Our in-depth video demonstration of the machine and software shows all the steps required to design and make several example projects. This part is crucial to see if you are serious about buying a machine, because the usability of the system is the key to how well it will work for you.
The video includes footage of many other projects made with the machine and includes stories from customers who use them, so you can see different ways it can be used, the types of material it cuts, and the accuracy, reliability and production capability. You’ll be inspired to do new things when you see the possibilities, and the time you spend watching the video before making a big decision will really pay off later.
We’d love to mail you a free DVD along with a detailed color brochure, specifications, plasma cutter and computer requirements, and current pricing (or you can access this info online).
Virtually any metal can be plasma cut including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, copper, etc. Any thickness from 30 gauge through 1½ inch can be cut, depending on the plasma cutter used. You can even cut irregular material like diamond plate and corrugated, perforated, or expanded metal. Plastics and wood are not electrically conductive and cannot be plasma cut, although they can be cut with our optional router attachment.
The PlasmaCAM machine holds up to 1-inch-thick steel plate without problems. We stress tested the frame, and it actually held more than 15 times this weight without collapsing! Customers rarely report damaging the frame. When they do, they usually mention a high-speed forklift crash or heavy material falling from a loose crane. In these cases, the damaged parts were much easier to replace than if the whole frame had been welded together.
PlasmaCAM machines use high-performance servo motors with 0.0005 inch resolution that can cut 1000 inches per minute with up to 1G of acceleration. Our unique zero-backlash design delivers maximum accuracy. These advantages allow detailed cutting that is not possible from slower machines with stepper motors and backlash. We also offer the highest performance plasma cutters and provide all the torch parts you need for the best possible cuts. PlasmaCAM machines are often used to cut parts to +/-0.005 inch or tighter tolerances, with features (like slots or hairs) as narrow as 0.03 inch.
We use high-tech servo motors rather than lower-cost stepper motors so that your machine will cut better parts. Experienced machine tool users know that servo motors are better than stepper motors, because newer, high-performance machines (like CNC mills) use servo motors, whereas older, more troublesome machines used stepper motors. Our motors (and many other carefully engineered details) make PlasmaCAM machines cut more accurate and intricate shapes than other machines.
Servo motors use optically-encoded feedback for closed-loop control. The controller always knows the true position of the torch, which is why you can see it move in our software if you move the torch by hand. Stepper motors use open-loop control, meaning the controller must always “trust” that the motor has moved exactly as requested each time a step is sent. Without feedback, it can’t detect when the motor gets out of sync with its intended position. So even if you avoid bumping the machine, it can still loose position while running due to its own jolts, vibrations, friction, hang-ups, etc. When any of the millions of steps required to cut shapes are corrupted, they accumulate and lead to a potentially undetected chain reaction of ruined parts and material.
Servo motors also increase performance because they efficiently drive loads at higher speeds with inline forces. Stepper motor torque drops off with speed, limiting how fast they can actually push loads. Also most of their power is used inefficiently, with forces that hold position at right angles or push loads at oblique angles (like someone pulling a car up a slope from the side instead of from the front). This is why stepper motors get so much hotter than servo motors, even when they run a slower machine.
Stepper motors must be oversized for their inefficiency and so they will lose position less often. This adds more inertia and inductance, further hindering performance and limiting a plasma cutting machine’s ability to cut intricate shapes accurately. For these reasons, stepper motors are used mainly in low-cost, low-power, low-speed, and non-critical applications.
No. Because every machine is so different, there’s no standard that we could offer a solution for. You could buy a whole machine from us and transfer components over, but you won’t get the same PlasmaCAM performance due to mechanical design limitations of your machine. So whether you bought a machine from a company that went out of business, won’t help you, or just isn’t giving you the results you need, your best option is to scrap or resell what you have and start over with a standardized PlasmaCAM machine that’s reliable and supported for a long time.
Yes. Our DesignEdge software is so powerful, fast and easy to use that hundreds of customers buy it to design for and even program laser, water jet, and other plasma cutting machines. However it can’t directly run these machines the way you’ve seen PlasmaCAM machines run. You’ll still have to use your machine’s software that executes G-Code programs, and you won’t be able to change things on the fly. This, plus the fact that other plasma cutting machines can’t cut as fine of detail with the same speed and accuracy, makes customers often prefer the economics of reselling them—so they can get the full performance and streamlined operation of a PlasmaCAM system.