Industrial plasma/oxy fuel cutter cnc controller and setup

Hi all, I am on rebuild of one old plasma oxy fuel gantry machine. Still need to buy the gearboxes for the longitudnal axe but I have already the servo motors.
Machine is 5m large and have about 10m long rails. On the longitudnal axe I plan to have 2 servo motors of 1kw each, I bought the dmm-tech dyn4 drives and DST servos. On the transversal axe I plan to have a single servo of about 750w also from dmm-tech.

Now I woul like suggestions on which cnc controller to buy for this machine ?

I thought about using linuxcnc initially maybe wire together some arduino with grbl or buy some
plasma cutting cnc controller on aliexpress ?

What do you suggest ? What experience you have ?

Never built a plasma cutter but have CNC and Laser cutter.
I like the smoothie …

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At that size, I’d default to looking at LinuxCNC even though I haven’t used it yet. A machine that substantial probably would reward the substantial configuration effort. It’s been used in a lot of complex “big iron” CNC conversions for years. We have a few LinuxCNC users here; @dougl has been most recently vocal and if you look at his recent posts you’ll see several comments across multiple posts about his LinuxCNC experience worth reading.

That’s nothing against smoothie! :relaxed: But I would not rule LinuxCNC out without learning more about it.


I’d go for Linuxcnc with a Mesanet FPGA card.
This combination removes the need for a PC that can handle the timing requirements as these are passed off to the Mesa board.
Have a look at the Linuxcnc forum.

Gecko Drives are hard to beat for both stepper and servo drivers.

Hi all and thanks for your suggestions, I am also more inclined to go with linuxcnc, I have installed it few times but never had a chance to use it on a real machine. I know thee is some external components which fit better together. Will dig more into it. Right now the first plan is to make the
supporting table and the mechanical part to work. There is a lot of things to do still.

@GeoffS do you have maybe a specific model of that FPGA card ? Theres is a lot of them on the site.

The site does give a list of Linux compatible Plug and Play board combinations i.e a card that goes in the PC and an external connection module.
My suggestion is to join the Linucnc forums and check the Drivers section. The developer of the Mesanet range is a regular contributor.
This post might help: Mesa FAQ - LinuxCNC

Many thanks, will try to contact them and see more on linuxcnc forums.

@saxa Don’t forget us here and please keep us up-to-date!

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Sure, absolutely not.

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We’d love to see pictures of this beast of a machine, too! :relaxed:

Build logs are a welcome feature here, so if you talk about your progress and share pictures, that would be wonderful.


Yeah, will try to. The machine as it was when I bought it is like on the pictures over here
on this link:
But its state right now is not much different. We just repaint it now I need to find time and money to get the correct gearboxes, and of course most probably all the linear guides and racks. Probably will put on the helicoidal racks and pinions. Will keep posting here, but the story is still long.

If you want to experiment with LinuxCNC on an rPi for cheap you can try the Remora project which puts Step Generation on a standard LPC1768/LPC1769 based 3D printer board(SKR v1.4, v1.4 turbo, v1.3, MKS Sbase v1.3 and probably other Smoothieboard type boards ).

I’ve got it working with a SKR v1.4 turbon on my Creality Ender 3 3D printer, on my K40 laser cutter using a MKS Sbase v1.3. It also works on CNC machines and has closed loop control capabilities via encoders and even a high speed encoder for a CNC spindle.

It uses a SPI bus connection between the rPi and the 3DP controller. A pretty inexpensive platform even if just experimenting.

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Making it easier to see these files:

Wow! what a beast!

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Dougl many thanks. In fact my initial idea was to use linuxcnc on a computermounted on the machine, but then I started to play with RPi and similar boards and then I tought it could be a worth to try. After all then I was thinking about cncjs interface. I am not very experienced , but I know my way on linux, although I have no much clue on how to connect all those servos and make the control panel. Still studying that part. I think its nothing very difficult to do but surely there is a lot of things to be careful on. I plan to use that machine for simple shape cuts we need to do for our products. Most probably will be more used as oxy fuel than plasma as we work with steels from 25mm up.


@mcdanlj thanks for doing it. This pics are really how the machine was when I got it.