Waterjet Finds its Groove in Maker Culture

One might describe software developer Autodesk’s Workshop at Pier 9 as a traditional communal workspace. But in reality, it is a highly advanced maker space where artists, engineers, designers, architects and others network and share resources and knowledge that blur the lines between art and manufacturing.

It is here that an OMAX® 60120 JetMachining® Center helps foster innovative designs and transform how things are made. Up to 20 full-time artists, dubbed Autodesk Artists in Residence (AIR), work at the Workshop in five-month intervals seeking to push the boundaries of both Autodesk software and production-quality machine tools in efforts to master what is often thought impossible.

The Workshop, located on Pier 9 in San Francisco, houses individual shop areas for fabrication (welding and forming), woodworking, metalworking (CNC machining), electronics, laser cutting and 3D printing. It also has a commercial test kitchen, industrial sewing center and other specialty project areas. The Workshop boasts an impressive array of equipment – manual and CNC turning and milling machines, drill presses and routers, a multi-tasking (turning and milling) machine, a turning center with live tooling in addition to the OMAX abrasive waterjet cutting machine.

The 60120 JetMachining Center has proven to be a valuable piece in the facility’s gallery of manufacturing processes. It offers high accuracy of motion and easily accommodates components measuring up to 5 feet by 10 feet. The machine is equipped with OMAX’s intuitive Intelli-MAX® Software Suite; its powerful, highly efficient direct-drive EnduroMAX® Pump technology; and the company’s A-Jet® multi-axis cutting head with a 0 to 60-degree range.

Daniel Vidakovich, Workshop CNC Shop Lead, and Martin Horn, the Lead Workshop Instructor that teaches the waterjet class, wrote a basic training manual for the waterjet. It is only nine pages – reflective, they said, of how short the learning curve is with the OMAX machine. “The workflow of the OMAX is probably the simplest of CNC tools,” commented Horn. “In four hours, we can train a person to a level where they can construct a cutting path, validate that path, fixture the material and make a cut. And key to us being able to do so is the simple, straightforward OMAX software.