First off, CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. This implies that a CNC plasma cutter is controlled by a computer. The computer dictates the movement of the plasma torch in a CNC plasma cutter. Although a hand-held plasma cutter can cut through all kinds of metal sheets, there’s a limit to what can be achieved with it.
Cutting through a CNC plasma cutter can handle it easily. A CNC plasma cutter is big and wide. The only problem that you may have with a CNC plasma cutter is that it is difficult to carry it around.
Due to its accuracy and precision, many metal fabricators love to add it to their collection of tools and they keep asking – how much does a CNC plasma cutter cost? That’s why we composed this article. It answers the question in detail and also answers some other frequently asked questions about a CNC plasma cutter. Let’s get down to business right away.
How Much Does A CNC Plasma Cutter Cost?
This machine is available in numerous models and sizes. It is needless to say that its prices vary widely. The bigger it is, the more expensive a CNC plasma cutting machine will be. To get the prices, we checked several online and offline stores, and we got quite a number of prices.
We will share the prices we got on Amazon, Walmart, and eBay since they are the most popular online stores in America.
For some reasons that we don’t understand, Amazon has the fewest CNC plasma cutting machines. However, the prices are still the best among the three e-commerce platforms. The prices we got on Amazon range from $15,000 to $45,999.50
This platform does not have many models of CNC plasma cutters. It sells more of the parts of the machine. You can get hundreds of the parts of a CNC plasma cutter on the platform, but it has only 3 CNC plasma cutting machines, and their prices are $16500, $21900, and $32500.
This is where you’ll get a whole lot of CNC plasma cutters. We found so many of them. Whenever you want to buy yours, check eBay. The prices on eBay range from $15,000 to $276,000. You can also get more sophisticated ones elsewhere.
How Accurate Is A CNC Plasma Cutter?
Accuracy is one of the reasons why a CNC plasma cutter is much better than a hand-held plasma cutter. And the difference in their accuracies is very wide. A very good hand-held plasma cutter can deliver an accuracy of +/- 0.5 inch while a CNC plasma cutter gives an accuracy of +/- 0.125 to +/- 0.40 inch.
The question is, what accuracy are you aiming for? If you don’t mind an accuracy of +/- 0.5 inch or above, a hand-held plasma cutter should be able to handle your metal-cutting job. But if you want higher accuracy, you should opt for a CNC plasma cutting machine.
How To Use A CNC Plasma Cutter
To use a CNC plasma cutter, you need to install its software on your computer. Remember, it is controlled from a computer. Switch on the machine physically, and launch the software on your PC. On the user interface, you will input all the required parameters in figures.
Depending on the shape of the cut, you’ll need to enter the length and breadth. For instance, if you want to cut out a circular-shaped piece, you have to input the diameter or radius of the circle. Then place the metal you want to cut in its right position. Once you activate the action from the computer, the machine will begin to cut automatically. It will stop when it’s done. You can inspect the cut-out. With a CNC machine, you’ll get great accuracy.
How Does A CNC Plasma Cutter Work?
As explained above, the machine is usually controlled by its dedicated software that is installed on a PC. The machine synchronizes with the software immediately after you switch it on. You will set the table and place the metal to cut right under the torch.
Based on the shapes you choose in the software’s user interface, you’ll be asked to enter the dimension of the shape. Enter the figures in the appropriate fields and click the cut button. Watch and see the CNC machine in action.
What Files Do CNC Plasma Cutters Use?
It uses user-created files. If you have several cuttings to do, you can create a file for each of the jobs and save the files for later cutting. When you’re ready, you can recall any of the files and execute the parameters in the file. This is also good if you need to repeat the same cutting several times.
Instead of creating the dimensions several times, you can enter the dimensions and save them as a single file. Each time you recall the file, your CNC plasma cutter will make the same call. And this makes your job faster and more convenient.
How To Take Care Of A CNC Plasma Cutter
Like all machines, you need to take proper care of your CNC machine to enjoy it for a long time. We understand that a CNC machine will last for several years, but that is if you take proper care of it. Here are a few helpful tips.
1. Change The Oil Regularly
The machine has several moving parts and that’s why you need to change its oil and other consumable parts regularly. If not, the moving parts may become stiff, and that could also lead to torch failure. You won’t use your car for several months without changing its engine oil. You shouldn’t do it to your CNC machine.
2. Set Up The Torch Properly
To get perfect results, you must set the torch appropriately. That is the only way to ensure accuracy.
3. Clean Your Machine Every Day
Dirt and debris can hinder the performance of your CNC machine if you allow them to build up. So, it is cool to clean your machine any day you use it.
As a reminder, a CNC machine costs between $15,000 and $300,000. It all depends on your budget and affordability. Also, a CNC machine can give an accuracy of +/- 0.125 to +/- 0.40 inch.