Pipe cutting add on

Anybody thought of or looked into doing another axis for pipe / tubing? Basically the extra axis holds the pipe and rotates it as the cutter is moving x and y… I’ve seen some other tables with that as an option and it looks pretty amazing, but its typically on much larger machines. Would be pretty cool to see something like that on these tables for small tubing projects - roll bars, etc.

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It might be even more interesting to have the rotator rotate square tubing so that you could cut all the way around and include miters…

Interesting… Oddly enough I have a rotator that I got for my laser cutter, but it was too big to use. I might look into this once I get the basics down.

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Found this on a YouTube channel:

He uses the X Axis to drive the rotator instead of X motor when rotating. Makes sense, I do this using the Y axis on my Laser Cutter. Here’s a comment from the author: “I’m using sheet cam I laid it out as a flat pattern moved my x over top of the rotary unplugged my x hook the rotary to the X axis and that’s how I made it work so the table thinks it’s moving in the X access it doesn’t actually know that it’s spinning the rotary hope this helps thanks for watching”
Seems pretty straight forward to me. A bit of manual intervention, but not during the key cutting phases.
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I got the rotary plasma plugin for SheetCam today to play around with. My table is a ways off, so I’m going to work on getting the software side of it down and once table gets here look at what I’d need to do to get this working. Should be a fun project!

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After doing some more research - I think I’m going to do this as a separate assembly with a 4 jaw chuck in it’s own frame. So I’d take the torch out of the table and put it in this device when I want to use it. Most of the designs I’ve seen are standalone frames with 2 steppers - one for the rotation of the pipe and an x axis to move up and down the pipe while it’s turning. Will try and design it out in fusion 360 first to get basics down and then see what I can find on fleabay for steppers and controllers. Hoping I can use my table to cut out most of the parts for it.

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This would be incredible to have for coping DOM. I have yet to find a table under $10k that has a pipe cutter add on. The Crossfire is the perfect size for it and you don’t need THC for cutting pipe. A stand alone would be even better, it could literally slide into the corner when not being used. Keeping an eye on this topic for sure.

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It seems that if Langmuir sold a part that was just the X Axis portion of the gantry + torch holder, it would be a good building block for such a tool.

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Actually if you remove the slats from the water table, you could fab something up pretty easily. It’s the same as a rotary attachment on a laser cutter. Commercial ones typically swap the Y-axis stepper connection for a connection to the rotary attachment’s stepper motor.

But there are designs where the rotary attachment is passive. You hook the holder to the gantry, the pipe (or pen or bottle in the laser world) rests in a v-groove with small wheels to allow the attachment to ride on the bed & move the pipe around as it goes. So as the gantry moves back it drags the attachment which rolls whatever is resting in it. The other axis is unaffected and doesn’t affect the rotary movement either.

You’d need to take the slats out so the attachment could ride along the bottom of the water table.

I think Sarbar’s YouTube channel shows one for a laser cutter. All made from acrylic so water wouldn’t be an issue.


He’s quite clever, isn’t he! I especially like that he’s removed the need to translate surface rotational distance from the circumference. There is ALWAYS a 1:1 relationship between Y movement and surface distance on the round object no matter what the circumference is. Of course, this only works with a perfect cylinder, but that probably fits most round tubes. Thanks for mentioning it! I think I may have to rework the rotator on my laser!

Yep. It’s quite a trick for cheap dollars and none of the complexities of added electronic controls.

The stepper on the Crossfire could certainly handle the extra drag caused by hooking his fixture to the gantry. I’m a big fan of the simplicity and not needing to mess around with having to figure out how to map the motion onto my design.

For what I think most would want to do, the cylinder limitation (vs something like a Yeti cup with multiple diameters across the length) isn’t probably a limitation :slightly_smiling_face:

I can see the technique and fixture working well for an engraver, but, with a plasma cutter the rolling surface will eventually be cut away and can no longer be supported by the rollers, not to mention the slag, sparks, and plasma all flying through the fixture. It may be that an extended support could be made to work and, it’s certainly interesting enough to think about.

I think it will keep the material rolling all the way around (material/pipe weight being the limiting factor I think) until you get to the last bit but an overrun of the torch should take care of it - the arc should ride over the shoulder of the final bit of cut I think.

I was thinking that making the ends out of acrylic and just use aluminum for the side pieces that will be most exposed to the arc. But by the time the arc hits anything not pipe, it should be attenuated and the water should keep spark damage to a minimum too.

I’m doing something similar but with large 18" diameter pipes. I made the water table removable and sealed up the screw holes. My rotary will be below the table. I thought about sticking a short arm off the reverse side of the x axis and using the y axis with the rotary. That would work if your table is fixed and you just cut small pipe.

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