Introduction: Pier 9 Guide: Taper Compensation on the OMAX Waterjet

About: Makin' thangs. Eatin' thangs. Lovin' life.

This Instructable is for Workshop Users at Pier 9.

Requirements for using the Pier 9 Omax Waterjet with the 5-Axis A-Jet:

  • Take General Workshop Safety Class
  • Take the Waterjet Basic Use and Safety Class
  • Have used the Waterjet without the 5-Axis A-Jet
  • Review file with a Shop Staff member

The A-Jet is a multi-axis cutting head that expands the cutting versatility of the OMAX Waterjet. With a cutting range from 0° to 60°, the A-Jet can cut beveled edges, angled sides, and countersinks. This Instructable will show you an easy way to compensate for the taper and/or create simple angled cuts on the OMAX Waterjet.

This strategy works by specifying the desired angle, then the machine will make all cuts at that angle. For example, if you have inside and outside cuts you will need to use 2 different files to achieve correct taper compensation. This software is not very sophisticated, it only does what you tell it to do and will not figure out the compensation angle for you. Plan for at least a couple test cuts.

For more complex angles check out my other Instructable Pier 9 Guide: A-Jet 5-Axis Cutting on the OMAX Waterjet.

Step 1: Test Cut

For taper compensation you will need to do a small square test cut first without any compensation to measure how much you will need to angle the head to create a square cut.

Then with the same square test, follow Steps 2-8 to test different angles.

Once you are satisfied with the taper compensation repeat Steps 2-8.

Step 2: Omax Layout

Bring in your 2D file into OMAX Layout.

Follow the standard operating procedures.

  • Create tabs - A
  • Autopath - A
    • Double check the path for any mistakes
  • Generate path and create ORD - B

*If making extreme angles, make sure you have a long Lead-in, sufficient Tabs, and an adequate hold down method.

*If you do not remember how to do this step, follow the steps in Pier 9's curriculum handout.

Step 3: Open File in OMAX Make

Open your file in OMAX Make.

  • Choose your material and thickness
  • Check that the tool offset is correct
  • Enable the A-Jet - A
  • You can choose degrees and enter it in Taper Offset OR use the Taper Offset Calculator
  • Click on the degrees button - B
    • In the pop up window you can choose to set the Taper Offset by inches

* I have found that without any compensation my 2" part it is .001" smaller at the bottom than the top. That is only a one thousandths difference. So without any compensation it retains a reasonable level of precision.

Step 4: Secure Your Material

Your material must be tightly secured down. The angled and lateral forces are different and stronger with the A-Jet than your standard waterjet cutting.

Give yourself sufficient room to prevent collisions. Keep about an inch away from clamps and rails.

Step 5: Zero Your Axis

Carefully move the head around.

Zero your Path Start Home. Zero your Z-axis off your material.

*If you do not remember how to do this step, follow the steps in Pier 9's curriculum handout.

Step 6: Do a Dry Run

By doing a Dry Run you can avoid any possible collisions that might occur.

  • Move the computer screen so you can watch the screen and the A-Jet head at the same time
  • Click on Begin Machining
  • Right Click on Start
  • Choose Dry Run at 1/2 speed

If you have long traverse times instead of watching the whole dry run, you can choose Spot On Path.

  • Right click on Begin Machining
  • Click on Go To Spot On Path
  • Then choose a spot on your path and click on it
  • Click OK on the pop up window and the head will start moving

*Do this on all your furthest extents and near your clamps to prevent collisions.

Step 7: Cut Your Part

Ready, set, go!

Don't forget to turn on the Pump and pressurize the Garnet.

Watch out for the piercing, if your material is thick it will shoot up and spray wildly until it gets all the way through the material.

Stay close and be ready to hit pause if anything seems weird.

Hit the emergency stop if anything seems scary or you're in danger.

Put out the Danger Wet Floor signs if needed.

Step 8: Clean Up

Be kind to Shop Staff and clean up after yourself.

You can use the Saw feature to cut down big material. I cut off my extra material on the horizontal bandsaw. Throw out any unusable material. Label material and put it in the rack if you still want it.

Wash your piece off in the waterjet bed with the hose.

If water shot all around, then you most likely will have a mess to clean up because garnet is in that water and when it dries, it leaves a residue of garnet. So you will have to get a bucket and sponge and wipe it down.

Don't leave the clamps in the bed, they fall in and get lost.

Show off your piece to Shop Staff so we can oooh and aaah!