Plasma Cutting Service

Custom plasma cutting for prototyping and production part fabrication

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Xometry's custom plasma cutting service offers a cost-effective on-demand fabrication solution for your sheet metal needs. Thanks to our Instant Quoting Engine, we can provide instant pricing for any size fabrication run from low-volume prototyping to high-volume production. Upload your CAD file and receive an instant quote and design for manufacturability feedback.

Advantages of Plasma Cutting

Durability

Similar to CNC machining, sheet metal processes produce highly durable parts well-suited for both functional prototypes and end-use production.

Scalability

All sheet metal parts are built on-demand and with lower setup costs compared to CNC Machining. Depending on your needs, order as little as a single prototype up to 10,000 production parts.

Material Selection

Choose from a variety of sheet metals across a wide range of strength, conductivity, weight, and corrosion-resistance.

Custom Finishes

Select from a variety of finishes, including anodizing, plating, powder coating, and painting.

Rapid Turnaround

Combining the latest cutting, bending and punching with automated technologies, Xometry provides instant sheet quotes and completed parts in as little 12 business days.

Plasma Cutting Processes

Up to 1/4" thick plate

Plasma Cutting Materials

Available aluminum varieties:

  • Aluminum 5052

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Available copper varieties:

  • Copper 101
  • Copper 260 (Brass)
  • Copper C110

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Available steel varieties:

  • Stainless Steel 301
  • Stainless Steel 304
  • Stainless Steel 316/316L
  • Steel 1018

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Plasma Cutting Finishes

Standard

Minimal post-processing or treatment on parts is done.

Anodized (Type II or Type III)

Type II creates a corrosion-resistant finish. Parts can be anodized in different colors—clear, black, red, and gold are most common—and is usually associated with aluminum. Type III is thicker and creates a wear-resistant layer in addition to the corrosion resistance seen with Type II.

Powder Coat

This is a process where powdered paint is sprayed onto a part which is then baked in an oven. This creates a strong, wear- and corrosion-resistant layer that is more durable than standard painting methods. A wide variety of colors are available to create the desired aesthetic.

Chem Film (Chromate Conversion Coating)

Provides corrosion resistance and good conductivity properties. Can be used as a base for paint. Can leave surface yellow/gold.

Custom

Don’t see the finish you need? Submit an RFQ and we’ll look into a finishing process for you.

Applications for Plasma Cutting

Enclosures

Enclosures

Sheet metal offers a cost-effective way to fabricate product device panels, boxes and cases for a variety of applications. We build enclosures of all styles, including rackmounts, “U” and “L” shapes, as well as consoles and consolets.

Chassis

Chassis

The chassis we fabricate are typically used to house electromechanical controls, from small handheld devices to large industrial testing equipment. All chassis are built to critical dimensions to ensure hole pattern alignment between different parts.

Brackets

Brackets

Xometry builds custom brackets and miscellaneous sheet metal components, well-suited for either lightweight applications or when a high degree of corrosion-resistance is needed. All hardware and fasteners that are needed can be fully built in.

Overview: What is Plasma Cutting?

The Basics of Plasma Cutters

Plasma cutting uses an accelerated jet of hot plasma to cut through electrically conductive materials. Plasma cutters are the fastest way to cut through gauge material up to 6" thick and are more cost-efficient to run than high-powered CNC laser cutters. Plasma cutters do their best work on large sheet metal parts, versus CNC laser cutters which are better at more detailed work and creating holes — something plasma cutters struggle with.

How Plasma Cutters Work

When energy and heat are applied to a gas, the molecules travel faster and collide more violently, turning the gas into a plasma. Using compressed air or other inert gas, the plasma is accelerated out of the cutting nozzle toward the workpiece where it completes an electrical arc with the conductive workpiece. Similar to Electrical Discharge Machines, plasma cutters use electricity to melt and cut the workpiece.

Types of Plasma Cutters

There are 2 main types of plasma cutters: 2-axis and 3-axis.

2-Axis: This is the most common and conventional form of a plasma cutter and operates like any traditional CNC sheet metal fabrication tool, producing flat profiles with straight edges. These plasma cutters are best for cutting large parts from thick material quickly and are more cost-efficient than CNC laser cutters for the same work.

3-Axis: This type of CNC plasma cutter adds in an additional axis of rotation which allows the cutting tool to tilt and cut edges at an angle. This is extremely useful for cutting chamfers, countersunk holes or angled edges as part of weld preparation, which saves on secondary operations such as grinding or machining helping reduce overall cost.

Benefits of Plasma Cutters

Plasma cutters are a good all-around sheet metal fabrication tools, though they lack the material cutting diversity of waterjet cutters and don’t have the precision of laser cutters. For larger sheet metal parts, plasma cutters are more cost-efficient than CNC laser cutters and can cut thicker materials easily. Plus, they are easy to operate and can cut at high speeds while maintaining precision.

The Benefits of Working With Xometry For Plasma Cutting

Xometry's quick turn custom plasma cutting services offer a cost-effective and on-demand fabrication solution for your sheet metal needs. Thanks to our Instant Quoting Engine, we can provide instant pricing for any size fabrication run from low-volume prototyping to high-volume production.

Industries that use Plasma Cutting

Plasma cutters are used in all sorts of industries and fabrication shops. Most common industrial applications are for automotive manufacturing, robotics, industrial machinery, defense, and energy.

Aerospace and Defense

Automotive

Energy

Industrial

Robotics

Featured Plasma Cutting Resources

Sheet Metal Mini-Guide

Sheet Metal Mini-Guide

Sheet metal fabrication is a process by which metal parts are cut and bent from a roll of stock material that is typically less than 0.25” thick.

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