dont think it matters on a plasma build because there is" no cut force on the head". Alot of people forget this, I see some gantrys that weigh like 200 lbs + using 4 x 6 1/4" steel... Why???? I think if you had a router table and torque issues were a problem maybe I would consider servos but on a plasma table I think its a waste of money. Basically the motors are just moving the weight of the gantry around. The steppers on my machine have about 3,183 steps per inch on x y and a axis, that is very good resolution. Even if the system/stepper missed a few steps you would never even notice on the cut parts. I think there are alot of other important things to focus on a plasma build than the motors to have a great design and mechanically sound machine. (BTW im glad I went with 5 to 1 ratio, if i had to do it over just to fine tune some things I would use a 1-1/4 dia pinion gear to)

low79fx
05-29-2011, 01:43 PM
Dustin thanks for the insight and the info I will sure take all this into consideration when I approach my attempt at a plasma build.As I said earlier your build has really inspired me to try my own build.Really dig the complexity and attention to detail that you took yet keeping it simple.Thanks again for an awesome display of mechanical engineering and craftsmanship.


Hi Low,

Servo vs Stepper.... servo crossed my mind for about 3 seconds and that was all... I dont think it matters on a plasma build because there is" no cut force on the head". Alot of people forget this, I see some gantrys that weigh like 200 lbs + using 4 x 6 1/4" steel... Why???? I think if you had a router table and torque issues were a problem maybe I would consider servos but on a plasma table I think its a waste of money. Basically the motors are just moving the weight of the gantry around. The steppers on my machine have about 3,183 steps per inch on x y and a axis, that is very good resolution. Even if the system/stepper missed a few steps you would never even notice on the cut parts. I think there are alot of other important things to focus on a plasma build than the motors to have a great design and mechanically sound machine. (BTW im glad I went with 5 to 1 ratio, if i had to do it over just to fine tune some things I would use a 1-1/4 dia pinion gear to)

Dustin407
07-16-2011, 03:47 PM
Hello All,

Looking to purchase new machine come Monday or Tuesday... I sold my old TD unit to my father for a reasonable price of $800 so I am plasmaless right now :( ... I have been researching the 45 and the 52 both awesome machines but I have to make a decision very soon for a Bid that was awarded to me to cut out 650 brackets... I know there are alot of people on here with hypertherms so ill take that into consideration on my decision making... I have read nothing but good things on the 52 over the 45 price is better, can severe cut thicker, better warranty, lighter unit... Please tell me why I should get the H 45???? I would love to listen to any input at all...... Lets not have a arguing match on this subject just pros and cons... Thanks (group)

I Lean
07-16-2011, 09:24 PM
I can't directly compare the two since I haven't owned both--but my Hypertherm PM45 has exceeded my expectations in every way. Cut quality, consumables life, and duty cycle.

When I was researching, I found quite a few people complaining about their TD units, and wishing they bought Hypertherm. (and found none the other direction) Those posts, combined with Jim Colt @ Hypertherm's unparalleled support on several forums, convinced me to go that direction. I haven't regretted it for one second.

Dustin407
07-19-2011, 07:37 AM
Thanks for the relpy Ilean I appreciate it.... So I decided to buy the TD 52 yesterday with shipping and tax plus everything I needed it came out to $1,582.00 Thats pretty good for what the machine is capable of, plus the 4 year warranty parts and labor is nice also... They said it should come in on thursday... woohooo...

Dustin407
07-24-2011, 11:57 AM
Hello All,

So I finished fabing up the plasma skirt with the water/flame resistant (flame2) material. I tested it out a little and it works awesome, I highly recommend that everyone install one... I left the front open a little just to check and see how things are cutting plus helps me locate 0 on the xyz... I used contact ahesive to attach the fabric to the alum. ring.. 1) because it is easy 2) this acts as a safety feature just in case the fabric gets caught on a sharp corner of metal the fabric will pull away from the ring without hurting anything... Also I may add a small airhose with a 3/4" vacum line to the top of the alum. ring to grab any extra smoke. It will be small enough where I can run this into my e chain for a clean looking finish. Small vacum should do the trick, beats the hell out of a 5 hp blower/downdraft table... :eek:

Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :drowning:

So I picked up my cutmaster 52 the other day and hooked up the thc sensor card (rev 12 board, mach 3, candcnc 4 axis, mp3000) and get everything dialed in correctly... I connected to the J10 pins inside which is a bank of 8 pins (1 & 3 is ok to move, 6 & 8 is torch on off) pretty simple.. connected the tip volts to the work and electrode, done ( second machine ive done so not a complete noob lol)... So I went to do some test cuts and it will cut fine for about two pierces and then on the third or forth the torch will almost fire but doesnt and the g code continues to run like the torch is on.. Plus the torch symbol on the mach 3 program says its on but not...?? (help) Also sometimes the torch will fire for a millasecond and then turn off and the external e button will come on... Anyone give me some Input Please until I can talk to Tom, or TD tech support... Also my compressor I am using right now sucks so it only gets to about 80 psi, when it drops down the red led light shows up on the machine for low air... Do you think this could be the problem from the torch firing or not????

Torchhead
07-24-2011, 03:05 PM
Hello All,

So I finished fabing up the plasma skirt with the water/flame resistant (flame2) material. I tested it out a little and it works awesome, I highly recommend that everyone install one... I left the front open a little just to check and see how things are cutting plus helps me locate 0 on the xyz... I used contact ahesive to attach the fabric to the alum. ring.. 1) because it is easy 2) this acts as a safety feature just in case the fabric gets caught on a sharp corner of metal the fabric will pull away from the ring without hurting anything... Also I may add a small airhose with a 3/4" vacum line to the top of the alum. ring to grab any extra smoke. It will be small enough where I can run this into my e chain for a clean looking finish. Small vacum should do the trick, beats the hell out of a 5 hp blower/downdraft table... :eek:


So what do you do with the smoke that forms under the cut piece and drifts around until it finds a hole to waft out of? That is not going to get sucked up in a concentrated spot at the torch. If you watch on a complex piece the smoke comes out all over the place; even the edges...just saying....



So I went to do some test cuts and it will cut fine for about two pierces and then on the third or forth the torch will almost fire but doesnt and the g code continues to run like the torch is on.. Plus the torch symbol on the mach 3 program says its on but not...?? (help) Also sometimes the torch will fire for a millasecond and then turn off and the external e button will come on... Anyone give me some Input Please until I can talk to Tom, or TD tech support... Also my compressor I am using right now sucks so it only gets to about 80 psi, when it drops down the red led light shows up on the machine for low air... Do you think this could be the problem from the torch firing or not????

I don't think you need to talk to me to figure this one out :D You HAVE to have adequate air. The unit is tying to tell you it is starved for air. It happens after the first few cuts because the compressor can't keep up and the pressure starts to drop. You need about 10 lbs more going into the regulator than you are going to get out (especially if you have a dryer in the line.)

TOM caudle
www.CandCNC.com

Dustin407
07-24-2011, 04:00 PM
So what do you do with the smoke that forms under the cut piece and drifts around until it finds a hole to waft out of? That is not going to get sucked up in a concentrated spot at the torch. If you watch on a complex piece the smoke comes out all over the place; even the edges...just saying....

I don't think you need to talk to me to figure this one out :D You HAVE to have adequate air. The unit is tying to tell you it is starved for air. It happens after the first few cuts because the compressor can't keep up and the pressure starts to drop. You need about 10 lbs more going into the regulator than you are going to get out (especially if you have a dryer in the line.)


TOM caudle
www.CandCNC.com

You are probably 100 percent correct about the smoke, it was just one of those spontanious ideas that I had while typing... Just like the plasma skirt.. But the skirt does work well keeps the sideways sparks and water isolated in that area to help save the equipment for long term use... (rails,bearings etc...)


Well it did that a few times but then after the compressor charged up all the way and turned off I ran the g code right away.... It did not even fire ( about ten times), so thats y im questioning if it is the compressor or not?? Plus it has never fired with the THC on only off... IDK still hacking at it.. My large kellog American compressor that makes 27 cfm is under valve work..:violin: So thats y im stuck with this piece of **** compressor and its drivin me crazy. How I miss the little things....

Dustin407
08-07-2011, 10:17 PM
Hello All,

So I decided to upgrade my new cutmaster 52 to the 82 (80 amp machine) it cost me an extra $520 but it is nice to know I have an extra punch when it is needed sometimes, plus the duty cycle is great... I was having a problem with my torch firing so I did a bunch of tests. I rerouted the grounding wires and drove in a new grounding rod 10' into the ground and tadaa... fixed all problems, cutting good now.:wee: Here is a few pics of some western art work I cut out for myself to hang around the house ( I think it is 10 ga ms)... Enjoy....

Weldtutor
08-08-2011, 09:37 AM
So I decided to upgrade my new cutmaster 52 to the 82. I rerouted the grounding wires and drove in a new grounding rod 10' into the ground and tadaa... fixed all problems, cutting good now

Dustin,
Looks as if you are back to having fun again!
A bad ground can bite your b**t :tired: even when everything else is set correctly.
Thanks for the update & enjoy your new Thermal Dynamics 82.
WT

Dustin407
08-09-2011, 07:49 AM
Dustin,
Looks as if you are back to having fun again!
A bad ground can bite your b**t :tired: even when everything else is set correctly.
Thanks for the update & enjoy your new Thermal Dynamics 82.
WT

Hey Weldtutor,

It has been awhile, how is everything going for you?? Are you still cutting out artwork?? Yes a bad ground sucks... It is very misleading and will eventually drive you crazy... It took me a few days to figure what was going on but all fixed now. To those of you that are thinking about building your own CNC plasma, run now dont do it...lol jk (nuts)

Dustin407
09-04-2011, 01:54 PM
Hello All,

I had a nice job come through for Universal Studios Holloween Horror Nights. It was two large circles that were 15' -11" in diameter when fully assembled together. So it took 8 sheets to make 1 circle. It will be faced with vinyl, and will be a cool looking evil pumpkin. I had to cut 18 sheets total of 3/16" 4x8 6061 alum. The new plasma worked great along with home built cnc and candcnc electronics. I fine tuned everything to 155 IPM 116 VDC and cut height at .21" 60 amp tip. Here is a few pics....

Weldtutor
09-10-2011, 12:09 PM
Hey Weldtutor,
It has been awhile, how is everything going for you?? Are you still cutting out artwork??

Hi Dustin,
Yes, my machine is still up & running for artwork etc.
I have had some recent issues which have kept me away from it for a while.

Most of what I do would fit into a much smaller footprint than the 4' X 5' table. Probably I'll sell it & build a smaller unit to conserve my shop space.

My Thermal Dynamics 51 plasma unit has given over 5 years of service with no problems at all!
Your new purchase will likely as well.

The giant pumpkin you recently cut looks like a fun project.
WT

Sperstad
10-27-2011, 08:15 AM
Hello Dustin! First, I would say you have made ​​a very nice plasma machine. And since I`m considering building one myself, I have a couple of questions.

First question is about the two y-axis rails. I see from the pictures that they are mounted in the side of each square steel tube. But how do adjust these rails to make them 100% parallel when they are mounted on the side of the square steel tubes?

Second question is about the z-axis. I`m considering using the plasma Z-axis from K2CNC. But I have no experiences with floating heads that have micro switch. Is it hte micro switch we can see on this picture?

http://k2cnc.com/shop/prodimages/2009_Z6P_20mm_V1_Front_500.jpg

The K2CNC website says that I should use Sheetcam and THC for best result. But can I use other software than the Sheetcam? (not that I think the Sheetcam are bad, but it`s good to have the option to choose:)

Sperstad
10-27-2011, 08:16 AM
Sorry, I double posted by mistake. How do I delete this post? Don`t want to mess up the good thread:)

johndjmix
12-24-2011, 02:00 AM
Dustin, my shop is located in NY, but I have a house in Winter Park. Noticed you were from the Orlando area since you were talking about Universal Studios. Send me a PM, id love to come by and take a look at your table. I should be back in Orlando around the 15th of January...

--John

Dustin407
02-18-2012, 11:12 PM
I have been troubleshooting a problem that I cant seem to solve for sometime now. I have a problem with my floating torch switch (z-home switch). When I run g-code the z axis goes down to touch the material but stops about 1/2" short of the material then slowly moves up until it hits the top or limits. The green light for the z home is not on in the mach 3 screen which it normally is when running fine. Any advice or help would be appreciated...

Mongkol
02-19-2012, 08:18 AM
Dustin,
1) Switch to MDI page on mach3 screen...Try typing G28.1 Z3.00 F1500 on MDI ( For me ,I use metric unit ). ---> Enter
The torch tip should move down to hit the material and then the floating plate will move up and slide up to touch the micro switch. The motor Z should stop immediately. ----> It's right.
2) Press the microswitch ( Check NC and NO) and then have a look on table I/O card. The orange LED on table I/O card should turn on and turn off.
( Normally, you should see the orange LED on table I/O card is light ) ---> It's right
3) Check the wire from micro switch to table I/O card. Lack wire or not.

Expect ---> you connect microswitch to be NC and the port&pin is correct.

Mongkol

CNCCajun
02-19-2012, 10:30 AM
Look for mechanical binding in the Z axis . . . .

Dirt, misalignment, etc . . .

Disassemble clean & check all parts in "Z".

Steve

Dustin407
02-19-2012, 01:22 PM
Dustin,
1) Switch to MDI page on mach3 screen...Try typing G28.1 Z3.00 F1500 on MDI ( For me ,I use metric unit ). ---> Enter
The torch tip should move down to hit the material and then the floating plate will move up and slide up to touch the micro switch. The motor Z should stop immediately. ----> It's right.
2) Press the microswitch ( Check NC and NO) and then have a look on table I/O card. The orange LED on table I/O card should turn on and turn off.
( Normally, you should see the orange LED on table I/O card is light ) ---> It's right
3) Check the wire from micro switch to table I/O card. Lack wire or not.

Expect ---> you connect microswitch to be NC and the port&pin is correct.

Mongkol

Mongkol,

I typed the g code in on the mdi screen. It raises up three inches then back down three inches. About 1.5" short of ever contacting the z home switch. I replaced the limit switch and checked the table I/O card and the light comes on when the switch is contacted. Thats a good sign but for some reason does not seem to be relaying the info to mach 3 screen. The light next to the z home on the mach 3 screen is red which means it is turned off, it should be green. Checked everything from start to finish. It is a head scratcher.... The mechanical of the z axis is in great shape, checked all that. It has worked for over 3 years now but suddenly one day wants to stop working...

CNCCajun
02-19-2012, 01:30 PM
The reason I mentioned mechanical is we have found on packaging equipment that everything was right in the program & the electronics. Then later find a small piece of trash in just the right place . . . lol lol

Steve

Dustin407
02-19-2012, 02:45 PM
The reason I mentioned mechanical is we have found on packaging equipment that everything was right in the program & the electronics. Then later find a small piece of trash in just the right place . . . lol lol

Steve

Well im pretty sure its not mechanical because I can move the z - axis down and touch the material manually from the keyboard with no binding issues. Thank you for the input, ill double check everything again..

NorthridgeFab
02-28-2013, 03:23 PM
Sorry if this has been asked, I didnt read through all 15 pages. Where did you order your rail from and is hardened or unhardened?