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Makerspace Gets Its Own OMAX Personal Abrasive Waterjet

Jim Lorincz
By Jim Lorincz Contributing Editor, SME Media

OMAX Corp. (Kent, WA) introduced its ProtoMAX high-performance personal abrasive waterjet at the sold-out 2017 sessions of the International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces (ISAM). Held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, the ISAM event highlighted how makerspace academic educators can benefit from advanced technologies including 3D printers, laser cutters, waterjet, welding, and CNC machining. OMAX has designed ProtoMAX with small and large job shops, engineering classrooms, and even individuals in mind. It’s easy to program and operate and provides fast cutting of materials under 2” (51 mm) thick. ProtoMAX is powered by a 5 hp (3.7-kW) pump operating pressure of 30,000 psi (206 MPa), well below the 45,000 – 90,000 psi (310-620 MPa) pump operating pressures of industrial waterjets. Work material is submerged under water for clean, quiet cutting (76 db) that won’t disrupt a shared workspace. Materials that can be cut include almost any type–from metal to composites, glass to granite, plastic to wood. The ProtoMAX web site lists materials by type, thickness, and cutting economics based on expected garnet abrasive usage.

“The compact, enclosed ProtoMAX abrasive waterjet is designed for prototyping, light industry, technical education, artists and the maker movement,” said Stephen Bruner, OMAX vice president of marketing, shown with the ProtoMAX at the ISAM 2017 symposium.

Programming of part files and cutting speed and operation are controlled by Intelli-MAX software. “It’s easy to program even complex paths on the ProtoMAX. We’ve taken many of the same popular CAD/CAM software features that we use in our industrial waterjet systems and incorporated them into the compact ProtoMAX waterjet,” said Stephen Bruner, OMAX vice president of marketing. “Behind the scenes, the software uses sophisticated waterjet cutting models that predict the jet’s precise behavior when cutting different materials, thicknesses and shapes. But the user interface is simple and straightforward, making it an ideal learning tool for computer-aided manufacturing. Familiarity with it will ease the transition of students to industrial waterjets,” Bruner added. The ProtoMAX doesn’t need internet connection to operate. Software comes loaded on the included laptop and connects via a USB. According to Bruner, The ProtoMAX is also highly compatible with many third party solutions. “For example, all tool path creation can be done in AutoDesk Fusion 360, MasterCAM, or other CAM programs,” he said. ProtoMAX will be shown at the Autodesk University Fusion Factory event in November.

ProtoMAX can be purchased on line. The web site provides design ideas, specifications, frequently asked questions, and a community section to support ProtoMAX enthusiasts.

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