Tips & Tricks
The abrasive waterjet cutting tool consists of millions of tiny abrasive particles. All those particles are accelerated in the nozzle and perform the cut one impact at time. Depending on the cutting conditions, geometry of the cut, the material and other parameters, the cutting edge can take on different shapes that are commonly referred to as taper. A V-shaped cutting kerf will produce a part with a top width smaller than the bottom width. The reverse can also be true, where the bottom width is smaller than the top width. Where the top width and bottom width of the part are the same, it is said to have zero taper. Even with the same cutting parameters, the amount of taper on a part will vary between straight lines and arcs.
For many cutting jobs a small amount of taper may be tolerable or even desired. In precision cutting applications however, it is desirable to obtain near zero taper conditions. This can be achieved by changing the conditions and parameters of cutting, predominantly by adjusting and optimizing the cutting speed. In the past, this was a very tedious and laborious task since the optimal zero taper cutting speed is different for every cutting condition and also for different materials, thicknesses and cutting geometry. The user had to assign speeds, cut and measure the part, optimize the path and cut again. With the development of the cutting model in the OMAX IntelliMAX software, all the computation and optimization of cutting speed to obtain near zero taper is done within the software. Therefore, OMAX users only need to assign the special Minimum Taper Quality to any of the geometrical features of the cutting job and the software will automatically assign the optimum cutting speed. This significantly reduces the amount of time needed to program the cutting job since there is no need to repeatedly cut and optimize the cutting path.
To obtain near zero taper, the necessary cutting speed can be very slow, which isn’t optimal for shops that need to stay competitive by achieving fast production times. To solve this, in 1997 Dr. Axel Henning introduced a new concept to eliminate taper by tilting the cutting head so that a high precision part can be produced while still maintaining high cutting speeds. To compensate taper in the past, the user had to alter the geometry of the part or cutting path to assign the corrective tilting angle and try to adjust the cutting angle of every entity for optimal results, which was very tedious. Here again, IntelliMAX software comes to the rescue. With the power of its cutting model and SmartTAPER compensation, the necessary corrective cutting angle is computed and assigned automatically for every entity, be it a straight line or an arc, even with beveled cutting. With this approach, the user can effortlessly obtain high performance taper-free parts in 2D and 3D cutting by just selecting this software option. IntelliMAX will automatically create an optimized toolpath for the A-Jet cutting head from OMAX. Smart-TAPER compensation is available for the A-Jet cutting head in both the Standard and Premium versions of IntelliMAX software. IntelliMAX not only determines the optimal cutting speed on each entity, but also optimizes all acceleration and deceleration profiles. This allows for more precise cutting and significant increases in cutting speed.
The most sophisticated level of taper compensation that is IntelliTAPER compensation and is available with the A-Jet or Tilt-A-Jet cutting head and the Premium version of IntelliMAX software. IntelliTAPER utilizes the knowledge of the actual speed to intelligently adjust the cutting angle at every position along the tool path which significantly increases the precision of the cutting edge, especially in arcs and during acceleration/deceleration. IntelliTAPER compensation is the industry leading solution for high precision and high performance cutting.