If you have no programming experience, or need an easy way to get your optimal cut dialed in, the TFS Line Program is just for you! It’s 100% free and will help you get started with no programming experience required.
Just load and go!
How it works
The TFS Line Program is SIMPLE! It sends your CNC plasma cutter through a series of very typical paths and processes to produce a small part that will help you analyze in order to configure your optimal cut on your machine. You do not need any programming experience at all. You just need to load the program and go!
How to Use the TFS Line Program
Press “Load G-Code”
Locate the downloaded TFS Line Program 50 IPM .tap file
Position the torch with enough space to cut the part.
Press “Cycle Start”
The default speed for the TFS Line Program are set at 50 inches per minute (1,270mm per minute)
Pierce time is 1 second. A 40 amp unit can pierce 1/8” or 3mm steel in less time and amperage. This should be fine. If it is not long enough for whatever reason, download and run our line program with either .5 or 2 second pierce delay.
There is no kerf offset programmed into this program. KERF OFFSET IS NOT NEEDED. The line program runs straight down the center of the line and is irrelevant to the purchase and function of the program. However, you can measure your kerf width of your optimal part.
How to Override
Feed Rate Override (FRO) is near the lower right corner of Mach3. You can click or drag the green bar to adjust your feed rate. The feed rate is set at 50 IPM as the base speed. You can override the speed as low as 6% (3 IPM), or as fast as 250% (150 IPM). Simple slide the green bar to the desired feed rate displayed on the “FRO” bar. You can also click on he FRO bar and enter the desired speed.
The Optimal Cut
Dross - The ideal or optimal cut will have the least amount of dross on the bottom of the part (bubbly, slaggy, frozen metal looking junk)
Height - The ideal height is what sets the width of the plasma flame dead center of the material thickness. In other words, the top of the cut should be the same width as the bottom of the cut.
if the top of the cut is narrower than the bottom - the torch is too low
if the top of the cut is wider than the bottom - the torch is too high
Beveled Cuts - If you see a bevel (crooked or sideways cut), you’re likely running a little too fast, or the consumables on your torch are worn out. Beveled cuts also relate to height, but if you have an even straight line width with a beveled cut after a direction change, try turning the travel speed down a couple points. You might have to sacrifice a straight cut for additional low speed dross on less expensive tables.
Warping - The optimal cut should have no warping or distortion. Travel speed or amperage (or both) is what you need to adjust and find a good balance of to get the optimal cut.
At the end of the day, you’ll likely have to cut A LOT of metal to get it just right. The smallest change to one parameter will change them all. BE PATIENT! Less expensive tables will create less than desirable results. In order to make the perfect cut, you have to balance out the feed rate, amperage, air pressure, and torch height (if not automatically controlled). Your poer source (the plasma unit) will also change the results. Just be patient and run it until it is perfect. It’s frustrating! But that’s just how it works until something else comes along.
Pierce Delay Time
How long should you have for pierce delay?
The 1 second delay program is average. This will likely work for all metals as long as you have enough amperage to cut it.
However, if the torch is blowing out on the pierce time, you will want a shorter pierce delay (like half of a second).
On the opposite side, if you are not able to pierce the part at all, you might want to try the 2 second pierce delay if you are maxed out on machine amperage.
Download the File
You should be on a computer to download unless you have found a way to run your CNC machine from your phone…..
a .tap file is useless on your phone… (just saying….)