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  #1  
Old Tue 26 October 2010, 04:53
Brain
Just call me: Branko
 
Lipik
Croatia
Send a message via Skype™ to Brain
Mechmate Plasma Cutter - Lipik, Croatia

Greetings people,

my friend made me aware of this forum. Im from croatia, and i got my own company specialized in welding and steel constructions.

We (my friend and I ) decided to build one for my workshop. My first idea was to buy one of those http://www.metal-media.net/proizvodi...1275040758.pdf but reading this forum makes the above linked look like a toy. We at our workshop are cutting our parts manually, although with a plasma cutter, but anybody ho ever did cut manually knows what a pain in the ass it is to find out that after the cutting you get pieces that arent 100% the same in size and shape, espacialy if the cutting process was only the beginning of the operation on a piece of steel.

So as i said i own a plasma cutter, it is an ESAB POWERCUT 1500 ( http://products.esabna.com/index.php...ercut_1500.pdf ) , it was shiped to me with a mechanized torch, but i bought the manual one afterwards. The machine is a compact one that can work manually and under cnc controls.

Before starting anything i thought it would be best to introduce myself and to see if anybody did use the same plasma on a mechmate. Also in my opinion, the best size for a table would be 1,5 m × 6m , because this is the top limit of plates that i usualy order for my workshop.

I did not dig in deep enough into the forum to say anything else about my vision, but i would apreciate it if people with the same specs as above mentioned say a few words about my idea.

So for now thats all i can say, im gonna dive into the deep waters of this forum so i dont spam it with posts that already are answered.

Thanx in advance for any help that im gonna get in the future ;-)
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  #2  
Old Tue 26 October 2010, 05:00
fanefane
Just call me: Stefan #73
 
Baia Mare
Romania
Welcome to the group Brain !
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  #3  
Old Tue 26 October 2010, 05:44
danilom
Just call me: Danilo #64
 
Novi Sad
Serbia
Pogledaj ovde !

http://www.mechmate.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2525

Pozdrav
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  #4  
Old Tue 26 October 2010, 08:53
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
Welcome !
Digging this forum is the best thing to start with.
Happy learning & building!
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  #5  
Old Thu 28 October 2010, 01:33
Brain
Just call me: Branko
 
Lipik
Croatia
Send a message via Skype™ to Brain
Well after doing some research i came to the conclusion that a table with the length of 6 m is not the best solution. The reason is simple, putting a plate of 6 m on a table turns out to be quiet challenging.. The thinner plates bend when on a forklifter, the thicker ones too, but the main reason is the available height inside my workshop, which is 4 m, if i take that my table is about 1 m from the ground, and a steel plates bends over the forks of my forklifter, i have to lift it approx. 3 m from the ground to lift the overbended ends of the plate to 1 m, but then the telescope of my forklifter is already at 4,5 m so i cant move inside the workshop... Also if i cut my plates by hand down to the size of 1,5 m * 3m it will be easier for me to manuver inside my workshop and to position the plate onto the table...

Anyway, as far as i have read the forums the table of the mechmate can be modified regarding strenght of the construction, so i think im going to make it a little bit stronger , in case i need to cut thicker materials, 20 mm and above...

Did anyone try to apply an autogencutter on the z axis, or does anybody know if it is possible to make a dualhead cutter , plasma for up to 20 mm thicknes autogen for thicker materials?? Although i had just a few jobs in the last 7 years where the cutting of sheets with greater thickness then 20 mm was needed, i think it would be good to have it prepared , you never know what the future brings..

Thats it for now, thanks for the warm greetings to everyone

Im gonna go back and research a little bit more
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  #6  
Old Fri 29 October 2010, 06:18
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
Surely you can have all the flexibilities that you desire.
Life had though me that if you have an All-In-One machine, then it must compromise in every aspect so it will never work best in every aspects, just like a jack-of-all-trade...
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  #7  
Old Thu 20 January 2011, 14:43
Brain
Just call me: Branko
 
Lipik
Croatia
Send a message via Skype™ to Brain
Well after a lot of learning, watching, and reading i can now say that i am more or less confident about how the mechmate works.

A friend of my teamed up with me and he is going to do the electronics, the material for the base table is already in my workshop, and i can say that i got all my profiles pretty straight from my supplier.

My plan is to start working on the base table this weekend and I guess that i came up with the base table drawing a little bit late, but you know what they say; better late than never. I would appreciate it if you guys take a closer look at my drawing and comment it, every critic is welcome, as well as every advice i can get.

I think i covered the whole description inside the PDF, but im going to do it once more on the forum.

So the starting point of my table was the weight of the thickest material i can cut with my plasma source. The formula is simple. 1 m2 of 1mm thick sheet metal weights 8 kg. My router will cut 4 × 2 m, thats 8 m2. 8m2 × 8kg/m2 is 64 kg × 20 mm thickness equals 1280 kg. So the table has to be structural strong and carry the weight of the material it cuts, the water inside the pool and the gentry with all the mechanics. Im not sure about the leveling screws im going to use at the legs of my table but i guess a m 18 screw in every leg will get the job done.

To determine the absolute length and width of the table i did the math shown in the original mechmate drawings.

The highest point of my pool is the lowest point of my main beam C 180 (UNP 180). Im going to tack the walls of the pool to the lower radius of the main beam. The pool is also going to be tacked to the 80 mm c beams (UNP 80).

Well i think i have covered it all, the drawing is going to speak for itself.

Please comment and if you guys think i got to change something please tell me, i think the worst thing i can make is to screw up the base table.

Greetings from snowy Croatia ;-)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf mechmate base table-Model.pdf (75.1 KB, 417 views)
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  #8  
Old Thu 20 January 2011, 22:59
Alan_c
Just call me: Alan (#11)
 
Cape Town (Western Cape)
South Africa
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Hi Branko

Dont know much about plasma tables, but the one thing that stands out for me are the cross bearers under the bath (UNP80) these should be mounted vertically not flat - better load carrying.
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  #9  
Old Tue 25 January 2011, 13:59
Khanid
Just call me: Khanid
 
Lipik
Croatia
Hello everyone,

I’m the second part of Brains "We" team . Well, after a few months debate, going through these forums and deciding what our MM should look like we made a final conclusion. Brain wants a "big" MM, I guess he is compensating for something! :P

He is the construction and metal works guy and so I’m left with electronics.

Our build should look like this:

1. Long discussion was about the steppers we should use because of heavier gantry. I wanted to use ungeared maybe even smaller steppers to cut the price because we only need to move torch without any material resistance, but going through the forums I realized additionally to heavier gantry we will not have enough speed to cut thin sheets that plasma requires, somewhere around 5000-5500 mm/min. Decision is made to order Oriental Motor PK296AE-SG3,6 with Module 1, 24 teethes that should give us enough speed looking that this motor and its gearbox has limit of 500 rpm, which should give maximum linear speed of 10500 mm/min (7,2 gearbox has 250 rpm permissible speed).

2. The plasma torch has an output we can connect THC to and we have decided to use THC 301b digital torch height control from www.texasmicrocircuits.com. We have ESABs PowerCut 1500 Plasma torch with available outputs for arc on, arc ok signal and voltage divider. We are considering to connect THC directly to our Z axis Gecko because of lets say faster response for adjusting plasma arc. (if you look at specification of THC 301b it will be more clear, not to go too deep in here).
We decided to get Sheetcam because we discussed in the past months what are the main issues with plasma cutting like kerf and clockwise-counterclockwise cutting, cutting holes and not starting at the perimeter and when we found out about sheetcam it seems it covers all of these issues.

3. Our control box should implement:

- custom made torodial transformer 220V/29V ( our power grid can go from 215 to 230V so we should work in area around 40 VDC and our motors require 39VDC (1,5mH half coil).

- power prep module (rectifier) will be PMDX-135-8020 ( we will use 80V model because, well it can’t hurt, no matter we only need 40VDC).

- our BoB will be PMDX-126 together with motherboard PMDX-134 for ease of wiring. We wanted to use combo PMDX-132 but when we decided to use NPN proxies, Steve from PMDX suggested we use PMDX-126 because of its 12VDC output that we can use to connect proxies directly to BoB without the need of relay board. Still as we are using plasma and we might run into RF issues and long cables that run from proxies to BoB, relay board will maybe be required but we will try first this way.

- we decided on stepper driver Gecko 203V, not much to talk about this I guess.

- if we come in need of some extra DC power and our torrodial has only one tap we will just use some old PC power box.

- for e-chains and shielded wiring we will get everything from IGUS
- We will make our own 2 meter copper tube and “stick” it deep into ground close to our MM location and ground everything with its own cable to it.

- also we will use RF chokes to remove any escaped RF noise. I guess you can realize by now we are really concerned about RF!

Well, this is a long post already, if I forgot something, and if we decide to change something “again” we will update. We would appreciate all the comments you have and also hope it will help someone who is planning to build his own MM Plasma.

Ivan
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  #10  
Old Thu 03 February 2011, 13:18
Khanid
Just call me: Khanid
 
Lipik
Croatia
Updates as promised!

1. Changed from PMDX-134 motherboard to 2x PMDX-133, will give us room for 4th axis in future and maybe making a back to back spider and adding a spindle on it.

Order is placed and shipped, Steve was of great help and everything went smooth.

2. After asking Richards for some advice on our stepper selection he shared our worries about the torque we will have when running at high speeds and our acceleration ramps. Problem with plasma is we need very short acc. ramps so our cuts are smooth. If we accelerate /decelerate to long it will make our cut wider then when it accelerates to optimum speed that is set depending on sheet thickness and material (plasma people are aware of this).
Mike suggested when he looked at our geared steppers and their torque/speed graph and that we might not have enough torque to give short acc. ramps and that we should consider using belt drive instead of gear box. Now we are not sure will this be the case with not having enough torque but still we don’t want to risk so we decided to go with his suggestion.

He suggested PK296-F4.5A steppers that are electrically the same as our first choice geared steppers so our power supply and everything concerned will stay the same. In the end we will make a 3:1 belt drive for our X and Y steppers and go direct drive on Z axis using PK296-F4.5A.

This way at 10.000 mm/min and 1200 rpms we will have almost 2,5 N/m torque (30% less if we go half coil) and amazingly it’s the torque that our first choice steppers had when at halt and when we run them at 10.000 mm/min and 500 rpms (OM limit) they only have 0.5 N/m torque.

Additionally PK296-F4.5A are almost half the price of PK296A2A-SG3.6.

3. We got in contact with Randy from texasmicrocircuits and ordered our THC from him. Order would be shipped if the “damn” blizzard got out of the way, I mean its Texas!

Anyway, we talked about having a floating head so we don’t have to manually zero when changing material thickness. Floating head was a new concept for us and it seemed great although not so cheap to incorporate even if it’s very simple. We were worried about denting thin sheets and messing with our pierce height and this can cause all kind of problems with plasma.

Then today we learned about ohmic sensing, lets say its principle is the same as touch plate ppl use here on routers. Difference is only that we need to be careful to avoid high voltages ( our plasma torch has its “crown” isolated from electrode) getting to our BoB but a solid state relay should isolate our BoB from it. We are waiting for Randy to give comment on this and then we will decide.

I hope people on this forum will find this interesting as it is for us because it is a little different concept than routers and we learn new things literally every day.
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  #11  
Old Mon 14 February 2011, 07:08
Brain
Just call me: Branko
 
Lipik
Croatia
Send a message via Skype™ to Brain
Greetings folks,

so the build has started...

Last week we did some cutting, and drilling, basicly we cut the legs of my future base table and some other little parts. 3 hours of work total for this stuff.

Tomorrow we will continue.

The electronics are in croatia but got stuck at the customs ( i guess they are calculating how much they will ripp me of ;-) ).

I changed the design of the table a little bit, so the last uploaded drawing is not accurate any more, im gonna upload the new drawing tonight.

I guess theres no stopping now ;-)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1.jpg (54.7 KB, 1989 views)
File Type: jpg 2.jpg (53.0 KB, 1987 views)
File Type: jpg 3.jpg (53.3 KB, 1996 views)
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  #12  
Old Tue 15 February 2011, 08:54
manosgr
Just call me: manosgr
 
athens
Greece
hey guys.. im new here... do you know where to find some aqurate plans.. because i would like to build one for my busyness.. furnitures doors clostes .. i would be very happy if you could help
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  #13  
Old Tue 15 February 2011, 09:26
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Brain,
Is it the angle of the photo, or is your main 8" C Channel beams cut on an angle across the short axis? The plans call for the angle cut on the 8" face. Or are you doing something different?

best,
Sean
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  #14  
Old Tue 15 February 2011, 10:01
Brain
Just call me: Branko
 
Lipik
Croatia
Send a message via Skype™ to Brain
Hey Sean,

as i said, the plans changed a little bit, im right now at the workshop, so if i dont stay to late i will upload some more pics....

And the new plan ;-)
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  #15  
Old Wed 16 February 2011, 07:35
Brain
Just call me: Branko
 
Lipik
Croatia
Send a message via Skype™ to Brain
No internet at home, so i couldnt upload last night...

We did a lot of work yesterday, and as if i may mention quality work... so here are the pics....

We welded some M16 nuts on the bottom plate of our legs, turned them inside the tube and welded the bottom plates to the future legs of the table...

Cleaned all the U80 profiles, and welded the basic frame of my future table...

doesnt look much but i think we did a great job on here....

Plans in the next post, gotta go home, work is over for today...

I was thinking yesterday, can the mechmate machine stone, like tombstones???

Any experiences?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 009.jpg (32.4 KB, 1926 views)
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File Type: jpg 011.jpg (33.5 KB, 1904 views)
File Type: jpg 017.jpg (63.9 KB, 1918 views)
File Type: jpg 025.jpg (54.1 KB, 1917 views)
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  #16  
Old Wed 16 February 2011, 07:48
Brain
Just call me: Branko
 
Lipik
Croatia
Send a message via Skype™ to Brain
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khanid View Post
Updates as promised!

1. Changed from PMDX-134 motherboard to 2x PMDX-133, will give us room for 4th axis in future and maybe making a back to back spider and adding a spindle on it.
The metal dust in my workshop got your head dizzy mate, or maybe you are dreaming out loud.... But there will be no back to back spider ;-) Lets better get this beast done and if we succeed you can buy me a beer and begin the talks about our next project...
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  #17  
Old Wed 16 February 2011, 14:01
randyray
Just call me: randyray
 
Bedford,TX
United States of America
Some comments....

Hi Guys,
I hope it is not my electronics that are stuck in customs for you.
Let me know when they come.

I received a prototype from Bob Wallace (a long time client) who has a method for sensing without the floating head and he uses it underwater.....sounds great.

I have not had time to test it out yet, but am looking forward to it and if it works as he says (and I have no reason not to believe him), I will make a pcb kit and sell it on my website. It will certainly be cheaper than a floating head, which is the norm these days.

Project looks to be coming along nicely and photos help a lot.
I'll get back to you as soon as I see how this new prototype works out.
Randy
Texas MicroCircuits.

PS....and yes, this damn ice storm has passed and we are in 75 degree (F) weather for a few days.
RR
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  #18  
Old Wed 16 February 2011, 15:44
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
Randy - Welcome to the MechMate forum !!! As you guys can see Randy is THE man at Texas MicroCircuits.

I sent you a PM .
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  #19  
Old Thu 17 February 2011, 00:51
Khanid
Just call me: Khanid
 
Lipik
Croatia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brain View Post
The metal dust in my workshop got your head dizzy mate, or maybe you are dreaming out loud.... But there will be no back to back spider ;-) Lets better get this beast done and if we succeed you can buy me a beer and begin the talks about our next project...
Another spider or not, im the one working here for free so i think its you who is buying a beer!

@Randy

Its not your electronics that are stuck on customs, but give it time, they will be! Looking forward to see this "sensing" also, we are still miles from getting to assembling our electronics so we might be able to incorporate it in our machine.
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  #20  
Old Mon 21 February 2011, 00:58
Khanid
Just call me: Khanid
 
Lipik
Croatia
Some updates, table legs and PMDX parts arrived!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0025.jpg (52.3 KB, 1803 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0026.jpg (44.0 KB, 1802 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0027.jpg (43.5 KB, 1798 views)
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  #21  
Old Thu 24 February 2011, 12:15
Khanid
Just call me: Khanid
 
Lipik
Croatia
Laser cut parts arrived!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg fotografija.JPG (93.3 KB, 1714 views)
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  #22  
Old Thu 24 February 2011, 12:53
Brain
Just call me: Branko
 
Lipik
Croatia
Send a message via Skype™ to Brain
As my mate said, the lasercut parts arrived and i got them cheap, the set costed me 227 €, tax not included, and i am really satisfied with the quality, i got no distortion on the spider, the only thing they could not do were the two small bends on the spider.... The THC arrived also at the customs and im gonna get it next week. The temperature dropped below zero here in croatia so there is no real progress on the build but as soon it gets a little bit warmer we will continue.

Greetings from Croatia ;-)
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  #23  
Old Fri 04 March 2011, 04:14
Brain
Just call me: Branko
 
Lipik
Croatia
Send a message via Skype™ to Brain
THC arrived...
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File Type: jpg 015 [640x480].JPG (86.7 KB, 1583 views)
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  #24  
Old Fri 04 March 2011, 05:56
Brain
Just call me: Branko
 
Lipik
Croatia
Send a message via Skype™ to Brain
Now thats a friday... Beside the THC that i picked up this morning, my stepper motors and my gear racks and my gears arrived... All lookin sexy as hell...

plus i got a little contract to make some 250 of those aluminium chairs and 70 of these tables you can see in the background in the next 3 weeks...

Thats what i call a great end of a week ;-)

Some pics below
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File Type: jpg 020 [640x480].JPG (44.5 KB, 1561 views)
File Type: jpg 021 [640x480].JPG (61.5 KB, 1559 views)
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  #25  
Old Fri 04 March 2011, 12:32
Khanid
Just call me: Khanid
 
Lipik
Croatia
We did a fast setup, wired one stepper, everything went smooth! No smoke, just one stepper turning hapilly!
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  #26  
Old Sat 05 March 2011, 04:23
ecki
Just call me: ecki
 
gabs
Botswana
cant wait till you reach trouble shooting stage eq grounding, hf trouble etc. thats where i got stuck with our second MM build since month as plasma cnc this time...

greetings ecki
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  #27  
Old Sat 05 March 2011, 05:07
Brain
Just call me: Branko
 
Lipik
Croatia
Send a message via Skype™ to Brain
@ecki
Did you solve the problem or are you still stuck????
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  #28  
Old Sat 05 March 2011, 06:37
isladelobos
Just call me: Ros
 
Canary Islands
Spain
Send a message via MSN to isladelobos Send a message via Yahoo to isladelobos
Nice project.

I'm interest in your thin sheets cut results with this gantry.

Use the half coil in the motors?
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  #29  
Old Sat 05 March 2011, 08:16
ecki
Just call me: ecki
 
gabs
Botswana
still stuck as it not for income generation like first wood MM. got screened cable now (wood MM is working perfect on unscreened) and working on re-wiring and grounding...

is your plasma hf or pilot start? maybe chinese hf is just crap.
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  #30  
Old Mon 07 March 2011, 03:46
Khanid
Just call me: Khanid
 
Lipik
Croatia
@Ros

For now we have wired our stppers half coil, not testing much for now, we still havent got our resistors to limit current on Geckos and we dont want to burn the motors.

@ Ecki. Yes our plasma is HF start, its Esab's Powercut 1500, top of the line in its segment. As for how are we going to solve RF issues its all described in earlier posts.
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