CAM for plasma

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21 Sep 2011 11:16 #13339 by austin.mn
CAM for plasma was created by austin.mn
I have noticed there are several 2D and 3D cam programs being developed for use with Ubuntu and EMC2. Without having to download them all and try them out does anyone know of any that would be good for use with a plasma table. Specifically I am looking to have the ability to edit the post processor to suit my needs and have control of lead in and over-cut (cutting past the start point). I would also like the ability to do a round of piercing, then swap consumables for some fresh ones and then proceed with cutting the parts. It's not a big deal on thinner materials, but the thick stuff really chews up the consumables. If I could use some junk tips for the pierces and then go back and cut the parts out afterward I think that the consumables would last quite a bit longer. On the big torch we use at the shop the boss said it costs $50 every time we swap them out.

Any ideas for a cam program that will do that would be greatly appreciated. It would really be nice to have something on the plasma table computer for creating simple parts on the fly. At the moment, I am still running over to the windows machine to do even the simplest of tasks.

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21 Sep 2011 11:44 #13340 by BigJohnT
Replied by BigJohnT on topic CAM for plasma
For simple tasks like squares, circles, boxes etc. I would use ngcgui. I have it set up on my plasma but have not had the time to write the subroutines... but I need to write one today actually to cut some tube end covers. I've used plasmacam in the past and it is ok. Seems like commercial software programmers get bored and try and put so many features that you can't find the basic plasma cutting... I've not seen any open source plasma software, do you know of some to try?

John

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21 Sep 2011 20:52 #13342 by austin.mn
Replied by austin.mn on topic CAM for plasma
Looks like ngcgui will be handy to use once I get the hang of it.

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21 Sep 2011 22:07 #13343 by andypugh
Replied by andypugh on topic CAM for plasma
austin.mn wrote:

I have noticed there are several 2D and 3D cam programs being developed for use with Ubuntu and EMC2. Without having to download them all and try them out does anyone know of any that would be good for use with a plasma table.

Sheetcam is aimed at the Plasma market, and is fairly inexpensive.
The author is fairly active around EMC2 too.
I have used it for 2.5D milling with good results, too.

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22 Sep 2011 01:13 #13347 by austin.mn
Replied by austin.mn on topic CAM for plasma
I will look at sheetcam a little farther. Maybe he has an idea for the post processor that will allow me to do a round of hole piercing with out doing the rest of the cutting. So I would just end up with two gcode files for a part as apposed to trying to make it all happen in one file.

I will see if there is a manual available for download, it may be something simple enough that i can create the post processor myself.

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22 Sep 2011 21:31 #13370 by BigJohnT
Replied by BigJohnT on topic CAM for plasma
There is an EMC post processor that I wrote that is included with plasmacam, I'd think you would just make the holes on a different layer and your good to go.

John

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