Let's start cuttin'! Greenhorn from Southern AZ

Hey everyone, newbie in Arizona. I bought a used Crossfire last year and finally have time to get it set up to cut. It’s an older unit that uses Mach 3, and my plasma cutter is a Hypertherm Powermax 45XP.

I’ve done some manual cutting in the past, but I am absolutely brand new to CNC. At my shop, I do light machining, metal fab, and auto work on my classics. I feel my mechanical aptitude is decent, but my skills with computers are probably that of a 9-year-old. Actually, a 9-year-old could probably teach me a thing or two…

Anyway, I wanted to introduce myself to the community here, and humbly warn you all that I’m going to have lots and lots of questions!

Let’s get cuttin’!


Welcome to the community.

You will find a lot of support and information here.

For support with the table it is helpful to include as much info as you can. It is likely you will call things something different than what it is typically called: that is normal.

You will not be able to submit photos and attach files to your posts right away. So it is good to get involved early with some posting to get that feature unlocked.

Problem solving with your images is helped if you can share the DXF, SVG or f3d (Fusion 360) file.

To help with cutting issues, repeat the info you supplied in this message (powermax 45 xp, mach 3) and as much other info related to the

  1. condition of the consumables,
  2. air quality and quantity verification,
  3. any possible EMI interference (lap top plugged in or on battery, cables crossing/coiled/separated),
  4. no binding of leads screws,
  5. Verification of actual cut height with feeler gauge,
  6. Torch mounted properly (machine torch cannot be grabbed on the head where consumables are housed, not mounted too high or too low, z-axis should have enough travel to touch torch just below the top of slats)
  7. Don’t over-tighten the consumables
  8. Work lead attached to work piece
  9. Air turned on

Software: watch lots of videos. Don’t bounce around too quickly from software as you are likely to get more confused and overwhelmed…
Keep in mind that you will need:

  1. To learn some program that can produce a DXF or SVG file. That will be you drawing.
  2. The DXF/SVG will need SheetCAM or Fusion 360 to convert the file to g-code (tap or nc file) for Mach3.
  3. Mach 3 will run the table and turn the torch on and off.


Spend time on Langmuir’s site as there are a lot of really good tutorials. Everything from setting up your machine, to downloading the right post processor you’ll need to generate G-Code, and also Fusion 360 lessons if you chose to use that for CAD/CAM.

I’d start here and work your way through the tutorials:

Software Workflow | Langmuir Systems