Torchmate Distribution Center
& HIGH DENSITY
Left - High Density Plasma Center - Laser Right - Plasma
Three brackets, each cut with a different process. The piece on the left was produced with a $100,000 plus CNC shape cutting machine, as was the center piece. The bracket on the right, as were all plasma-cut pieces shown on this page, produced with a Torchmate machine assembled from a kit.
Let's take a look at the differences between the three processes.
Top right - Plasma is the
bargain, at $3,000 to $4,000 for the unit without a CNC machine. Like the other
processes, plasma can cut non-ferrous metals as well as steel.;
Left - One peculiarity of plasma is that it produces a slight bevel in the cut face which
is more noticeable in small holes than in other shapes.
Left - In this plasma-cut 1/4" thick flange, the holes have a slight taper, but are fine for bolts. Cut smoothness is on par with laser.
Right - These sample cuts were produced by a Hypertherm High Density plasma cutter in steel and aluminum. The process seems to get slightly better results on aluminum than plasma is able to achieve.
Left - Detail is where laser really shines! These 5/16" ID flat washers were laser cut in 1/8" thick mild steel. Neither plasma nor high density plasma would be capable of this.