Hypertherm 45XP and piercing/cutting 5/8" plate

Hey all,
According to the Hypertherm cut charts, 5/8" is recommended for edge starts.
But I am curious if anyone has had success with pierces and what settings.

I am trying to cut 3/4" holes to avoid drilling (non critical hole dimensions)

The hole cuts are “ok” at 12ipm and 1.75 pierce delay, however I am getting dross on the topside, which has caused the tip to hit the dross, etc.

Currently only tried with THC as I was hoping would detect/adjust torch height so no crash into dross, etc.

I haven’t spent much time trying to cut much over 3/8" (which works great, no issues), so hoping someone can point me in right directions to try as I do not have a lot of extra stock to play with and waste on experiments that are not worthwhile.

I know I am probably pushing the envelope, as indicated by the cut charts…

Cheers and thanks !

I would say it is doable. You may want to go through and pierce each hole then clean off the slag then run the program.


@Phillipw - how would I do that? just a separate program to run first for pierces ? never done that before

I thought about drilling 1/8" holes - to assist pierce but save me drilling those big holes

find on the visualizer the start for each pierce point do a start from here then pause it after the pierce then choose your next pierce point.

you could also use old consumables to pierce then use good ones to cut.

I would do this.

I use sheetcam so I’ll explain it according to sheetcam.

I’d modify the design file to have a 1/4 inch hole centered inside the 3/4.

Make the 1/4 inch holes the first operation, and the 3/4 separate. After the 1/4 holes cut, pause the clean the spatter and resume.

Make sure the 3/4 inch holes are set to start from the middle with the lead in. That way it will simulate an edge start.


If you are using Fusion for CAM you might look at trying these settings:

I have been pretty successful with this method. Just keep changing your lead-in radius with a micro lead-in until it hits approximately the center. If Fusion hangs while doing it, change the sweep angle to 179 degrees. It seems to be a bit of a fluke with the difference between 180 and 179.

But, I think @brownfox idea is what you need to get to. This might help you do the 1/4" hole in the center, then clean the dross and run the tool path with a start in the center a second time with this type of configuration but going for your 3/4" hole size. Obviously, the pierce delay would need to be short during this second cutting action since there will not be material to cut during the pierce.


I like 170 deg saves the headache

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Didn’t think about it earlier you can do a wiggle pierce in sheetcam not sure about f360. It is supposed to help pierce thick metal.


Have you tried weld anti spatter spray? I find it keeps the top dross loose. Most of it blows away. Or a light side tap breaks it free. I spray the torch shield as well. If I see a glob hanging on the shield, a light tap with a blade and it’s off. I don’t even stop the cut.


no I haven’t but I will pick some up and try it !

thanks everyone for the ideas. I’ll give them a try this weekend!
much appreciated.

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