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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    1

    Plasmacam newbie

    So I bought a plasmacam(not complete) on Craigslist from a guy who works in a school district that had a Fab class. The class took off the rails and controller and started using the table as a workbench. I bought the rails with servos and controller from him and just now, after building the table, am learning of the horrible customer service from plasmacam. Since I don't have the serial number( it stayed on the workbench in school) I am stuck. Can anyone recommend me anything? The first question I have is, are the servos supposed to move if I hook up the power to the controller and try to move the servos with the buttons on the controller? Is there any other software that I can run with plasmacam? What kind of a computer do I need to run design edge(if I find a way to get design edge). Someone please help

  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    55

    Re: Plasmacam newbie

    Yea finding the software might be the most important thing to get to be able to use the plasmacam control box. Do you know what model you have? When i turn on my unit I don't see any movement at all until I want to sync everthing. Then the motors will move till the micro switches are closed. The serial number is on the table itself. You might want to contact them to try to get it.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1551

    Re: Plasmacam newbie

    Go back to that school and either get the SN and software, or buy them a new workbench and take the machine frame and all. PlasmaCAM was when I had
    one, really did not give a rats behind for the customer so maybe thats changed after 15 years or so. The machine controller was a parallel port and would only work
    with their software.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router

  4. #4
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    May 2015
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    346

    Re: Plasmacam newbie

    Retrofit it with Linuxcnc and a Mesa 7i77 and use Linuxcnc's Plasmac config and you will arguably have a better table than what you would have if you had the serial number from Plasmacam. JOin us on the Linuxcnc forum.
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

  5. #5
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    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    1551

    Re: Plasmacam newbie

    What you do not understand Rod is the controller is a propriety board that has No user access. It would be much cheaper just to get the software and use it as it was designed. There are people out there that will have that software, which is really very good. The support people at PC are next to zero help.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router

  6. #6
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    May 2015
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    346

    Re: Plasmacam newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    What you do not understand Rod is the controller is a propriety board that has No user access. It would be much cheaper just to get the software and use it as it was designed. There are people out there that will have that software, which is really very good. The support people at PC are next to zero help.
    I understand exactly that. The OP no longer has a complete product from the manufacturer. Some people faced with that situation will retrofit the hardware with another controller of their choice. There are low cost options to provide a quality outcome in this situation.
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

  7. #7
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    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1551

    Re: Plasmacam newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by rodw View Post
    I understand exactly that. The OP no longer has a complete product from the manufacturer. Some people faced with that situation will retrofit the hardware with another controller of their choice. There are low cost options to provide a quality outcome in this situation.
    Well all the OP needs to do is ask around, I am sure there are some former PlasmaCAM owners who might have a copy of the software laying around. (wink) Then all he needs a a computer
    with a working parallel port, or maybe its USB by now. The PlasmaCAM software as I recall was lightyears ahead of the other machines on the market and that is what helped sell the machine.
    Have you ever seen a PlasmaCAM machine? I owned one for several years, and it was a money maker. I used to go to craft shows and met other plasma table owners, they all
    wished they had a PC instead of what they were using.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router

  8. #8
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    May 2015
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    346

    Re: Plasmacam newbie

    Yes thats the thing. Linuxcnc's plasmac configuration is now light years ahead of any plasma controller and it costs less than $200 to play. Built in materials tables, corner lock, void crossing, ohmic sensing, circle cutting mode, High performance PID based THC controlled by the trajectory planner. there is no special gcode required as probing and touch off is all atutomatic on an M3. Quite simply Linuxcnc is superior in every respect but Plasmacam might add some ease of use and design features. But right now the OP has a bunch of parts, not a plasma table so its worth putting the option out there.

    And yes, I have seen a Plasmacam table and the chap I knew with with it sold it ad bought another brand...
    Rod Webster
    www.vehiclemods.net.au

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1551

    Re: Plasmacam newbie

    And yes, I have seen a Plasmacam table and the chap I knew with with it sold it ad bought another brand...

    I sold mine not because it did not work, it was great with the OEM design software and THC. I just could not deal with handling the steel and when I sold I got my money back. A lot of people purchase and like they do on here, do not have a clue about CNC.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router

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