Also consider rolling surfaces. Sealed ways keep out more dust and grit, but they can't keep out all of the inevitable plasma dust Eventually the dust will mix with the oil and create a gritty sludge that will chew up the parts. Because it's sealed, you'll have to replace the entire component. Unsealed parts, however, are much simpler.
M E TA L C U T T I N G WHAT YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE BUYING A PLASMA CUTTING SYSTEM BUYING A CNC MACHINE IS NOT AS EASY AS RUNNING DOWN TO THE HARDWARE STORE AND PICKING ONE UP. ANSWERING THESE QUESTIONS WILL HELP MAKE YOUR BUYING DECISION EASIER AND SAVE CONSIDERABLE TIME AND EXPENSE. By Megan McNew M ore and more shop owners are deciding that CNC plas- ma-cutting tables are great additions to their shops. The computer-controlled robotic arm can guide the plasma torch over the surface of the work to create intricate and complex cutting patterns. With the ability to cut so precisely, the money-making possibilities are MATERIALS endless; create metal art for sale at trade shows and art galleries; You'll want to check on the quality of materials used in construction create complex HVAC ductwork with ease; create a prototype of a of the frame. Is it steel? Aluminum? Something else? Steel is stronger concept part; create one-off or hard to find mechanical parts. than aluminum, of course, so the steel machines will require less mate- But buying a CNC machine is not as easy as running down to rial and will be lighter, but will have the appearance of flimsiness. the hardware store and picking one up. You’ll want to consider a Aluminum machines will be bulkier, but will have the appearance few questions to help make your buying decision easier. With care- of strength. Machines made of either material will have more than ful research beforehand you can save yourself and your company enough strength for even the biggest jobs. considerable time and expense. DESIGN MACHINE QUALITY You'll want to check on the quality of the table design. So many fac- First and foremost, the number one thing to make sure of is that you're tors can affect the performance of the table, and the slightest variation getting a high quality machine. CNC plasma cutting tables (no matter in even the smallest factor can alter table performance. For example, the manufacturer) are expensive. Do your homework beforehand and if the gantry (the big heavy bar that slides up and down the length of make sure you're getting the highest quality your budget will allow. the table) is too heavy, it makes the torch difficult to control with high speed and accuracy. A light-weight gantry, on the other hand, can produce amazingly accurate results at high speeds. Also consider rolling surfaces. Sealed ways keep out more dust and grit, but they can't keep out all of the inevitable plasma dust Eventually the dust will mix with the oil and create a gritty sludge that will chew up the parts. Because it's sealed, you'll have to replace the entire component. Unsealed parts, however, are much simpler. An unsealed roller on a simple way can be wiped completely clean in a second, and should a part need to be replaced, it can be accessed without replacing the entire component. MOTORS What sort of motors control the torch? Servo motors are widely recognized
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