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New to the CNC Plasma Cutter world! OPINIONS NEEDED!

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Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:43 pm

New to the CNC Plasma Cutter world! OPINIONS NEEDED!

Postby wmbrewer » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:36 pm

Hello everyone!!!!
Im looking into purchasing a CNC Plasma Table soon. Im a stay at home mom who use to do festivals with another craft and would love to get back into it with metal wall signs, ect. My boyfriend owns a gun range and spends too much money on steel targets so he's also looking forward to cutting his own for his range. Ive read on different models/brands of tables till my brain hurts and I'm still at square one with not know what direction to go. I would love to hear others opinions on what table might fit our needs the most!

-Doesn't have to be fully assembled. (my boyfriend is pretty handy often tinkers with building and fixing 3d printers, i know they aren't exactly the same but I'm confident in his ability to put a table together.)
-Needs to be able to cut up to a half inch for his targets.
-4'x8' would be the size were most interested in.
-Ideally I want this to be the first and only machine I ever need. Ive seen some budget tables in the 4k-6k range, that seem to have decent reviews but also have people saying you get what you pay for. With that said I have about 15k I'm willing to invest, for the right table, of course if i can spend less and still get a great table that would be preferred. But quality, with minimal possible issues would be preferred!

Side note, I have access to a empty spot in a strip of businesses, however its only 10-12 ft wide and about 40 ft deep. Would that be enough room to work out of? For the table, stock of metal sheets and enough room to organize and display items? Its not intended to be a retail business but more of a workshop with a small gallery for people to come pick up their items... Im thinking it would be tight, but doable... My boyfriend went to someone else shop with 4'x8' table, and supposedly the guy didn't have enough room in his 30x40 pole barn, for everything.

I really appreciate whoever takes the time to share their experience and give their advice!!!

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Re: New to the CNC Plasma Cutter world! OPINIONS NEEDED!

Postby djreiswig » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:59 pm

I have a Bulltear 4x8 that I bought in 2014. Very solid structure, and a well thought out design. The controls are by CandCNC. Mine is the older Mach3 version and now everything is Linux based, so I have no experience with the software, but I have heard that there are quite a few improvements.
The only issues I had getting mine up and running were due to my lack of experience with CNC equipment. Matt @ Bulltear went over and above what was expected to help me figure things out.
I would think 10-12 ft wide would be a little tight. The 4x8 table is going to end up closer to 5ft+ wide, so that only leaves you about 4-5' beside the table for loading. It is nice to be able to reach both sides of the table so you aren't reaching over to get parts. You could load it from the end, but with long sheets it could be a little awkward. I'm sure you could make it work in that space, you just might have to get creative.
I would definitely recommend a Hypertherm plasma cutter. I have a PowerMax 65 and it cuts 1/2" really well. I have cut 1" steel with it a few times. You might be able to go with a 45XP. I think 1/2" falls within the specs.
I would also recommend going with a kit that has both a machine torch as well as a hand torch. The machine torch is easier to attach to the table and it is nice to have a hand torch to cut skeletons up with as well as other things, so you aren't having to remove the torch from the table all the time.
Hope that helps.
2014 Bulltear (StarLab) 4x8
C&CNC EtherCut
Mach3, SheetCam, Draftsight
Hypertherm PM65
Oxy/Acetylene Flame Torch
Pneumatic Plate Marker, Ohmic, 10 inch Rotary Chuck (in progress)

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Re: New to the CNC Plasma Cutter world! OPINIONS NEEDED!

Postby motoguy » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:17 pm

I have a Starlab (Bulltear) 6x12, running CommandCNC (linux) by CandCNC. I'm extremely pleased with it, and would recommend it to anyone. IMO, it's one of the best quality "light industrial" tables out there.
Bulltear 6x12 w/ Proton Z axis & watertable
CommandCNC/Linux w/ Ohmic & HyT options
Hypertherm Powermax 85 w/ machine torch
Solidworks, Coreldraw X7, Inkscape, Sheetcam

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