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  1. #1
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    Anouncement regarding plasma and Linuxcnc

    This is to inform you that there have been some major developments in Linuxcnc regarding plasma cutting and THC control lately that you might want to check.
    More info at forum.linuxcnc.org
    Admins, if this infringes on any use policy, please delete this post.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Re: Anouncement regarding plasma and Linuxcnc

    Hi Tom,
    What we need to buy to run linux stepper or servo ?

  3. #3
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    Re: Anouncement regarding plasma and Linuxcnc

    Quote Originally Posted by asuratman View Post
    Hi Tom,
    What we need to buy to run linux stepper or servo ?
    You can use either. It just needs a different controller board. Tommy is the master of budget builds and I know he favours high quality steppers. Others are using Servos with good results. Go to the main LinuxCNC site and follow your nose to the HTML Documents for V 2.8 (which will soon become the release version) or V 2.9 (the development version) and look at the chapters for the PlasmaC User Guide and the Plasma Cutting Primer for LinuxCNC Users for more info.

    What sets LinuxCNC's Plasmac configuration apart is that its much more than a THC, its a complete plasma controller that uses LinuxCNC's motion controller to manage the THC function and a custom plasma controller screen. Plasmac is so tightly integrated into the overall system, nothing gets close to matching its feature set. or its performance. For less than $200 of hardware, you can have a complete plasma controller with integrated high performance THC. But if you have a Proma or other similar external THC, that's OK, you can use it too!

    Furthermore, there has never been a better documented LinuxCNC configuration in the history of the open source project.

    I've ordered a bunch of parts today and hope to be building a reference controller which hope will be fully documented as part of this major development.
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

  4. #4
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    Re: Anouncement regarding plasma and Linuxcnc

    I have been using the PlasmaC branch for about two months now running a production machine, All I can say is that PlasmaC is miles ahead of other linuxCNC plasma controllers,

    I have had a lot of drama getting the CandCNC system I brought running reliably in a industrial setting so I built my own controller using Mesa cards and PlasmaC and it has been the best thing I could of done,

    I have attached some pictures of the sheets I have cut using PlasmaC, The integrated THC from using a Mesa THCAD10 works just as well if not better than any proprietary THC.

    Attachment 424910
    Attachment 424912
    Attachment 424914
    Attachment 424916
    Attachment 424918
    Attachment 424920
    Attachment 424922

  5. #5
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    Re: Anouncement regarding plasma and Linuxcnc

    TheFabricator03, thats really interesting. How thick is that material and how far did it warp? And did the plasmac config control the torch height under those conditions well?

    I found plasmac pretty good with thin material as this video shows but you are cutting much thicker material.

    https://youtu.be/5uJzgNeLSxs
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

  6. #6
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    Re: Anouncement regarding plasma and Linuxcnc

    Quote Originally Posted by rodw View Post
    TheFabricator03, thats really interesting. How thick is that material and how far did it warp? And did the plasmac config control the torch height under those conditions well?


    rodw,

    That material that warped was 16mm thick. It roughly warped up about 40mm and yes PlasmaC's integrated torch height control handled it with out any drama. I have cut everything from 1.6mm sheet to 25mm thick plate with out any problems.

    I cannot speak highly enough of the development. Even the learning curve to get Linux set up was not too difficult. I find it very stable and easy to use.

  7. #7
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    Re: Anouncement regarding plasma and Linuxcnc

    You can use stepper and servo drives with Linuxcnc, analog or step/dir type, with analog drives you get the loop closed in Linuxcnc so even when something goes wrong you know what hapoened and by how much.
    Also Linuxcnc is a realtime controller so when something goes wrong it will stop the machine in 1/1000 of a second, and even that can be made much faster up to 1/4000 second.
    What machine are you planing to build ?

  8. #8
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    Re: Anouncement regarding plasma and Linuxcnc

    I plan to make plasma like Rodw did ...

  9. #9
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    Re: Anouncement regarding plasma and Linuxcnc

    Quote Originally Posted by asuratman View Post
    I plan to make plasma like Rodw did ...
    Thank you. i have not shared much about my machine on this forum. I hope you build it a bit quicker than I have! But I did make one more piece yesterday.
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

  10. #10
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    Re: Anouncement regarding plasma and Linuxcnc

    I plan on starting a plasma build this winter. I was planning on using a Masso controller but after reading up on PlasmaC yesterday I think I’m going to switch to Mesa and LinuxCNC. Thanks for sharing the information.
    Watch me learn at www.youtube.com/dataprotocnc

  11. #11
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    Re: Anouncement regarding plasma and Linuxcnc

    Quote Originally Posted by imp22b View Post
    I plan on starting a plasma build this winter. I was planning on using a Masso controller but after reading up on PlasmaC yesterday I think I’m going to switch to Mesa and LinuxCNC. Thanks for sharing the information.
    A good choice. You won't be disappointed!

    There is a pretty condensed version of my build here https://www.plasmaspider.com/viewtop...23318739c583f9
    There is still a lot going on in improving Linuxcnc's plasma capability and the new ohmic sensing method I am developing with forum member PCW_MESA from Mesa Electronics is very sweet! Its covered at the end of that thread.
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

  12. #12

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    Re: Anouncement regarding plasma and Linuxcnc

    Quote Originally Posted by rodw View Post
    TheFabricator03, thats really interesting. How thick is that material and how far did it warp? And did the plasmac config control the torch height under those conditions well?

    I found plasmac pretty good with thin material as this video shows but you are cutting much thicker material.

    https://youtu.be/5uJzgNeLSxs
    all i can say is wow!! I have been messing around with mach3 for weeks and cannot get it working right? Driving me crazy!!! From what I am reading Linix seems to be the way to go with plasma, what do i need to do?? thanks in advance
    David

  13. #13
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    Re: Anouncement regarding plasma and Linuxcnc

    Quote Originally Posted by dyeart View Post
    all i can say is wow!! I have been messing around with mach3 for weeks and cannot get it working right? Driving me crazy!!! From what I am reading Linix seems to be the way to go with plasma, what do i need to do?? thanks in advance
    David
    Right now its a bit more complicated than it should be becasue of the depreciation of python 2.7 in both Linuxcnc and modern distributions of Linux. Plus the lastest version of the plasma software (QTplasmac) is only available in the development branch of Linuxcnc (version 2.9 master) so its a bit of the chicken and egg thing right now. I think you should start with a bit of light reading about Linuxcnc in its V 2.9 docs
    LinuxCNC
    And also the QTplasmac document linked from that page under user interfaces QtPlasmaC
    I strongly recommend that you consider purchasing a Mesa 7i96 or a more capable 7i76e and a THCAD-10 arc voltage interface Mesa Electronics but you might like to get it all installed and running a simulation first.
    I wold follow this how to guide to use Linux Mint written by one of the key QTplasmac guys. https://forum.linuxcnc.org/9-install...-users?start=0

    I have used Debian 11(Bullseye) but I have not yet documented the process yet.

    So in summary the process will be:
    1. Download an ISO file of the distribution you are going to use, Burn it to a USB stick using win32DiskImager
    2.Install the distribution. Wired network is strongly recommended.
    3. Install the PREEMPT_RT real time kernel
    4. Make PREEMPT_RT load by default at boot time using grub-customizer
    5. Install Linuxcnc
    6. Resolve any latency issues (Linuxcnc is the motion controller so it must operate on time every time. A lot of recent bios settings for power savings are not good for latency.)
    7. Start by building a basic config that has X,Y, Z motion. and all the limit switches and home switches operational. Only after you can jog the machine around and run gcode from the MDI window then install QTplasmac
    8 If you are a sheetcam user, upgrade to the latest version and use the Plasmac post.

    If you get stuck, ask on the Linuxnc forum.
    note that you can reuse the velocity and acceleration and steps per setting. Whilst there is a tool called pncconf to set up a machine from scratch
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

  14. #14
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    Re: Anouncement regarding plasma and Linuxcnc

    Also, this video I did up of the Mes 7i76e will be useful.
    https://youtu.be/75tAJ4tdBgs
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

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