Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

Do I need to know how G-code works to use the CNC Profile cutting machine?

Not at all, the drawing converter does all the G-Code work. You will pick up a lot of knowledge about G-Code after you operate the machine a while. It is a good thing to know and understand but certainly not necessary to manually create.

What is Plasma Arc Transfer and why is it so important?

This is what keeps your cutting program from pretending to cut when it’s not, e.g., if the arc fails to start or after the fire has gone out. Many hobby system vendors claiming to sell industrial quality systems will tell you this is not necessary. It isn’t if your operator has the time to sit by the machine and watch it’s every move and to stop the motion manually when a torch fails to start, a tip burns out or when cutting small pieces and material tips up. At Technocrats and with all other professional industrial-grade systems we believe this should be automatic. The operator can do other things while the machine is cutting and be assured that it will stop all motion if the fire goes out. This abrupt, complete stop is what allows an accurate and simple restart after the problem has been corrected.

What is an arcminute?

It is something you don’t want many of! It is the engineering measurement of the degrees of backlash (slop, wiggle, giggle, trouble) when the direction of motion changes abruptly. Motion changes abruptly when plasma cutting at 280 inches per minute! Good software slows the torch travel momentarily when an abrupt change of direction is coming up but backlash is still a critical issue. Rack and pinion drives and planetary gearboxes with close tolerances keep the motion as accurate as the plasma arc can really produce. Water jets and lasers use ball-and-screw drives to produce the accuracy they require to fully utilize their very fine cutting stream.

Why plasma and not water jet or laser?

The cost of a water jet or laser cut per inch of thickness cut is very expensive when compared to plasma. Plasma is hands down the fastest and most economical way to cut ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Plasma is very practical and accurate enough for 85% of World’s shape cutting needs. For the other 15% and those with the need to cut non-conductive materials such as rubber, glass and cardboard, water jets or laser would be the answer.

What about the cost to cut?

The general rule of thumb is water jet cutting cost three times as much as plasma. A laser costs eight times as much as plasma. When you are doing the math you may need both hands and feet to tally the full cost! That’s also times the cost to acquire, times the cost to operate, times the cost to maintain. Then you’ll need another hand so you can subtract the lost cutting speed. Water jet and laser are slower than plasma if you are cutting any thickness.

I need to cut some stainless and aluminum. Can I do it with a plasma cutter?

Certainly! Any ferrous or nonferrous metal can be cut well with plasma. While standard plasma will do the job, high definition plasma will do a better job.

I really like the look of the operator station mounted on the gantry. Why aren’t the Technocrats operator stations mounted on the gantry? I want to be up close, where the action is.

You might watch a Panther or CUB in action before you make that decision. There are not that many operators fit and healthy enough to keep up with an gantry-mounted operator station when it’s cutting 1/4″ plate at 280 inches per minute. First you’re chasing it and then you’re running from it! The gantry changes directions not on a dime but on a match head! We could put a moving seat on it but you would need a NASCAR safety harness with a head restraint to ride it. Besides, there isn’t anything much to do during a cut. Whatever needs arise can be more easily dealt with from a few feet away. The units mounted on the gantry are meant for slow and really thick plate cuts or oxy-fuel burns.

What does the cutting system include? What must I provide?

The Technocrats cutting system includes the complete, tested machine plus the Technocrats design and control software. The machine consists of a precise, rugged frame with an integral cutting grate, drive components with servo motors, a controller and electronics, and Torch Height Control . The software creates designs and directly controls the machine. Every part of the system has been specially designed to work together, giving you the best possible plasma cutting performance. You will need to provide a Windows-based personal computer (and a compressed air supply).