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For youth ages 14 - 18
Cut shapes out of flat sheet steel. Make an idea into hard reality.
Participants will use a plasma cutter to create a design in 16 gauge steel (roughly 3/32nds). Each student will have a 2 foot square sheet of steel (and a practice piece). Bring a design. Detail should be at a level you can draw with a sharpie or soapstone and trace with a somewhat awkward implement while wearing gloves.
Plasma cutting uses a highly focused electric arc and compressed air to cut steel. Wiki (paraphrased) describes the process thusly: Plasma cutting involves creating an electrical channel of super-heated, electrically ionized gas i.e. plasma, through the work piece forming a completed electric circuit. Compressed gas is blown through a focused nozzle at high speed. The electrical arc ionizes some of the gas, thereby creating an electrically conductive channel of plasma. As electricity from the cutter torch travels down this plasma it delivers sufficient heat to melt through the work piece. The compressed gas blows the hot molten metal away, thereby cutting through the work piece.