Hello From College Student Hopeful, Looking for Advice!

Hi all, I have been researching and trying to learn as much as possible about CNC plasma tables as my experience using it during my fab class really sparked my interest and imagination. Currently, I’m a broke (hopefully that will change soon) college student in South Arizona. My end goal would to be build a shop in Mexico, I live in the border, attached from my house. Now, my question to all of you would be this: how much capital would I need to acquire the very bare minimum? I plan to start very small and work my way up. I know I need the plasma table, cutter, and air compressor. I am going to be financing the Crossfire Pro once I start working after finishing my welding degree this May but the other parts get a little muddy parts for me. Once again, I’ll ask my question: how much money should I save/expect to spend in order to get a small side hustle going?
Thank you all for your time, I’m very excited to be a part of this forum.

Welcome, I don’t run a business right now, I’m an artist, and just got a crossfire, but I can give you a start. A lot depends on what you want to do.

Besides the table you’ll need the Plasma cutter ($1000-2500), plus $100 of consumables to start. A compressor, 10cfm minimum ($700ish). Put aside $2-300 for DIY air drying, air line, regulators etc. A computer to run the table on - I got a cheap new one from amazon for $250 but anything windows 10 and newer will work. So that’s the table plus about $2500. And don’t forget sheet metal…

In addition, I realized I’m going to need a bending brake and rolling mill. I’m researching that now, but a lot depends on the size of pieces you re going to do. From 600 for cheap Chinese 24" combo to several thousand for two individual machines. Look used if you have the time and energy (and as a youngster, I’m sure you do). I find myself reaching regularly in these first few projects to a welder and angle grinders (I have 2 and should have 3). So on the big ticket items figure 700-2000 more for some sheet metal equipment.

Since you’re getting a welding degree, I assume you have the welder you want covered. I’m enjoying my new TIG welder with sheet metal.

Take that as a start.

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Built a system from scratch. I had nothing to start with.
Here is a list of what I did.
• Compresor
• After Cooler/Water Seperator between Pump and Tank
• All Copper/Brass Air Lines
• Another water separator/regulator, oil separator, desiccant filter, Motorgard filter
• Air Hose/Connectors

CNC Table (all from Langmuir)
• Crossfire Pro
• Torch Height Control
• CPC Cable
• Machine Torch Mount
• Shipping
• Tax

• Cheap laptop (runs CNC table)
• Gaming Computer (CAD)
• SSD Hard Drive
• Monitor

• Service Panel Upgrade
• City Permit
• 2 each 220v circuits (compressor & plasma cuter)

Plasma cutter
• Power supply with torch
• Consumables

• Fusion 360 – free (includes CAM)
• Inkscape – Free
• I have yet to buy Sheetcam or any other software

• Some I had
• Some I bought
• Some I need
• Some I’ll never have

• Thank you gifts for demo/friend’s help
• Sound/ventilation booth with lighting
• Remodel Shop to fit (move sink, shelving)
• Small shed out back for items I no longer have room for


Nicely laid out. I forgot the electrical. Installed myself, but a couple/three hundred in materials.

Indeed, count the cost before you pull the trigger.

I first caught the bug reading an add in popular mech. Assumed it was just the cost of the table. Investigated other tables. Found out I needed a plasma cutter. Then found out I needed a decent air compressor…
Long story short(ish) what I started thinking was going to be a few thousand was much much more.

Still, happy to have it as my second act in a few years.