Computer numerical control (CNC) has been incorporated into a variety of new technologies and machinery. One type of machine that is utilized with computer numerical control is a CNC plasma cutter.
CNC plasma cutting involves cutting through electrically conductive materials by utilizing an accelerated jet of hot plasma that is directed right at the material being cut. Steel, aluminum, brass, and copper are only a handful of the types of materials that are often cut with this CNC plasma cutting method. However, other types of conductive metals can be cut with a CNC plasma cutter as well.
Where CNC Plasma Cutting is Used
CNC plasma cutters are used in a variety of environments. These include fabrication and welding centers, auto repair and restoration shops, industrial construction sites, and salvage operation sites. Plasma cutting can be utilized in large production facilities or by hobbyists at home, making its application quite varied across the board. CNC plasma cutters have also become reasonably priced, so this is another reason they are found in all environments.
A common CNC plasma cutting machine is a computer-run system that carries a plasma torch. The CNC machine has the ability to move this torch in various directions via the numerical coding that has been programmed into the computer using CNC. There are also handheld plasma cutters, such as plasma CAM machines, but they are generally not equipped with the many precise features of a larger CNC plasma cutting machine. These machines use what is called mechanized cutting. Mechanized plasma cutting machines consist of a straight-barreled torch. This torch typically has an interface that is controlled by CNC.
Example of a CNC Plasma Cutter
Let’s take for example the cutting of a piece of steel. In order to cut specific parts out of this steel plate, the movements of the machine’s torch are specifically controlled by computer numerical control. A program that contains M codes and G codes describes the precise contours of the part, along with the exact timing of the torch so that it is turned on and off at the right times to achieve the desired cut. Part programs are designed by software known as post-processors, which interpret CAD files.
CNC plasma cutters are different from mills, water jet cutters, and other CNC systems due to the use of a torch with extreme heat. They simply offer another production alternative to manipulating some of the most common types of heavy materials. With that said, a CNC plasma cutter may be the best option for aiding in the manufacturing of items you need to produce.