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Unread 08-03-2012, 10:29 PM   #1
rescueweasel
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CNC Plasma System Build - iplasma table, Hypertherm, Dragon Cut

We are starting a new build and were are going to document it from start to finish.

Its going to consist of a 4x8 iplasma table from Precision Plasma
Water table using GreenCut fluid
Hypertherm Powermax 65 cutter
Dragon Cut electronics package from CandCNC

Were using Corel Draw x6, SheetCam and Mach3
We are also going to be featuring and demoing products from Cascade Metal Designs and Steel F/X

We are going to upload updates as often as we can we also have a website dedicated to the build that you can follow:

Check it out: http://www.cncplasmabuild.com

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Unread 08-05-2012, 10:04 PM   #2
rescueweasel
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Did not get very far this weekend. Hit some snags when we un crated the frame and found some parts missing. Great customer service got a call back on Sunday from the owner and a fedex tracking number.

Also had a few problems with installing and getting the electronics package working. I though that I was computer tech savvy but this is kicking my butt, I'm sure its something simple. Nothing that a beer and a steak and some sleep cant fix.

Here are some pics for this weekend.

I also put up a quick video showing our old machine that were replacing

http://www.cncplasmabuild.com/videos.html
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Unread 08-08-2012, 01:13 AM   #3
rescueweasel
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The pan was delivered from the fab shop today. Forming 5 x 10 sheets of 1/8 was a little out of my capabilities.

Though I was going to go crazy today chasing my tail trying to get Mach and my controllers set up. Turned out that the serial port header on the Motherboard was bad.

Switched to a USB to serial converter and so far everything is working Great. I have heard horror stories about the usb to serial so not sure if I will keep it or get a pci serial card.

Need to weld in the slat supports and the plumbing connections so I can drain the table.

Got to love all of the bumps in the road on a project like this.
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Unread 08-16-2012, 05:33 PM   #4
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Progress?
I am looking to build a table, but not as large.

Good luck with your P65. I have to turn mine over to technical support to be repaired. It is faulting with 0-99 code, which happens to be a hardware failure code. However, good machine when it works.
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Unread 08-21-2012, 11:47 AM   #5
rescueweasel
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Sorry to hear about your PowerMax65, Hopefully just one of those one in a million flukes. I have had quite a bit of progress just could not post pics for the last week so here are some updates.

I did a bunch of work getting the water pan set. Precision Plasma the manufacture of the table provided plans for fabricating the water table. I modified the plans a little.

I went with 1/8 plate formed into a pan using their dimensions to fit the table. Their plans included an integrated slat holder that was plasma cut in to the plate then a 120 degree bend used to form a lip. No one in my area could plasma cut a sheet over 4 x 8 nor could they bend a 120 bend on top of the 180 bend. So I opted to use their alternate design.

I used 1.5 x 1.5 angle welded along the edge with 3/16 gaps.

They specified 3.5 in 1/8 flat stock for the supports. 3.5 inch flat stock is crazy expensive at almost $40 a stick and i needed 10 for the table. I opted for 2.5 in which was a quarter of the price.

To make this work I added a 1/2 support to raise the slats up off the floor of the pan and help with fluid flow. I also opted to have the slats sit 1/2 below the rim of the pan.

I will fill the table 2.5 inches deep and have 1/2 gap between the fluid and the part being cut. I think this will workout ok but its the first time I have done this so we will see.

Their design did not call for a center support rib but I added one and it made a big difference.

The slats slip in nice and easy but lock in once in place and I do not get any movement.

More updates coming soon!
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Last edited by rescueweasel; 08-21-2012 at 11:49 AM.. Reason: add pictures
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Unread 08-21-2012, 11:53 AM   #6
rescueweasel
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The table is now up and built. I really enjoyed the simplicity of the table build. While I could have built the table myself. Putting together the table in this kit form from Precision Plasma made it really easy.

In less than 2 hours I had a table ready to do. The build quality of their table is first rate.

I have a bunch more photos on the website of the table build.

http://cncplasmabuild.com/
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Unread 08-21-2012, 01:32 PM   #7
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Nice looking setup!

Those angle iron slat holders look kind of like a PITA to do. I just used 3 flat slat holders.. similar to the one you have in the middle. Works fine.

Good idea to have the slats off the floor like that. Not only will it help with water flow, it'll help keep the slats from sitting unevenly on drops.. as the table fills up. We fill up a 4x8 water table with about 3" of crud every 6 months or so... enough to fill a 55gal drum almost full. My son turns it in for scrap prices.
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Unread 08-21-2012, 01:59 PM   #8
rescueweasel
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I thought that the Angle Iron pieces were going to be a PITA also but it was not that bad.

I set up a stop on the saw and cranked them out. Then I made a little jig to weld them up. It went really quick.
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Unread 08-26-2012, 03:46 PM   #9
rescueweasel
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Got a little more done. I got the stepper motors installed and the torch ran through the cable carriers and switched over to the mini machine torch and got rid of the large gear rack collar.

I fabricated up a cart / rack to hold the 55 gallon drums that will be my sump system for the table liquid. Still having a lot of different thought about how that's going to work. I really want to pressurize the barrels to move the fluid up the table and let it drain back but a little worried that the cap is going to pop off and I will loose it all on the floor. It should only take about 5 psi to move the fluid up but we will see.

At least the rack for the barrels is solid and fits perfect between and under the rails so that I can move it out for service and changes in the future. I have a small shop and have almost everything on wheels.

I'm going to start working on a cart that will hold the plasma cutter, computer, and electronics controller unit.

If any one has tried a sump system like this before I would love to hear your thoughts.
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Unread 09-02-2012, 06:18 PM   #10
rescueweasel
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With the help of 5 friends I got the water table lifted into place in the plasma table base. It fit! Very excited about that.

I plan on welding in the drain bungs and plumbing my sump system this week finally.

I made a little progress on the rolling cart that will hold my computer, plasma cutter and my Dragon Cut electronics box and an UPS system. I have to fab up the slide out drawer that will hold the keyboard and mouse and install the gas strut shocks that will raise the lid that will hold the monitor.

I looked at a bunch of other peoples photos of how they set up their electronics and almost settled on using a pre-built rolling tool cart but decided to go fully custom so that this unit would slide under the table when not in use and hold everything in one place.

The idea is to store this under the table and when I go to use it, slide it out from under the table. The lid with the monitor will fold up into a vertical position with the help of some gas struts and it will have a slide out drawer / tray for the keyboard and mouse.

Pull up a rolling stool and I will be all set. I'm big on keeping my wires and cables under control. I hope to make this setup as clean as possible. As soon as I can get everything set and tested I will send it all out to powder coat.

Getting close to being done!!
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Unread 09-08-2012, 12:07 AM   #11
rescueweasel
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Its been tough getting work done on this project lately. 72+ hours a week at the day job does not leave much fabrication time lately.

I did make some progress on my computer cart. I both hate and enjoy the custom fabrication and all the bolt it on try it take it apart and repeat a thousand times.

I got the gas struts installed for the flip up monitor panel. It works great! I have changed struts many times which is easy but figuring out the mounting points and the the load vs the leverage and finding a strut that is not designed for what you want to do and making it work took a bit.

I was going to enclose the cart more and put panels on the sides but I figure that since the norm temp in the shop is about 110 I had better leave is open for some ventilation.

I need to mount the Dragon cut box so that it sits up off the floor and figure out how I want to mount the emergency stop button and it should be ready for powder coat.

I have been dreading the plumbing set up for the tanks and the water pan so I have not done anything with that in a bit. Maybe I will work on that next.

Thanks for all of the ideas and pictures you all have been sending!
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Unread 09-08-2012, 07:33 AM   #12
BESRK
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I think that's the nicest computer station I've ever seen.. slick!
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Unread 09-08-2012, 10:09 AM   #13
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That is sweet!
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Unread 09-08-2012, 10:12 AM   #14
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Oh and I use a similar tank and put upwards of 15-20psi in it at times it has worked great and no caps popping out. It fills my 55 gallon table in about 30 seconds.
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Unread 09-08-2012, 02:32 PM   #15
rescueweasel
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Thanks! I have a little work left. I think once it's powder coated to match the table it will be awesome. I'm thinking of adding some dry erase boards on material on the sides of the monitor for notes. Or maybe just get a really big monitor so it does not look so small on the lid.

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Originally Posted by BESRK View Post
I think that's the nicest computer station I've ever seen.. slick!
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