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MasterCam guide for Baileigh PT-22 CNC Plasma Cutter
This document will help students create a CAM file from a DXF file for use on the CNC plasma cutter
Save your part as a DXF file with the correct view in millimeters. DXF files can be constructed in many different software programs (SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Adobe Illustrator) just google how to make a DXF in the applicable software. A great free tool is Convertio, https://convertio.co/dxf-converter/, which takes a black and white stenciled image and generates a DXF file that can be edited for scale and features in Solidworks.
Open MasterCam. MasterCam can be accessed through any CAE Lab (), using the COE VPN ( ), or downloading the HLE edition on your own computer ( ).
Open up MasterCam configurations (File → Configuration → Current [Drop down menu at the bottom of the window] → Select the startup setting that ends in <Metric>) and set the units to metric by selecting the metric setting under the current/startup dropdown menu at the bottom of the pop-up window. Accept the configuration by clicking the green checkmark and close the window. Other configuration settings can be set such as background, axis, line colors, and many other things.
Import your DXF file by dragging the file into the sketch plane. Once loaded move the drawing into one quadrant (NOTE: Remember which quadrant you use as this affects how you will set up the plasma cutter; I use the 1st quadrant [positive x and positive y] as this makes it easier when setting up the plasma cutter) If you wish to learn to draw in MasterCam, Lynda.com has some good tutorials for learning how to do this.
Scale the drawing larger or smaller if needed. The limit on the size you can cut on the CNC plasma is 600mm X 600mm.
Set the machine to the default metric mill post.
Set up the stock, using the bounding box is quite convenient in this application and Z cannot be zero, so increment the z value by one.
Use contour cuts (upper left corner of the mill toolpaths menu), as they follow geometry lines on either the left, right, or on the center of the line. The order you click your curves will be the order they cut on the plasma, so select the smallest interior features first and the exterior cutout last. Pay attention to the direction of the green arrow as this will determine the direction of travel and thus the cutter compensation; your options are left, right, or off depending on the side of the line you want cut. The tool diameter will be the width of the kerf width which changes based on type of material, thickness of the material, speed of cut, and amperage of the cut, included here as a pdf attachment. The shielded tip is used for heavier cuts and the exposed tip will be used for thin materials, one off parts, and finer detail cuts. The lead in feature will start the cut away from your line and arc towards the line to prevent having any defect from the pierce.
Once your program is completed, bring to professional staff to have the program checked and posted. Send both the MasterCam program and a DXF of what you would like to make via email to: firstname.lastname@example.orgExposed tip: PlasmaCutterSettingsTable1.pdf
Shielded tip: PlasmaCutterSettingsTable2.pdf