These tutorials aim to get you cutting with your CrossFire by guiding you through all the steps from creating a digital design to firing your torch. They can be used as baseline knowledge for a novice or as short refreshers for those with some digital fabrication experience.
Autodesk Fusion 360 is a powerful design CAD and CAM software that is free to use for hobbyists and startups with less than $100k revenue per year. This software can be downloaded from our website or directly from Autodesk. You can design your own custom 2D & 3D parts right in Fusion, or you can simply import your own part files from your favorite CAD program. The software is easy-to-use for beginners new to drafting, and Autodesk has published an ever-growing library of tutorial videos to follow along and learn.
Download and install Fusion 360 on a Windows Computer as well as activating a hobbyist or start up license.
Start your first sketch and learn to move around in Autodesk Fusion 360.
Beginning a Fusion 360 Project showing basic dimensioning and sketch functions.
Using the Fusion 360 sketch palette, constraints, and fillets.
Import files from other programs into Fusion 360 for CAM. DXF, Mesh, and SVG vector files are easily imported in Fusion 360.
We cover moving portions of your sketch, copying and pasting sketch selections, and scaling.
We cover the text function in Fusion 360 and how you need to be careful choosing your fonts for CNC Plasma cutting.
We cover the sketch mirroring and patterning functions in Fusion 360 using example project files from our website.
Trimming, Extending, and Offsetting your sketches in Fusion 360.
What you can and can't do with Fusion 360 when you're not connected to the internet.
The next step in the process is to create the toolpaths from the part file that will be followed by the CrossFire™ machine when cutting. Once your part is designed, you will use Autodesk Fusion 360's plasma CAM feature to program toolpaths based on the part geometry that you want to cut. Here you will specify cutting parameters such as cut speed, pierce delay, and lead-in geometry and Fusion will export these toolpaths as a G-code file that can be read by the machines controller software (Mach3).
We cover CAM and Toolpaths, the CAM workspace in Fusion and what functions you'll be using to start generating toolpaths for your CrossFire.
We cover creating a Plasma Cutting Tool with an accurate Kerf width and nozzle diameter.
Create a setup for the profile cutting operation that describes your stock, cutting tool, and origin.
We cover all of the toolpath configurations you need to generate a profile cut toolpath in Fusion 360 and then simulate that toolpath.
We cover installing the Mach3 Plasma Post configuration and post processing our toolpaths from the previous video.
The final step in the process is to cut out your part on the CrossFire™ machine using the Mach 3 Control software. By uploading the G-code file that was created by Autodesk Fusion 360 in the previous step, the machine now has a set of instructions for completing the desired cut. Simply place your material on the machine and press 'Cycle Start' to execute the program.
In the first CrossFire Cutting Tutorial we cover installation of the free version of the Mach3 Control software as well as installing the latest CrossFire configurations from the Langmuir Systems downloads page. If you have purchased a full license for Mach3, please watch our activation video.
In part 2 of the CrossFire Cutting Tutorial series we cover plugging in the CrossFire to a computer via USB cable, providing power to the CrossFire, and also a brief overview of the Mach3 control software.
In part 3 of the CrossFire Cutting Tutorial series we cover jogging the machine (continuous and incremental), setting offsets, zeroing axes, importing a program, and running the CrossFire Break-in Program.
In part 4 of the CrossFire Cutting Tutorial series we cover connecting your plasma cutter to the CrossFire electronics enclosure and perform an automatic torch firing in Mach3 for the first time.
In part 5 of the CrossFire Cutting Tutorial series we cover cutting out your first parts on the CrossFire CNC plasma table.
In part 6 of the CrossFire Cutting Tutorial series we cover cutting out four identical brackets in a nest program that was created in Autodesk Fusion 360.