How to cut the best holes using cnc plasma
What are the challenges of cutting holes with plasma?
Cutting small holes (i.e. bolt holes) in metal with a plasma torch has been a common challenge amongst operators since plasma systems were first created. A “small” hole is typically considered any hole with a diameter equal to or less than twice the diameter of the metal being cut. For example, on a half inch plate, any hole with a diameter equal to or less than one inch would be small. The challenge often seen when cutting holes is the top will look good, but the cut surface (inside of hole) is tapered, making the bottom of the hole smaller and often misshaped.
Technology: your best friend when cutting holes
To maximize hole quality, there are a number of technologies, when used collectively produce the best possible results. The first requirement needed is a highly accurate and smooth motion platform with excellent repeatability. Next you need a high-quality plasma system and torch supported with an automated torch height control system. Lastly you need software with cutting parameters specific for cutting small holes. MaverickCNC plasma machines are integrated with all of these technologies and applies them automatically, improving the ease of operation and reducing the risk of mistakes.
The importance of a powerful but easy to use software
When cutting small holes, these technologies will adjust and manage functions like cut speed, pierce location, lead in and lead outs, torch height, and kerf width. These functions will be different for holes compared to contour cuts, so it is critical the software also has the ability to automatically recognize when it is cutting a hole. Once the software recognizes a hole, it must apply the adjusted parameters in order to achieve the best possible result. MaverickCNC software allows you to set the ratio between hole size and plate thickness to determine what is a “small” hole. It then automatically applies the hole cutting technology to any hole that falls into the set ratio. Click on the video link below for more information.
Contact the MaverickCNC Sales Team for additional assistance: 888-988-7224