Introducing the 1300PL CNC Plasma Table

Here at Tormach, we’ve long been known as a company that cuts metal – afterall, we sell several different CNC mills, a lathe, a bandsaw, an automatic grinder, and even a router that can cut aluminum. But, we knew there was still something missing.

Introducing the 1300PL CNC Plasma Table!

1300PL CNC Plasma Table Specs

The 1300PL has a solid design with the features in mind that have made our other machines attractive to so many businesses, hobbyists, and entrepreneurs. Like our 1100MX, the 1300PL uses single-phase 230 Vac power on a 20 A breaker, so it fits in your garage as easily as it fits in your shop.

Boasting travels of 50 in. x 51.5 in x 3.9 in. (X x Y x Z), the table has a max feed rate of 1000 IPM in X and Y, and 120 IPM in Z. Plasma cutting like this requires a water table for dust control and cooling, so the 51.2 in. x 51.2 in. table holds up to 59 gallons of liquid. 

The machine footprint is a bit larger, clicking in at 78 in. x 70 in., with 55 in. overall height. The gantry system is servo driven, while the Z-axis uses a NEMA 23 stepper. We’re offering a full line of Hypertherm torches and consumables thanks to a strategic partnership we’ve built with their organization.

And all of this provides a resolution of 0.0005”, repeatability of  ±0.001”, and positional accuracy of ≤0.005 in./ft.

The Perks of Plasma

Almost every machine shop could benefit from the addition of a plasma table. While your mill can turn an impressive array of stock into parts, a plasma table adds a new dimension.

Plasma cutting is the process of cutting through electrically conductive materials by means of an accelerated jet of hot plasma.

Much like a router, plasma tables often operate mostly in the X and Y axes. The 1300PL also provides a torch height control feature, which allows you to cut a wavy piece of metal. As the torch cuts, it can measure the arc voltage between the torch tip and the material, telling the machine if it is getting closer or farther away, and then adjusting.

Because the 1300PL uses a gantry system for the CNC movement, it can cut large, flat stock with ease.

Using a plasma table also makes for a more efficient way to cut blanks that you can then finish in your CNC mill. For instance, custom knifemakers often use a plasma table to create blanks for their knives and finish up the cutting process on their mill, rather than cutting everything from raw stock.

This saves time and tool life in your shop.

Why Tormach Made a Plasma Table

Tormach’s foray into the world of plasma cutting started with two other machines. The 24R CNC Router and the AF50 Automatic Feed Bandsaw.

When we created the AF50 bandsaw, we saw an immediate demand in fabrication shops. While really large shops already had big, expensive automatic saws, most smaller shops were still cutting stock by having an operator stand at their bandsaw.

That got us looking at fabricators and welders, and wondering how they might benefit from Tormach CNC.

During the engineering process for the 24R, we realized how many routers just didn’t have high quality controllers. Our software engineers saw the opportunity to make using a router much easier, and took to making PathPilot ready for the nuances of working in 2.5 axes.

Folks who already use PathPilot on our mills and lathe know the value in its ease of use. We realized that many plasma tables out there suffered from the same challenges as many CNC routers… hard-to-use control systems.

PathPilot has been configured to make plasma cutting intuitive and easy. For instance, anybody who has worked in 2D is used to using DXF files. You can simply import a DXF into PathPilot (without any CAM), and it will generate the proper G-code. 

What’s more is our addition of the material selector for the 1300PL. Import your DXF, tell PathPilot what material you’re using, and your G-code and speeds and feeds are created for you. All you have to do is indicate your stock and hit go.

We’ve also added a “dry run” feature, which allows you to make sure you’re cutting within the boundaries of your material. Because plasma tables can use large pieces of stock, many operators re-use the same stock multiple times… kind of like cutting cookies out of dough. The more you use the stock, the harder it can be to judge whether or not your part will fit. The dry run button allows you to double check.

The other big reason we made a plasma table is because we are still striving to make manufacturing more approachable. That’s why all of our machine tools run on standard household power – so you don’t have to get access to an industrial space.

The 1300PL is no different. In fact, it is one of the only plasma tables on the market that can be delivered via a lift gate truck. That means no need for riggers, electricians, or special equipment. You can get a plasma table delivered to your house or shop, and easily position it where you need with a pallet jack.

A Tormach is a Tormach

With each machine and product we develop, we go back to our roots, and the original goal of Tormach: Help people make things. As always, we offer price points that are a fraction of next-step-up machines, and with quality and value that similarly-priced machines simply don’t deliver. 

We’re excited to produce a plasma table that checks all the boxes that make it a Tormach, and we look forward to our customers sharing their stories of success.

Chris Fox

Chris comes from a publishing background with years of experience in science, technology, and engineering publications. Previously an editor with Product Design and Development and Gizmag, he has a keen eye on the maker community and the changing landscape of the world of prototyping, product development, and small-scale manufacturing. Chris has been working with clients to create Tormach's customer success stories since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheChris_Fox

Chris Fox

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