New Old Plasma Cutter

A project log for Scalable Silent Air Compressor

Powerful silent air compressor made from multiple fridge compressors

dominik-meffertDominik Meffert 09/04/2022 at 21:260 Comments

I did some testing with the plasma cutter in the bucket and realized that working with it was really ... not what I was looking for.

So, I decided to rather use the plasma cutting machine that I built back in 2019 in combination with the new air compressor.

To make it less noisy I replaced the power supply with a quieter one and removed the fans that are not necessary because the stepper drivers barely heat up while running. I also cleaned up the wiring a bit (compared to 2019).

After the initial setup I did some testing with it and the air compressor:

- The quality is fine and besides the torch being not mounted perfectly straight which leads to a slightly angled cut it works pretty well. The new machine has a water table that reduces the bending of the material by cooling it down and it also reduces the sparks that fell into the water while cutting. The machine frame is also completely closed and made of metal so there should be no fire hazard. The machine also has an optional torch height controller that can be helpful for larger cuts with a height difference over the whole length of the cut.

- The noise is also pretty low and suited for working at night. When the door of the machine is closed you no longer hear the cutting noise when you stand in the room next door. The air compressor is even quieter than the cutting noise, besides the noise from the venting of the lines at the shutdown of the fridge compressors which is necessary for the next startup (I will fix that soon).

- The only "real" problem at the moment is the small size of the air tank which leads to a too short restarting time of the fridge compressors - which have overload protection that prevents them from starting up in quick succession so that after the first run most of them stay OFF when they should turn ON again.

I think that problem should be solved by just using a larger tank.