CrossFire PRO Update 10/30/2019
First and foremost, CrossFire PRO production remains on schedule and we are confidant that a majority of Batch 1 machines will be shipped out in January!
Over the last 14 months the Langmuir Systems engineering team has been developing a new motion control software and electronics system for the CrossFire product line. Our main focus was the replacement of Mach 3- which is expensive, outdated, and lacking plasma-specific functionality.
This ‘Gen 2’ system includes a new motion control board, Langmuir Systems’ developed control software called ‘FireControl’, as well as a plug-in THC electronics package.
As you know, the CrossFire PRO was advertised to run with Mach3. However, our goal was to update FireControl with CrossFire PRO THC compatibility prior to release so that our early customers get all of the benefits of FireControl. We are happy to announce that thanks to some great work by our engineering team, FireControl with THC is going to be ready for January delivery with each CrossFire PRO machine! If you ordered Mach3 during the pre-order, you can expect to receive a refund for this software purchase within the next week.
Our goal has always been to make plasma technology more accessible and easier to use- and CrossFire Gen 2 electronics and software are the embodiment of that vision.
The main benefit of the CrossFire Gen 2 System is FREE, cross-platform, plasma-specific control software with a modern user interface and ongoing support and development. The Gen 2 control software, FireControl, is designed and developed by Langmuir Systems specifically for CNC plasma cutting on the CrossFire and CrossFire PRO. A vast improvement over Mach 3, FireControl has many useful features that make it more powerful and easier to use.
- FREE - No cost to our customers.
- Supported - Ongoing support for bugs or issues.
- Cross-Platform - Compatibility with Windows and Mac OS. Linux coming soon!
- New Development - Ongoing new feature development with free updates.
- Fits Your Existing Workflow - Post Processors for Fusion 360 and SheetCAM will be available.
- Dry Run Mode - Run your program without torch firing.
- Pierce Delay Override - Increase or decrease your programmed pierce delay live while the machine is cutting.
- THC Integration - Monitor and control all aspects of your LS THC
- Straight Cut Mode - Simply generate programs to cut straight lines for sheet severance.
- Incremental Jog - Quick access using keyboard shortcut for incremental jogging
- Manual Nest - Optimize material use by moving exactly one part away in any direction to start your next cut.
We are very excited about FireControl- it’s a huge upgrade over Mach3 and other control software options and we believe our customers will find it extremely user friendly.
Langmuir Systems THC
The CrossFire Gen 2 System has been developed with THC upgradability in mind. The ability to provide a tightly integrated THC package for our customers is a core motivator in launching the CrossFire PRO with the Gen 2 system. The price of the THC add-on module will remain the same.
Our original intention was to provide a third party standalone torch height controller with the CrossFire PRO but after careful consideration, we determined that this would not be the most user-friendly or best performing solution for our customers. Our engineering team has spent the last year studying THC plasma technology and benchmarking the industry. We found that many THC systems rely on complicated settings that need to be changed for each cut including the type of plasma cutter used, material thickness, material type, moisture content of supply air, etc. Our goal with our products is to always make the process as easy as possible for our customers and we weren’t satisfied with how traditional THC systems worked.
Perhaps the biggest upgrade to our THC setup is our patent pending SmartVoltage feature. At the start of each cut, our system automatically calculates the optimal arc voltage setting in order to maintain the torch distance established by the Initial Height Sense operation. This makes it so that when you have SmartVoltage enabled, you will never have to reference a chart or perform line tests in order to determine the optimal cutting voltage - it does it for you. Since implementing this technology in our own test machines we can’t live without it and we think that customers will feel the same way! The following videos demonstrate IHS and SmartVoltage THC in action. If you watch on a full screen computer you can see the Z-axis lead screw turning by watching the coupler at the top as the THC makes Z-axis corrective moves during cutting. Note: the CrossFire PRO shown in the below footage is one of our test units and does not reflect the production offering in terms of fit and finish!
- Cutting a stainless dash panel using FireControl and Langmuir Systems THC w/SmartVoltage enabled.
- Cutting a large steel gate panel using FireControl and Langmuir Systems THC w/SmartVoltage enabled.
Below is a list of benefits and features of Langmuir Systems THC as compared to most third party THC controllers:
|THC Feature||CrossFire PRO THC||Third Party THC|
|Realtime torch speed sensing to shut off THC when the speed drops below a certain speed threshold of the programmed speed to prevent torch diving||YES||NO|
|SmartVoltage: Automatically sets the arc voltage set point shortly after the pierce once the arc voltage is stable. This means that the operator does not need to manually enter the proper arc voltage- the machine determines the ideal value for you. Any material, any thickness.||YES||NO|
|Ability to adjust all THC parameters via FireControl||YES||NO|
|Variable THC Z-axis speed as a percentage of actual torch speed. In other words, when torch speed slows down, the THC speed also slows down to prevent torch dive around corners.||YES||NO|
|Does not require complex G code path rules to function properly||YES||NO|
|Torch Saver: If the torch contacts the plate during cutting, the THC will immediately ignore arc voltage feedback and instead drive the torch up rapidly to prevent damage to the torch.||YES||NO|
|Ability to download new firmware and features in the future||YES||NO|
|Can be run in manual mode with all settings completely adjustable||YES||NO|
|Real time voltage and torch speed readings during cutting in FireControl||YES||NO|
The sophisticated electronics and software has been fully developed and the electronics are currently being manufactured. We are really proud of our new electronics, software, and THC system and we can’t wait to so what customers create with the CrossFire PRO!
We welcome any questions you may have.