Plasmacam System Information

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The PlasmaCam Cutting System opens up a world of opportunity to the metal artist to design and manufacture unique structures from artwork that they have created.

In addition to traditional metal signs and artwork, this cutting system allows the vintage hot rod artists to produce custom pieces for the parts that can no longer be found or manufactured. 

PlasmaCam is located in Colorado City, Colorado and has focused all of their business attention on one CNC plasma cutting system. They have built this system from the ground up as a plasma cutting system only. Their cutting system was first engineered in 1994 and quickly became a best seller.

The PlasmaCam system comes with everything needed to begin creating custom artwork, signs, car parts, and other unique metal creations. All you need to provide is the plasma cutter and a Windows-based computer to run the design software. You will also need a hand-held torch.

The plasma cutter that you choose to go with your system, should best suit the needs of your business. This decision will be based on what size thickness that you would like to cut. Virtually all hand-held plasma torches can be mounted to the machine.

PlasmaCam recommends using a Hypertherm brand plasma cutter because of their overall performance. The Hypertherm plasma cutters are considered the most advanced system available. They are known for their precision metal cutting and reliability.

PlasmaCam sells the complete system and because there is no middleman for parts, motors, or software, they are able to sell their systems at wholesale pricing. The efficiency of their manufacturing adds cost effectiveness to the entire unit.

PlasmaCam offers a video demo packet that is beneficial in providing information about the system, a demonstration of the machine, and full specifications, along with cutter and computer recommendations. A full color brochure provides more details.

PlasmaCam Design Edge software ™ creates the designs and directly controls the machine for precision cutting. An optional product is the PlasmaCam Art Discs that contain artist created designs and patterns for use with the cutting system. The designs can be used to create any number of decorative metal work silhouettes using your plasma cutter.

The Design Edge software ™ allows you to work with your own line-art by scanning it in, or to utilize fonts on your system to create custom signs. It will convert any artwork from raster to vector and is scalable. This is the only CNC plasma cutting machine that allows you to work directly with the images that you want to cut. It controls and tracks the machine in real-time.

The Design Edge software ™ has a simple Computer Automated Drawing (CAD) system built-in which enables precise onscreen drawing and the importing of files from other CAD software with a DXF extension. Automated functions allow for lead-ins and offset edges for accurate assembly.

PlasmaCam Cutting System adapts to other tools beside the plasma cutter, including routers, mig welders, markers, and vinyl cutters. It also has Digital Height Control ² ™, which ensures a precise distance from the cutting tip to the metal.

PlasmaCam has an owner’s community and forum to allow for the exchange of photos and ideas, as well as collaboration on projects. Membership to the community is automatic upon registration of your system.


What is a Plasmacam Cutting System?

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Quite simply, the Plasmacam Cutting System is an automated cutting machine tool operated by use of programmed commands derived from encoded abstracts stored as electronic media. This differs from most shop tools that are typically controlled with levers or handwheels or cams. Since the birth of this type of servomechanism, going back to the 1940s and 1950s, they have been developed along with the advances in the technology of the times, including the augmentation of analog, and finally, digital computers. The modern CNC plasma, or “computer numerical control” plasma cutter has singularly revolutionized the processes of at home steel cutting.

The very same qualities that make metal parts durable, strong and resistant to damage are the qualities that make it difficult to manipulate these materials. For this reason, plasma cutters have become the most popular choice in cutting out metal parts. Ideal for cutting metals of greater thicknesses, the plasmacam is preferred over the laser cutter for at home users due to cost, and the ability to cut thick precise parts for under ten thousand dollars. Most CNC Laser cutting machines start at 100,000 dollars and up thus putting them out of reach for most at home shop owners.

The CNC plasma cutter has had some time to develop more refined features that continue to improve performance. A smaller nozzle and a thinned plasma arc have further improved the power delivered to enhance production and mimic laser quality cuts. Once considered a high-end specialty device in workshops, these cutters have now found a useful place in all manner of fabrication, from automobile manufacturing to air conditioning manufacturers to garages, welding shops, locksmiths and more.

As with all mechanisms that bring such powerfully popular and effective innovation, they continue to undergo refinements in their operation as they reach a level of functioning that truly becomes state of the art. Adapting the orientation of the cutting table from horizontal to vertical and going to built-in cutting tables that possess multi-axis cutting ability are innovative improvements that have resulted in safer operation with greater flexibility proving to be more efficient in their operation. Many could not perform the volume and quality of work to which they have become accustomed as a result of having the advantage of using their plasmacam cutting machine.

Going beyond the dazzling visuals of beautiful scroll or detail work that appear as if cut from a laser, the PlasmaCam Cutting System is capable of cutting out any shape that can be adapted and stored in digital format. Highly automated end-to-end component design is achieved in either computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) program applications. These computer generated files are the means by which the CNC plasma cutter is able to follow the commands needed to engage the particular components through a postprocessor, after which, they are loaded into the plasma cutter for production. This high-tech functioning is a complex series of steps from which parts, that are produced through automation, closely match original CAD designs.

When deciding on what equipment to purchase, there are many options available, from new to used. While the idea of being able to get more machine for the money buying used equipment, the wise buyer looks at the potential hidden costs with older machines. Again, technology advances so rapidly, especially where computers are concerned. It is important to examine the elements of the plasma cutter being considered. Over the past 10 years there have been at minimum three variations to the PlasmaCam cutting system – when buying your next machine make sure you compare specifications as each revision to the Plasmacam has increased complexity, and abilities.

Some things to watch out for are as follows:

• Check the CNC control unit on the system – buyers need to educate themselves about the technology of these devices.
• Beware of retrofitted or updated parts – machines that are older than 5 years may pose difficulties in obtaining parts or service
• Check the plasma power source – old plasma may cost less to buy but more to operate than a newer, more advanced unit
• Check the mechanical components – wear items such as bearings, rail systems, drive pinions, and gear rack can take a beating from use. These are all of the elements that provide free moving linear function.
• Invest in professional installation – dealing with such high tech equipment deserves the proper start and training for operators to become proficient to get a quick start with less difficulty

With a PlasmaCam Cutting System, anyone can have their very own private industrial revolution right in their own garage or workshop.


What is a Torchmate CNC Plasma Cutter?

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A Torchmate CNC plasma cutter is a powerful tool that allows industrial artists, engineers, and even just home users to cut precision shapes out of metal. Whether used to create custom automobile or machine parts, durable metal doors, or one-of-a-kind metal art pieces, the Torchmate CNC line of plasma cutters offers users a wide range of customization options combined with the durability and dependability that make Torchmate one of the world leaders in plasma cutters.

CNC Plasma Cutter Information (PlasmaCam/TorchMate/ETC)

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The CNC Plasma Cutter

The plasma cutter is a device that is able to quickly cut through metal surfaces by directing heated gas onto the surface. The cutting implement itself is sometimes called a torch, and it comes in different forms depending on the size and capacity of the cutter. High capacity plasma cutters can be quite large, but cutters can also be so small as to be hand held. The internal components are essentially the same in all plasma cutters. The key components are the electrode which serves as a torch, the electrical arc, the gas that is converted to plasma, and the nozzle through which it finally passes onto the surface to be cut. The gas is generally standard shop gas such as nitrogen, argon, or oxygen.

Plasmacam Exhaust Setup

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Using a plasma cutter produces metal dust and metal dust tends to get all over and is not exactly healthy to inhale.  The solution for a CNC Plasma Cutter (in my case plasmacam) is to setup some type of exhaust system to vent the metal dust away / out of the garage / shop.

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Plasmacam Water Table

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When I first got my plasmacam I wanted to only use a water table to control dust.  I soon found out unless I built the water table perfectly attached to the plasmacam unit so that the water could touch the bottom of the steel plate I was cutting that this would not reduce enough of the metal dust.

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Plasmacam Videos

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I made some quick videos of my CNC Plasma Cutter (PlasmaCam) cutting some 18ga cold rolled mild steel. The video of the plasmacam in action was to show how effective ~5000cfm exhaust system is but it is very hard to see the dust being sucked down due to the bad lighting. I will have to make more plasmacam videos in the future.

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Plasmacam Price

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Plasmacam is becoming a more popular term you read about on off-road forums and fabrication forums. It seems a lot of people are wanting to get into CNC Plasma Cutting. Most but not all of these people do not really fully understand the final price of the plasmacam machine and all the other requirements it has.

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Plasmacam Requirements… money!

4x4 Shop, Plasmacam No Comments »

So the plasmacam is requiring me to spend some more money 🙁 to get it to run safely, longer, and cleaner. (And so that I can make better cuts and live longer!)

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Plasma Cam and Hypertherm 600 Install

4x4 Shop, Plasmacam No Comments »

Well I got my plasmacam all setup in the corner and dialed in. We ran diagnostics on it and made sure everything was working right and reading each other. The plasmacam diagnostics tool is great and makes quick work for checking connections and for fluid movement of the machine.

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