CNC Plasma Cutter -- Torchmate 2

From Artisan's Asylum

Jump to: navigation, search
Tools at the Asylum
Torchmate CNC Plasma Cutter

General Info
ModelTorchmate 2
SerialCustom Built
Mfr. Specs
ManualCustom Tool Training
Training (experimental section)
Tool SpeciesCNC Plasma Cutters
(Includes rubric, training information, and testing information.)
Asylum Info
LocationWelding Annex
Operational Status
Latest Status
QR Code


CNC Plasma Cutter

We have a Torchmate 2, 4'x8' bed computer-controlled plasma cutter with an 85-amp power supply and a custom water table at Artisan's Asylum. It has the capacity to cut 5/8" thick sheet steel at 60% duty cycle, and the capability of cutting through up to 1-1/4" steel with an edge start. This tool is essentially a giant lasercutter for metal; it takes DXF files and turns them into computer-cut metal, at rates of upwards of 220 inches per minute.

The plasma cutter power unit itself is a Hypertherm Powermax85, but note that the unit is not available for hand-operated cutting.


Working surface49” x 97"
Weight Capacity600 lb
Cutting Speed220 ipm
Power Output85 amps @ 60% duty
Max. Production Cut5/8" mild steel
Max. Possible Cut1-1/4" mild steel
MaterialMost metals
Floor area (w x d)6' x 10'
Net weight2,000 lb
  • Special note: This plasma cutting system has a custom-built water table for material support. Most automated and hand-operated plasma cutters cut in air; this generates a huge amount of airborne particulates, grit, and dust, and often causes significant distortion of the metal being cut. Water tables absorb 95% of the grit and fumes from plasma cutting, while also cooling the parts being cut and helping resist the usual distortion.
Tool Species
CNC Plasma Cutter -- Torchmate 2

A tool species is a logical grouping of tools based on similarity of function, use, and safety.

Asylum Tool Species Info
To use any of the tools listed on this page, you are required to complete the testing program described here. You should get training or equivalent experience at the Asylum or elsewhere before testing.
RubricCNC Plasma Cutter Rubric
TrainingTool Training: CNC Plasma Cutter
TestingBy appointment after taking class.
Operational Status
Operational Status
Maintenence Tickets

This document is an internal Artisan's Asylum training document and is provided "as is", to be used as a reference only. Use of this document for any purposes other than as reference material (i.e., for the purposes of training and testing users on tools or equipment by other commercial entities or individuals) is not advised. In no event shall the authors of this material, or Artisan's Asylum, Inc., be liable for any claim, damages, or other liability whether in action or contract, arising from, out of, or in connection with the use of the information in this document for training, testing, or on-going safe use of fabrication equipment. Please consult your own lawyers and subject matter experts if you are looking to develop your own safety curriculum for fabrication equipment operation. Tool operators are responsible for their own safety, including reading and understanding the owners manual for this equipment and all of the warnings it contains.

Documentation and Training

The CNC plasma cutter is a combination of a control computer running proprietary software, a gantry control unit, a height control unit for the torch head, a plasma cutting torch with five different consumable parts, and a plasma cutter power unit. Each of these parts has some element of human interaction, and as a result the training documentation for the overall system has been custom-generated by Artisan's Asylum. For reference, this documentation is posted here:

No Testing Option Available

Please note that, due to the extremely dangerous and custom-built nature of this machine, all members must go through CNC plasma cutter tool training to be able to use this tool. There is no separate testing-out process. After the tool training class has been taken, members must demonstrate competency by running cuts in front of the tool training instructor at a later date.

Reservations and Pricing

This tool (literally) burns through costly consumables every few hours of runtime, uses significant amounts (12 kW) of electricity and compressed air, and needs regular maintenance and attention. As a result, Artisan's Asylum charges $45 per cutting hour to run the machine. Consumables are stocked by the Asylum, and are available at the operator station. Please note that this rate may change as we evaluate the actual vs. projected cost of running the machine long-term.

As a result of the significant time needed to setup, run a cut, and clean up after a cut, this tool also requires reservations to be made for its use. This wiki contains information on Making Reservations, and you can sign up for reservations of your own here.


How to Plasma Cut a Vector Graphic

Personal tools
Wiki Maintenance