Plasma Cutter - An Expert please!

Hi All,
I'm semi retired & take in odd engineering jobs.
The latest to come up causes a bit of a problem, I cant do part of it
with my existing equipment!
The job wont make that much profit, so its not worth investing more than $1000 in equipment to do it.
It will come up with VERY short lead times and MUST be done on time, so I cant outsource it.
The jobs a bit difficult to describe, but...
Imagine a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Some of the pieces are about 3 inches square and some around 25 inches square. Some of the edges are curves like a puzzle piece, and some a straight and meet in a 'V' Some of the pieces are 3mm thick and some 6mm thick. The accuracy required isnt that great, the example of a jigsaw puzzle would be about right for the accuracy and finish required.
The only idea that springs to mind is a manual plasma cutter and use a template to cut around.
But I've never used a plasma cutter. If it would do the job, its within my budget.
Will this work?
Many Thanks for any help or ideas
John
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Have you considered abrasive waterjet machining? It can be quite economical, depending on the geometry and thickness of the workpieces. If you are interested, I can give you the name of a contact that I have used several times.
Rocky

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Hi John,
The advances in CNC control have made what you describe very simple........ IF you have CAD drawings of the parts
If you have raster pictures (JPG, BMP, TIFF, etc) of the parts, it can be done, but there is a couple of extra steps involved.
What thickness material? Where in the world are you? You can farm these out to a job shop near you.
I sell CAM programming software to job shops all over the USA, so I can hook you up with somebody local or somebody that will ship the parts to you.
Email me: Mark AT www DOT peptechnology DOT com
Mark Dunning

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John wrote:

Have you tried (or is it an option) to cut with an oxy/acetylene torch? Is it steel we are talking about? 3mm sheet stock would cut fast and clean, 6mm would be a lot slower but still do-able with a torch. Plus brazing is relatively easy and economical.
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John,
Take your plan to a fabrication shop, minus any contact info, there can be some sneaky bastards (Yellow pages found mine here in Chicago) Get a per part and full job estimate. They can knock it out on a Waterjet or cutting table of any sorts with minimal per-sheet loss. Get the estimate to be lower than your cost, stuff the rest in your coffers.... Your profit, no tooling loss or material loss. Plenty of shops will take in odd jobs. The machine won't make them any money if idle. Just have to find the right one.
Just a thought, It saved me before,
Rob
Fraser Competition Engines Chicago, IL.
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