View Full Version : NEW MEMBER: New Member from Stamford Lincs, Seeks Advice

10-03-2013, 01:32 AM
Dear all, I'm Luke a new member from Stamford Lincs looking to seek sound advice from hopefully some forum members with better knowledge than I.

So I've been doing research all into CNC 4'x4' plasma cutters and tbh the American forums are riddled with posts from companies posting as members and conflicting advice. The prices are great but I'm not sure where to buy.

I want something accurate to mark and cut 2mm aluminium and steel as well as 3mm steel. I need to mark it for bend lines too.

Im also hoping to have an attachment for a router to route upto 25mm birch ply. I am basically subbing out this manufacturing at the mo but I need to do small runs and Largs runs for wood and metal plus possibly Perspex.

I've narrowed it down to the following brands:

SaleCNC (china)
Plasmacam (US) or Gotorch as apparently they are the same people?
Torchmate (US)
swiftcut (UK)
and this UK builder who is well priced: Route Out CNC

I can use CAD and Google sketch up, as well as illustrator but I have no formal training using cam software. I want something easy to use, provides accurate cuts, quick production speeds and is priced well under 10k all in preferably with finance options. I'd rather buy direct.

Any ideas? Also does anyone know of any CNC folding or ultra small bending machines (manual or otherwise) for sheet metal that will bend 2mm Aluminium?

A lot to digest on a new post but any help appreciated. My ideal machine would be under 5500 4'x4' inc plasma cutter.

Help! Please!



17-03-2013, 08:28 PM

Are you going to using the unit primarily as a CNC router or as a Plasma cutter?

I ask this question for several reasons, one, because I have just developed a retro fit plasma unit for my Eagle CNC machines which has thrown up some very interesting reading and testing. The main point being that Plasma is not as accurate as the nice videos make it look, it has an inherent problem in that the 'flame' is not straight, it is sort of egg shaped, which even on the very best plasma units will cause a bevel on the cut edges, in fact if it does leave a bevel on both edges the plasma unit is working properly!

Our unit will easily cut 3mm steel and 2mm aluminium but the finish on aluminium is not great, simply because aluminium does not cut well with a plasma torch. The finish on steel is great though but even then you have some work to do if you need to cut very small circles or arcs etc. I use Mach3 on the CNC units and for the plasma assemblies and its great but the second point is that if your plasma unit does not have an LCD amp display you will effectively be guessing at what amp the unit is working at and on very small circles the amps need to be a lot lower than when cutting straight lines.

I am familiar with all of the sellers below and they do produce some excellent work, especially PlasmaCam, but what they don't tell you or fail to mention is that on their video the torch is a T80 unit, which itself costs over 2000.00 in the UK and this lends itself to my third point. If you intend to work primarily with the Plasma unit, especially for small work, then do buy the very best Plasma unit you can get, it will be worth the expense. My units don't use the expensive plasma units because they are not aimed at those users who want super high precision, they are aimed more at the client who wants an affordable plasma unit that makes reasonably accurate cuts AND the plasma unit can be detached very easily to then allow CNC work.

I hope this helps, if you have specific questions you want to ask then maybe I can help further.