View Full Version : plasma build log - sort of

mike techserv
23-04-2009, 10:15 AM

I thought this may be of interest, also its a bit of a free advert for me and a chance to spread my name about a bit. I saw the Torchmate machines on the internet some years ago and thought they seemed a pretty good idea, almost bought one to mess with but got sidetracked and never bothered. Moving on, last year I thought it might be interesting to have another look at them, the Torchmate 3 seemed to be the right sort of machine for us (mostly pre assembled with a built in bed) I was a bit suprised to find that the price in the UK with a plasma, cables and PC was just over 10k, so I thought I might make my own.
I have used our Baldor nextmove pc based controller with 3 off IMS stepper motors, these have integrated drive electronics, bit more expensive but no amps to wire up. Extruded ally main beam (80x80) with a 15mm linear slide and twin bearings at the back of the beam to stiffen things up a bit. 1 mod rack and pinion drives throughtout, didnt bother with any gearboxes or belt reductions, just fitted a small pinion. 10mm waterjet cut side plates for all the bits to hang off, put some fancy plates with holes in them to make it look 'beefier'. Simple pneumatic head from the blue marlin machine, bed fabricated from laser cut and folded 3mm mild steel. Thermal Dynamics cutmaster 51 plasma pack and an ASUS EEE top pc (atom processor and inbuilt touch screen) selling price just over 10K. Build time about a week. Is it worth my trying to be a european torchmate ? discuss