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CNC Plasma Cutter for Student Instructional shop

UW Mechanical Engineering








For many years we have been chasing a cheap efficient and accurate way to cut metal sheet into complex shapes for student projects. Our current solutions for cutting profiles by hand in sheet metal are with a jig saw or band saw. These methods are OK for general shapes, but takes a lot of time and skill to do accurately. The other option we have is a high pressure abrasive water jet cutter. The cost to run this machine comes out to an average of around 100 dollars per hour just to keep the machine itself running. With most student projects the relatively high the cost of entry to purchase the consumables doesn't justify the use of the machine for their project. This is where the CNC plasma cutter comes in. The cost of consumables will be low enough that the shop can absorb most or all of the cost into it's budget. The students will be able to bring in their material and utilize the machine after proper training with little to no cost on their end. Modern CNC plasma cutters are extremely accurate and efficient, and can utilize the majority of the raw material with very little waste. The students can get the most parts out of their sheet and further minimize costs. The plasma cutter can also cut thick (Up to 1 inch) metal at much higher rates than the abrasive waterjet cutter which will save time and costs for the user.


The CNC Plasma Cutter will be available for reservation through a commonly used UW CORAL scheduling system. If the machine is not in use, walk-ins without reservation may be allowed.

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Learn about the Student Technology Fee and the proposal process by attending a Workshop led by our staff and receive 1:1 support with your proposal.


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Phone: 206-543-2975
Office: Husky Union Building 305B

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