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Old 07-09-2012, 09:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dust proof computer for CNC

Well my CNC computer already took a dump. I positioned it upwind of the table but the plasma dust still found it's way in. I cleaned the case out with compressed air and it still won't boot up - it powers up, just won't go into POST (motherboard is shot).

What are you guys using for computers or specifically the tower? I was going to put paper filters over all of the fan inlets and outlets and try to seal it up, but now that it's dead I may just buy a new one.
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd build a box and control the air that gets to the system vs. trying to filter the bad plasma air.

Make sure to monitor the temperatures you don't want to start causing it to overheat either.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you have not done it already. Make a water table to support the steel on the plasma. That bath of water will really catch most of the slag and smoke and make your life much easier. It is amazing how much help it will be.

Best idea beyond that is to put the computer in another room, or build it a stand up enclosure that will keep all dirt and dust out. Using a Lap Top will help with power consumption and associated cooling. There are sealed keyboards that can be run outside of the enclosure. Think along the lines of a sand blast cabinet and you will get my idea.



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Old 07-10-2012, 05:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Build a fanless pc, put it in an enclosure. In extreme environments I have seen completely sealed thin clients being used.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I made an enclosure. I used 2 filter elements for a dodge caravan (rectangular, and easy to make a pocket for), change them every year.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I built a plywood box with a fan and an air conditioning filter.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Those are some good ideas. I actually got my computer to turn back on after reading a weird trick online. You unplug the power supply cord and then hold the power button down for like 30 seconds, then plug the power cord back in and start it up. I think it clears the BIOS memory or something. But it worked! I'm going to use some extra plywood I have and build a box for the CPU and filter the air getting into it before this happens again and doesn't come back up.

While I'm thinking about it, what about the Bladerunner? It has a filter on it and is sealed but is anybody trying to enclose those units too?

cbrogers, I do have a water table so it is much better than it might be otherwise, but the smoke and dust is still pretty noticeable. I'm working on enclosing that part of the shop and installing some exhaust fans to keep the air cleaner.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Those are some good ideas. I actually got my computer to turn back on after reading a weird trick online. You unplug the power supply cord and then hold the power button down for like 30 seconds, then plug the power cord back in and start it up. I think it clears the BIOS memory or something. But it worked! I'm going to use some extra plywood I have and build a box for the CPU and filter the air getting into it before this happens again and doesn't come back up.

While I'm thinking about it, what about the Bladerunner? It has a filter on it and is sealed but is anybody trying to enclose those units too?

cbrogers, I do have a water table so it is much better than it might be otherwise, but the smoke and dust is still pretty noticeable. I'm working on enclosing that part of the shop and installing some exhaust fans to keep the air cleaner.
The last time I blew the dust out of my computer, I opened up my Bladerunner to do the same--it was clean inside. The little filter he puts on the fan must work pretty well. (I need to enclose my computer like you're talking about too.....eventually)
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Run a massive [around 150CFM] 120mm intake fan in the case, and run it outside with dryer vent tube. The flexible plastic stuff. Keep positive case pressure with outside air and the thing will keep clean inside.

Goes without saying that that fan is your only intake.

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Old 07-12-2012, 11:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I was going to say keep a positive pressure.

Like what is used on the Missile command vehicles but smaller and lots cheaper.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I have only had one computer for use on our demo machine since we set it up. One of the keys is to have good dust control on the Cutting machine (source) versus trying to protect everything else in the shop from the dust. Skirting the table and using a down draft fan is by far the most effective control I have looked into. Water gets a lot but not all.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I have only had one computer for use on our demo machine since we set it up. One of the keys is to have good dust control on the Cutting machine (source) versus trying to protect everything else in the shop from the dust. Skirting the table and using a down draft fan is by far the most effective control I have looked into. Water gets a lot but not all.
Good point.

On my blog I have a picture of my old setup (PlasmaCam) that uses a water table a couple inches under the table + ~5000CFM down draft with side skirts.

Check it out for ideas.

The water grabs the big pieces and dust and prevents a mess on the floor, and the down draft handled the rest.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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what about a water cooled pc?

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Old 07-13-2012, 01:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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what about a water cooled pc?
Liquid cooling a pc still uses an air cooled radiator. Still need to get the air from somewhere.
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Liquid cooling a pc still uses an air cooled radiator. Still need to get the air from somewhere.
Gawd if only someone invented something to carry liquid vast distance....

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Old 07-13-2012, 06:59 PM   #16 (permalink)
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what about a water cooled pc?
Liquid cooling a pc still uses an air cooled radiator. Still need to get the air from somewhere.
Yea but who cares if there's dust on the radiator its the main components that u r cooling u dont want dust on
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
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what about a water cooled pc?
It doesn't cool everything, just the largest heat sources. Also, you won't find a cooled power supply that is decent. You'll be chasing leaks constantly, and you'll still need case fans to keep the rest cool that ain't got waterblocks on it.

Been there, done that. Looks cool, ain't worth the effort.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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In my case, heat won't be a problem much longer. I just scored a 4 ton A/C unit for my 1200 ft2 shop, about twice the size of what I really need. So I'm just gonna keep it real cool. In addition to enclosing that part of the shop and using an exhaust fan to pull the dust out. I'm going to relocate the computer just outside of the enclosed area I think where it should be colder, and run the table from a window. Gonna be easier on my lungs and eyes anyway.

A downdraft setup is awesome but right now just an exhaust fan in the nearby window is a quick fix until I can spend some time doing it the other way.

Thanks for all the replies guys. Good stuff.
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:53 AM   #19 (permalink)
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x2 on the fanless. I ran a fanless in my car PC in my landcruiser. Used heat pumps and the case as the heat sink. It was under the passenger seat but it still got pretty dusty. No problems at all.
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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In my case, heat won't be a problem much longer. I just scored a 4 ton A/C unit for my 1200 ft2 shop, about twice the size of what I really need. So I'm just gonna keep it real cool. In addition to enclosing that part of the shop and using an exhaust fan to pull the dust out. I'm going to relocate the computer just outside of the enclosed area I think where it should be colder, and run the table from a window. Gonna be easier on my lungs and eyes anyway.

A downdraft setup is awesome but right now just an exhaust fan in the nearby window is a quick fix until I can spend some time doing it the other way.

Thanks for all the replies guys. Good stuff.
If your ac unit is way too big you will have a cool humid shop.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:23 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Don't venture out of ShitShat much(so forgive me if this is an obvious answer that's been tried), but you may also look into a product called Dirtbags. Basically a breathable bags that fits over the tower, and washable. I haven't sold any for use with in this type of environment, but we do use them in Vets offices and other spots where dust/debris can be an issue with cooling on the machines.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:33 PM   #22 (permalink)
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The issue isn't so much larger particles that can be filtered out, they fall out of the air quite quickly as they are all of dense materials like iron, grinder wheel dust, etc.

The real issue is the smoke. It is pretty much vaporized steel/aluminum/whatever. Settles out of the air eventually and coats everything with a dark film. If left to build up who knows just how conductive it gets.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:58 AM   #23 (permalink)
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How about eliminating the air?



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Old 07-17-2012, 12:14 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Plasma dust is extremely toxic you should be cutting with a water pan or down draft at a minimum. There is a vendor here that spent 2 weeks in the hospital getting metal removed from his lungs in the early 2000's. It was either 2 weeks in the hospital or death. Those fumes are not to be taken lightly.

Now that the preaching is done a simple cover over your PC with vents on the bottom does the trick.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:51 PM   #25 (permalink)
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All great ideas. I'm going to try and incorporate as many as I can.

The AC unit is bigger than needed, but I don't plan on keeping it super cool but probably around 75 degrees. Hopefully that isn't going to create too much humidity. If it does, having the CPU in a wood box should help keep the humidity out. Doesn't help the air compressor or other stuff but at least the computer should be okay. And the rest of the plasma stuff will be in the enclosed area where the AC will not reach.

I do have a water pan right now and will use an exhaust system to pipe the smoke out of the enclosed area. I'm trying to be cautious about inhaling this stuff because I read about someone who had all kinds of nervous system issues like seizures and more (might be the same guy you are talking about MC). Definitely not something I want to get involved with.

I've got a new CPU on the way that is fanless - this one works half the time and won't boot up the other half. I think the dust must be pretty conductive because the non-POST is a motherboard issue and there was a pretty good sprinkling of dust on that and everything else. I'm going to try and clean it out one more time so I can cut some parts while I'm waiting on the new setup but if it won't work, I'm just going to start building the enclosure and will order some sort of filter wrap for it.
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