How to cut cnc steel parts with plasma cutter? (Beginner’s Guide)

January 11, 2021

How to Choose Plasma Cutting Equipment?

You come to the conclusion that a plasma cutting installation is essential for cnc steel parts production. Before paying for a particular model, you, however, need to decide for what operations a machine needs. What is to produce on it?

However, if you periodically require small batches of parts of an uncomplicated shape, you should give preference to a portable modification with low weight and dimensions. It is important that it has handles for moving and, if possible, a wheelbase or other packaging for transportation.

How to reduce manual labor with cnc steel parts?

In addition, if the enterprise engages in mass production of uniform products of complex shape made of metal of considerable thickness, it is worth considering models of high-performance high-power plants.

Thus, this will reduce the amount of manual labor and cut sheet metal products with better quality. The most difficult task excludes from the technological chain – marking of each sheet.

In addition to the listed factors, when choosing, it is necessary to consider:

  • price
  • the capabilities of available power cables and power lines
  • energy consumption limits, if any
  • availability of compressors for the production of compressed air.

Selected types of plasma cutting machines

All machines for cnc steel parts offered at the current time are to solve specific problems. Technical characteristics and parameters depend on this, in particular, power, cutting thickness, etc. It is equally important to pay attention to the control unit with software when choosing equipment for the needs of a particular production.

The basis of gantry plasma cutting machines is a mobile gantry made of high precision steel profiles. The portal contains all the working blocks, the carriage with the cutting mechanism. To protect against external influences, industrial dust, special boxes are used that cover all important mechanisms from above.

How to choose equipment for plasma cutting of cnc steel parts?

Thus, if your activity is related to the production of metal structures, cutting steel sheets to the required size, then it is advisable to replace standard guillotines with plasma cutting machines.

After reading further, you will find out how the machines offered by the industry differ, what characteristics you need to pay attention to. Equally important are the prices for the equipment on the market.

cnc steel parts
At the current time, however, plasma cutting becomes the most effective method for cnc steel parts. The main advantage is the savings not available for guillotines.

Thus, it is necessary to mention the following advantages of plasma cutters:

  • maximum sheet thickness – 150 mm;
  • steel is cut quickly and precisely.
As part of plasma cutters with CNC, there are:
  •  a power supply unit that controls the continuous supply of current to the working nodes. Either a transformer or an inverter of the required power is installed as standard;
  • functional block. Its task is direct cutting of metal into blanks;
  • an air compressor that cools the working modules and supplies air to the working area;
  • control unit with the ability to program the operations performed;
  • hoses and cables for connecting modules to each other and connecting external devices, if necessary.

The principle of operation of the equipment

The task of CNC-controlled machines is to cut sheets in accordance with a given program. The working element is not a guillotine knife, but a plasma jet. Therefore, after connecting to the electrical network, an electric arc forms between the steel sheet and the nozzle, the temperature of which can reach 30,000 0 C.

As soon as the machine turns on, the nozzle supplies a special gas to the work area. When passing through an electric current, the gas converts into plasma, cutting through the metal quickly and accurately.

Where is the equipment used in steel parts?

The scope of application of plasma cutters in cnc steel parts industry is practically unlimited. Therefore, in any production that involves cutting metal blanks, there must be a plasma cutting installation. Thanks to the quick and easy software changeover, the units used in serial and individual production of steel structures. Today, it is impossible to produce without plasma cutters:

  • floating crafts, ships, pontoons;
  • cars and trucks, special equipment;
  • machine tools;
  • wagons, tanks, railway platforms;
  • aircraft, aircraft;
  • heating equipment and much more.

Depending on the functional purpose, with the help of installations, you can cut not only simple, but also complex geometric shapes, design elements and decoration of building facades, small architectural forms. Correct setting of the mode is the ability to work not only with steel, but also with composite materials, alloys, etc.

Equipment types in cnc steel parts

A typical plasma cutting machine requires little or no human operator input. Thus, all operations occur automatically in accordance with a given program. However, the specialist is only crucial to compile the program and download it to the control unit.
Depending on the method of application, plasma cutters have classification of one of the following groups:

  • stationary gantry machine;
  • Gantry-type machines;
  • stationary UVPR hinged type;
  • mobile installations. They are placed directly on the sheet of metal to be cut.
However, depending on the capabilities of the control unit, the installations and the type of movement are available in the following types:
  • linear;
  • with photocopying function;
  • magnetic copying;
  • with CNC.

Additionally, the installations of cnc steel parts are present in several subspecies, depending on the number of operations performed at each moment in time.

Plasma cutters for cnc steel parts cost

The price of equipment for cutting varies significantly depending on the volume and nature of
the operations performed:


The maximum thickness of the processed metal is 20 mm.
The manufacturer guarantees an average cut and edge quality. It will not work to cut sheets for 100 cars or tractors per hour.

General industrial

 The maximum metal thickness limits to 100 mm. Thus, it is possible to carry out highly specialized operations with good cut and edge quality.


 This group unites all universal plasma cutters with practically unlimited functionality. They are characterized by high performance. No flaking (edge) remains on the parts. It is possible to customize the production of parts of complex shapes with
ultra-small holes.

If mass production of cnc steel parts is essential and the quality of the workpieces is not critical, a machine made in China can have easy purchase. Cut stability and arc stability are not guaranteed.

Choosing a plasma cutter that ideally combines low price, ideal quality, performance and reliability will not work. You have to prioritize.

cnc steel parts 2021
How to choose equipment for cutting metal?

In order not to make a mistake and not waste money, before placing an order for a plasma cutter, you must answer a number of questions:

  • standard cutting of typical parts is required or we are talking about the production of complex 3D products;
  • How the equipment is planned to be controlled – using software, photocopying, etc .;
  • how many identical parts are required per hour / minute? Do I need to make several products of the same type at the same time;
  • What thicknesses are you going to process? The power of the installation depends on this indicator.

The most important indicators are the supported voltage and current. Therefore, if rapid production of batches of parts is essential, it is important to consider the duration of a single cut without overheating of the equipment.

When choosing nozzles, it is better to give preference to copper samples. Then they will have to changed less often. Manufacturing of thick metal parts is possible if nitrogen supplies to the cutting area.

Cnc steel parts Manufacturers and suppliers respecting their customers offer to purchase not just standard equipment for cutting metal, but offer to answer a number of questions in advance that characterize the activity. Based on the data obtained, the optimal model we select that meets the needs of the customer.

Reasons for cnc steel parts equipment failure

The cnc steel parts analysis performed allows us to conclude that most often machines fail for the following reasons:

  • the voltage in the network is unstable, there are surges that exceed the range set by the manufacturer;
  • the resource exhausts, the parts wear out and must have to replace;
  • short circuits are recorded in the power grid.

The main components requiring replacement are transformers or inverters, diodes and resistors. Additionally, you have to regularly check the mouthpieces and their performance.