Everything You Need in a CNC Plasma
The two most critical components of a CNC plasma system are service and quality. You need a machine that delivers excellent performance every time you put it to work. At ShopSabre CNC, we focus on building CNC plasmas of unmatched quality and value combined with unbeatable customer service. Build quality and technology ultimately determine your machine’s life expectancy and performance capabilities.
CNC plasma machines are a big investment, and many people are tempted by Chinese imports, lower quality bolt together or aluminum constructed, or even kit machines all showing lower price tags. However, these cheaper machines also come with inferior build quality and technology. If you buy one of those machines, you’ll soon find yourself in need of a new one. That’s why we tell you to buy your second machine first and save yourself the hassle, headache, and hidden costs found with lower build quality or non-American made equipment.
Don’t be fooled by other manufacturers who claim their machines are fastest growing or more industrial. More people trust the ShopSabre CNC brand than any other manufacturer in the class. Our quality and competitive pricing make us a true industry leader in the CNC plasma market. With more machines replacing our competition every month, it goes to show the advantages to buying your second machine your first time, and our customer retention proves this.
Below we have outlined the key elements of a CNC plasma. We hope this will help you understand why we are the top CNC plasma manufacturer for your money and why you will truly outperform the competition with our equipment! We also encourage you to check out the higher priced CNC plasma machines and then look at our systems. With similar materials, components, and overall design, you’ll quickly see why our machines offer the best performance at the best value.
Structural Steel Construction
ShopSabre CNC plasma tables are constructed of top-rated steel tubes and steel plate. We do not use any extruded aluminum or angle iron in our SideKick or ShopMaster PRO Series CNC plasma machine frames. ShopSabre CNC understands those designs cut quality, and this is not something we expect from the tools we purchase let alone the tools we build and sell with our name on them. Our production designed CNC plasma systems are structural steel welded with no assembly required. This is exactly what you find when you look at machines retailing for $100,000 or even more. There’s a reason bridges are made of steel instead of aluminum, and we apply that same principle to our plasma systems to give you the strength you need.
Unbeatable Precision, Accuracy, and Strength
The frame on our CNC plasma machines is built to withstand all the projects you need to tackle and requires no daily squaring or tightening of bolts like found on lower quality machines. These factors give you the most rigid accurate assembly in the machine class. We also precision mill the components to ensure there are no tolerance issues or accuracy problems before the machine reaches you! The legs on our ShopSabre SideKick CNC Plasma model are steel tubes that are welded with cross bracing in both directions allowing you to put heavy plates on the table without fear of the table collapsing. In fact, all SideKick models come with a minimum of 6 legs which means you get corner support PLUS center machine support. Our ShopSabre ShopMaster Plasma systems take all the weight directly to the ground by bringing tube steel bracing and plate steel shell to the floor suspending no weight. We don’t use cheap covers or panels to hide our structure. Our machines outweigh the competition and give you much more strength. Don’t settle for a machine that is simply bolted together or picked off a shelf and pieced together. Our frames are engineered to be second-to-no-other design. Nearly 20 years of experience has proven our machines can withstand the growth and changes in your everyday business operations.
The ShopSabre CNC SideKick and ShopMaster Pro CNC Plasma systems all come with a similar industrial gantry construction found on the high production $100,000 series tables. We don’t put a lightweight gantry on an industrial frame and call it complete. We go above and beyond by pairing our industrial frame work with an industrial steel tube gantry. The gantries are milled and stress relieved to ensure you get the highest level of precision. We pair this with the over-sized tubes and plate steel gantry uprights which allow you to push the CNC plasma machines harder and faster without worrying about deflection or inaccuracy seen from lighter gantries found on competitors CNC plasma tables.
Built to Withstand Heat
When cutting with a flame into steel, you are working with higher temperatures that rise into the gantry bridge over and over with your machine use. Machines using lightweight steel and aluminum bridges will warp slightly over time and cause the CNC plasma machine’s accuracy to change as it heats and cools over and over. A ShopSabre CNC gantry is built from Tube steel and lifted to 8” minimum clearance providing adequate space for heat to escape. This allows your machine to work cooler for longer periods of time, reducing warping and heat soak found in competitors systems. By the numbers, Aluminum has a 1266.66 degree heat rating vs. steel being 2500 degrees – Adding Steel adds precision and stability you can count on for many years (Note all high production machines on the market use Steel Gantry designs)
Motion Components (Drives, Guides, and Motors)
ShopSabre CNC uses all high-precision components on our CNC Plasma systems. For example, we use the same 25MM linear guide rails with quad roller sets internally with triple wiper linear guide bearing blocks found on high-end mills and larger CNC Plasma tables. We use two of these bearing blocks on each linear guide rail to ensure the cut forces are equally distributed over the linear guide rail to reduce the amount of wear and noise.
No use of Old Technology like V Rollers, Bearing Slides, Etc. – You get the Technology that is current with ShopSabre CNC!
Self-Cleaning Systems, Low Failure Rates
The triple sealed bearing blocks ensure that no matter how much debris and dust build up on the rails from your cutting you will not get failure to the bearings when properly maintained. The design also makes the machine a self-cleaning system so you do not need to worry about wiping down the rails or watching for buildup. Don’t fall for the wordy competitor’s technology – precision rollers, precision slides, or V-guide precision rollers are all fancy ways to say lower quality bearings. Linear guide rails and bearings are top of the industry technology, and you should expect this on the CNC plasma equipment you purchase.
A Better Drive System
On our ShopSabre CNC Plasma tables, the motion along the Y Axis is driven with dual drive rack and pinion. However, unlike most CNC manufacturers, ShopSabre CNC uses our own engineered and designed “Floating Drive system” to provide you with better motion and more precise cuts than competitors’ models. The floating drive system brings a new technology to an old drive system. ShopSabre CNC engineers reduces the largest problems with rack and pinion: gear wear, debris build up, and excessive accuracy change over the life of a machine equipped.
Our floating drive system is a technology that is in house designed technology so if you don’t own a ShopSabre you don’t own this technology. This technology involves inverting the drive rack to eliminate the buildup of plasma slag, dust, and debris while incorporating a tension system independently driving each rack gear. This allows the gears to wear independently without changing the accuracy of the table. No air requirements, no cylinders to wear out, no worry about sticking. These drive systems are covered and protected from the elements and because there are no cutting loads against the design mechanics, the CNC Plasma table will outlast the competition.
Most rack and pinion are mounted in the upward position and the gear drives are only gravity fit so the weight of the gantry pushes down on the gears & pinions. As weight transfers from X&Z motion, you get an uneven wear pattern resulting in failures and cutting performance issues. Our tension system will self-adjust as it moves from one part of the rack system to another, such as from front to rear of machine. This allows the gears to retain consistent tension while maintaining the same amount of contact pressure regardless if you have worn one part of the drive rack down. Many CNC plasma cutters work in the same area over and over which causes wear to a set portion of the rack while wearing the entire gear. Once you go to work on another part of the machine, the gears are now out of tension for the part of the gear that has not worn. The ShopSabre CNC floating drive system recognizes this change and will adjust on the fly to prevent over tightening the gear which may snap off teeth or loosening of the gear on competitor’s machines which will cause a miss-step by spinning of a gear providing false motion. The ShopSabre CNC Plasma motion control is second to none because it gives you the accuracy you would expect from a drive system that is common in the CNC industry.
True CNC Router Capabilities on a CNC Plasma System
Like all ShopSabre CNC products, the Z Axis on our CNC plasma systems are driven with an industrial ball screw drives similar to those found in high-end mills and CNC Routers.
ShopSabre CNC is also an American made CNC manufacturer offering FULL production CNC Routing solutions so this allows you to add more advanced routing abilities to your CNC Plasma because of our experience and dedication to the CNC Routing technology. Most CNC plasma machines tell you to just bolt on a cheap CNC router, but what they fail to tell you is the forces a CNC router puts into the machine require a heavier X & Z Axis then ANY plasma machine provides. ShopSabre CNC uses the same technology from our CNC router division to give you the ability to add our true CNC router capabilities to the ShopSabre SideKick CNC Plasma model without having to sacrifice cut quality or precision. Look around the CNC router industry and you will see the high-quality CNC routers are equipped with similar drive technology and construction technology to handle the cutting forces of CNC router. After all, ShopSabre CNC is the only system in this price range with over 20 years of experience building an entire lineup of industrial CNC routers.
The ShopSabre CNC drives are all driven by Closed Loop Servo Motors with real encoder technology. Our Y Axis has more power than any comparably priced machine and in most cases the Y Axis alone adds up to more torque and precision than many competitively priced machines entire machine combined. Many competitors use motors that are low torque Stepper Motors or half as powerful Servos which is why they run light aluminum gantries which produce low acceleration and deceleration rates which will result in poor cut quality. With higher acceleration/deceleration rates, you can cut into a corner or circle and get in and out faster while reducing the heat effect in one area causing the metal to blow out or warp severely. Don’t be fooled into believing Stepper motors can do all that a servo can. Check the brand, the technology, and the sizes before assuming they are better. Lower quality Chinese DC Servos won’t provide you any advantages over our stepper motor setup so be sure the machine you buy has Servo Motors built by a NAME Brand. Our CNC Plasma tables are engineered to be right, this means matched motor technology for the design – not just slapped together with a list of parts off the shelf generically produced.
The ShopSabre motors allow you to use speed to your advantage to keep the quality of your cuts a level above the rest. The quality matches what you find in the bigger more expensive machines, but the pricing matches what you get from the cheap imported CNC plasma machines and low quality aluminum/sheet metal constructed systems.
ShopSabre CNC Controller
Power of Industrial Technology, Convenience of a PC
ShopSabre CNC uses the best of both worlds when it comes to a controller. Unlike many competitors, we DO NOT use cheap hobby controllers such as Mach 3 or something proprietary built that can cause programming issues. We use an industrial controller that has been conveniently installed into a PC tower, making this the easiest to operate industrial controller and giving you the most control over your CNC system. Our system does not connect to the machine with a cheap printer port or USB cable. We use a true CNC grade industrial connection via a high-definition 37 pin connection. Standard USB cables used by most hobby machines run into communication errors because they are designed for 1-way communication (Computer to MP3 player or Camera to Computer). CNC machines talk back and forth a lot, so the communication will directly affect the cutting abilities of a machine. ShopSabre CNC controllers take this into consideration and provide the smoothest transfer of information eliminating the “saw blade” look in your cuts or random un-programmed movements.
You do not want a system that has what others call “tunnel vision” because then you won’t be able to alter drawings at your CNC system or store files at your CNC. The ShopSabre has over 200GB of AT MACHINE STORAGE from a Solid-State Hard Drive, and you can load your CAD software on the machine computer so you do not need to walk away to make changes to a file. This is largely because of the fact we have Windows OS available at your CNC Machine but do not run the machine through the Windows OS giving you the best of both worlds.
No Special Training and Maximum Capabilities
The ShopSabre CNC control system is simple to learn and requires NO special training because it is designed to be as easy as the cheap controller systems with the capabilities found in the $100,000+ CNC plasma machines.
The ShopSabre controller has a built-in microprocessor (PCI Card) that ONLY drives your CNC machine while the PC processor runs the PC and any programs you might have running. The ShopSabre CNC controller has available USB drives to ensure you can plug in your flash drives and external hard drives or USB wireless cards. The ShopSabre CNC system also comes with Ethernet capabilities as well as network capabilities. Many people are given false information from commission paid sales guys that all PC style controllers are only for hobby use. The ShopSabre CNC system has EVERY capability that the competitors with standalone controllers have along with many capabilities that the competitors cannot offer (even machines costing $100,000) such as these great features below:
Auto Machine Squaring
Each day our machines square and align themselves allowing you to work with the confidence that the machine is square and true.
The ShopSabre can compensate for the flame kerf so your holes are round and your cuts are straight.
ShopSabre CNC plasma has the ability to trace templates or existing parts. This allows you to make mock ups with cheap materials such as cardboard. Once you get the fitment right, you can trace your template and cut the real thing. If someone brings you a broken bracket, you can simply weld it together and trace it allowing you to cut out a new bracket to replace the broken one without having to depend on the weld to hold!
Go from .DXF file to cut out part in seconds with direct import capabilities
Have you ever tried to align a 5 x 10 sheet of ¾” steel? It’s not fun, but our system allows you to reference corners of a sheet with your torch or laser sights and then auto skews the drawing to match the plate so you can cut out the parts knowing it will stay on the plate, helping to eliminate wasted material and time.
Start and Stop anywhere on your table anywhere in your file by simple push button commands allowing you to fix a tip up or torch out and continue on the work you started without throwing away the metal.
Integrated Cutter Feature
Our Controller has the Powermax Settings Pre-loaded for your convenience, you simply select the material you want to cut from the list and the machine pre-loads the speeds, feeds, cut height, torch height control, etc. On top of that, it will display the torch consumables you require to get started so you don’t have to flip through a manual or manually input settings – our control simply works better!
This is just a handful of the unique machine capabilities we offer along with photo recognition from ShopSabre quickdraw & EnRoute Fabrication which scales photos and imports art. The only limitation of a ShopSabre is the user’s imagination.
The ShopSabre PC Controller is designed to be in a work environment, so you can be assured that dust and dirt won’t cause an issue. And don’t worry about those windows updates that the competitors try to play off as the end of your machine. Windows has been around long enough and our engineers have figured out how to make everything work together in harmony. The controller updates with windows so you will never run into a problem with compatibility because we offer updates for life!
Digital Torch Height Control
Control Your Torch Height
ShopSabre CNC Plasma machines have the option of using Integrated Digital Torch Height control. Many people believe that torch height control is used on all materials, but that is incorrect. Torch Height control is used when cutting materials where warping is present, typically on material ½” and thinner. Our Torch height control system is not a standalone feature plugged into the system. Our system is integrated into the Plasma cutter on itself and controlled right on the operating screen of your machine allowing quicker response and more precision in the cuts.
More Accurate Cuts
Many competitors have a separate box they wire to the cutter and computer; however, the ShopSabre system is designed to plug directly into the OEM Port specifically designed by Hypertherm & Thermal Dynamics on their Plasma cutters. Our torch height control reads constant voltage and monitors it unlike many systems that only check it for the first few seconds of a cut and then never watch the voltage. Our system will actually adjust for rust and warp, giving you more accurate cuts and better consumable life because it keeps the torch cutting in “the sweet spot” of the flame. When a flame cuts in the middle of the diamond, it gives a straighter cut with fewer bevels so you get a more accurate part. The torch height control by ShopSabre CNC can be set for delays allowing you to cut corrugated and extruded metals with great success. Don’t settle for inferior torch height control systems. Go with a system that has been proven with over 10 years of success unmatched by any comparably priced machine.
Hypertherm and Thermal Dynamics Torch Compatibility
ShopSabre CNC Plasma systems are compatible with two of the largest plasma torch names in the automated industry: Hypertherm and Victor Technologies Thermal Dynamics. Our machines are so popular in today’s market that we work hand in hand with Thermal Dynamics and Hypertherms technicians and sales teams to provide you the best quality cutters available today. If you are not using one of these two manufacturers, then you are giving up cut quality.
ShopSabre technicians are invited to the Thermal Dynamics and Hypertherm Certification classes to ensure that the technology we use and the technology they use is passed along to you the customer. This is very important because not everyone in CNC manufacturing is certified like ShopSabre CNC, and the support goes hand-in-hand with this. ShopSabre has CNC Plasma machines in the personal shops of many Thermal Dynamic and Hypertherm employees because of the quality and partnerships we have developed over the years of business in the CNC Plasma industry. Don’t trust systems with less experience when you can get into a system for similar money with much more quality and experience.
Other ShopSabre Benefits
- ShopSabre CNC puts additional time and money into assuring that each CNC plasma system is 100% TESTED prior to leaving our facility so you won’t be the tester in the field. The ShopSabre CNC plasma is designed to drop into your building and go to work. We build your CNC plasma machine for YOU!
- ShopSabre CNC puts more time and effort into verifying each mounting bracket and tool plate is precision machined to exacting specs to increase the overall cutting accuracy and better fitments to ensure you do not get any binding or excessive wear.
- ShopSabre CNC uses High Grade CNC wiring (Continuous Flex Robotics wiring) that is specifically designed for the type of work a CNC plasma does. It can bend and move all day without having any issues and the anti-interference coating makes certain the wires are less likely to have interference from other electronic equipment in your shop, assuring you get the most accuracy possible. Many competitors use a cheap wire that can be purchased off the shelf for less money, yet they still charge comparable pricing. Cheap wiring with plasma frequency is a bad combination which is why our upgraded wiring is necessary for the best performance.
- Unlike many competitors that offer Laser calibrations by request, we do this as a part of EVERY build to guarantee our CNC plasma machines are as accurate as possible. We also stress relieve all steel to confirm the CNC plasma machine is straight and true ultimately giving you more precision in your cuts.
- ShopSabre CNC plasma systems are fully upgradable, if you want to start with the basics and add the bells and whistles down the road almost every option, with few exceptions can be added after the sale in the field. (Ask Sales for Details)
- ShopSabre CNC plasma tables are designed to be easy to work on so you do not need a ShopSabre CNC technician to come into your facility to help; we make it so that you incur low operational cost yet get a big return on your investment.
- If you do find yourself in need of help ShopSabre CNC offers FREE life-time tech support and assistance because we are that confident that our machine will last a life-time. If a manufacturer builds a product, we believe they should back it because we know the quality that comes with our systems we live by this philosophy. The ShopSabre systems can also be connected via internet to a ShopSabre technician allowing us to be there sooner at less cost. We also offer phone support as well as email support allowing you to make the call without fear of high bills. If you have questions contact us directly!
- We also provide you FREE Life-Time Training Access and SabreNation University Access – this means we give you the tools to learn how to run your ShopSabre without added costs!
- ShopSabre sales staff are not paid on commission, so the only reason for them to recommend an option is truly to benefit your project and CNC plasma machine capabilities. Instead of taking opinions from people who are paid more commission to sell you something you don’t need, trust our professional consultants who are here for you and your company.
- ShopSabre CNC has no reason to encourage you to spend more money than you need to up front to perform your job.
- ShopSabre CNC plasma systems all come with a complete warranty to give you the peace of mind knowing your machine is covered.
Don’t be fooled by other systems on the market. We are so confident in our CNC Plasma machines we invite you to our facility to view where we construct them and see the quality first hand! With prices starting under $15,000, you can’t afford to not check us out!
Buy your 2nd CNC Plasma table the first time and be proud of your investment. Save yourself the headache of shopping again and contact our sales department today to get a quote or more information!