View Full Version : My plasma build 8 x 4

14-05-2013, 07:25 PM
Hi guys,

I've been working on my plasma table for quite a while now off and on. I've been hiding in the shadows of this forum for a little while and though it was about time to share the progress of my build. Its a kind of build log in reverse because to be honest its almost finished.... :)

Anyways, I didn't produce a fancy 3d rendering of my machine first, I just kind of worked from 2d plans. Due to the limited access to my workshop I had to design a machine that would come to pieces and get through a single doorway. My workshop is actually big once inside, so the entrance lets it down slightly!

I had some parts laser cut out to make a nice job of the bolt together components, then once the steel was cut to size I tacked everything together and loosely assembled the table:


An important challenge for me was to come up with a design that kept vulnerable components protected from dust / water ingress and knocks and bumps that might occur during the loading / unloading of heavy steel sheets. Therefore, where I can I've tried to minimise the risk of certain elements becoming damaged or prematurely worn. One important area I think is the linear components on the X axis. Plasma cutting is notoriously dusty, and the dust produced is severely abrasive, therefore, if its sitting on linear rails and rack gears then excessive wear is introduced. I've tried to overcome this by placing my rails / racks like this:


The drive on my x axis look like this:


The gantry is driven either side with 4NM nema 23's through a 3:1 belt reduction, then spur gears onto the racks. I've placed the motors so they will be inside the gantry itself. Initially I was concerned about the lack of airflow around the motors causing an overheating problem. I think I've eliminated that by choosing digital drives that produce much less heat from the motors :) The gas struts in the picture supply constant upward pressure on the rack gears to reduce backlash and to compensate for any inaccuracies in the steel channel they are mounted onto.


Y and Z axis:


Got everything wired and had a little play around with a pen to see what it could do:


From here this machine got a little neglected due to the start of my router build.... I've got far too many projects on the go and am terrible for switching between them before they are finished. I got a tip off that I might be able to get some work for this machine soon, so I'm now having one last push to try and get it finished.

I've been spending the last 2 weeks fully welding the framework and painting everything up. Here's the stage I'm kind of at now, just putting everything back together.


I now need to work on the water table and tank system then hopefully cut cut cut :) :) :)

14-05-2013, 10:15 PM
That looks great to me Adam........ When do you start taking orders?


14-05-2013, 10:36 PM
It's looking really good Adam, look forward to seeing the completed machine.

14-05-2013, 10:49 PM
Looks very smart Adam, looking forward to seeing a video of it cutting. G.

15-05-2013, 08:30 PM
Thanks for the encouragement guys :)

I've been tweeking the beams for the x axis today so they run nice and true. I think there are advantages and disadvantages to having a bolt together frame. On one hand I have alot of adjustment, so I can spend as long as I like making sure everything is running right. On the flip side, if I ever need to move the machine then I'm back to square one.

A bit more progress from today:


16-05-2013, 11:38 PM
Looking top notch Ad will have too come have a look when shes up and running, btw drop us a txt when your thinking of popping by to drop them bits off for machining. ;-)

30-01-2014, 11:54 PM
Your machine design and build is really great!

It is actually how I stumbled on this site - google pics... keep up the awesome work.


01-02-2014, 10:39 PM
I found this machine trough google pics also.
I particularly like the motors mounted inside the gantry.
The rail and rack protected in the steel C beams is also clever.

Have you made any progress since your last update?