View Full Version : Drowning in choices for my plasma table project

15-09-2013, 08:55 PM
Hi all, not sure if I've introduced myself here yet but I'll get to that.

I'm wanting to build a plasma table but as my title says I'm lost in choices, eg linear rails or round rails?
timing belts or even rack and pinion, big motors or little ones? use 3 or 4 (motors that is)

The thing I want to end up with will be a steel frame, probably cutting area of 1000 x 600mm

The things I do have,

Fairly well equipped workshop, Lathe, mill, welding gear mig tig, a budget and a plasma cutter :yahoo:

So anyone got any ideas?



16-09-2013, 03:41 AM
Just to add to the plethora of ideas flooding your grey matter: Portable Flame Plasma Cutting Machine | eBay (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Portable-flame-plasma-cutting-machine-Portable-CNC-flame-plasma-cutting-machine-/130981349941?pt=AU_Welding&hash=item1e7f18ca35)

16-09-2013, 08:34 AM
Have you been through the Build Logs ? most questions have been answered there but it's not easy to find them sometimes. If somebody could compile the best answers into a big FAQ it might be useful.
There's a search box top right of this page, I use that to find items of interest. It sounds like you have all the gear you need to build anyway.

21-09-2013, 09:53 PM
Just to add to the plethora of ideas flooding your grey matter: Portable Flame Plasma Cutting Machine | eBay (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Portable-flame-plasma-cutting-machine-Portable-CNC-flame-plasma-cutting-machine-/130981349941?pt=AU_Welding&hash=item1e7f18ca35)

Wow, great idea!

I will keep this in my idea bank for sure! :)

Boyan Silyavski
22-09-2013, 07:10 PM
At the end depends from the budget , i believe.

I am in the same situation like you, though now i am deep in building a router so the plasma build is postponed a bit.

Now my personal conclusions on the subject, may change with time, but the main is simplicity:

1. Dedicated or not?
Definitely dedicated plasma machine.

2.Which linear?
Depends on the design. For such small plasma table/and for bigger, when dedicated/ my choice is wide Hiwin low profile MGW 15 or similar

- most are stainless steel rails
- low profile
-1 rail and 2 bearings on gantry and z
-available dust seals
-wide profile rail will straighten the gantry

3. Ball screw, or belt?
With ball screw prices i cant see a reason not to be implemented, but my choice definitely will be belt, given that everything is done light/ gantry and z/.
Belts can be placed more strategically than screws and are quite more resistant to the fine dust that the cutter will produce, cheaper and cheaper to change.
Especially if you don't intend to make a water table.

Choosing wisely the belt will make the machine extremely fast and precise. Additionally is simple to build, can be clocked on the long axis and so on.

4. My main concern will be implementing THC torch height control. A must.

Hope that helps.