While not the only option for CNC Plasma CAM, SheetCAM is widely regarded as the easiest and motion efficient solution available for generating G-code files for CNC Plasma Cutting.
The following guide provides instructions for generating cutting programs in SheetCAM software to run in FireControl by using the Langmuir Systems FireControl Post Processor file. The FireControl Post Processor will create g-code instructions specific to your CrossFire machine including IHS sequences, THC activation points, and rapid retract moves.
To start, you will need to navigate to the Langmuir Systems Downloads page and download the latest FireControl - SheetCAM Post file. After the file has downloaded, navigate to the Downloads folder on your computer and copy the FireControl-v1.6.scpost file that you just downloaded.
Next, you will need to navigate to the folder on your computer where the
Post Processor files for SheetCAM are stored so that you can copy the
FireControl-v1.6.scpost file into this folder. On most Windows computers,
the Post Processor folder is located at C:\Program Files (x86)\SheetCam TNG\Posts
but you will need to verify this on your own system. After locating the folder,
paste the copied Post Processor file from Step 1 into this folder. Your folder
should now look like the folder shown below showing the FireControl-V1.1.scpost
Note, Post version 1.1 is shown in the image below.
Next, open SheetCAM software and click Options > Machine from the top Menu bar.
Under the Machine Type tab make sure that Jet Cutting is selected and Rotary Cutting is de-selected as shown below.
Next, under the Post Processor tab make sure that your desired Output file units, desired Output folder, and Z Zero (should be Top of Work) are configured correctly. Next, click the drop down bar under Post Processor and select FireControl-V1.1 like shown below. Finally, click [OK] to exit the menu.
After selecting the FireControl Post Processor, we are now ready to create programs to cut in FireControl using SheetCAM as normal.
If you are using the CrossFire PRO or a CrossFire machine with a powered Z-axis, you will need to input settings for Pierce Height, Plunge Rate, and Cut Height when creating a plasma tool in order to activate the IHS sequence. For pierce height and cut height, please consult your plasma cutter manufacturer for the appropriate values. Note: If you are cutting on thin gauge material, we reccommend adding additional height to your Cut Height in order to compensate for the material springback during IHS. For the plunge rate used for the IHS sequence, we recommend using a rate of 100 IPM. Please also note that the FireControl post for SheetCAM has a hard-coded 1 inch rapid retract move after each cut loop is completed by default (after M5 torch OFF).
Below is an example of a plasma tool configured for a Razorweld 45A cutter used on the CrossFire PRO.
If you are using a CrossFire machine without a powered Z-axis, be sure to set both Pierce Height and Cut Height to '0' in the Jet Tool settings menu shown above in order to omit the IHS sequence from the generated g-code file.
Below is an example of a plasma tool configured for a CrossFire without Z-Axis.