Noob with a L-pro - question on Hypertherm 30AIR

Hi guys, I’m a complete noob with plasma cnc. I haven’t received my L-pro however I’d like everyone’s take on using the hypertherm 30AIR. I thought if this plasma since it comes with its own air compressor which is one less thing to worry, any thoughts or experience for anyone that like or dislike using this? Appreciate all your response as it well help me moving forward.

when I was shopping for a plasma power supply that was one model I was considering but I eventually selected a beefier plasma cutter. what you need to consider is what you plan on cutting most of the time (thick, thin…) as well as whether you have plans to use the torch for other projects non CNC. based on those considerations, I knew I wanted a 40-60 amp unit. I bought the 45xp.

I’m sure other here with more experience will jump in. You may also want to use the SEARCH function for this site, as well as visit other forums such as ‘garagejournal’, “weldingweb” et al (fabricaiton interest forums).

Thanks Walter, I’ve started using the search function but not much on the 30AIR, but I’ll keep looking.

@jimcolt (long time hypertherm employee) has chimed in on this in the past. The air supply is not enough for cnc use.

From what I understand it may but small items, but forget doing a big art piece with it. I reserve the right to be wrong.

For me, a good air compressor was an absolute must for this whole endeavor. Though I had done some hand cutting prior to this, and saw how much air it took.

I had a 30Air before I ordered my table, then had some questions about using it with a CNC table. This is a reply I got from Jim Colt (41 years with Hypertherm) on the subject.

" The reason Hypertherm does not recommend any of its plasma cutters under 45 Amps is based on performance expectations. Typically if you mount a plasma torch on a cnc machine the user expects the plasma cutter to run longer / higher duty cycles, thicker materials and possibly even production (a lot of cutting) per shift. The whole idea of the Powermax30 AIR and the Powermax30XP was to design robust, portable machines for light duty hand cutting applications that could operate well on 120 volt household power. This input power requirement limits the power supply’s ability in terms of cutting power, speed and duty cycle. For that reason Hypertherm does not recommend these units for mechanized use, and does not offer a machine specific torch nor an easy way to make electrical interface connections to a CNC machine.

That all being said…there are hundreds of Powermax45XP (and a few Powermax30AIR) plasma cutters operating in the field on CNC cutting machines that have been modified/adapted to work. You will need to be able to read the machine wiring diagrams and modify the plasma start input from its intended hand torch trigger switch (hopefully without sacrificing operator safety features) as well as for the Torch Height Control (if your machine is equipped) arc voltage feedback. My recommendation (as a retired Hypertherm associate) is to limit your cutting to thinner than 3/16" (1/4" with the 30XP) material thickness if you expect the best cut quality and consumable life. If you have the power, run the system on 230 volts single phase as this increases duty cycle and provides more useable load voltage for cutting (less load on the power supply). So, the answer to your question about using these low powered 30 amp plasma’s on a cnc machine is yes…just don’t overload them and don’t expect a blessing from Hypertherm…as they have systems from the 45XP and up that are designed for CNC use."

I was sold on the internal compressor for the 30 AIR overlooking its other features. Thank you for your response brownfox.

Andy, the information you shared is so helpful and hopefully future plasma and cnc machine buyers would get to read this before diving too deep into it. Much appreciated you sharing this info, thank you.

1 Like