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Standalone Torch Height Controller for CNC Plasma Cutting

Discussion in 'Laser Cutters' started by Retsaj, Oct 7, 2020.

  1. Retsaj

    Retsaj New
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    Retsaj published a new build:

    Read more about this build...
     
  2. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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    Wow Jeramiah great share!:thumbsup: easy build and the bonus is the super cool breakaway torch holder!
    btw what plasma did you settle on for your table and pros and cons with it you could share? Thanks man
     
  3. sharmstr

    sharmstr Master
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    This is AWESOME! I was just yesterday deciding weather I wanted to build a plasma table using the Lead machine or buy the Crossfire Pro. Was leaning towards the crossfire because of the lack of THC with the lead/blackbox setup. Thank you for posting.
     
  4. Retsaj

    Retsaj New
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    Thanks Mark! I hope someone finds it useful. For the table, I choose to go with an Everlast PowerPlasma 102i CNC pkg (~1 Phase 240V) this is the highest end of their PowerPlasma line but any of the PowerPlasmas are a good option in my opinion.

    PROs
    • CNC Run mode
    • Machine Torch option available
    • Pilot Arc NOT high freq starts. (much better for sensitive electronics)
    • Compressed Airline PSI Monitoring
    • CNC Port
    • 50:1 / 16:1 Arc voltage right off the machine no extra circuits to add.
    • Smooth Arc
    • Auto-restart lost arc mode
    CONs
    • Documentation could be a lot better
    • Needs 240v line
    • The loud fan that runs full blast when the machine is powered
    Here is their feature breakdown: https://www.everlastgenerators.com/...rs/files/c401e855e307d3651aaab628a190b4dd.pdf
     
    Mark Carew likes this.
  5. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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    Great break down thank you!
     
  6. mytechno3d

    mytechno3d Veteran
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    Really good job ,
    I will build one to try it on my diy plasma table..
    Thanks for sharing .
     
    Retsaj likes this.
  7. phil from seattle

    phil from seattle Journeyman
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    Interesting build. I have a few questions.

    Is there a sensor that detects torch break-away? So you can turn off the plasma automatically.
    Is there any isolation between the torch and the electronics?

    A suggestion, get a screw terminal Arduino shield and use that rather than friction fit connections in the arduino sockets. Eventually, those pins will work loose.
     
  8. Retsaj

    Retsaj New
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    No sensor sadly, I just stop my machine manually but a sensor is on my list of upgrades.

    Not really sure what you mean by isolate... But raw arc voltage never reaches my electrics only a 50:1 (0-4volts) do... This is a built in feature of my Everlast PowerPlasma 102i cutter.

    Cheaper plasma cutters that use high frequency starts should be avoided do the electronic noise problems.

    Good idea about the screw terminal shield I think I'll incorporate one myself... But for this build I wanted to keep the parts list as cheap as possible.

    Cheers
     
  9. phil from seattle

    phil from seattle Journeyman
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    Lots of electrical spikes can happen in a plasma. I wouldn't rely on just a resistive divider to protect my electronics or me. At the least, I would use a TVS but true galvanic isolation is pretty much standard in professional machines. Probably $5 worth of parts.
     
    Peter Van Der Walt likes this.
  10. Retsaj

    Retsaj New
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    yea, my plasma cutter seems to output a clean signal. I think it has built in isolation but not sure... Ran the machine a few times with the scope on the output and it never got over 5v out when plasma cutting... I know this my situation and not all plasma cutters are alike so YES I COMPLETELY AGREE with you about the need for isolation. When I add the to the design in the future I'll post an update. if you beat me to it please share!

    Cheers!
     
  11. phil from seattle

    phil from seattle Journeyman
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    Glad to hear it. Would hate to hear your project took a hit! You might want to take a look at grblHAL. There is some THC work going there for a plasma CNC.
     

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