95 Hard at work

Putting our shop’s plasma cutter to use! Nothing quite like cutting 1/4in 6061 T6 single-pass at 110IPM.

Very nice! Shooter arms?

oooooooo so pretty!

Thanks, and nope!

I agree completely! This is the first time we’ve done ‘trussed-out’ lightening… so nice… worth the effort to CAD up.

What torch are you using? The cut quality looks very good

We did the “trussed look” on our base last year and while it looked good ( and we’ll be doing it again ) it took FOREVER between having only XY CNC capabilities on our mill + breaking about 10 1/8" end mills. Pretty envious of that plasma right now :smiley:

Hypertherm PowerMax 85A, running at 85A unshielded. We are fortunate in that one of our coaches is a Hypertherm engineer and can recognize when things aren’t right.

Having him help out has been the difference between “man, this this sucks and does not make usable parts” and:

Seriously, the difference in 1/8in aluminum was +/- 0.03in tolerance if we were lucky and +/- 0.010-0.015in tolerance quite reliably. We don’t have 1/4in cuts from the ‘dark days’.

We still re-drill holes to clean them up though.

Been there, done that, know that feel bro, then got REAL motivated to learn about the CNC plasma cutter. We still do fine work (precision holes, slots, etc) on our prototrak mill though.

Edit: GWizard is an absolute life changer. We do *nothing *without it now.

Blooming onion catcher’s mitt…?

Halfway there… maybe 1/3 of the way there?

Looks awesome, one thing I wish our team had access to, a plasma cutter…

They’re relatively affordable. I think a CNC Plasma cutter is a pretty great addition to a robotics lab, especially if you’re just starting out with CNC equipment.

Looks like 95 will have some sweet looking parts! Excited to see what you’ve come up with.

What manufacturer would you recommend? I don’t want to buy a low end budget (relative term right? LOL) model. I want to buy it only once but don’t need aerospace or NASA grade equipment.

Any pearls would be appreciated.

Steve Miller
Coach 3355
Purple Vipers
Arlington, Texas

Hypertherm torch or bust. They are, hands down, the best torch and power supply maker out there. As for a table… we have a Nothern Plasma. It’s decent, but I’d much perfer something with better driver software, like Torchmate (I personally have a torchmate CNC router).


And yes, they’re relatively inexpensive. To put it in perspective: 4’x4’ CNC router of moderate quality was $7,500 new, ProtoTrak CNC knee mill was $23k new, 4’x8’ plasma table with torch and power supply and computer was $25k new.

Dang 95! Those parts are gorgeous!

Shiny :D.

That’s great that you have a Plasma cutter!
That picture is what I call High Def!
That cut is also what I call High Def! Those are some quality cuts! What are those for? I bet that they are quite light while being structurally rigid!

Looks like claw parts to me…

My team has access to a Torchmate, but I don’t believe we’ve ever used it for robotics before. It goes through various states of being operational. Man it’d be nice to do cuts on it instead of our techno if we could get cuts like that out!

Thanks for the compliments guys! We really appreciate it. The parts are for a type of mechanism that we like to call a ‘carwash’. Very similar to our 2012 robot, they will deploy over the bumper and spin some fabric material to draw a ball over the bumper and into the robot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wyh1ojKQLo

Made some more parts last night, and learned a pretty good lesson after screwing up: cut rates listed ‘in the book’ don’t always translate to real life. It was our first attempt at cutting 0.050in aluminum, book said to cut at 325IPM. That didn’t turn out so well, so we cut it again at 100ipm. Both cuts used 45A fine-cut consumables running at 40-45A. These are the results:

This is for the belly-pan of our chassis.

A short video of the plasma cutter in action, to give you an idea of typical cut speed.