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System and Operating

Erosion. Pressurized water is directed into a fine stream that accelerates garnet particles into and subsequently through the material you are trying to cut.

The ProtoMAX system requires a 240VAC / 30A power source and access to water and a drain. The power requirement is similar to a household clothing dryer and is required to drive the 5 horsepower pump. Check out our Utility Requirements document for more information. Water temperature and quality can impact how well the ProtoMAX runs. While we have successfully tested the ProtoMAX over a wide range of temperatures and water conditions, we offer the following recommendations for optimal operation:


  • Temperature: 45 - 80°F
  • pH Level: 6.5 - 8.5
  • Total Dissolved Solids < 250 ppm
  • Calcium < 17ppm
  • Magnesium < 6 ppm
  • Iron < 0.3 ppm
  • Manganese < 0.05 ppm
  • Chloride < 100 ppm
  • Sulfate < 200 ppm
  • Silica < 10 ppm

The ProtoMAX can cut virtually anything. There are some plastics and laminates that cut poorly and we don’t recommend cutting tempered glass.


Material
Aluminum
Stainless Steel
Mild Steel
Granite
Marble White
Acrylic
Glass
Carbon Fiber
Foam

The ProtoMAX is the fastest cutting waterjet of its size. It has a 5 hp pump and operates at a pressure of 30,000 PSI. Industrial waterjets operate at pressures between 45,000 and 90,000 PSI so while you're not going to cut at industrial speeds, you will still cut fast.

Below is a table that shows some basic materials, thicknesses and linear cutting speed. All cuts were performed at Quality 3 (Q3). Edge quality is defined within a range of Q1 - Q5 with Q5 being the best, i.e. with very little serration or roughness. You can choose quality of cut within the ProtoMAX control software which optimizes the speed of cut by selecting the fastest path for quality chosen.

 

Linear Speed *    
Material Thickness Inches Per Minute (IPM)
 
Aluminum 6061 .125" 9.4
Aluminum 6061 .250" 4.55
Aluminum 6061 .500" 2.13
 
Stainless Steel 304 .060" 7.93
Stainless Steel 304 .120" 3.95
 
Mild Steel .188" 2.46
Mild Steel .250" 1.82
 
Granite Absolute Black .375" 1.48
Granite Snoqualmie .375" 2.28
 
Marble White .375" 2.9
 
Acrylic Clear .120" 18.41
 
Glass Sheet .250" 4.52"
 
Carbon Fiber .040" 45.93  (Q5)
Carbon Fiber .120" 27.44

* Listed here are linear cutting speeds, as one could expect to achieve when cutting in straight line. When cutting real-world geometry with curves and corners, the cutting is significantly slower, due to the need to slow down the cutting for the jet behaviors. Parts with lots of corners will be significantly slower than straight line cuts or shallow curves. All of this calculation is handled for you automatically by ProtoMAX MAKE's built in cutting models.

Quality 3 is based on cutting scale of Q1 to Q5. Q3 has a very good edge finish at a reasonable cut speed. Cutting faster, (Q1) will result in rougher edge finish and additional taper. Cutting slower, (Q5) will result in a very smooth cutting surface with no striations and minimal taper.

The ProtoMAX uses 0.42 gallons per minute while cutting, which is a combination of high pressure and cooling water.

It depends. Water and garnet, a naturally occurring mineral, are inert. The water draining from the catcher tank will contain abrasive and a small amount of the material that is cut and that may influence what you can pour down the drain. Check your local wastewater regulations to learn what you can and cannot dispose of down the drain.

You will find the price per lb is higher than what is common for larger volumes, higher pressure systems only because packaging and logistics afford this. Generally, pricing, including all freight, special packaging (for ease of use), and handling will vary from under $50 for a 30 lb pail to under $70 for a 55 lb pail.

We don't recommend recycling garnet for use in your ProtoMAX system as your cutting performance may suffer. Used garnet can be disposed of in landfills or repurposed by concrete manufacturers.

We've built the ProtoMAX to require minimal maintenance, which includes:

  • Flushing the nozzle (water without garnet) after each use
  • Changing the pump oil every 6 months
  • Removing the spent garnet periodically depending on usage

Safety

We are designing the system to be compliant with UL requirements.

The ProtoMAX lid is designed to stop all cutting when open and the On / Off switch is ergonomically located on the side of the machine. ProtoMAX may emit minimal water vapor from the cutting process.

In our prototypes, the machine operated at 76db when cutting under water.

Cost

Cost drivers are garnet and water, and garnet is generally much higher component than water. See sample material cutting times and abrasive usage below.

See Capabilities
Part Dimensions Cut Time Garnet Consumption
Sprocket 304 SS Q3 .120" X 6" dia. 19.1 min. 4.45 lbs.
Sprocket 6061 AL Q3 .125" X 6" dia. 9.0 min. 1.92 lbs.
Gear 304 SS Q3 .188" X 3" dia. 17.1 min. 4.2 lbs.
Interlock 304 SS Q3/4 .188" X 2.75" dia. 20.0 min. 4.87 lbs.
Interlock Glass Q3/4 .235" X 2.75" dia. 11.9 min. 2.84 lbs.
Knife Body Knife Steel Q3 .140" X 1" X 8.5" 10.9 min. 2.56 lbs.
Knife Handle Carbon Fiber/G10 .188" X 1" X 4.5" 1.5 min. .28 lbs.
Tweezers 304 SS .188" X .25" X 3.5" 8.5 min. 2.0 lbs.

Purchasing and Shipping

The ProtoMAX system includes:


  • Unit enclosure
  • XY motion system, cutting platform, and a catcher tank
  • Nozzle and mixing tube
  • 5 hp pump (operating at 30,000 PSI)
  • All electrical and plumbing
  • Laptop configured with Intelli-MAX software
  • 55 lbs. of garnet

Everything you need to begin operation after install.

ProtoMAX will have an online marketplace where you will be able to purchase garnet, consumables and ProtoMAX accessories.

The ProtoMAX system will weigh about 300 lbs for the table and 200 lbs for the high pressure pump, plus about 100 lbs for packaging and accessories. The unit is shipped on one pallet. You may also choose from a variety of additional accessories that would be shipped on a separate pallet. We will ship via truck with a lift gate for ease of off load.

The crated ProtoMAX crated weight is about 600 pounds and we will choose a freight company that has lift system to lower the unit to the ground. The product is shipped on a 49" X 49" pallet that can be moved close to your installation location or you can offload the product and wheel it to your location. We recommend at least two people to help with the offloading, unpacking and installation procedure.

Yes. The ProtoMAX table and pump are equipped with casters to make moving easier. Keep in mind that moving the unit will require duplicating many of the installation procedures in the new location.

Software

Based on the feedback from our beta-testers, it's pretty easy. Our testers ranged in experience and age and most found drawing, importing and pathing to be uncomplicated. We will make the software available soon and encourage you to try it and decide for yourself.

The Intelli-MAX software makes it easy to do both. Layout is our CAD software that can be used to draw or import files. Below is a partial list of file extensions that can be imported into LAYOUT (and in some instances use Intelli-TRACE) to create tool paths:


File Extensions
.dwg
.dxf
.ord
.pdf
.svg
.ai

And many more.

The ProtoMAX is designed with that in mind. As long as your computer meets the minimum system requirements (essentially Windows 10 64 bit), then it should work. Setup is just running the installer, and answering a few questions. The main purpose of doing this is to have a computer more powerful than the very basic one supplied, which can be nice for those who wish for a snappier experience.

Yes, although some future software products, add-ons, and the like may be at some cost.

Can't find your question here? Post it to our community and we'll get you an answer.

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