Newbie here from SW Louisiana. I’ve been looking at the Crossfire system for a few months to use for manufacturing UTV parts. Figured a purchase is inevitable now just waiting on some business funds to roll in to contribute. Looking at a Crossfire Pro in the very near future.
I can see where the possibilities for a CNC plasma table are endless, especially with my cad background. Although I will need to get familiar with Fusion for sheet metal design.
I’ve designed a shifter plate for the Honda Talon that I sell on my eCommerce store. Currently I have a local shop laser cutting, sanding, and powder coating for me. The problem I’m running into is their schedule. I’m not a big fish in their system so I don’t get priority and some projects are taking longer than I like. So my thoughts are to buy a plasma system where I can for sure do some prototyping and eventually all the production. The shifter plates should be easy to learn cutting on. I have designs for a few cargo boxes that I want to produce that would require more work. That will take some learning to get sheet metal bends correct. But I’m ready to make a go of it. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time and the concepts are now coming to me.
Welcome aboard. Plasma is an incredible machine to have in the shop, I assure you. Lots of friendly and knowledgeable folk around here willing to step in and help when needed.
Welcome. Don’t get caught up on fusion. Yes it’s “free” but it’s not the only cad system that works. I’m using it some but also playing with some others. Fusion for 3D stuff and others for 2D stuff. Do some searching on programs people are using and it’ll help. Also your own table will be nice to do some small runs for prototypes and stuff like that. Also be aware that plasma (properly set up) will make nice cuts but the laser cuts better. These machines will have to be “tinkered” with to get right and takes time and determination. I’ve see several upset people with the notion of it’s “plug and play” but that’s not the case. Yes set up and building the table is not that bad but the bugs come up when you start cutting. Good luck
Go with Freecad. It really is free and there’s a great sheetmetal designer that takes care of unfolding your 3D design and adjusting the sizes to account for the metal stretch when you bend it.
Fusion is only free for hobbyists and your e-commerce stuff isn’t a “hobby” according to them now. You’ll need to pay an annual subscription for it for commercial use.
I realize there will be a learning curve to the langmuir setup. And afterward I should only have minor tweaks to make. I’m very proficient with Autocad and can accomplish much with that. But I will checkout Freecad. Quick look at videos looks easy but a change of interface that I’m not used to.
The shop cutting my plates now has a 6kw laser, N2 purge skid, autoloader. It’s about a $1MM setup and runs almost 24 hours every day. It does a great job.
I’m also about buying the tools I need to do what I want. If I can cut stuff myself then eventually I’ll have the tools paid for. I have so many ideas of things to build and I’m ready to GO!
If you have AutoCad, just use that. Do your toolpathing in Sheetcam and skip Fusion (or Freecad) altogether.
Welcome to the gang! Im craving some that food you all eat down there. Do your self a huge favor and get the best plasma cutter you can afford. Hypertherm is pricey but the metal you save and time you save will justify the higher cost. Consumables will last longer also. And a decent air compressor and air drying system. And you will have alot of fun making whatever your mind can dream up.
Most of my CAD is done with AutoCAD 2007
I downloaded Freecad and watched a few tutorial videos but once you’re used to Autocad products it’s hard to use something like Freecad. If I didn’t use autocad every day, then it’d be different. And I’ll probably use Autocad for a while at first. I just designed a UTV box part in Autocad as separate pieces then disassembled it and nested as flat objects. I’m sending this to the shop that currently laser cuts my parts. Interested to see how this turns out. They will cut, I will weld the assembly.
I can relate to that! Being an AutoCAD disciple myself.
Im also in SW Louisiana. Cool to have you here. I love my crossfire. Im in the process to make it bigger but i just wanted to say i also have an autodesk background but kicked it to the curb bc of money and went with DesignSpark Mechanical V5.0 and love it! Its not great for testing big assemblies but making stuff for the plasma table yall would really like it.
where are you located? I’m outside of kinder. I’d love to go meet you and see your machine setup sometime.
I’ve decided to order a Crossfire Pro next week after speaking to my fab guys that have been laser cutting parts for me. Now they are saying min. 3 weeks before they can cut my parts and that is NOT going to work for me! I’m not one content to be dependent on someone else’s schedule. The last order took almost 4 weeks. Now when I develop new products I’m looking at 3 weeks to get a prototype, 1 week for me to check it out, then if not changes are required another 3 weeks to get a product to sell. With my own machine I’m pretty sure I can prototype products in about a week if not a weekend. Plasma won’t be as super accurate as a 6KW fiber laser but it will work for what I do. I’m already excited and having a machine in my shop is still 2 months away!
not only for you to get delivered…but to get it tuned to the way you are happy cutting…