Pier 9 Guide: A-Jet 5-Axis Cutting on the OMAX Waterjet



Introduction: Pier 9 Guide: A-Jet 5-Axis Cutting 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. Advanced features in the Intelli-MAX Software allow the A-Jet to compensate for taper and create complex 3D shapes.


Fusion 360/Inventor →OMAX IntelliCAM →OMAX Layout OMAX Make

*Keep in mind this is a 5-Axis CNC project and in this Instructable I will constantly remind you to check your work. The CNC process is 90% preparing and 10% making.

Step 1: Export Your Model

Check the location of your Z-axis. Remember on the OMAX Waterjet, your Z-axis is your height, even though Fusion and Inventor's default is to use the Y-axis as height.

  • Right click on the title
  • Hit Export
  • Export model as an IGES file
    • .igs and .iges are the same

When modeling for the OMAX I use the Front plane as my top, as seen in the photos. Then it will export with the correct Z-axis.

Step 2: Generate Toolpaths in IntelliCAM

At the Pier, IntelliCAM is only on the OMAX computer.

  • Open IntelliCAM
  • Click on the Blue tab in the corner to open your IGS file
  • Go to the 3D Pather tab
  • Select Set Top Face
  • Then click on the top face on your model
    • This is a good time to check if your top face and Z-axis are in the same direction, if not go back to Fusion/Inventor and change it
  • Then click on Autopath
    • Your model should look like mine with different colored lines and a dialogue box on the left of the screen
      • You can scroll over the commands in the box and it will highlight the correlating lines in the model
      • Check all the lines to make sure you understand what each one is doing
  • Send to OMAX Layout

Step 3: Cleanup Toolpaths in Layout

You possibly could skip this step and go straight to OMAX Make, but I would not do this unless advised by Shop Staff.

In OMAX Layout you can check your path more closely, add tabs, and change your traverse lines. All three of these will help prevent collisions.

  • Add your Tabs
  • Change solid green traverse lines to dashed green Heads up traverse lines
  • Check your lead in and make sure it is far enough away from your model
    • The pierce on the lead in will not be at an angle and could possibly pierce your piece, see example A
  • Check your paths to make sure they make sense

My two examples look drastically different. That's because the cone shaped one is a constant angle while the other example is changing angles the whole time. That's why there is a bunch of numbers all around it. If you check out the cone example it is easy to see the data numbers telling the angle and you can see the cut and traverse lines.

Step 4: Open in Make

  • Open your file in OMAX Make.
  • Input the correct material and thickness. Make sure the A-Jet is enabled and tilt is 0.
  • Check the date on the front of the computer and make sure the waterjet has been homed that day.
  • Move the head high up and towards the center of the bed.
  • Zero the Path Start and Z.

Step 5: Do a Dry Run

Doing a complete Dry Run in the middle of the bed, away from everything and before you put your material down, will prevent the tip from being broken if you have made a mistake earlier on.

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

If you have a longer file instead of watch 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 6: Secure 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 7: Zero Your Axis

Carefully move the head around.

Zero your Path Start Home.

Zero your Z-axis off your material.

Step 8: Do Another Dry Run

Yes, I know you already did this... Do it again. Please.

This time you will do a Dry Run in place, with the correct Path Start Home and Z height.

Step 9: Do a 5-Axis Cut!

Ready, set, go!

Don't forget to turn on the Pump and 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.

If you look at my samples you will see I started the second one too close to the first and it not only cut into the cone but spun it around. The narrow part of the cone was at the top so it was fine but if it had been upside down it possibly could have been shot up.

Step 10: 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!

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