This Chart compares the MP3000-DTHC Interface unit using MACH3 as a controller, and SheetCAM as a CAM package to other packaged solutions and costs.  Take our list of features and insert your list from other vendors.  Find the most expensive or the lowest cost....either way we compare in every way!

Features/Specs as of 12/01/08



Vendor A Vendor B


Min/Max volt range



Operation @ 75V required for small tips

Max open circuit volts


    Larger plasma cutters have over 300V open circuit

HF and HV start protection

Yes.  Up to 15,000 VDC input protection

    Works with CD, HF and other arc start type machines.

Fault Detection

YES - Adjustable


Cut voltage faults stop THC moves.  Loss of Arc stops motion. Fault can trigger Torch off AND/OR rapid head retract (settings in Profile)

Toolpath Integration



THC is able to react to toolpath changes in speed  Slowdowns on detail cuts will not cause head dive

Initial Standoff (IHS)

Via mechanical Touch off

    Automatic "Touch Off" circuit.  Does NOT use ohmic sensing. Interval can be set from every pierce to never.(see "Floating Head info)  Mechanical slide NOT included

Pierce Height


    Absolute Z value set from CAM by job or by cut

Safety Head Lock ("TIP SAVER")

Settable by user

    Locks THC from going too low if tip volts goes outside (user) settable range  Set by PROFILE

Torch Volts Resolution

1/4 V Adjustable in Cut Profile (screen)     Determines the Span tolerance for tip volts (gap tolerance.  Set in CUT PROFILE.

Real-time Z position tracking


    Control software tracks all Z moves (including under THC) and maintains true Z position) Z DRO shows true head position.

Torch Volts Set Point (PRESET)

1volt increments


Z tracking accuracy is about .025V per volt (set by Span volts

Pierce control



Multiple parameters.  (delay, height, ramp, lead-ins etc in CAM).

Automatic Lead-Ins/outs and offsets


    Selection of three types or none by object or globally.(SheetCAM feature) 
Anti-pierce dive settings

.5 to 5 sec settings

    Lockout Delay keeps tip from diving from pierce voltage spikes
Anti-Corner Dive


    Look-ahead toolpath (settable)

Arc Good Motion Hold



Works with all plasma cutters.  Sensor for manual plasma cutters $12.00 option. Provides variable automatic pierce delay.

Arc Good indicator



Shows when the plasma has a valid arc.

THC Activity Monitor


    Shows actual UP and Down moves of Z under THC Control
Z position display


    Z DRO shows actual torch position above material.

Readout of actual cut volts


    Real time Separate readout of Preset and Actual volts.

THC on/off while cutting



Needed for re-cuts

Z positional awareness


    Controller software knows Z position at all times
Automatic Surface touch


    Frequency of surface probe can be set (not required every pierce)
Material presets via screen



User configurable software chart to select proper tip volt settings per material  Make one for each type of material you cut

Tool presets via CAM


    Tool definition tables allows multiple setups with different pierce heights, feedrates, initial cut height, delays , etc.  Make one for each type of material and tip combo you cut with.

Material presets via THC Profiles


    Allows THC specific settings by material.  Stores tip size, cut current, Preset volts, THC Response curve (sensitivity), Fault trigger points, etc for instant recall.

Digital tip volts adjust  (dynamic)

Screen - Real time

    1 volt per click while running.  Digital preset from screen.  Retains last setting on power down. Callable profiles allow automated setup.

Z manual control for Oxy-Fuel cutting


via inputs on Table I/O card.  Adjust while cutting

Supports Routing, Milling, Lathe as profiles


    MP1000-THC can be used to control steppers/servos on other machines not running plasma.

Stepper/servo control


    Runs servo drives from Rutex, Gecko, Tecknix, others
Supports dual axis drive


    Axis slaving standard.  Auto squaring of gantry

Works with:


Support group at:

All inputs; all power outputs

    Isolated inputs for Homes and Limit switches.  Full compliment of I/O even with added THC inputs (3)
Tip Volt Input Isolation

Total isolation from control logic

Exclusive isolation circuit breaks any connection and noise (via common grounds) between the plasma and the logic control circuits
Home/Limit Switch Indicators LED's on Table I/O Card (included)     Visual indication of switch operation including Z surface touch.
Handheld Jog and control Pendant Available as low cost option (28 function w/jog stick)    

MPG101B ($169.00).  Will allow off-keyboard control of all table and THC functions.

THC Excursion Settings Screen Setting     Safety settings for absolute Z pos and neg excursions
THC Response Rate Screen setting     Tunes response curve of THC for Z.  Controls overshoot and lost positions
Interface Type Standard Parallel Port (1)+Standard Serial (COM)      Buffered/isolated interface provided by MP3000-THC for (5) motor drives and THC functions + Homes & Limits
Drive types All S&D input drives     Gecko, Rutex, Teknix, PiSci, Vetrix, etc
Auxillary Outputs 2 relays (4 more optional)     1 20A and 2 10A conventional relays (in addition to Torch relay)
Support for Arc's and circles  (G02;G03) Yes     Import from most CAD via DXF or PLT formats.
Support for full arc DXF from CorelDraw Option     Via DXFTool.  Certified to work with SheetCAM
Yearly Software Fee Zero-Nada-zip     Fee for software updates/upgrades
MP3000-DTHC Warranty/Support

2 year warranty, Unlimited support

    Free support via web or phone.  No support fees on electronics. Support site:

Cost of MP3000 -DTHC + MACH3 + SheetCAM


     Package deal includes all CAM and control software + THC hardware.  Total cutting solution. 
Cost of full electronics solution (Stepper = Two 740 oz-in One 570oz in)



    Includes 3 full axis of control electronics.  All electronics between PC and table mechanical.  Motors, Power Controller (ESP650), cases, THC, motor drives, Software.
Cost of full electronics servo solution (850 OZ-IN Peak Servos)

< $3400.00

[includes cost of new servos at $225.00 each]

    Includes 3 full axis of control electronics.  All electronics between PC and table mechanical. Servo Motors, Cables, Power Controller, Case, DTHC, motor drives, Software (see Plazpak 3 at
Works for Plasma AND Router (mixed mode)


Full Z control for both THC and any other routing or milling type cutting

Customizable Profiles

Via GUI screen setup

    Menu selection of profiles for Plasma, Routing, Milling, etc.  30 sec switchover

Custom Screens



Comes with Free Screen Painter Application and Custom Plasma and Router Screens from CandCNC

More Information:


MACH Control Software

SheetCAM CAM software