Idea: Rotary for tube cutting at gantry home position?

I once cobbled together a 4th axis stepper motor rotary along with a pair of other linear axes to make a CNC MIG torch welding system for welding around the perimeter of a pipe. I was thinking that if the XR gantry homed to a location positioned over a rotary, the gantry axis could be used to cut pipe on the rotary.

Has anyone seen this on a plasma table? I have seen it on a CNC router for milling aluminum tube fish mouths. I may have to make one. MACH3 makes it pretty easy to do along with a Gecko Drive G540 4 axis stepper motor controller board. Given tube diameter, I think it might be easy to drawfish mouths in Solidworks and un-roll them to create a DXF file to drive the Y-axis. The rotary motion just needs a Pi ratio factored in to its motion which I think MACH3 allows somehow.

update: I found this:

This is the CNC aluminum tube cutter I had seen before using a gantry router:

Did you ever dig further into this? I’m currently creating paper templates and cutting tube by hand which is time intensive with less than perfect results as you can imagine.

Not yet…guess I need the right project to push me.

I have a working “prototype” at this point which means I no longer have to waste a bunch of material coping with templates. Unfortunately the drive ratio on my 4th axis is off by 47% (too slow) so until I have the ability to machine gears I am forced to stretch the drawing in software to get the desired results. Even with that irritating step this increases my productivity MANY times over. Perhaps it’s time for an MR-1!

Note that I’ve been cutting round tube at this point (1.75" and 2" up to 6’ long into approx 8" sections with 90, 70 and 45 degree coped shapes.) I am curious if the XR’s HTC will allow for square tube in the rotary axis but am a bit hesitant to try it as my machine is running excellently and I don’t want to hit the machine torch on the tube.

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This is very cool thanks for sharing your prototype.

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Look here we almost bought one of these before the XR. It still may make sense for us to grab one of these as tube cutting can occupy a large workflow.
Bend Tech Dragon


DesignerX, What about a timing belt for increased ratio? Additionally most motion controllers can adjust the step ratio.

I have been looking at the bend-tech 250 dragon ,looking at expanding my shop to fit it.

Looking at the 250 as well but in doing so looks like its only geared up for round tubes. The A400 will do different profiles, an added plus. Haven’t looked at the price differences between the two machines.

Yes very cool nice to see what others are doing out of the norm!

Big price jump between the two

The development on tube and pipe cutting technology.

Received a quote for the A250 shipped with no plasma cutter or torch $25K . They claim it needs a huge crate 88"x48"x 78" ($1.1K to ship from WI to NC).