3 in 1 CNC. Plasma + Router + Laser

Hello there Avidcnc community. I am interested in building a 3 in 1 CNC machine. Does a machine like this already exist and are there some resources I can read upon?

Thank you in advance.

Laser is less useful. Plasma pays for itself pretty darn quick.

I would spring for the extended gantry and dual heads again. I have a PRO60120 and I have the 4x8 water table which fits perfectly on the leg braces under the table. I use some chains and a 2 ton engine crane to swap the spoilboard for the water table. With the crane it’s a one man job. You will need two people otherwise

Don’t expect much from the laser because the aluminum extrusion is prone to ringing. The whole goal behind laser is the faster you can move that head the better. The more abrupt your head can change direction the better. Otherwise you are just slow and nowhere as good as a $1,200 machine from China.

But the Plasma, wow! Talk about a great asset!

PS. Also get a box and pan brake with that plasma cutter. The sky is the limit with that setup.

Well the reason I want all 3 is to have it multi functional. Lets take a bench as an example witch is one of the main products I am looking to build. The bench needs a metal frame this can be cut with the plasma. Then I want a nice oak slab to be the main bench. This slab has to be cut to size and flattened out this can be done using the router. Then to top it off I want to etch a quote or a logo onto the wood therefor the laser.

This is my idea by bed size is rather small I think. 140x90cm. This can pose an issue although maybe this is considered normal.

Yes, you can have all three on them. The Warprunner board plugs on top of the ESS, so it covers up the extra port 3 pins on the ESS, but they do pin those out on the Warprunner, so you just hook your laser up there.

If I were going to do a plasma/laser/spindle setup, I’d do as subnoize suggested with the extra axis. Then you have a dedicated one for the plasma so you don’t get all that splatter on your spindle and especially the laser. However, you can always mount the laser with a quick dock and just remove it when not in use.
I have mine on a magnetic mount and can install/remove in 2 seconds.

My problem is I can go pick up a turnkey 40 watt laser system with a head speed in excess of 944 IPM for $1,200.

Ya, thats a good solution for a lot of folks.

However, there are people who what to laser on a whole sheet of plywood, or on their rotary, or on a 3D model, or actually egrave metal, or like me have no more room in the shop for another big footprint, etc. that a blue laser on an AVID works well for them. Different tools for different jobs :slight_smile:

Actually, I was on ebay and that system was extended to 4x8 and came with a rotary. 40 watts will cut 0.1 mm stainless and engrave many metals just fine.

Like I have said before, this is moving too fast to invest serious cash in it. You can pick these systems up on ebay for pennies on the dollar as folks dump them for the next shiny thing.

Well yes my idea was to 3d print some sort of covers for each system that can be slid over the laser / spindle / plasma when I am not using it. And I already have a 40W blue laser module diode from a different project. The hard part is wiring it up to the controller so that its a simple select tool and you can start cutting.

You already have the laser so you just need to check the PWM signal voltage. Most laser systems take a 5 volt signal and you can get that output from the ESS.

You will have to make your own cable but you actually have everything you need.

PS. If you 3D print anything to go on the spindle, make sure it has a glass temperature of at least 100° C. Otherwise you can get into trouble. PLA glass temp is 60° C by comparison. I would recommend CPE+ or PC for anything in direct contact with a spindle.

I am running all 3 including the rotary that I haven’t used yet.
Ordered the router first and then the other additions…If I had to do it again I would have ordered everything at once…Now If I had a bigger budget I would like to have a separate plasma table …the only thing I did not buy was the water table but I wish I did :confused: and get the biggest table you can afford.