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"The machine makes it look like I used a huge cookie cutter to make parts. It's flawless."
 
William Huss
Airplane Mechanic

Requirements

Simple to set up

The GoTorch machine holds a plasma torch and is controlled by a personal computer. The machine connects to the computer through a parallel port (printer) cable. You will need a computer and a plasma cutter for use with your machine. The GoTorch system includes a torch control cable and instructions showing how to wire the plasma cutter for use with the machine. GoTorch cannot guarantee that all computers or plasma cutters will work with the machine.

Plasma Cutter Requirements

  • Hand torch configuration with 25-foot cord is recommended (minimum is 15-foot). (Expensive “machine torch” is not needed—hand torch cuts with the same parts just as well.) An angled handle (like 70°) is preferred over a straight 90° handle, although either style will work well.
  • “Contact” arc starting mechanism (also called “solenoid” or “blow-back” start; don’t confuse with dragable tips). Cutters with “high voltage/high frequency” or “capacitive” mechanisms may work but are not recommended. Many of the newer Hypertherm, Thermal Dynamics, Miller, Hobart and ESAB cutters have contact arc starting.
  • Cutting capacity (amperage) is based on your application. You need about 25 amps for every ¼ inch of steel thickness you want to cut. (Aluminum and copper require much more power.)
  • Bevel and kerf width should be considered. Smaller plasma torches with smaller cutting orifices produce smaller kerfs, cutting finer detail in thin material. Larger plasma torches with larger cutting orifices produce larger kerfs, cutting thick material with less bevel. Some torches provide the best of both cases by accepting different sizes of consumables for use at different power levels.
  • Consumable cost and life should be considered. Consumable life is greatly extended by completely removing water from the air supply, keeping a gap between the cutting tip and the material being cut (handled by Digital Height Control™), and not cutting in mid-air.
  • Isolated “ohmic” shield and electrical connector for machine cutting are needed for advanced height control. These consumable parts are not normally included with new plasma systems. The instruction manual shows how to adapt your torch for use with the machine if these parts are not available.
  • Expensive “machine interface” add-on is not needed.
  • Duty cycle rating is not significant.

Plasma cutter performance varies widely across different brands, so carefully check into a unit before you buy it. Also note that plasma cutter advertisements and specifications may claim exaggerated cutting capacities and consumable life, and dealers may be unfamiliar with arc starting mechanisms.
 
See our comparison of specific plasma cutter models. If you need a plasma cutter, we can include one with your order. Our high-performance unit gives you the best possible cut quality when used with our machine and includes all the parts you need.

Personal Computer Requirements

  • Pentium 4, 3.0 GHz or equivalent/faster PC. (Laptops are not recommended due to their common port problems.)
  • Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, 7 or 8 installed.
  • DVD ROM drive and 10 GB free hard disk space.
  • Standard bi-directional EPP or PS/2 mode (5V preferred) parallel port—dedicated strictly for controlling the PlasmaCAM cutting table. A true physical parallel port is required (not a USB to parallel converter, for example).
  • IEEE 1284 compliant parallel port cable (optimum length is 6 foot).
  • A 3-button mouse is recommended (or mouse with wheel configured as middle button when pressed).
  • A scanner with software that can export files is useful for artistic applications.

We have no preferences for specific brands of computers or scanners.

GoTorch CNC plasma cutting system specifications

What You Can Do

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Operation

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