Precision cutting

I am newbie, just curious how fine/precise it can cut compared to laser cutter. If I cut a painted steel sheet like steel enclosure will painted be disturbed. I did not buy the unit yet but and I am triarging to buy one

If you have a painted/powder coated sheet of material that you want to cut you will expect to have some paint burned off near the edge where the cut was made. Using a water table will definently assist in reducing heat and damage to the paint though, and with correct travel speed might even potentially not cause any noticable damage. But the issue you will have is that where the material was cut (on the sides or thickness of the material) you will still have unpainted surfaces and you will need to touch up the sides anyways.

Thank you so much for your prompt response. So paint issue is understood well now. How about the precision cutting? Can you please quantify in mm or inch of cutting line?

Honestly the quality of the cut is going to be mainly due to the specific plasma cutter you are using (using the travel speed properly to the material tour cutting) and the quality of the air you are using. If you look up projects that people have made there are alot of images that can show you the quality of the cuts that have been made, most people respond with what cutter and setup they are using as well.

Any recommendation of plasma cutter for getting fine cut? Also I will appreciate if anyone talks about the setup for such precise cut. Thanks again

The kerf on my laser is .007"
The kerf using .8mm plasma tip (mid-range) is .06"

With the plasma you change the tip & power to match the thickness of the material you’re cutting. Fine tips (.6mm) have a narrower kerf and would be used for lower power & thinner materials. Large tips (1.0mm) have a wider kerf and are used with higher power needed for thicker materials.

30Ais the cutoff I use for the .8mm tip and 20A is when I’ll use the .6mm tip. Those are my conservative #s - some people use a .8 up to 35-40A but the top end of the range is pushing it and reduces consumable life.

Hypertherm tips are not specified in sizes like .8mm - they call them things like standard & fine, etc so if you’re using one of those one of the folks here who have a Hypertherm can weigh in and let you know what values they see.

You can use laser designs on the plasma (I do) and just scale it up or down (I’m usually scaling up). But because of the wider kerf you have to take a look at your designs as you may end up with pieces that are too narrow and you may need to adjust the design a bit.

I actually use my laser to do first cuts of plasma projects to see if it’s all going to work okay before I commit to doing it on steel so my my mistakes don’t cost as much :slightly_smiling_face:

The piece is powder coated? If so, it would have a hard time cutting if you can’t ground the piece directly to metal. My work plasma has a hard time with thick primer (work machine cuts with 200 amps) so powder coat is like insulation.

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