We at AccuSpec Fabrication have been working in the metal fabrication industry for many years, and we make it a point to keep up with the latest advances in this field. One technique that is becoming increasingly popular is CNC plasma cutting, which can be used to cut shapes out of sheet metal with extreme precision.
In this article, we’ll provide a basic explanation of how this technique works to help you understand it and to get you thinking about the possibilities for how it can be used for your operation.
- CNC – First, we’ll explain the CNC part of CNC plasma cutting. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control—in other words, in this technique, a computer controls a cutting bit, moving it according to a programmed route to cut material into the desired shape. CNC machines consist of a flat bed for the work piece, a cutting bit, a mechanism to move the bit over the piece (or to move the piece in relation to the bit), and a computer to control the whole thing.
- Plasma Cutting – Next, we’ll cover the other half of CNC plasma cutting: the plasma. The plasma cutters used in this application work by forcing compressed gas through a nozzle and then introducing an electrical arc to the gas to create plasma. The plasma can reach temperatures of up to 40,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it more than hot enough to cut through metal like a blow torch. When attached to a CNC machine, a plasma cutter can be used to cut sheet metal into extremely intricate and precise shapes. It can cut 3D forms as well.