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What are the best electronics

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DanM
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What are the best electronics

Postby DanM » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:30 pm

What are the best electronics for a plasma table?

Motors
Drivers
Power source
Torch heght control
Boards
Sensors
Misc.

I'm in the process of putting together a parts list to build a small shop plasma table. The cutter will be a Hypertherm xp45.

Thanks,
Dan

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby tcaudle » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:11 pm

Do you want a box of parts from different vendors that might work together and you will be in "discovery" mode. or do you want a integrated package that is from one vendor and one support source? Do you want it with a direct Hypertherm connection for your XP45 or to figure that part out yourself? Is your goal to be cutting in weeks or months (or longer)? Do you want a "learning project" or a working table?

If you are on a tight budget you will have to do the parts and pieces approach and depended on user forums that have done a similar project Mixed vendors won't support tying their cards to other brands...even if you buy all the various cards from one or two resellers. You can build a CNC plasma table out of curtain rods and roller skate wheels with cheap Chinese motor drivers and BoB. Along the way you will learn a LOT. In essence you save the money and pay for it in (your) time. If its totally hobby for your own use to play with then the Learning Project is a great way to go and pay yourself to learn.

"They desire to save money does not always translate into the ability to do so"

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby DanM » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:35 am

I’ve been looking at kits and I’m not overly impressed with the components. I won’t be surprised to find out that I’m better off biting the Bullet and dropping 30-40k on a swift table or something similar. First I would like to get my feet wet by potentially building a table myself, worst case I’m learning about all the individual parts that go into a table. The biggest hurdle I see so far is the software and tch. I’m very curious to see how much a Hypertherm system is and if it’s feasible for a custom build. I honestly don’t see it being more difficult than building a custom truck or car. That being said, thanks for your input and I’m open to suggestions on parts.

Thanks,
Dan

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby Rodw » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:24 am

Here's my 2 cents worth. building a plasma table, bolting on some linear rails and whacking on a few motors, is not hard at all.
Wiring up a few home and limit switches to some sort of control box is also not very hard. Getting the X & Y axes to operate using a CNC controller like LinuxCNC or Mach3/4 under gcode control is dead easy. Tuning your system for maximum performance takes a bit of time and effort but its not hard.

Building your own Z axis control and shoehorning in all of the required sensors (limits, home, breakaway, float switch) is doable but it takes a bit more skill.

Trying to the build your own THC to control the Z axis takes it to a whole new level and it extends the required skillset enormously. Few people even want to take this path and even fewer have the skills to finish it off if they start.

In this thread: posting.php?mode=quote&f=3&p=145085
Jim Colt from Hypertherm said this week:
jimcolt wrote:The best THC's are those that are built as an additional axis integrated on the same CNC and software that operates the whole cnc machine. It is necessary that the THC intimately communicates with the x and y axis in order to control real time cutting height to eliminate diving, collisions or other height issues that affect plasma cut quality and consumable life. If you want the lowest cost...then the low cost standalone height controls will certainly work better than no height control, but do not expect identical performance or results. Jim Colt Hypertherm


The Swiftcuts look like nice machines and probably fall into Jim's first category, but ask some questions.
I'm not aware of any kits with external hardware that fall into that category. Some might get close if they monitor X & Y step and direction to judge velocity and independently control the Z axis.

This week, I finally got a DIY table fully functional that falls into Jim's first category. eg one of these:
"The best THC's are those that are built as an additional axis integrated on the same CNC and software that operates the whole cnc machine."
My machine may be a bit different as the THC component built into the CNC software shares the Z axis with the machine. But when its in control, it has absolute exclusive access and control of the Z axis. So here's a no brainer list of electronics that will allow you to play in the first category of integrated controls:

1. PC running Linux Operating system configured to use the preemptive real time kernel.
2. LinuxCNC
3. Mesa 7i76e Ethernet card so the PC is physically separated from the noisy plasma environment and ample I/O ports (32 inputs, 16 outputs)
4. Mesa THCAD daughter card to measure torch voltage. This is specifically designed for noisy plasma environments. (USD $69)
5. A dozen or so PNP proximity sensors for limit switches etc
6. A willingness to use an experimental development branch of LinuxCNC (until the features required joint the mainstream development branch)
7. A 24 volt power supply for Mesa electronics
8. A 48 volt power supply for your stepper motors (10 amps or so will be fine)
9. Leadshine or Longs Motor (which I use) DM542a stepper motors. Don't be tempted to use (maybe dated) Gecko controllers
10 Two Nema 23 steppers around 3 amps (say 270 oz) for Z axis lateral and vertical movement
11 Two Nema 34 steppers (around 3-4 amps) for the gantry drive
12 Hiwin HGR25 linear rails and carriages. Maybe some HGR15's for Z axis if you build it. If I did it again, I'd buy one.
13. Plasma cutter - well Hypertherm of course.
14. Several hundred hours putting it all together.

Hang on, What about the THC? well we don't have one. We leave that to LinuxCNC. :lol:

Finally, let me say I'm not using Hypertherm but I know enough now to know that the added cutting speed would pay for itself in a month or so in a production environment.

Please don't make the mistake of trying to build your control software on the Windows platform. It simply is not fit for purpose. I was sent a link to a CNC software forum where someone said they would not trust Linux to run CNC software then proceeded to talk about the problems they faced with their software which simply don't exist in LinuxCNC.

So Dan, if you still want to build a DIY table after reading this, you are not going to learn how to build it here, but you might have a ghost of the chance if you head over to the LInuxCNC forum...

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby DanM » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:19 pm

Thanks Rod,

I appreciate you taking the time to to give me a detailed breakdown on the components. I also checked out your build thread and wow you put in some work. I'm going to take a shot in the dark and guess you're a engineer of some sort. I'm curious, on the software side is the integrated thc function available yet for Linuxcnc? I haven't looked at that control software yet and in my research it seems most home built plasmas that I've seen use mach. I've been looking for software companies that have plasma only control programs. So far all I've found is proprietary software that you only get with the purchase of x,y, or z table. I'm sure it has to do with the calibration and compatibly of components being used in the system. I'm trying to keep my table simple, reliable, and accurate. And keep the cost in the 10-12k range. In my personal opinion the tables in that price range don't seem to be that well built. I'm only interested in the mid range tables for a new complete setup. And as I said before it's a big investment.

Thanks again for the input/info,
Dan

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby djreiswig » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:53 pm

Not sure what size of table you are wanting, but I have a Bulltear 4x8 and they are very well built and close to your price range.
https://www.starlabcnc.com/shop?olsFocu ... ar-lab-4x4
https://www.starlabcnc.com/shop?olsFocu ... ar-lab-4x8

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby DanM » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:05 pm

I've looked at their tables before they look well built and I've read good things about them. The issues I have with ordering a entry level table is the delivery cost. I'm located in SoCal and the freight on a table will likely be a couple grand with fork lift rental. Then you factor in 2500 for the xp45 now I'm pushing 20k for a hobby table. That's why I'm leaning towards building one if I don't purchase a pro table.

Thank you for the referral on the table!!

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby acourtjester » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:21 pm

Continue to do research there are sites you can info to help CNCzone is another. If you have worked with a CNC table that helps with understanding what is required or what works better then others (electronics, motors, drivers). Many here have built their own (some say never again, others have done it a few times). If you have the time, ability, and desire go for it.
DIY 4X4 Plasma/Router Table
CandCNC DTHC-IV & Feather Touch
Hypertherm PM65 Machine Torch
Drag Knife and Scribe
Miller Mig welder
13" metal lathe
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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby tcaudle » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:35 pm

With all due respect to RodW: He has been working on this for almost a year. Its the "journey" for him (and the fact he lives in a Country where any import doubles or triples the price. He also has had to write software components for LINUXCNC to get to the level he is already. In his list of priories Cost is the first line item. While I admire his tenacity and willingness to be a pioneer (especially on the THC ) he still has a ways to go to make it really function. I am not here to call his baby ugly but its simply NOT as easy as he says. Maybe for a long time software or technical guy. but for the average fabricator / shop guy getting into the guts of LINUX and LINUXCNC can be like learning a non-Latin based foreign language.

Having the perspective of being in the support loop of CNC plasma control systems I can tell you that the goal of most users it to be able to cut metal and not write sub routines or deal with hardware/software interface issues.

The Bulltear tables use LINUXCNC but its wrapped with a consistent GUI user interface (CommandCNC) and a wide set of features that improve cutting and make it more of an appliance than a PC needing a programmer skill set So do several other of the mid range light industrial Plasma tables.

One line item on the List or Priorities (unless you build everything from scratch) is support. The support for LinusCNC is largely for a person with some programming skills (perhaps in Python , TCL or C) so you need support from the guy that built the base level interface and the matching hardware.

There is a wide range of choices in building or buying a CNC plasma. In finished tables You can go all the way from a down and dirty complete one under $5,000 to one's well over $50,000. In building it , you can do it on a shoestring but the cost is in the time to make it happen. In the end you won't need support because you have done it all yourself and only you will be able to support it.

Check list of priorities (put them in whatever order you want)

1. Performance (Acceleration, top cutting speeds, cutting area, Speed of THC )
2. Support (phone/online/email/social media)
3. Reliability (down time)
3. Features (Auto cut presets, external load control, Ohmic sensor, Dynamic cut parameters)
4. Options (things like router, oxy-fuel, plate marker, rotary pipe cutting, automatic part tracing , etc)
5. Warranty
6. Purchase Price (total)
6. Cost and availability of spare parts
7. Time in business/reputation
8. Upgrades (Cost)
9. Paint color
10 Neat website

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby DanM » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:52 pm

Does anyone have any experience with the hypertherm system? I would assume there system would be top notch. https://www.hypertherm.com/en-US/hypert ... ge-pro-ti/

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby acourtjester » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:55 pm

PM sent Dan
have fun
Tom
DIY 4X4 Plasma/Router Table
CandCNC DTHC-IV & Feather Touch
Hypertherm PM65 Machine Torch
Drag Knife and Scribe
Miller Mig welder
13" metal lathe
Small Mill
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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby Othog » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:14 pm

Try LDR the freight is not prohibitive and they do all of the work for you

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby DanM » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:32 pm

Othog wrote:Try LDR the freight is not prohibitive and they do all of the work for you

Is that a manufacturer or a freight company? I haven't heard of them.

Thanks,
Dan

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby steel 35 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:32 pm

Manufacturer.

Your on the other coast so look at Arc light. Or build the frame in a weekend and use the electronics everyone else does; Then use it, I wasted a year spinning on it. No regrets!
PPL HDG 4X8
Hyp 65 duramax's
C&CNC 620-5 Ethernet
Inkscape, Solid Edge, Sheetcam, Autocad 2K
Corel X7 Student NO DXF!

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby DanM » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:42 am

DanM wrote:What are the best electronics for a plasma table?

Motors
Drivers
Power source
Torch heght control
Boards
Sensors
Misc.

I'm in the process of putting together a parts list to build a small shop plasma table. The cutter will be a Hypertherm xp45.

Thanks,
Dan


So let’s get back on track guys and list electronics as well as controller software since I somehow left that out. I know there are plenty of guys who have built their own tables and have some great advice on hardware as well as software.

Thanks in advance guys,
Dan

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby Rodw » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:09 am

DanM wrote:Thanks Rod,

I appreciate you taking the time to to give me a detailed breakdown on the components. I also checked out your build thread and wow you put in some work. I'm going to take a shot in the dark and guess you're a engineer of some sort. I'm curious, on the software side is the integrated thc function available yet for Linuxcnc? I haven't looked at that control software yet and in my research it seems most home built plasmas that I've seen use mach. I've been looking for software companies that have plasma only control programs. So far all I've found is proprietary software that you only get with the purchase of x,y, or z table. I'm sure it has to do with the calibration and compatibly of components being used in the system. I'm trying to keep my table simple, reliable, and accurate. And keep the cost in the 10-12k range. In my personal opinion the tables in that price range don't seem to be that well built. I'm only interested in the mid range tables for a new complete setup. And as I said before it's a big investment.

Thanks again for the input/info,
Dan


Dan, not an engineer, just a jack of all trades with a post grad in Management. Please don't use Mach. Its old, tired & obsolete which is why Tormach and CandCNC have moved to LinuxCNC. For about $20 more than an ethernet smooth stepper you can have an ethernet Mesa card capable of 10 MhZ step frequencies (but your hardware won't keep up).

Because LinuxCNC is open source, everything is available. You just need to be prepared to compile from source code. If you are going to build a gantry machine, you will want to use some features in the development branch that have not made it into the stable release yet so its not a big step to use another experimental branch by one of the lead developers.

I think you will find the proprietary systems are that way because of the dedicated THC and other plasma features more than just the drive hardware they use. For a start, to do plasma properly, you need a lot more inputs than a parallel port has so they need some sort of industrial I/O system and this is where the Mesa 7i76e shines as it has 32 input, 16 outputs plus 5 step generators. Plus if that is not enough, you can additional daughter cards to provide virtually unlimited expansion.

YOu should be able to build a nice machine with your budget.

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby DanM » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:10 am

Rodw wrote:
DanM wrote:Thanks Rod,

I appreciate you taking the time to to give me a detailed breakdown on the components. I also checked out your build thread and wow you put in some work. I'm going to take a shot in the dark and guess you're a engineer of some sort. I'm curious, on the software side is the integrated thc function available yet for Linuxcnc? I haven't looked at that control software yet and in my research it seems most home built plasmas that I've seen use mach. I've been looking for software companies that have plasma only control programs. So far all I've found is proprietary software that you only get with the purchase of x,y, or z table. I'm sure it has to do with the calibration and compatibly of components being used in the system. I'm trying to keep my table simple, reliable, and accurate. And keep the cost in the 10-12k range. In my personal opinion the tables in that price range don't seem to be that well built. I'm only interested in the mid range tables for a new complete setup. And as I said before it's a big investment.

Thanks again for the input/info,
Dan


Dan, not an engineer, just a jack of all trades with a post grad in Management. Please don't use Mach. Its old, tired & obsolete which is why Tormach and CandCNC have moved to LinuxCNC. For about $20 more than an ethernet smooth stepper you can have an ethernet Mesa card capable of 10 MhZ step frequencies (but your hardware won't keep up).

Because LinuxCNC is open source, everything is available. You just need to be prepared to compile from source code. If you are going to build a gantry machine, you will want to use some features in the development branch that have not made it into the stable release yet so its not a big step to use another experimental branch by one of the lead developers.

I think you will find the proprietary systems are that way because of the dedicated THC and other plasma features more than just the drive hardware they use. For a start, to do plasma properly, you need a lot more inputs than a parallel port has so they need some sort of industrial I/O system and this is where the Mesa 7i76e shines as it has 32 input, 16 outputs plus 5 step generators. Plus if that is not enough, you can additional daughter cards to provide virtually unlimited expansion.

YOu should be able to build a nice machine with your budget.


Thanks again for the reply Rod,

What are your thoughts on UCCNC?

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby Black Forest » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:58 pm

You should take a real hard look at CandCNC. They have it all figured out and seem to offer the best ongoing support. There is a reason some of the plasma table manufacturers use CandCNC's electronics on their tables. Simply put, it works and they have been in business for a long time. You won't save any money in the long run cobbling together all your electronics. And you sure are going to spend a lot of time troubleshooting.

Just my .02 cents.

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby DanM » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:28 pm

Black Forest wrote:You should take a real hard look at CandCNC. They have it all figured out and seem to offer the best ongoing support. There is a reason some of the plasma table manufacturers use CandCNC's electronics on their tables. Simply put, it works and they have been in business for a long time. You won't save any money in the long run cobbling together all your electronics. And you sure are going to spend a lot of time troubleshooting.

Just my .02 cents.

They were the first ones I checked out since I was looking at a kit that used their system. I just want to look at all options first. I rushed into a dtg printing machine before and had nothing but problems with it. And if you know what they are you know they aren't cheap. My main concern with the cnc plasma is very similar and it comes down to how well the software communicates with the hardware. I just want to make sure I'm getting the highest quality hardware and software that is very well written. I understand there is a learning curve no different than cad design, operating heavy equipment or building a custom car, truck, or bike. It all takes time to become proficient at it and a lifetime to be good at it. I actually just sent Tom a message to get some more info from him I can't seem to access their website.

Thanks again for all the help guys and for being so patient with all my questions.

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby Rodw » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:21 pm

DanM wrote:
Thanks again for the reply Rod,

What are your thoughts on UCCNC?


I know nothing about it except I know another Aussie building a microprocessor based THC that uses the Mesa THCAD that I'm using for it.

I forgot to mention, there is another LinuxCNC software component for THC that works well according to those that use it. It follows a more conventional approach without the deep integration with the trajectory planner that is now possible.

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby jimcolt » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:27 pm

Hypertherm has been producing high end cnc controls for high production industrial CNC machines for a couple of decades.

-They are designed to be noise resistant for use with Industrial 100% duty cycle, high frequency start plasma systems.
- They are designed to be easy to learn and use with minimal operator input....all settings are often embedded in the CAM software so the operator only loads plate and unloads part and scrap....no time spent adjusting and setting parameters. High Productivity.
- Touch screen controls for intuitive, productive operation.
- Up to 12 axis (up to 4 plasma torches on a common gantry)
- Beveling applications (full rotation and live beveling to 45 degrees)
- Robust, reliable design for 3 shift, 365 day industrial usage.
- Sercos, Ethercat and conventional interfaces to drives and tools.
- Remote Help (service techs can link to control anywhere there is an internet connection)

These are generally more complex and costly than you would use on a do it yourself or light industrial CNC machine, however you will find them on a good number of industrial cnc machines worldwide.

Jim Colt Hypertherm



DanM wrote:Does anyone have any experience with the hypertherm system? I would assume there system would be top notch. https://www.hypertherm.com/en-US/hypert ... ge-pro-ti/

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby DanM » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:44 pm

jimcolt wrote:Hypertherm has been producing high end cnc controls for high production industrial CNC machines for a couple of decades.

-They are designed to be noise resistant for use with Industrial 100% duty cycle, high frequency start plasma systems.
- They are designed to be easy to learn and use with minimal operator input....all settings are often embedded in the CAM software so the operator only loads plate and unloads part and scrap....no time spent adjusting and setting parameters. High Productivity.
- Touch screen controls for intuitive, productive operation.
- Up to 12 axis (up to 4 plasma torches on a common gantry)
- Beveling applications (full rotation and live beveling to 45 degrees)
- Robust, reliable design for 3 shift, 365 day industrial usage.
- Sercos, Ethercat and conventional interfaces to drives and tools.
- Remote Help (service techs can link to control anywhere there is an internet connection)

These are generally more complex and costly than you would use on a do it yourself or light industrial CNC machine, however you will find them on a good number of industrial cnc machines worldwide.

Jim Colt Hypertherm



DanM wrote:Does anyone have any experience with the hypertherm system? I would assume there system would be top notch. https://www.hypertherm.com/en-US/hypert ... ge-pro-ti/


Thanks for the info Jim and is the Hypertherm set up only for a precision table? Like the ones that are similar to my buddy's laser cutter that run off a huge tank not compressed air? And runs on expensive software like in the mastercam price range?

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby Rodw » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:55 pm

tcaudle wrote:With all due respect to RodW: He has been working on this for almost a year. Its the "journey" for him (and the fact he lives in a Country where any import doubles or triples the price. He also has had to write software components for LINUXCNC to get to the level he is already. In his list of priories Cost is the first line item. While I admire his tenacity and willingness to be a pioneer (especially on the THC ) he still has a ways to go to make it really function. I am not here to call his baby ugly but its simply NOT as easy as he says. Maybe for a long time software or technical guy. but for the average fabricator / shop guy getting into the guts of LINUX and LINUXCNC can be like learning a non-Latin based foreign language.



Tom, I think I'm closer than most people realise. The journey has been a couple of years now. I knew nothing about CNC plasma cutting until I saw one of your used systems for sale on eBay Australia. I did not know enough to bid but eventually I thought it would be a cool thing to do to use some spare stepper controllers I had so I went looking for an affordable THC which I bought. My first attempt to build the electronics was a fail. It took me 12 months to try again, this time with Mesa hardware and after freight, their THCAD board did not add much to the cost. So after several months in CAD, I then spent about 3 months making the Z axis. (I don't have a lot of time to put into this). Another 3 months went by while I designed the table and I sent parts to laser cutting in January this year. They took a month before I got them back and it was another couple of months before the table was cut and welded up. Then this experimental branch of LinuxCNC was released and I thought I'd give it a go. Changing direction when I had a complete working software solution using the existing LCNC components has cost a bit of time but I think it will come together quickly from here. I now know my first build failed becasue I stuffed up the pin direction in a parallel port ribbon connector. But I only found that after I'd stripped the cabinet so there was no turning back.

DanM wrote:Thanks for the info Jim and is the Hypertherm set up only for a precision table? Like the ones that are similar to my buddy's laser cutter that run off a huge tank not compressed air? And runs on expensive software like in the mastercam price range?


Dan, you really owe it to yourself to go and get a demo on a Hypertherm High Definition system say around 130 amps. We have a table manufacturer here and seeing what one of their 3mm x 1.5m $130k tables can do is an eyeopener. They can replace laser cutting for all but the finest of parts and cut upto 32mm plate with perfect finish. You can still use compressed air but they can swap a few gasses around and plate mark. All of us here are just playing with toys...

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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby DanM » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:32 pm

Rodw wrote:
tcaudle wrote:With all due respect to RodW: He has been working on this for almost a year. Its the "journey" for him (and the fact he lives in a Country where any import doubles or triples the price. He also has had to write software components for LINUXCNC to get to the level he is already. In his list of priories Cost is the first line item. While I admire his tenacity and willingness to be a pioneer (especially on the THC ) he still has a ways to go to make it really function. I am not here to call his baby ugly but its simply NOT as easy as he says. Maybe for a long time software or technical guy. but for the average fabricator / shop guy getting into the guts of LINUX and LINUXCNC can be like learning a non-Latin based foreign language.



Tom, I think I'm closer than most people realise. The journey has been a couple of years now. I knew nothing about CNC plasma cutting until I saw one of your used systems for sale on eBay Australia. I did not know enough to bid but eventually I thought it would be a cool thing to do to use some spare stepper controllers I had so I went looking for an affordable THC which I bought. My first attempt to build the electronics was a fail. It took me 12 months to try again, this time with Mesa hardware and after freight, their THCAD board did not add much to the cost. So after several months in CAD, I then spent about 3 months making the Z axis. (I don't have a lot of time to put into this). Another 3 months went by while I designed the table and I sent parts to laser cutting in January this year. They took a month before I got them back and it was another couple of months before the table was cut and welded up. Then this experimental branch of LinuxCNC was released and I thought I'd give it a go. Changing direction when I had a complete working software solution using the existing LCNC components has cost a bit of time but I think it will come together quickly from here. I now know my first build failed becasue I stuffed up the pin direction in a parallel port ribbon connector. But I only found that after I'd stripped the cabinet so there was no turning back.

DanM wrote:Thanks for the info Jim and is the Hypertherm set up only for a precision table? Like the ones that are similar to my buddy's laser cutter that run off a huge tank not compressed air? And runs on expensive software like in the mastercam price range?


Dan, you really owe it to yourself to go and get a demo on a Hypertherm High Definition system say around 130 amps. We have a table manufacturer here and seeing what one of their 3mm x 1.5m $130k tables can do is an eyeopener. They can replace laser cutting for all but the finest of parts and cut upto 32mm plate with perfect finish. You can still use compressed air but they can swap a few gasses around and plate mark. All of us here are just playing with toys...


I'll do that Rod, I've been around every other type of cnc equipment from Hass to Amada I just don't know anyone who has a high definition plasma, every one I know in the industry uses laser cutting or water jet. The plasma has me intrigued for my shop because the cut quality and reliability seems to have come a long way in the last ten years. The laser cutters and water jets are way out of my price range and don't fit my business model at this point. I'm not a production fab shop. And just looking for a low cost alternative for my own parts. Like I said before if my first table is going to be a entry level I would prefer to build it myself since they aren't very complex.

I think I might be in the wrong forum since it seems like this one is more for people with oem equipment and people who are already up and running and need advice for things like cut quality.

Thanks again everyone for all the help and advice!!!

Simko
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Re: What are the best electronics

Postby Simko » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:48 pm

Just over $10k (Ok, probably pushing $12k now) including Hypertherm PM85

- Table frame from an auction
- 80/20 and random bearings/parts from EBay, parts from CNCRouterParts, and a few custom machined brackets
- CandCNC Plazpak 1a with ohmic sensing and HyT setup
- CommandCNC and SheetCAM

I couldn't justify $25-30k for a hobby table.

It took over a year to build, save, and convince the wife. I could have done it in 6 months if we didn't have a baby in the middle of the build.

I can't say enough good things about CandCNC. I followed the instructions to the 'T' and the table has cut great from my first pierce. Any issues that I have had were from inexperience.

If I had to do it over, I would still build it myself.

If you decide to build and have any questions, don't hesitate.

IMG_3131.JPG
Steve

Homebrewed plasma table in the works, NSK linear rails, 3.2:1 belt reduction, CandCNC Plazpak 1A with DTHCIV Ethercut, Hypertherm 85, Linux CNC and SheetCAM
Click here for build post


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