To use a plasma cutter to cut a pattern, select a plasma cutter, set up the work area, review the safety manual, set up the materials, begin the cut and clean the piece when finished, notes TheFabricator.com. If the design being cut is for a template, it should take into account the radius of the cutting tip in the initial design. A plasma cutter uses a high-velocity jet of ionized gas to melt material and create a pattern.
Use the steps below to create a pattern using a plasma cutter.
- Select the plasma cutter
- Set up the work area
- Set up the work materials
- Start to cut
- Finish the cut
- Clean the area
Select a plasma cutter based on the machine's cut rating and types of tips that it can use. Choose a plasma cutter than can cut the thickness of the most-often-used material. Make sure the cutting tip can rest properly on the material as it cuts.
Set up the work area before beginning to cut. The table should maintain good electrical contact. Use fans and holes to keep fumes away from anyone operating the cutter. Review the safety materials for the plasma cutter.
Make sure all work materials are set up and available. Securely clamp down the material and template on the metal block.
Start cutting at an area outside the design and hold the plasma cutter torch at an angle. Maintain the piece in the proper position with the hand that is not cutting.
Complete all cuts that require the template, and then hand-cut any areas that are too small for the template.
Finish the piece by knocking off any remaining dross and grinding any rough edges.