Hi All,

I'm new to this forum so I apologize if I'm posting this in the wrong place, let me know and I'll move to the appropriate forum.

I'm currently in the process of designing and building a rotary tube plasma cutter. More or less a copy of this machine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMb9XZjK6m0&t=56s

Main differences are that I don't intend on having multiple tool heads (the A-400 has an engraver, pan marker & plasma torch) I only want the plasma torch. I also won't be including the automatic material support along the X axis.

I have the layout and hardware sorted out, X axis carriage carrying a 4 jaw chuck for the A axis rotary, then Y & Z axis carrying the torch on the front face of the machine. I'm using nema 34 motors for the carriage and rotary, then nema 23's for Y & Z (May be undersized, but will find out the hard way). I have limit switches at each end of each axis & emergency stops on the carriage and front gate.

So I believe I have the basic hardware components of the machine sorted, now I just need to settle on motion control and interfacing with plasma unit itself.

I will be running a Hypertherm Powermax 65 and THC is a must when cutting 3D shapes.
I'm currently using Mach3 as a controller hooked up to a generic 4axis motion control board sending signals out to my stepper drivers. There is currently not interface with the plasma at all.

So I suppose my question is 3 parts;
  1. What motion controller should I be using?
  2. What motion control board should I be using?
  3. How can I interface my controller with the plasma for gas flow monitoring and arc/TH control?

I'm fairly new to CNC and electronics, I'm a boilermaker by trade and have experience operating CNC equipment but this is my first time building a machine from scratch. I therefore apologize if my lingo and terminology is incorrect, I expect may be able to better frame my questions as my CNC understanding & vocabulary grows. Please correct me where I need to be correct.

I look forward to your response,