Introduction: Pier 9 Guide: Inventor 2016 to Omax IntelliCAM Workflow for 5-axis Waterjet Cutting at Pier 9

This Instructable is for Workshop Users at Pier 9.

Requirements for using the Pier 9 Waterjet

  • Take General Workshop Safety Class.
  • Take the Waterjet Basic Use and Safety Class

This Instructable will show you how to export solid model files from Inventor 2016 to the latest version of Omax IntelliCAM (version 3.12.1) so that you can use the 5-axis functionality of the Omax Waterjet Cutter at Pier 9.

This is a TEMPORARY FIX: As of October 2015, Omax does not support 2015 or 2016 versions of Inventor. This means that you cannot install an Inventor Addin for Omax IntelliCAM, and you cannot open Inventor 2015 or 2016 .ipt files in IntelliCAM.

I found a quick and easy solution to this problem for now, but we are working with Omax to get this fixed in the near future.

You'll need:

Inventor 2015 or 2016

OMAX IntelliCAM ( 3.12.1*

OMAX IntelliMAX ( 23*

*To download Omax software, you need to register with Omax using your Autodesk email address.

Step 1: Make Solid Model in Inventor 2016

I made a simple solid model in Inventor 2015 by:

1) Extruding a 3" x 5.25" rectangle by 1.625" in the positive Z direction

2) Creating a new sketch with a 70 degree angle, whose middle axis aligns with the Z-axis

3) Revolving that sketch by 360 degrees, and simultaneously turning it into a cut feature. The top circle's radius is 1 inch, and then tapers in.

When you design your model, make sure to pay attention to the location of the Z-axis. Remember on the Omax Waterjet cutter, your z-axis is your height, even though Inventor's default is to use the Y-axis as height.

4) Then, go to Inventor > Export > CAD Format

5) Save your file as an IGES file

Step 2: IGES File in Omax IntelliCAM

6) Open Omax IntelliCAM

7) Open IGES (Omax > Open File)

8) Go to the 3DPather tab on the top

9) Hit AutoPath (you already set your top face in Inventor by orienting Z as your height)

10) IntelliCAM generates toolpaths for you. In the ribbon at the top, hit the "To Layout" button.

Step 3: 5-axis Toolpaths in Omax Layout

11) Ensure that your scale is correct in Layout. The grid is set to 1" intervals as a quick visual cue.

12) Hit "Path" on the right side of the screen to generate toolpaths.

13) Choose your start location and hit "Save."

14) A prompt will tell you that the path includes features that are not supported in ORD format. Click "Yes" to save in OMX format instead.

15) You can now open your OMX file in Omax Make on the Waterjet-designated computer. You're good to set up and go!

Make SURE to run an airpass--collisions and workholding are much more significant considerations for 5-axis cuts.