The Choice for a CNC Plasma Cutter

The Choice for a CNC Plasma Cutter

item42Perhaps you are a hobbyist who wants to turn your hobby into a business or a homeowner who finds metal work fun and enjoyable.Or perhaps you are a serious artist who demands more from the metal artwork. If you are thinkingof turning your personal interest into a small business for metal work, then a CNC Plasma Cutter is for you.

The desire to transition may exist, but you hesitate for one reason or another.  It may be prudent to examine your motivation before you finally make your decision for a plasma cutter. The CNC plasma market is growing, and the machine comes with different sizes and capabilities.  Knowing your motivations will help you come up with the best decision for a business that will last and grow.

Why decide in favor of CNC Plasma Cutter 



A CNC plasma cutter is a processing machine that makes use of a plasma torch which moves in the path directed by a computer system.  CNC stands for “Computer Numberical Control” which is what controls the motion of the machine based on numerical codes in the system.

The desire to transition to the CNC plasma cutter may be due a growing impatience for a handheld plasma cutter.  There are four typical reasons for wanting to make a switch and these are: the quality of the cut, the quantity produced, the capacity of the machine, and the complexity of the cut.

When you want more of the machine for quality, quantity, capacity, and complexity, then it is time for you to go ahead with the switch.

A CNC plasma cutting allows a cutting of metal thickness of three inches or more.  There are machines currently in the market that gives precision cutting close to laser cutting.  And, a CNC plasma cutter has a motion control that cuts complex shapes with accuracy and increased throughput.  With this machine, you get more parts per shift and a magnified return on investment

Misconceptions on use of CNC Plasma Cutter

Your hesitation may have been caused by misconceptions you heard from friends and colleagues who are into metal work like yourself.  But, before you get swayed by these misconceptions, knowing the facts may help clarify the doubts and recognize the advantages that a CNC plasma cutter provides.

  • Difficulty in learning and successful use. Many shops consider the use of automated machine an art form that needs years of experience before mastering it. The CNC plasma system may appear complicated due to its components which include a torch height control, motion control, power supply, and the accessories.

 You need not be an expert in these components to be successful with the cutting process.  The components and accessories of a CNC plasma cutter communicate and work together.  All you need to do is choose the material (type and thickness) and load the part program.

  • It takes a long time to realize a return on investment. A CNC plasma cutter is expensive compared to a handheld plasma cutter. It takes time to recover and realize the return on investment.

What you can do is to look at the bigger picture.  The quality you get from an automated machine and the range of material thickness you can use at a fast speed doubles your production rate, which a manual equipment is unable to do.  The quality and range of design you produce may attract clientele to your business.

Tips in selecting your CNC plasma cutter

  • Know your material. Are you using a carbon or stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, or an exotic material or a combination of these materials? The type of material and console you use will account for how much you are willing to spend for the machine.  What is the thickness of your material?  The metal thickness will determine the model that fits your purpose.
  • Size of your work area. You need to know if you have enough space for the machine you want.
  • Power supply. The power supply must be different from your home.  Using a CNC plasma machine requires higher amperage which may cause an overload if you use your home’s power supply.
  • Process tools. Know the process tools you will need as this will help you with deciding on a machine model.  Do you need 1 or 2 plasma stations?  Do you need one oxy-fuel torch or more of them?  The number of process tools you need will require a wider machine.
  • Budget. There are different models of the CNC plasma cutter with different features.  Your budget will determine a good model that is in your financial range.

There are various metal artwork you can do with a CNC plasma cutter, products that cater to your prospective clientele.  And as your clientele grows with the quality artworks you produce, your machine is well equipped to meet this number.  The features the machine have will allow you to enjoy your work while you attend to your business.

If you want to get started, check out this  interesting video on CNC plasma cutting.

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