Aug - 23 - 2019

Custom Cutting Services


The fee for cutting a part depends on several things:

  • Thickness of the steel: Obviously, thicker steel is more expensive than thinner steel. We stock several thicknesses of steel, but if you must have a thickness we do not stock then we'll have to work something out. Also, we mark the price up a bit for shipping and inventory holding costs.
  • Area of the steel: The area of the "bounding box" around the cut path. For example, a 6-inch circle in 16 gauge (0.060") would occupy  a 6.33 X 6.33 = 40.1[1] sq in. bounding box. This is because we need to leave about 1/4" between parts on the sheet and allow for kerf. For more detail see Understanding the Cut below.
  • Pierces: The number of "pierces" in the piece. In plasma cutting, the nozzle is the consumable that takes most of the beating, and most of that comes from poking the hole to start the cut. Once a cut is started, the nozzle does not take too much more damage. So, the length of the cuts is less important than the number of cuts.
  • CAD time: The plasma table uses DXF files to specify the cut path. Allowance must be made for the kerf width (the width of the material removed) as well as lead-ins to reduce the "dimple" where the cut starts and ends. If you send us a DXF for the part that you want, and the DXF is in good shape, we will make the cut-path at no charge. If there is a problem with the file that is going to take more than a few minutes to correct we'll contact you so you can make the corrections. If you want us to make the corrections, then our $20/hour CAD drawing fee applies. 

Setup Fee

(waved on orders over $100.00)

Material Price / sq. in. Pierce Price / Hole
Pricing as of July 30, 2014 (May change without notice)
$20.00 16 Gauge (~0.0598) $0.06 $0.10
$20.00 14 Gauge (~0.0747) $0.10 $0.10
$20.00 1/4" (~0.250) $0.25 $0.10

As noted above, the pricing chart is based on you sending a usable DXF file that defines the shapes to be cut. If the DXF file has problems that will take us more than a few minutes to correct, we'll contact you and let you know what's going on. If you want us to make the corrections then we bill at our normal CAD fee of $20 per hour.

To use the pricing chart just start with the setup fee, multiply the area of the bounding box (see description below) by the price / square inch of the selected material, then add the price for the number of pierces or holes times the price per pierce. NOTE: There is ALWAYS at least one pierce.

For example, using the 6" circle described below which uses abounding box of 40.1 square inches of 16 gauge, the custom cut price for the first one would be ($20.00) + (40.1 * $0.06) + (1 * $0.10) = $22.51. Each additional part would $2.51.

Also, don't forget that there will be a shipping fee that we cannot forecast without knowing the total weight, destination, and shipping method, so allow for that when you are figuring your expected price.

If you need help with an estimate, or would like to discuss making a large enough quantity to use most of a 4' X 8' sheet of steel then contact us with a DXF, or a napkin sketch with dimensions, and we'll provide a quote.


Understanding the Cut

Let's examine the cut path for a circle that is 6" in diameter. The following image is a snip from a screen shot of the CAD probram showing the 6" circle and its associated cut path. The grid spacign is 1".

The inner "white" area of the circle is the part to be cut. The thick black line represents the kerf; the material that the plasma cutter will remove from the sheet. Since the plasma cutter makes a relatively wide kerf (about 0.04" in 16 gauge when cut at 40 Amps) the cut path must be traced so that the inner edge of the kerf follows the outer edge of the part. Also, notice the little "nub" on the lower left edge of the circle... That is the lead-in. That area of the diagram is show in more detail below...



1. The height and width of the circle is 6". To both the height and width we must add 2 X the kerf width (2 X 0.04) = 0.08. We also need a 1/4" border between parts on the sheet so we add an additional 1/4". This allows for 1/8" on each side of the bounding box. The next part will get the same 1/8" added to each side of its bounding box which will complete the 1/4" spacing between parts. So..

Width and height are 6.00 + 0.08 + 0.25 = 6.33. Total area is 6.33 X 6.33 = 40.0689 -> 40.1 sq. in.

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