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Perfect Auto Parts with a CNC Plasma Machine

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Fat Fabrications is a company built around the restoration of vintage hot rods. They build full chassis and parts for vehicles from the 1920s through the 1980s. They start with such things as a vehicle's stock suspension and then look for ways on how it can be improved. The improvements can include: Strut Kits for unibody cars, frame stubs, or even a complete new chassis.

Brent Vandervart, the founder of the company, realized the need to quickly make custom parts for his expanding business. His business involves both custom work on cars and also selling kits and parts. Demand has increased to the point where they needed faster and more precise parts. This is when the PlasmaCAM cutting table came in. Now, they go from raw material to parts on the shelf in less than 30 minutes.

The software, which is an integral part of the PlasmaCAM system, greatly increases productivity. Once a part is designed and cut, that part's file can be saved so future parts can be quickly reproduced. Another benefit for Fat Fabrications is duplicating and nesting parts to reduce waste while cutting.

The cutting table has turned out to be a versatile tool for them. The machine cuts a variety of parts for all different makes and models of custom hot rods. For instance, this part was cut out of aluminum. Brent made a sketch of the part on the floor, traced it onto cardboard, measured it on cardboard, drew it in the software, then cut it out of 3/16" aluminum. Within 30 minutes, he went from a needed part to a finished part bolted in place.

Speaking on the durability of the table, Brent says, "I intended it for short run and prototyping, giving the big runs to the guys with the large commercial units, but yours never misses a beat!"

The article below was published by American Rodder magazine July 2006 to describe how Fat Fabrications uses the PlasmaCAM in their business:

published article

Click on an image to view publication

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