What is CNC Plasma Table – The Comprehensive FAQ Guide

Cutting workpieces have never been easier since the invention of CNC plasma tables. A lot of you might have come across this term before – but for sure, many are still confused.

Today, we’ll be focusing entirely on what a CNC plasma table is. Not only that, we’ll also give you bonus information about CNC plasma cutting machines; from the manufacturers, the types, etc.

What is CNC?

Before we dive in, it’s important to dissect the term “CNC plasma table.” We’ll start with CNC.

What is CNC
CNC or “Computer Numerical Control” samples

CNC, short for Computer Numerical Control, is a type of control you use in machining. It will allow you to take in data digitally, making parts of your machines move and function.

You can imagine it simply like this: the plasma cutter is not anymore required to be held or controlled by a worker. It will move on its own depending on the program you’ve set.

What is a Plasma Table?

A plasma table is a type of machine that will help you in cutting without handling the workpiece.

What is a Plasma Table
A plasma table where a workpiece is mounted on and being cut

It’s a machine where you lay the workpiece down for plasma cutting.

What is a CNC Plasma Table?

A CNC plasma table is a machine you use for cutting electrically conductive materials. It’s complete with a torch that would move in paths directed by a computer or a program.

What is a CNC Plasma Table
Image of a plasma cutting machine being controlled by a computer

You’d want to use a CNC plasma table if you’ll work on a heap of projects needing a plasma cut.

What Type of Projects Can You Do With a CNC Plasma Table?

You can do a lot of projects if you choose to use and utilize a plasma table. The most common ones that you can perform include:

  • Cutting out various types of steels and alloys for business purposes
  • Repairing and restoring parts and components
  • Industrial construction
  • Fabrication and welding

Being a comprehensive machine, you’ll be able to find many uses for it! Given the fact that what you need is a complex cut.

Can a Plasma Cutter Cut Brass?

Yes, a plasma cutter will be able to slice through glass effectively.

In fact, brass is one of the few most common things cut using CNC plasma tables.

Can a CNC Plasma Table Cut Copper?

Similar to brass, you can also use a CNC plasma cutter to slice and cut through copper.

Can a CNC Plasma Table Cut Copper_
Plasma cutting machine cutting or slicing through copper

What Else Can Plasma Cutters Cut?

Now that we know that plasma cutting machines find it easy to cut through brass and copper; what else can it cut?

What Else Can Plasma Cut
A CNC plasma cutter working on Inconel

One of the most common misconceptions about it is that plasma cutting is only effective for conductive materials. These include aluminum, stainless steel, mild steel, and the like.

But, that’s not what it’s capable of entirely. In fact, you can also use it in cutting other alloys, too, including:

  • Inconel
  • Titanium
  • Monel
  • Cast Iron

Can a Plasma Cutter Cut Wood?

You can only use plasma cutters if you are to cut electrically conductive objects. Therefore, you wouldn’t be able to cut wood, plastic, PVCs, and other non-conductive materials.

How Do You Build a CNC Plasma Cutter?

There have been a lot of guides and tutorials on how you can build your DIY CNC plasma table. In fact, some tutorials claim that they were able to build it in under $3,000!

DIY CNC Plasma Cutting Machine
DIY CNC plasma cutter working on a thin sheet metal

First thing you need is to have a CNC plasma electronics kit. It’s a kit that contains a collection of all the needed electronics that can make your machine work.

Then, you’d have to build the frame or the bed of the table, as well as the beam, as well as a reliable welding torch.

You can find a complete guide on how to create a CNC plasma cutter in the video below:

What’s Included in a CNC Plasma Kit?

Kits from different manufacturers and companies contain different materials.

However, the most common materials and parts included in a CNC plasma kit include:

  • LED Display Screen
  • Software
  • HVAC Ventilation
  • Graphics Package
  • Water Trays and Supports
  • Work Stations
  • Controllers
  • Frame

Should you be interested in building yours, you can absolutely find a manufacturer for it. You can also inquire about what’s included!

What is an Entry-Level CNC Plasma Cutting Machine?

Entry-level means that a business is selling to only gain a low profit. So, their cost versus their profit is not that high.

Therefore, an entry-level CNC plasma cutting machine is a low-cost machine that has features and functionalities that do not fall far from expensive ones.

Quality-wise, they’re almost the same. The only problem would be efficiency and durability.

What is a CNC Plasma Table 4×8?

It’s a medium-sized CNC plasma table with a measurement of 4×8.

CNC Plasma Table 4x8
An example of a plasma cutter with dimensions of 4×8

You can find a 4×8 CNC plasma table to be the most common and the most sought after size because of its versatility. It is, in fact, the most common choice for businesses and companies that need medium-sized cutters.

What is a CNC Plasma Table 4×4?

A 4×4 CNC plasma table is a table that has dimensions of a 4×4.

It’s smaller and less versatile than a 4×8 plasma cutter but it’s easier to transport; it’s portable!

What’s the Best Small CNC Plasma Table?

The market is filled with a lot of good small CNC plasma tables.

But, if you’re out to find the best small CNC plasma tables in the market, here’s a list of the top players:

  1. GMC Plasma Table
  2. Balleigh PT-22 CNC Plasma Cutting Table
  3. CNC Gas Oxyfuel Flame Plasma Cutting Table
  4. Plasma Table Cutting Machine
  5. CNC Plasma Cutter Table

Have you searched for them? They’re expensive, of course. But, they’ll never fail you when it comes to quality!

Apart from them though, there are other manufacturers that can offer the same type of quality with a much lower price. We’ll get to that in just a bit.

What’s the Best Small CNC Plasma Table for Beginners?

Ideally, the best and the easiest to go with would be those that have hand-held cutting features.

Best Small CNC Plasma Cutter
A worker manually cutting a metal block using a plasma cutter

This is because you’ll gain control over the cut manually. If there’ll be a mistake, then the blame is going to be on you.

Also, you’ll be able to pick up a lot of things if you start it manually. Just like in learning how to drive a car – learning manually can help you a lot versus going with A/T immediately.

So, try to look for entry-level CNC plasma cutters first. When you get the hang of it, that’s the time you move to CNC plasma table for beginners.

If you like to get on with a CNC plasma table even if you are just a beginner, you can go with the GMC Plasma Table PT-0510/105A. This machine can teach you many things about CNC plasma cutting, and the best part is that you can operate it with little-to-no experience!

Who are the Top CNC Plasma Table Manufacturers?

It’s subjective – talking about the top CNC plasma table manufacturers.

To answer the question, though, we were able to find manufacturers ranked as the best, they are:

  • Balleigh
  • Machitech
  • GMC
  • MaverickCNC
  • Rbqlty

How Much Does a CNC Plasma Cutting Machine Cost?

There wouldn’t be a usual price or rate for a CNC plasma table. It’ll depend on many factors and characteristics.

The most common variables that need to be considered include:

  • Features of the machine or what it can do
  • Size of the machine and the workpiece it’s capable of working on
  • Type of the machine or the materials it can cut
  • And others

However, to give you a range of how much you’d need to spend, it can be anywhere between $20,000 and $400,000.

Isn’t that a big range? – It is. But, don’t worry. Most of the machines today would somewhere be below the $150,000 mark. Those above would already be capable of large industrial setups as well as other functionalities.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Plasma Cutting

Plasma cutting might be the best thing you’ve heard of this year, but as much as how we want to ensure effectiveness and efficiency, there are drawbacks to it as well.

Advantages of Plasma Cutting
Plasma cutting can achieve uniform cuts in high volume

Let’s start with the negatives.

Disadvantages of Plasma Cutting

Here are some of the drawbacks of plasma cutting.

Significant Upfront Costs

You’ll indeed have a lot less bills to deal with. But, plasma cutting will require a huge upfront cost.

From the cost of the machine, the parts, to the other replacement alternatives you need.

Not Useful for Thick Metals

Most of the time, plasma cutting isn’t ideal for dense and thick metals because it only abides by a range of thickness.

It’s not very useful to use for giant or ton-type of blocks. You’ll only have to use it for thin, regular metal and steel sheets.

Irrelevant Bright Flashes

Plasma cutting is not a stranger to light. In fact, it creates or produces bright flashes that can cause a disturbance to people who are near it.

Because of this, you or any personnel near a machine while operating needs protective gear.

Those are the drawbacks of plasma cutting.

Advantages of Plasma Cutting

Let’s wrap it up by discussing the benefits and perks of plasma cutting.

Low-Maintenance, Rarely Need to be Replaced

Plasma cutting might be expensive at first glance, but as time goes by, you’ll realize that it actually is cost-efficient.

You’ll find that it’s low maintenance and that you’ll be able to conserve energy using it. You won’t have to worry about replacement – that’ll be for a long time!

Flexible Cuts are Possible

Do you need cuts that have odd or peculiar shapes? Do your cuts need to be intersected?

If so, then you don’t have to worry about it if you choose to utilize plasma cutting. You can guide most, if not all plasma torches to go to a particular direction!

In fact, it’ll follow what the plan is from your drawings or your sketches!

Versatile Usage

You can use plasma to cut a wide range of conductive material, from your usual steel and metal, to titanium, iron, copper, brass, as well as other conductive alloys.

Safer and More Reliable

Plasma cutting is a technique that still utilizes gas, which makes it a lot more reliable and safer than cutting that is based off of oxygen.

In case you’re not aware, oxygen-cutting is a lot riskier and more dangerous than gas-cutting.

How Do You Choose the Most Appropriate CNC Plasma Table?

There are multiple factors at play – and you can’t just rely on the “type” and the “shape” of a cutting machine.

Before you choose and purchase a CNC plasma table, you first have to consider the following:

  • Duty Cycleor the measurement of how long a cutting machine can operate before it needs to be cooled
  • Cutting Speedor the rate of cutting through a certain material
  • Cutting Capacityor the size of the material that it can hold
  • Material Types talk about the objects or alloys you’ll cut
  • Amperage, which is the measure of strength of the electric current transmitted to your cutter
  • Weight because you might need to transfer the machine from one point to another

Here’s a quick guide on purchasing a CNC plasma cutter.

Who Can You Trust in the Manufacturing of CNC Plasma Tables?

Out of the options and suppliers listed above, you won’t find a manufacturer that offers high quality functionalities of plasma cutters at entry-level.

If you want premium machines offered at the best and lowest rates, you can count on us here at SOHO Cutting.

We’ve been the top and the most trusted CNC plasma table manufacturer in the industry, catering to hundreds of businesses worldwide.

Why Choose SOHO Cutting?

  • We offer a lifetime aftersales services for all the CNC plasma cutting machines we offer
  • You can get a one (1) year warranty for the machines you purchase
  • SOHO Cutting employs the most talented and the most skilled engineers and experts to evaluate the condition and the performance of our CNC plasma tables
  • All the equipment we offer are sandblasted and finished accordingly before delivery

SOHO Cutting utilizes a CNC hypertherm system for cutting pipes, metal sheets, etc.

Don’t hesitate to give us a call here at SOHO Cutting!

If you need a custom CNC plasma table, we got your back, too! Contact us and get the highest quality of CNC plasma cutting tables and machines at the best and the most competitive rates!