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Avid CNC Plasma Introduction

CNC plasma cutting is an excellent way to process sheet metal quickly and easily. Follow the guides listed below to setup and use your PRO CNC Plasma system:

  1. Mach4 Setup Guides - Skip this guide if you have already installed Mach4. Ensure you have selected Plasma as your cutting tool in the Avid CNC Machine Configuration menu.
  2. Mach4 Plasma Users Guide
  3. SheetCam Software Setup
  4. Plasma Operations Checklist

Additional guides (not required for plasma system setup):

In order to ensure a quality and successful cut, plasma users must have a good understanding of the following topics:

  • SheetCam Toolpathing - When configured properly, SheetCam can produce g-code which represents the cut profile, speed of cut, target arc voltage (cut height with Torch Height Control), and other parameters required to execute a successful cut. Geometry based settings to enable/disable Torch Height Control may also be exported as part of the g-code.

  • Mach4 Torch Height Control - Ideally the target tip voltage will be set by the g-code generated with SheetCam, however the cut feedrate and target tip voltage can both be adjusted with override controls in Mach4 to "dial in" the cut quality at the machine. Additionally, the exact response of the torch height controller to differences between actual and target tip voltage can be set in the TMC3in1 plugin controls within Mach4.

  • Mach4 Anti-Dive - Plasma cut quality is dramatically improved with the use of Torch Height Control, however there are scenarios which cause the torch height controller to respond improperly. This unwanted response can result in the torch "Diving" to the workpiece. The "anti-dive" settings in Mach4 allow precise control over the exception cases which cause unwanted THC response. Understanding these anti-dive settings is essential to plasma cutting operations with THC enabled.

  • THC Log Analyzer - This software allows users to review cutting operations that were problematic or resulted in poor cut quality in order to better refine the THC settings for best results.

Follow the Operations Checklist to ensure all configuration and set up steps are complete prior to starting cutting operations.

Mach3 Software

If you are using Mach3 (our previous CNC control sofware) with your PRO CNC Plasma system, please refer to the Mach3 PRO CNC Plasma Instructions.