A Brief History of Plasma

Plasma cutting has proven its worth as an effective, reliable cutting method since its development in the 1960s, and has continued to be used for the mass production of parts. Its efficiency was greatly maximized by the introduction of CNC (computer numerical control) in the late 1980s to early 1990s. This gave operators the ability to create a computer program that told the machines exactly what to do over both X and Y axes. Over the years progress in technology has allowed for the introduction of a third axis to create bevels, to cut around things such as pipe, and for concave/convex shapes. This drastically increased the scope of CNC cutting and has really put it on the map.

Why Do We Keep Using Plasma Despite the Competition?

There is water jet and laser cutting which both produce amazing cuts; so why do we keep coming back to plasma? The simple answer is because it’s more affordable while still producing great results. Plasma cutting is hands down the most affordable, accurate cutting method out there.

There are many industries that rely heavily upon plasma cutting. Tractors, loaders, excavators, floor and ceiling trusses and anything needing a bracket or gusset are more often than not made with the help of plasma. Using a handheld torch also comes in very handy when parts need to be cut off and replaced, and in any situation where getting the piece on an automated cutting table doesn’t work. Plasma then becomes twice as useful – firstly for part extraction, and secondly in the production of the replacement part.

Plasma isn’t the only contender though, of course. Water jet and laser cutting hold their share of the marketplace. Where plasma can suffer from distortion of holes and mild bevels, water jet breezes by. And where plasma lacks the ability to achieve incredibly fine details with extreme accuracy, laser prevails. These are no small requirements when a job calls for them. Some projects may need laser, some water jet, and some may use a combination of the three cutting methods. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses. We must note here though that advances in plasma technology are putting it right up with water jet and laser for both cut squareness and hole accuracy. Hi Def plasma cutting has revolutionized the way we think about plasma cutting capabilities, and it’s exciting to think about where it will lead us.

What Can CNC Plasma Cutting Do For Me?

The way plasma cutting is utilized can vary greatly, and it can open up the doors to a lot of different work. It can be used for industrial parts or home decor. It can make you excavator parts or a beautiful design on a steel coffee table. The options of what can be done are literally endless, especially when pairing CNC cutting with general fabrication. An intricate drawing of an owl (like the one seen on our for sale page) can become something to have framed and hung on the wall, to a side table with weathered wood, to a light box or to a stylishly rusted feature standing in the garden. A favorite quote can be turned into physical letters and words to hang in the home. Larger, more visible and interesting numbers can be cut for the address sign on a house. All types of parts for many industries can be cut, bent, rolled and welded for the perfect fit. The more research one does on CNC plasma cutting, the more apparent it will become just how diverse the range of products is it can produce.