My PlasmaC Journey

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thefabricator
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:13 am

My PlasmaC Journey

Post by thefabricator » Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:51 pm

Hi All,

I want to put my story out their to help others that are having problems with their DIY CNC plasma machines.

So back in October 2017 I decided to build a large industrial CNC plasma table to cut my workshops parts that we were outsourcing. I decided to buy a CandCNC system as it was promised as turn key. A decision I very much regret.
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Once the table was finished I had a number of incidents with the CandCNC controller but the biggest one was the touch off never working properly. I got fed up with their terrible customer support that was one of the reasons I purchased the controler from them. Emails never being answered, being made to feel like an idiot. I was over it. I scrapped the CandCNC controller which I had invested over $10,000 AUD in and built my own and migrated over to PlasmaC. I have never looked back!

My new controller uses a Mesa 7i76e and a THCAD10 to measure the arc voltage. Its very simple and very reliable.
WIRING.jpg



I have over 1500 hours of production cutting with the new controller at this point and have not once had any controller issues. It just works!

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Last edited by thefabricator on Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

thefabricator
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:13 am

Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by thefabricator » Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:58 pm

I cut at least two 3000x1500 sheets per day of parts, and I do not have any issues with the control system or software.

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dodom
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Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by dodom » Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:00 am

So what is your agenda here. The are literally 1000's of users that have not had your issues. I noticed you showed a table that says State Wide Sheds did you build and sell that?

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acourtjester
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Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by acourtjester » Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:35 am

That may be the name of his company, sounds like he have found a solution and is moving on with business.
DIY 4X4 Plasma/Router Table
Hypertherm PM65 Machine Torch
Drag Knife and Scribe
Miller Mig welder
13" metal lathe
Small Mill
Everlast PowerTig 255 EXT

Rodw
Posts: 539
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:49 am

Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by Rodw » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:28 pm

dodom wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:00 am
I noticed you showed a table that says State Wide Sheds did you build and sell that?
He makes Sheds so his table is used in a heavy duty industrial setting making components for them.

thefabricator
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:13 am

Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by thefabricator » Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:51 pm

dodom wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:00 am
So what is your agenda here. The are literally 1000's of users that have not had your issues. I noticed you showed a table that says State Wide Sheds did you build and sell that?
My "agenda" is I want others who buy a product thinking its turn key and for it to continue to fail to know there is alternatives out there that can get them out of trouble.

I really did not know what to do when the CandCNC controller kept failing. I had spent a considerable amount of money and as a last resort decided to start from scratch. Now my machine works everyday without any issues.

I am not selling anything other that hope for those who are in a similar situation.

thefabricator
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:13 am

Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by thefabricator » Wed Oct 07, 2020 8:12 pm

Also their might be 1000's of others who dont have any issues. But what about the ones that do? I dont think its good enough to treat them like crap since you already have their money.

I replaced all the control boards inside the controller a couple of times and still had issues. I also sent the unit back to them twice. I dont know about you but most people at that point would of given up entirely.

I understand my issues I had with their system are probably rare. But if you look and it from the customers perspective, what else was I suppose to do? If we were talking a couple hundred dollars worth of electronics it might be a different story, but what I spent was far from that.

thefabricator
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Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by thefabricator » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:54 pm

Also I did not see this video until just now having a look around but it seems that others in my position have had the same issues. Its funny because I also had a lightning strike at out facility that cause the DTHC card to fail - multiple times,



When that happened we spent a considerable amount of money on a UPS and we still had problems after that!
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dodom
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Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by dodom » Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:29 am

You should probably pay a little closer attention to the video. This guy ran both controllers 12 hours a day 7 days a week for 2 years. Look at the shop it is filthy. He would drive to our facility from Tennessee if one went down and we would stop everything to repair a unit that literally had pounds of plasma dust in it. He did this 3 times in a two year period. I repeat pounds of plasma dust. Again 12 hours a day 7 days a week his words to us and pounds of plasma dust. He never had an issue with service or the complaint until his warranty ran out . He then demanded that he be refunded all his money. 12 hours a day 7 days a week for two years , drop everything warranty service pounds of plasma dust . Out of warranty I want all of my money back.

dodom
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Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by dodom » Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:33 am

We also keep records of all transaction and the records indicate that you might be mistaken on some of your claims

weldguy
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Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by weldguy » Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:15 pm

Well we all know you can't please everyone and sometimes things just don't work out for whatever reason.

Generally I see the C&CNC users very happy and making money with their equipment, I personally have had great success with them.

Bummer it didn't work out this way for you but glad you found something that works for your shop :Like

thefabricator
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:13 am

Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by thefabricator » Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:26 pm

dodom wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:33 am
We also keep records of all transaction and the records indicate that you might be mistaken on some of your claims
So you keep records of international shipping cost arranged by myself? And the exchange rate? Really most of the time the shipping was more that the actual part! It all adds up tho.

thefabricator
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:13 am

Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by thefabricator » Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:59 pm

dodom wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:29 am
You should probably pay a little closer attention to the video. This guy ran both controllers 12 hours a day 7 days a week for 2 years. Look at the shop it is filthy. He would drive to our facility from Tennessee if one went down and we would stop everything to repair a unit that literally had pounds of plasma dust in it. He did this 3 times in a two year period. I repeat pounds of plasma dust. Again 12 hours a day 7 days a week his words to us and pounds of plasma dust. He never had an issue with service or the complaint until his warranty ran out . He then demanded that he be refunded all his money. 12 hours a day 7 days a week for two years , drop everything warranty service pounds of plasma dust . Out of warranty I want all of my money back.

Well I can understand that he might of not looked after the controller looking at the state of his machine but most of the issues he mentions I have had. My controller was always inside a filtered cabinet,
controller.jpg
Really I dont understand why your controllers have so many parts that can fail. I replaced countless boards chasing gremlins to no avail.
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My new controller has two boards. A main control board and a board to measure arc voltage. It has four off the shelf self calibrating motor drives, a few 24VDC power supplies, a couple of relays and a toroidal power supply for the motors. Thats it! Not many thing to go wrong and if they do its pretty easy to work out where the problem is.

The other thing is lack of I/O. You might of changed that now but the controller I had was severely limited. I did not know enough about that when I purchased the controller but I soon realized I could not do half the things I can do now with my new controller.

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Last edited by thefabricator on Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thefabricator
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:13 am

Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by thefabricator » Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:19 am

I have not wanted to do this but in the interest of transparency and getting this off my chest Ill itemize what I spent on my CandCNC system. I have not added these costs up before and there was a reason why! These prices include the shipping cost I paid.

PlazPak 4 Axis Servo System = 8895.63 AUD
Customs Fees = 1003.23 AUD

1 x HyT Connect RS485 SIM Kit B (without Hub) = $370.54 AUD

1 x PWM module = $270.29 AUD

1 x Table I/O Rev 12 card = $206.85 AUD

1 x Linux Based - Refurbished CommandCNC PC = $577.31 AUD

1x UDCM Module for PlazPak and RouterPak systems
1 x EZPlugII Servo card with RS485
1 x UBOBIII Card
= $705.24 AUD

1 x Front Panel = $283.53 AUD

1 x UDCM Module for PlazPak and RouterPak systems = $346.77 AUD

1 x RAV-02 = $165.23 AUD

1 x Table I/O Rev 12 card
1 x UACM Module for PlazPaks and RouterPaks
= $393.89 AUD

1 x DTHCIV Card – refurbished = $465 AUD

Sending unit back to the US due to an electrical fault that destroyed multiple items including the DTCHIV card the second time = $2000.14 AUD for repairs + $502.73 AUD shipping,

When the unit came back and I powered it up, it spewed out smoke. $541.01 AUD to send the unit back a second time. Addmitadley CandCNC fixed the unit for free the second time and returned it but at that point I had moved on to building my new controller.

Total Cost = $16,727.39 AUD or 11,996.89 USD.


Now I have moved on and there is not much I can do about what happened. But moving forward I just want to let anyone in the same situation know that you can build your own machine and have it work properly if your prepared to learn a bit about electronics and installing and setting up the LinuxCNC software.

thefabricator
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:13 am

Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by thefabricator » Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:24 am

weldguy wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:15 pm
Well we all know you can't please everyone and sometimes things just don't work out for whatever reason.

Generally I see the C&CNC users very happy and making money with their equipment, I personally have had great success with them.

Bummer it didn't work out this way for you but glad you found something that works for your shop :Like
Yeah I am glad I have a working machine that does what I need. I am sure others have not had my experience but once you go through something like that it changes you.

But at the end of the day as long as I am able to cut my parts I am happy! :Like

dodom
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:47 pm

Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by dodom » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:23 am

Sometimes it is not the machine. When everything burns up it from outside voltage. Glad you got your electrical system in your shop fixed

thefabricator
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:13 am

Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by thefabricator » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:32 pm

dodom wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:23 am
Sometimes it is not the machine. When everything burns up it from outside voltage. Glad you got your electrical system in your shop fixed
Last comment on the matter. The only thing I did to the workshop power supply was install a commercial grade uninterruptable power supply, but I did that just before the last issues.

Personally I think having a bunch of delicate electronics in a environment that is prone to steel dust and electrical noise is asking for trouble. Maybe if it was a controller for a 3d printer or such it would be fine but in a heavy industrial environment its just not up to scratch. That is just my personal opinion and as other have pointed out they dont have issues which is great but in my experience its been the opposite.
Last edited by thefabricator on Sat Oct 10, 2020 4:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Rodw
Posts: 539
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Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by Rodw » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:39 pm

I have heard a number of reports of faults on thefabricator's old hardware attributed to the outside power feed. All I can say is I'm glad I went another way. My shop is in an industrial area and is surrounded by routers, welders and big CNC machines. Matter of fact, I've added a few of my own too. I've never had an issue. All I've done is to add an IEC connector with a built in RFI filter to the mains power inlet and I do not run a ground rod. I would be a sitting duck for sure! it seems strange to me that hardware designed for use on an industrial machine is not able to handle such conditions which must surely be expected in a normal use case.

I will say I did blow up a $69 THCAD card and burn an input on my motion card through my own stupidity. Accidentally, waving a 24 V wire around a 5 V circuit seems to do that sort of thing. After doing a few tests as requested to isolate the exact fault, my hardware supplier created new firmware while I was sleeping that moved the required inputs to other undamaged input pins and I was back in business without replacing a USD $189 card. They even told us how to repair the blown THCAD with a $3.00 component. Thats what I call great service.

dodom
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:47 pm

Re: My PlasmaC Journey

Post by dodom » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:42 am

Glad you got you electrical problems sorted out as well

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