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Old 01-19-2010, 07:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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cad help

i have had my table running for a little over 2 years and everything from torchmate has been great. love it.

i have always done very basic industrial fabrication, like gussets, stake pockets, motor mounts, doors, and the like. not to difficult and never to complicated. well, lately i have been getting jobs that are quite a bit more complex. also, i am pushing myself to use the table more and change the way i design the things i make.

i have always used Bobcad to do my design work. recently i have been freelancing to another shop and he has Torchmate Cad. well, there are no directions with it. so i am wondering if there is a tutorial any place?

there are 2 specific things i am looking to do

1. add lead-ins to already drawn files. hopefully there is a way to add lead-ins to a whole batch of cut paths instead of one at a time.

2. how to tell the software what is an inside cut and an out side cut.

thanks in advance
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberfab View Post
there are 2 specific things i am looking to do

1. add lead-ins to already drawn files. hopefully there is a way to add lead-ins to a whole batch of cut paths instead of one at a time.

2. how to tell the software what is an inside cut and an out side cut.

thanks in advance
Both of these are easily accomplished with what we call Toolpathing in the Torchmate CAD. There is also a 3rd bonus that you didn't mention, and that is Kerf Compensation (possibly part of #2?)

In Torchmate CAD we are able to define inside objects vs outside objects, define a Kerf width (how much material is being removed) and add in lead ins. This process can be applied to multiple parts at a single time, and takes less than a minute to do.

As far as the instructions go, there are user guides available for both versions of Torchmate CAD software, if you can find out what version you have I am sure I can email them to you.

-Mike
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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2. how to tell the software what is an inside cut and an out side cut.
When you want to define your cut or tool path is gives you choices of male cut, female cut, or on the line. You can make the selection on a side menu on the left of the screen. At least that is where it is on the one I use.

I used the Torchmate today at work. What a time saver.
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sdubfid View Post
I am cutting some 3/8" flanges. The outside of the cut is very nice and almost straight. The problem I am having is with cutting circles in 3/8" plate. I get quite a bit of hole taper. Is there any way to slow down when the circles cut? I am brand new to cnc. I am assuming that I have to edit the gcode and make a speed override?

Running torchmate cad lite
There is a way to slow down the arc movements under Configuration - Machine - Feedrate ramping. This setting is called Max Arc Feedrate. To get less bevel on the circles I would set this to about %60-%75 of the program feedrate.

The only tradeoff is you might get more dross due to the slower speed.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sdubfid View Post
I ended up editing the feedrate in the gcode. I did it to 50% as suggest by jim colt form hypertherm. The holes did turn out nicer but still .060 hole taper on a 3/8" hole. Hole taper on the 1.4" hole is .020 which is acceptable.

Should I be able to do better on a 3/8" hole on 3/8" mild steel?

The first part I cut the outside at 32ipm and it turned out very straight. On the second part I made there was noticeable bevel on the cut. I think all the piercing with no thc damaged the tip as all of the other settings were the same.

Is it possible to buy the z axis and use it as a poor mans thc for piercing only on thicker materials?

Off to try some 1/16" stainless
I would say a 3/8" hole in 3/8" material is going to be difficult to get. The general rule of thumb is no hole smaller than the material thickness, and the smallest even in thin gauge material is about 3/16" hole, which is basically a pierce.

It is possible the torch tip became beveled to one side trying to pierce that thick of material, since you already have a Z axis with a knob all you have to do is raise the pierce height at the beginning of the cut, then drop it to the cut height after the pierce is complete. It is not as easy as one would think, it can be tricky to get the timing right and remember that the screw thread is backwards, ask me how I know
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Haha yes it isnt as easy especially if you are running faster speeds. I may rig up positive stops on my z handwheel. I love this thing. I have been sleeping 5 hours a night for the past week.

I tried the arc max feedrate. It worked well. Quicker than changing the g code.
LOL! I knew that there would be a bunch of people getting very little sleep once we started shipping these things. I am glad you are having fun with it.

Pic's, Pic's, Pic's! Let's see what you are doing over there.

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Old 01-22-2010, 07:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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^^ what plasma are you using??
Nice cuts!
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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^^ what plasma are you using??
Nice cuts!
Looks like a Powermax 45.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Im hoping that is the powermax 45 because that's what I'm gonna be sporting as soon as my table arrives. Looking good man I think once everyone gets familiar with these little gems were gonna be able to share a lot of info and files.

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Old 01-22-2010, 11:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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^^ what plasma are you using??
Nice cuts!
Looks like a Powermax 30 to me, I have one and it looks identical.

--JOsh
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Sweet thats the one I've been eyeing...looks good after my wedding and honeymoon I def upgrading my Chinese plasma!
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Love it can't wait to power up my Powermax 45 w/machine torch. Looks like it makes a killer addition to this table.

G
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Heres some pics of 16g stainless, 3/8" plate and 3/16" plate.






What are you using for software did you purchase the lite version or full version of Torchmate CAD?

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Old 01-25-2010, 05:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Powermax 45 ???

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Originally Posted by sdubfid View Post
The machine is a powermax 45. Worth every penny. Used to have a powermax 380 and this blows it out of the water.
did you have to do anything to your powermax 45 to work with the 2x2? did you have to rewire anything or do you just tie your trigger down on the gun. i have powermax 45 and am wondering if i am gonna need to do anything to it. what tells the plasma cutter to start cutting and when to stop is the part i have not figured out yet. i have my software on the way and my table on order and am just trying to get all my stuff in a row before it gets here. thanks for any info you could tell me on this.
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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You can't just tie the trigger down on the gun. You will get an error light or your plasma will always be on.

For mine I just spliced into the torch wires inside the machine and ran the wires through the front panel. There is a better way to do it thorugh the rear plug but it is more complicated. Check out cnczone.com for more info.

Also make sure the hand torch is always in a safe position when hooked up to a remote.
can you tell me more on how you done yours or can you point me to a web page. i went to cnczone but could not find what i needed. thanks for any info you could give me on this.......
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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can you tell me more on how you done yours or can you point me to a web page. i went to cnczone but could not find what i needed. thanks for any info you could give me on this.......
The trigger switch is simple just makes a connection. There are 2 wires that run from the machine up through the torch cable that are for this switch. If you take your torch apart you can see the wires. You can also take the machine apart and you should see some wires coming in where the torch cable is. You will see some PVC for the air. Some larger gauge wire for the power and some smaller wires for switches (Parts in place and the trigger). Find the 2 for the trigger and splice into them and put some kind of plugable connector from radiohack of something like that on there and run them outside of the plasma machine and put the machine back together. Then follow TM's instruction on hooking up to their electronics.

The wires are probably labled with a # so if you take the torch apart look for some #'s or identifiers + colors etc.

Pic that might help.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:17 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I looked in my manual at the wiring diagram, then emailed Miller tech. support and they verified my findings. I "T"ed into those wires so that either the hand torch or the program and trigger the plasma. Then put a plug on the front to plug in the wire going to the red box.
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