Official Page Launch February 2nd 2018!!!
WHAT DO I NEED TO GET STARTED?
Your going to need a few things to get started in the CNC Plasma Cutting business or Hobby. The basics are the same for someone that will be doing this as a hobby or as a full time business. I will go over the basics here and you can follow the links to get more specific info on each of the items.
There has never been more options as far as tables and equipment than there is now. When I started in 2000 there were only a handful of companies that built tables or components now there are thousands. Sorting through all of this can be a challenge and even overwhelming at times. I will help you sort through the options and find the best setup for your application.
When I first got started I began with a 4x4 table then moved to a 4x8 table and now my latest table is a 5x10. I fully intended this to be a garage hobby but it quickly grew into a full time business. Trying to anticipate future needs and wants is critical and can save you a lot of money in the long run. I get a lot of people who ask me what size I should buy and I usually try and discourage them from a 2x2 or 4x4. More often than not they quickly outgrow these smaller tables. Going one size bigger than you think you will need is often a safe bet. Prices from a 4x4 to a 4x8 are usually not much different because the cost of the other components to run the machine remain the same.
The basic components of a CNC Plasma System:
The Cutting Table – This is where your material is going to go and be cut. Common variations are size ie. 2x2, 4x4, 4x8 and 5x10. Other variations are: Water tables which have water under the cutting surface which helps to eliminate smoke and dust as well as keep the parts cool and minimize warping. Downdraft tables use exhaust fans to pull the smoke and dust down and exhaust it outside of the work area, and then open tables which are the least expensive and have nothing below them but ground. We will discuss all of these and the pluses and minuses in the TABLE SECTION.
Plasma Cutter -
Compressed Air Source -
Control System -
Turnkey System vs. Build your own or Kit system
This is another highly debated topic and one which has pluses and minuses on both sides. There are hundreds of turn key solutions offered today. A turn key option is one where you can purchase everything you need in one shot ready to cut. Everything is configured and ready to go all you do is supply air and power and your off and running. Advantages include faster, simpler, less of a learning curve, less to go wrong, no compatibility problems between components, one contact point if something does go wrong. The only real disadvantage is price. You are going to pay for all of this convenience with a higher price tag.
Kit or Build your own systems are almost always less expensive than turnkey but all the advantages of a turnkey system can now be disadvantages of a build your own or kits system. With a build your own system you have the ability to control the quality and components at every step of the project and you will be able to gain a great deal of knowledge about the inner workings of your system and likely fix problems on your own if they come up. Building your own will require skill and precision. Having a table that is not square or that has problems will affect your products quality and appearance.
My first two tables were build your own / Kits. I did a ton of research and learned a tremendous amount in the process. They were time consuming and at times frustrating but in the end they worked well and I saved a lot of money. For my third and current table I took all of the knowledge I had gained from the previous two and opted to do a turn key system. I knew all of the things I wanted in a table as far as features and components and found them in a quality and convenient for me package in my Westcott Plasma Pro Series 5x10 table.
|WHAT IS PLASMA|
|G CODE DEFINED|
|WHAT DO I NEED TO GET STARTED|
|WHAT CAN I DO WITH A CNC PLASMA MACHINE|
|HYPERTHERM PLASMA CUTTERS|
|WATER VS DOWNDRAFT|
|STEPPERS VS SERVOS|
|WESTCOTT PLASMA TABLES|
|PLASMA TABLE SHOPPING GUIDE|
|DESIGN SOFTWARE CAD/ART|
|PRO SERIES TABLE TUTORIALS|
|COREL DRAW TUTORIALS|
|HYPERTHERM POWERMAX TUTORIALS|
|PRICING YOUR WORK|
|MARKETING YOUR PLASMA BUSINESS|
|WHERE TO BUY SUPPLIES & CONSUMABLES|
|NAMING & ORGANIZING FILES|
|TURNING YOUR HOBBY INTO A BUSINESS|