Assignment #7: Waterjet Cutter

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"Hello Lock"!

or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Waterjet Cutter



What I Learned:


The assignment: Make a waterjet-cut flexure

My idea was to build a lock mechanism with the waterjet cutter. The lock is made of several layers that lock in a bolt and don't allow it to move. Only the right key can open the lock and release the bolt. and mathematical modeling


Assorted CAD and Illustration software
I wanted to do some manual modifications and tweaking to the final design. I was looking for a drawing program that's quick-to-learn, intuitive-user-interface, and can save its drawing in a format that the waterjet cutter's program (OMAX Make) can read. Apparently, none of the programs I've tried actually achieves this.

The most problematic issue was exporting a drawing between the different formats. Even though most programs read and write .dxf files, there are great discrepancies between their .dxf formats. In some cases, only part of the drawing appears when opening it in another software. In other cases, the scale of the image changes. In most cases - the file just won't open...

Eventually what I did was to draw in Illustrator, export to Corel Draw, and from there export to a format that OMAX can open (Thanks for the tip, Thaddeus). Then fix and add things in OMAX.

Things to note:

OMAX Layout

It has a very annoying user interface, but after some time you just get used to it.

Some notes:

2) place many weights as close as you can. Vibrations are a problem. If you get rough edges then your object is vibrating

3) remove cut out pieces as soon as they are cut out. Otherwise they can potentially jam the waterjet head or cause to move your piece destroying the work. What I ended up doing was to stop the waterjet, move it out of the way, remove the piece and resume from where I stopped.

Using The Waterjet