CNC plasma cutter
|Project CNC plasma cutter|
|Contact||[[Project Contact::Walter, Smeding, Gori, Yotson, Semafoor]]|
After acquiring a plasma cutter at the space, it seemed only logical to try and fabricate a CNC version eventually.
This goal is still a while away for now, but as always, we are full of Ideas and this is a convenient place to put them.
The diagram below shows the proposed system setup.
From left to right:
- design software (like inkscape) is used to design the shape to be cut and to export it as svg.
- job setup software (unknown, but something like visicut) is used to position the shape and convert it to g-code.
- linuxcnc (or possibly grbl) is used to "execute" the g-code through the control hardware.
- the control hardware powers the motors of the cutting table and controls the plasma torch
We're basing this project on an old X-Z traversing unit originally made for measuring air velocity distributions in wind tunnels at a metrology institute. The current motor controllers, however, seem to be made for a fixed speed and it's probably easiest to replace the electronics altogether.
A Z-axis seems required to control the torch height. It won't need to move very far, quickly or precisely, though.
- Decide how to control the machine. There seem to be two basic options: GRBL and LinuxCNC
- Smeding knows a little bit about LinuxCNC and is willing to do some of the work
- Design and build interface/driver hardware for motors and encoders
- Set up a PC that can withstand the general environment of the SparkShack (EMI, humidity, temperature)
- Get basic motion control working so that the machine moves
- Design and build interface hardware for the plasma torch, so it can be turned on and off. Will probably want voltage sensing for torch height control.
- Smeding is willing to help with this, too
- Add a third axis to the machine for torch height control
- Put everything together -- implement the software side of things for torch height control and reading e.g. SVG files