Improving Cut Quality
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How to improve cut quality with your CNC Plasma
When cutting designs with fine details and intricate shapes, you need a machine capable of producing thin kerfs. Generally speaking, laser and waterjet are the best option for these types of designs. However, a well tuned plasma table in the hands of an expert machinist can achieve pretty amazing work. This page provides tips for cutting fine details with a Plasma machine.
Fine Tip Consumable
Use a fine Cut/Tip Consumable: Fine Cut consumables deliver significantly improved cut quality on thin-plate metals by providing a narrower kerf — with virtually no heat-affected zone — and by dramatically reducing dross.
Avoid Excessive Heat
Excessive heat can make intricate cuts a real challenge. You can avoid ecessive heat by reducing amperage (see below) and by alternating the portions of the material you cut. For instance, start cutting in one area--then take a break and begin working on another area.
Use the right amperage: fine tip consumable of between 20-40 amps to ensure that your cut path is less than .0625″ wide. (the smaller your cut width the better your cut results will be).
If you can't utilize a fine tip consumable of 20-40 amps you will need to increase the size of the design work or edit the design work to provide more distance between cut paths.
My rule of thumb for creating sufficient distance between cut paths is to measure the width of a single line pass and multiply it by 1 1/2 times. This ensure that the design work will not melt out utilizing a CNC plasma cutting system.
Reduce the offsetting value in your CAM software to very small number (.001″). You can also edit your CAM software to allow for acute cut angles. Offsets are not required for our artwork.