How to Set Up and Use a PlasmaCAM CNC Plasma Cutter

Picture of How to Set Up and Use a PlasmaCAM CNC Plasma Cutter
This is a simple guide to cutting on a PlasmaCAM cutter and will go through all steps from making a part on the computer to setting up the tool itself.  The PlasmaCAM is similar to other production models and is fairly easy to use once you get the hang of it.  Plasma cutters are nice because they can make many different things, from signs to motor mounts inside combat robots. The plasma cutter is my favorite tool because it is loud, bright, and makes cool stuff.  
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Step 1: Part Design

For your part-to-be-cut, make sure your part has a consistent thickness and will actually fit on your table.  For your part file, make sure it is compatible with your plasma cutter.  For PlasmaCAM, I usually use a .dxf file.  To get this, I take a 3D part file, make a projection from the top in a multi-view file, and then save a copy as a .dxf file, but you can make a .dxf however you want.  Once you have your part file drawn up and ready, save this part to a flash drive.  

Step 2: Table Setup

Once your .dxf (or other file) is on a flash drive, plug this into the computer that is connected to the plasma cutter.  Open up the PlasmaCAM software, initialize the machine, open your flash drive, and file --> import your part.  It should appear on the computer rendition of the table.  Once your machine is initialized and your sheet metal is in the right place, slide your part around on the computer and check where your part is by moving the machine to it.  The machine tip should move on the computer and the machine.  Move your part on the table to where it has room and will be cut all around it without interference or running into another hole in your stock.  Once you have your part positioned, you can cut.
Fission Chips4 months ago

Plasma cutters are really handy for cutting metal! Thanks for sharing this with the community.

useraaaaa2 years ago
i am waiting for instructable "how to wear 2oz golden neck chain"
thebeef2 (author)  useraaaaa2 years ago
Haha If I'm ever making my own chain, the Instructable will be up in a heartbeat
Mrballeng2 years ago
What gage metal are you cutting?
thebeef2 (author)  Mrballeng2 years ago
I was using .05" just for a demo and because I was in a rush so I needed a high feed rate. But it can cut up to about 1" if it was needed.