Modern CNC plasma cutting machines will be useless without their operating software. If you are after precision cutting, you need to use good cutting software. In this FireControl by Langmuir Systems review, you will know if it’s the cutting software you are looking for.
Langmuir Systems developed a propriety software named FireControl that can operate the CrossFire’s CNC Plasma machines. To use this software to operate the machine, you need to connect the USB cable from the electronics box of the machine to the USB port on your computer.
The software will then connect to the electronic unit of the CrossFire CNC machine to run the cutting programs and the cutting machine itself. This program is the thing that controls the cutting motions of the CNC Plasma cutting machine by interfacing with its electronic unit.
Read on to learn more about the FireControl software, its features, how it connects to the CNC cutting machine, and how it works.
FireControl by Langmuir Systems
Controls the Cutting Motions of Crossfire’s CNC Plasma Cutting Machines
FireControl is the proprietary program of Langmuir Systems that controls the cutting motions of Crossfire’s CNC Plasma cutting machines. Computer Numerical Control or CNC machines are more precise, accurate, and consistent than manually operated cutting machines.
Connect the CNC Plasma Cutting Machine to Your Computer
To do its work, you should insert the USB cable of the CNC machine’s electronics enclosure into any USB port of your computer. This will then connect your computer to the electronics unit of the CrossFire cutting machine, which in turn runs the cutting program and controls the machine itself.
Capable of Straight-line Cutting
In interfacing with a CrossFire CNC machine, the FireControl software runs the G-codes post-processed either from the SheetCAM or the Fusion 360. It is capable of straight-line cutting and also has several nesting capabilities.
Equipped with Nesting Capabilities
Nesting is the process whereby you can lay out the patterns of a certain cut to reduce the cutting time and the amount of material wastage. The primary aim of nesting is to produce as many cuts as possible from as little material as possible.
The staff of Langmuir Systems developed and programmed this software. This software’s purpose was to enable CNC cutting machines or tables to cut precise designs and shapes out of metals and other materials.
Free to Download
Langmuir Systems developed this software with several key features specific to plasma cutting while offering a very easy-to-use interface. One good thing about this software is that it is free to download from the internet.
FireControl Software Features
This software is solely for the CNC cutting tables of CrossFire. It is straightforward-to-use interface also makes it an easy program to master. Here are the features of the FireControl software:
1. Control the Operation of CrossFire Plasma Cutting Machines
The machine operator can easily jog with defined steps or continuous motion, and store work coordinates with this software.
2. Straight Cut
With this software, you can control the machine to trim different materials on the fly.
This software will enable you to cut multiple copies with the CNC cutting machine of any project on the fly.
4. Manual Nest Jog
This software also calculates the extent of its parameters and shifts coordinates to enable fast manual nesting.
5. Feed Rate Override
With this software, you can speed up the cutting speed of a program on the fly.
6. Program Visualizer
This software allows smooth moving. Also, it features a zoomable display. This feature will help you see the current touch locations, rapid motion, cuts to make, and finished cuts.
7. Touch Screen Friendly
You can use this program without a mouse by using certain keyboard shortcuts.
8. Pierce Delay Override
This software also allows the operator to increase the Pierce Delay on the fly.
9. Scale and Rotate
Using this software, the machine operator can scale and rotate the program directly without re-posting the program.
10. Set Program Origin
With FireControl, you can directly change the original location of your program.
11. Run From Here
With this program, you can pick up a cut that you missed from any cut loop or any line in G-Code or from a location you have selected from the visualizer.
12. Dry Run Mode
You can minimize your mistakes because this software will enable you to test run your program without activating the Plasma fire and Z-axis moves.
13. Auto-Connect and Disconnect
This program allows you to automatically connect and disconnect it to a CrossFire Plasma cutting machine.
14. Other Features
The CrossFire by Langmuir Systems has additional features that you should know. These features are part of its built-in ATHC (Automatic Torch Height Control) Control panel, which include the following:
- Height up/Down/OK signal display
- Real-time torch speed with on-the-fly cut off of torch speed. This feature prevents torch diving.
- Real-time voltage, nominal or smart voltage and tolerance
The CrossFire software supports the following:
- User Guide
- Community Driven Development Roadmap that includes additional CAM software, support for new features, and Linux compatibility.
- POST processors for Fusion 360, and SheetCAM, available on the download page of the Langmuir Systems.
16. System Requirements
For the Crossfire software to operate efficiently, you must have the following minimum system requirements.
- Operating System – Windows 7 or higher; or MacOS ver. 10.13 or higher
- RAM, min. – 4 GB
- Available Disk Space – 150 MB
- Processing Speed, min. – 1.6 GHz, 64 bit
- Ports – one (1) USB 2.0 (Standard Type A)
- Graphics – Compatible with Open GL 3.0 or higher
Again, what does the FireControl by Langmuir Systems do? Langmuir Systems developed and designed the software controller named FireControl. By connecting the CrossFire’s CNC Plasma machines’ USB cable to your computer, you can operate your cutting machine thru this software.
How to Install FireControl Software
The FireControl software is free to use. You can download a copy at the official website of Langmuir Systems by visiting this link.
Here are the steps on how you can download and install the FireControl Software:
1. Disconnected the CrossFire Cutting Machine from the Computer
When downloading the software, make sure that your CrossFire cutting machine is not connected to your computer.
2. Follow the Prompts After Downloading the Software
After downloading the software, you have to install it on your computer. It is easy to install. Just follow the on-screen prompts so you can do it correctly.
3. Restart Your Computer After Installing the Software
After installing the software, you will be prompted to restart your computer.
4. Create a Desktop Shortcut for the Software
Note the CrossFire software’s folder on your computer. For easy access, you should create a Desktop shortcut.
5. Additional Tip for Windows 10, 7, and 8 Users
For Windows 10 Users
If your OS is Windows 10, you will likely encounter a dialog from the Windows Defender during the software installation. To continue, select the ‘More Info’ link beneath the text. Then click on the ‘Run Anyway’ button at the bottom of the dialog box.
Manually Install the FireControl Driver
Windows 10 will automatically install the software. However, with earlier versions like Windows 7 or 8, you have to manually install the driver before FireControl can auto-connect to the electronics of your CNC Crossfire cutting machine.
In this case, you need to download the required drivers from the Downloads page of Langmuir Systems. After downloading the drivers, follow the Manual Driver Installation Instructions for Windows 7 and 8.
Once you have auto-installed these drivers on your PC or laptop, you can now open the FireControl software. But the main workspace of FireControl will remain locked until it makes a positive connection to your CNC electronic board of your CNC cutting machine.
Should You Use FireControl?
You can use the FireControl software if you have a CrossFire XR, a CrossFire PRO, or a new CrossFire cutting machine. But if you have an older CrossFire cutting machine or a used one, you need to check first if it uses FireControl or Mach3. Mach3 is a separate cutting program for CNC machines.
There are some cosmetic differences between the CNC boxes that inform you which software is compatible. The differences are basically in the color-coding. FireControl compatible machines have simpler colors such as burgundy and white markings around the ports.
Mach3 compatible cutting machines have various color markings around the ports. These colors include yellow, red, green, and blue.
How to Connect Fire Control to Your Langmuir Systems CNC Machine
Here are the steps on how you can connect the FireControl software to your CrossFire CNC machine:
1. Close the Software
Close the software if this is the first time connecting the FireControl software to your CrossFire CNC machine.
2. Connect the USB Cable to the USB Port on the Computer
Connect the USB cable from the electronics enclosure of the machine to any available USB port on your computer.
3. Allow the Installation of USB Serial Drivers
The appropriate USB serial drivers should automatically be installed on your computer if this is the first time you are doing it. Do not stop or close these processes while they are running. If you are using Windows on your computer, you will be notified by a pop-up box after installing drivers.
For a computer running on macOS, you should pre-install the required drivers. You may not see what’s going on when you first plug your device.
4. Connect the Device Manually When the Machine Fails to Automatically Connect to the Software
The makers of the CrossFire CNC machine designed it such that it will automatically connect to the software. To confirm this, look for ‘CrossFire’ in the upper right-hand corner of the FireControl interface.
Connect the device manually if you already plugged in the CrossFire machine’s electronic box to your computer, yet it still fails to connect:
- Locate ‘Machine’ next to it, click the ‘Connect’ button;
- A drop-down list will show up, which enumerates the available machine connections. Choose CrossFire from this list; and
- If you do it properly, this field will turn green, an indication that the machine and software is already connected.
Conclusion: FireControl by Langmuir Systems
Langmuir Systems developed the FireControl software. This software can operate the CrossFire models of CNC Plasma machines also manufactured by Langmuir Systems.
To use this software to run the CNC machine, you have to connect the USB cable from the electronics enclosure of the machine to any available USB port on your computer.
This software is then connected to the electronic unit of the CrossFire CNC Plasma machine, which will run the cutting programs and the cutting machine itself.