An Introduction to the CNC Plasma Cutter Machine

A CNC Plasma Cutter Machine can cut steel and a variety of other metals regardless of their thickness. These machines use a plasma torch that uses either inert gas or compressed air and an electrical arc that turns the gas into plasma. This plasma burns hot enough to not only melt through the metal but will also blow away any debris and molten metal away from the cut. This type of tool can be used for several other applications; but this is its primary focus. The following will go into greater detail in how these machines work and what applications they are used in.

A CNC Plasma Cutter Machine uses computer controlled machinery and is often built right into a table for optimum convenience. Because they use a computer to guide the torch, they are capable of cutting on a multi-axis and through thick material that would otherwise be impossible. This device is usually only for thicker materials since laser cutters have replaced their use on thinner materials. Being able to program the desired cuts into a computer and have it automatically do the work makes things a lot easier.

There any many new techniques and devices available as certain technological breakthroughs have made them more safe, efficient, ergonomic, and environmentally friendly. New CNC Plasma Cutter Machine models feature a smaller nozzle and a thinner arc of plasma so edges are more clean cut and accurate. This results in parts that rarely need additional finishing work. Also, as they have traditionally only been used horizontally, there are now vertical tables available.

CNC Plasma Cutter Machine
CNC Plasma Cutter Machine

The CNC Plasma Cutter Machine typically requires more than 2 kilowatts worth of power, so it requires a heavy mains frequency transformer. The devices rectify the mains supply to DC which goes through a transistor inverter between 10 kHz to roughly 200 kHz. The higher the switching frequency, the more efficient the transformer will be. More efficient transformers can afford to be smaller in size and weight which is an additional benefit. Although the MOSFET transistor was once preferred, these days it is much more common for these devices to use IGBTs.

Because of the large price tag that the CNC Plasma Cutter Machine once possessed, they were rarely used for home use and DIY projects as only professionals could afford them. Thankfully, due to the increase in technology breakthroughs they are becoming more affordable each day. Newer machines are also a lot lighter thanks to inverter technology, so transporting them is a breeze. However, one of the downsides of these inverter models is that they cannot be run from a generator. Thankfully, there are newer models that have the internal circuitry necessary for running on light power generators, just as long as they do not have power factor correction.