When it comes to the process of choosing CNC cutting machines, we can say that it is so much more challenging today compared to how it was 10 years ago. Those were the days when there were just fewer systems available, making them a bit more expensive.
In the year 2000, a good number of progressive manufacturers were able to develop a low-cost system of CNC plasma cutters that are capable of running off of a computer.
Software and hardware developers made a significant amount of contributions with affordable, new and easy-to-use products. By 2004, it felt like a chore and a challenge for any first-time buyer to figure out on his own the increasingly wide spectrum of new models and prices on the market.
Knowing exactly what your available options are in as far as the different CNC plasma cutters there are for your picking, and what they could actually deliver will help you in making the right decision and investment.
CNC cutting machines earned its reputation as a reliable alternative to traditional cutting methods but that would not have been possible without the programming applications that are used to run them.
CNC plasma machining is a process of cutting metal or different kinds of steel with varying level of thickness with the use of a torch. This is comprised of air or gas which you can ignite with the help of an electrical art, eventually creating plasma.
How CNC Cutting Machines Really Work?
Once the plasma is produced, it will be blown through a nozzle. The plasma itself is scorching hot, so hot that it can melt metal away. Originally, CNC plasma machining was developed in the 1980s but plasma welding actually came 2 decades earlier, it came about in the 1960s.
Later on, the CNC controllers came about and were integrated into the system in the mid-1980s. Going forward to the 90s and beyond, it was further refined as a CNC technology. Generally speaking, CNC plasma can be best described as a 2 axis process.
But since CAD-CAM software technology is giving multi-axis CNC programming, post-processing today offers full mult-iaxis CNC machining solution and these are intended for the 4&5 axis CNC cutting machines.
CAD-CAM technology will let a user make a pattern or draw out a 2D wireframe geometry. Another option to do so it import it in a DXF file format. The software application’s CAM side of things will provide you with simple 2 axis profile refining capabilities which can be made as a Toolpath to post to a CNC machine cutter.
The CAD-CAM software application allows for the creation of multiple profile shapes which can be machined under one program and can be carried out by simply turning on the torch and turning it off again between toolpaths or more.
CAD-CAM application software gives the machinist a mechanism for importing shapes. He may eventually program them with the help profile toolpath cutting features.
The bulk of the work will usually take place in the post-processing part since different CNC cutting machine controller would require different G-code variation commands.
With this case, the M-code is expected to directly take care of the CNC plasma machining. There are homemade plasma machines that can take on different post processor configurations.