Should I purchase a used Torchmate TM3

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Should I purchase a used Torchmate TM3

Post by Andrewbcdueck » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:24 am

Hello I have been considering getting a plasma table for a few years now. I've mainly been considering Plasmacam, but yesterday I went to our local machine shop and they told me they were selling their Torchmate. They had bought it in 2009 and assembled it, built a super sturdy table, and then only used it, they swear, about 2 days in 10 years. They said the guy who knew how to use the CAD left and no one else wanted to learn. They had disassembled the unit and have all the parts. The software is Torchmate CAD 7.1. Is this still the version in use or is it WAY outdated? It is belt drive with stepper motors. Plasmacam and Gotorch praise up their servo motors. What are advantages /disadvantages of steppers vs. servos. I am thinking of mainly trying signs and metal art, does Torchmate have the necessary agility to do intricate designs? What about ease of turning scanned images into cut paths and cutting them out? How does the customer support work for the second owner? Is there any certain component that is more likely to cause problems? What kind of Plasma Cutter works with these units? The guys there had some huge expensive compressor that looked like maybe a screw compressor. Can I just get an 80 gallon regular shop compressor and get a Hypertherm 65 with a machine torch or does it require a specific unit it needs? They used a Thermal Dynamics I believe. If I get more info I will try to update this. But for now These questions are the ones I'd like answering. They did say that if we can agree on a price they would reassemble and make sure that it all worked.
1. Servo vs Stepper
2. Ease of software use with photos and art work
3. Learning curve vs DesignEdge
4. Plasma cutter requirements
5. Possible weak points to look for.
6. Software version???
Attached is a picture of the Stepper.
Andrew Dueck

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ben de lappe
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Re: Should I purchase a used Torchmate TM3

Post by ben de lappe » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:16 am

1. Servo better than stepper/belt, no doubt. Motors may be upgraded.
2. I still use v7.1. I do drawings/conversions for a living and have files around the world. TM cad can't scan/trace detailed or color images well (at all). Basic things with practice yes. I know a program freely downloadable that does better. It just depends on how one uses it to do their artwork. Honestly speaking the more proficient you are with your cad program (whatever it is) the better for you and your art. I don't know Designedge so cannot compare at all.
3. Concerning plasma requirements what do you wish to cut? I had a TM 3 with a cutmaster 101 with SL 100 machine torch and cut 1" at times, others lower the amps, swap tips and do some nice 12ga. art. I never had a problem with the intricacy of cut achieved with mine. Don't try to run as fast as possible...go for the good cut.
4. Weak points. Belt drive. Be sure all is solidly assembled.
5. Compressor. You don't need a monster. Just be sure to go by your plasma's recommended specs, usually 90lbs. working pressure at inlet/gauge.

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Re: Should I purchase a used Torchmate TM3

Post by Brdbkr79 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:15 am

i built a tm3 in 2005 and am still running it. i've had a few boards go out and my cad had to be upgraded last fall because the old cad wouldn't run on a newer computer. the thc is definitely the weakest point on mine but i don't think it will be bad to upgrade. all in all its been a good machine and ive ran thousands of hours on it. making small round holes is also a pain on it.

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Re: Should I purchase a used Torchmate TM3

Post by nevetskrats » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:26 pm

My first experience was with a Torchmate 2, this was about 5 years ago. This machine was still new in the box, even thought at the time it was a couple years old. I set it up and got it going fairly quick and torchmate customer service was great. I am self taught on torchmate CAD also.

Then I decided I wanted to start a side business, and I eventually bought a plasmacam. With having experience on both, and both have hypertherm 85's I wouldn't even consider the current torchmate that we have at work. The Torchmate does not have Ohmic sensing and from my experience on both machines it's a must!!!

Even thought I have design edge I do not use it to draw, I use Torchmate CAD because it's what I know and until I retire it's what I use at work and the most proficient with.

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