Looking for the cheapest plasma cutter that will work with Mesa THCAD

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13 Jan 2020 04:52 #154737 by calvin.d
I think the title says is tall, I am looking for the cheapest plasma cutter that will work with a Mesa THCAD.

The reason I am looking for something super cheap, is because I am building a scale test system to work out my controller and electronics. So this thing is small 18" x 18" cutting area. I want to use it to work out the bugs and integration issues before I build the larger machine. I want to let people use it as the trainer machine after the larger machine as made.

Is it possible to use something like this ?
www.amazon.com/CUT-50-Inverter-Voltage-C...id=1578890877&sr=8-6

I think I need to figure out how to get the scale arc voltage out of it

alternatively any one know what the cheapest machine with a torch voltage out is ?

I am located in the USA

Thank You
Calvin

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13 Jan 2020 07:34 #154740 by rodw
CNC plasma cutting is not a cheap sport.
At last get one with a blow back torch with a pilot arc. The cheapies are a scratch start so you can't fire them from a CNC controller..
Getting the voltage out of it is not hard at all with a THCAD.
Its covered in the plasma primer in the docs
The following user(s) said Thank You: thefabricator03

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13 Jan 2020 09:00 #154743 by tommylight
The one on the link does not have pilot start, you need one with it for cnc.

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13 Jan 2020 15:18 #154763 by calvin.d
I missed the plasma primer when I started to look at the docs, thank you for point it out

www.amazon.com/CUT-50HF-Non-touch-95-260...%2Caps%2C130&sr=8-11

has a pilot arc

but

www.amazon.com/HeroCut-Blowback-Starting...Z0NsaWNrPXRydWU&th=1

has blowback and arc voltage outputs plus some torch state signals
so I think I may have a winner.

can any one spot anything obviously wrong with this choice ?

Thank You
C

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13 Jan 2020 15:27 #154764 by thefabricator03

calvin.d wrote:
can any one spot anything obviously wrong with this choice ?


Apart from the fact it is not a Hypertherm or Thermal Dyanamics - It should be fine for light cutting but you will need to develop your own cut settings as I could not see anything for that brand.

Also duty cycle of 60% @ 40 amps is not exactly great so I would make allowances for large size parts to be done with some pauses to allow the machine to rest.

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13 Jan 2020 15:33 #154765 by calvin.d
Yep, for the full version of this machine I am going to use a know brand.The initial version will 18" x 18" cutting area and likely never used for anything over 1/4". so I don't thing the duty cycle is an initial issue.

Thank you for taking a look

C

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14 Jan 2020 04:50 #154802 by calvin.d
ok I think this is my last question on this

will I able able to setup Ohmic sensing on this. it looks like there are multiple wire routed down the touch cable, I need a separate wire going to the metal shield (the final metal part that is exposed on the head) and that needs to be isolated from the inner electrode right ?

Thanks for the help on this everyone
C

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14 Jan 2020 08:24 #154805 by rodw
You've got Raw Arc voltage, ArcOK and a torch turn on signal.
You may need to modify the torch wiring to use the torch on signal.
There is probably 2 x 100k resistors on each side of the raw arc voltage. These need to be counted as part of the THCAD scaling resistance. Get the THCAD-10 so you have control.

Normally I would have said you would not be able to do Ohmic sensing unless you had Hypertherm or Thermal Dynamics becasue there is no shield on your torch and there is a big risk introducing arc voltage to your circuit.

But the Hypersensing with a THCAD-5 we worked out in conjunction with PCW from Mesa will most likely solve that problem because is impervious to the arc voltage. It just depends on if there is a dead short to the material when the torch is off to do with the blow back ignition. I don't think it does. You should be able to drill and tap the cup and attach a wire to it.

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15 Jan 2020 03:40 #154886 by calvin.d
ok so THCAD-5 and THCAD-10 for feedback

Interesting, ok I need to get the motion system up and moving over the next 2 weeks, then I am going to start the plasma integration. I'll be coming back to this at that point.

For the cost, if it works it is about half the cost to get started with a test platform, so thanks for taking the question seriously

Calvin

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15 Jan 2020 04:55 #154890 by BlueManRising
I actually am in the middle of building this same setup, took me a good 3 days to finally get my 7i96 Mesa board working (install of Linux 3 times. I got the 55i cutter, (fyi these cutters require a lot of CFM for the air supply) had to get a shop compressor to get 6.8cfm or greater... Build started cheep, now it's definitely up in the price. I'm working on programing the THCAD, since I didn't understand THCAD description, I got the THCAD-300, hoping I didn't shoot myself in the foot and the 7i96 can deal with it... I'll keep you updated, doing some recon tomorrow once the motors are fined tuned to the machine.

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