Tool Restored to Operational

Our OMAX Maxiem 1515 has returned to operational usage as of 6/22/2021, but doing so required temporarily replacing it's tilting head that enabled 5-axis cuts with a standard head that only allows 3-axis cuts. If you are not familiar with 5-axis machining, then this change will make no difference to your usage of the tool compared to it being fully operational!

Tool Location


Tool Type


Additional Information

One Page Tool Reference Sheet


The OMAX Maxiem 1515 is capable of cutting complicated contours in a wide variety of materials using a high pressure stream of water and garnet abrasive. It includes advanced features such as the 5 axis cutting head for cutting tapered parts, low pressure settings for brittle materials, as well as etching and scribing settings. Other accessories include rapid water level adjustment and automatic garnet feed from an external reservoir.


Handles Large Materials

The maximum bed size of the Maxiem 1515 is a little less than 5'x5'.

Kerf Width

This tool has a kerf of 0.021", so features smaller than this will not turn out.

Cut Depth

The Maxiem 1515 can cut up to 6" of mild steel.


Because the waterjet's pressurized garnet and water stream are non-reactive,  you can cut through materials that aren't able to be cut in the laser cutter. Among the things that you can cut in the Maxiem 1515 are: metals, woods, plastics, ceramics, porcelain, glass.


Safety glasses and closed-toed shoes are required when operating the waterjet. Ear protection is optional as the piercing phase of the cut and above water cuts can both be loud.

Safety Features

The main E-stop is a large red button located on the right side of the computer cart. Pushing the E-stop will stop all water flow and powered motion. The nozzle will descend, as the z-axis actuator will be unpowered.

Jobs can also be instantly paused by hitting the spacebar or clicking the pause button in the cut dialog on the computer screen.

Never place hand near cutting head. Always check the entire cut envelope for collisions with weights, clamps, and other obstacles before starting a cut, as detailed in the Operating Equipment section.

Example Work

Marble Tile Carpet

The waterjet's ability to cut intricate pieces of marble allows the creation of beautiful tiled patterns.

Waterjet Cutting Racecar Parts

Waterjetting Titanium Parts

How To Use This Tool

  1. Flip main breaker (1) up to “On” position.
  2. Turn water and air valves (2) and (3) to open position (levers parallel to desired flow)
  3. Turn switch 4 to “On” position
  4. Turn switch 5 to “On” position
  5. Turn switch 6 to “On” position to supply power to computer
  6. Verify that monitor is on
  7. Verify that computer is on
  8. Press power buttons on monitor and computer as necessary
Sign In Use your buzz card at the SUMS terminal to log into the OMAX Maxiem Secure material to be cut on slats
  1. For more detail see article: Hold Down Techniques [ not yet written]
  2. Open OMAX Make [link to omax make] and move the waterjet nozzle out of the way
  3. If the waterjet brick or other sacrificial material is required (an example would be for cutting a small piece of brittle glass)
  4. Place sacrificial material on the slats
  5. Secure sacrificial material using weights, side clamps, and vertical clamps as appropriate
  6. Secure the material to be cut to the sacrificial material using nails and move directly to step 4
  7. For most materials, place the material directly on the slats and secure using weights, side clamps, and vertical clamps as appropriate
  8. Check to ensure that the material to be cut cannot be moved side to side easily by hand.
  9. Verify that the material cannot bow up and down, particularly if thin.
  10. A possible hazard is the material vibrating during the cutting operation and striking the mixing tube (end of the nozzle), which can cause serious damage
  11. Reduce the amount of material free to bow and vibrate through strategic placement of weights and smart cut path design in OMAX Layout [ link to omax layout]
Prepare Toolpath Follow the OMAX Layout procedure to set up the cutting path. See article: Omax Layout Send Job to OMAX Make Material properties are defined in this step. See article: Omax Make Defining Initial Z-Zero
  1. Raise the Z height an inch above the material
  2. Move nozzle to somewhere near the desired X-Y path start location
  3. Place height gauge below nozzle and wiggle it back and forth, but not up and down
  4. While wiggling the height gauge, move the nozzle down using the Fine Adjust keys (Home and End for up and down) until slight friction is felt between the height gauge and nozzle tip
  5. For more details, consult OMAX Make guide
  6. Then, tap the Home key once to raise the nozzle slightly so there is no friction
  7. Raise the nozzle a few taps if cutting material that is particularly thin, to avoid touching the material if it vibrates.
  8. Set this location as the Z-Zero “Home” per the OMAX Make guide
Defining X-Y Zero
  1. Move nozzle to desired X-Y zero location
  2. Set this location as the X-Y zero “Home” per the OMAX Make guide
Checking Cut Envelope It is important to check the maximum extents of the cut envelope for:
  • Collisions with high spots in the material
  • Collisions with weights, clamps, and other obstacles
  • Ensuring that there is sufficient material available to do the job
Failure to perform this check is irresponsible. If a collision occurs the machine calibration can be upset, and the machine can be damaged. Please make sure to always check your cut envelope using the following steps.
  1. Identify under part statistics the maximum height and width of your cut.
  2. Using the arrow keys, move the nozzle along the bottom edge of cut envelope while periodically pausing to check the distance between the nozzle and material using the height gauge. Watch out for obstacles.
  3. If the nozzle is too close to the material at any point, raise the Z axis and set the new Z position as the Z “Home”
  4. Repeat this process for the right, top, and left edge.
  5. If a collision is a risk at any point, alter the X-Y Home position to shift the cut path away from the problem, and start the checking process again.
  6. Check a few points in the interior of the cut envelope with the height gauge.
  7. It is okay to use “Go to Spot on Path” and “Dry Run” functions to perform additional validation as needed.
  8. Cutting jobs may be performed after this check process is completed.
Adjusting Water Level
  1. The water level adjustment lever is located on the right side of the waterjet computer stand. It controls the air in the ballast tank at the rear of the waterjet. The air in the ballast tank pushes on the water in the tank to regulate the water level.
  2. To raise water level, pull lever upwards
  3. To lower water level, push lever downwards
Running Job
  1. Move nozzle to job start position
  2. Verify nozzle is at correct starting height
  3. Visually verify that cutting profile is clear of clamps, weights, and other obstructions
  4. Lower yellow splash guard if in use
  5. Click “Begin Machining”
  6. Click the “Play” button
  7. The job percentage completed is displayed on the screen. Hitting the space bar pauses the job if needed.
Cleaning Work Area
  1. Move nozzle out of the way
  2. Rinse parts and scrap material with the water hose over the waterjet tank
  3. Dry parts and scrap material with the compressed air gun over the waterjet tank
  4. Remove parts and scrap material from waterjet tank
  5. Secure parts. If discarding scrap material, place usable scrap in the scrap rack, and throw unusable scrap in the trash container downstairs by the loading dock.
  6. Lower the water level to just below the top of the slats
  7. Using the water hose, spray down the L-bracket to remove garnet build up
  8. Spray down covers to remove garnet splatter
  9. Mop up any spilled water, wipe off any splatter from surrounding areas
  Closing Software
  1. In Make, go to “History” in the top bar, and select “Counters/Timers”
  2. The “Total Hours on Pump” value should be recorded on the waterjet logout screen at the SUMS terminal
  3. Close OMAX Layout and Make
  4. Remove USB drive from computer
  Shutting Down Waterjet
  1. Shut down power to computer by turning switch 6 to “Off” position
  2. Turn switch 5 to “Off” position
  3. Turn switch 4 to “Off” position
  4. Turn air and water valves 3 and 2 to “Off” position (levers perpendicular to flow)
  5. Pull main breaker (1) down to “Off” position
  Sign out Sign out on the SUMS terminal. This is where the pump hours number you recovered will be used. Do not forget your USB drive and parts.  
Water level will not decrease sufficiently
  • Raise water level to maximum height, so excess water can flow down drain (behind the tank)
    • Once excess water has exited the tank, lowering the water level will have a larger effect
Waterjet is not cutting through material
  • A clog in the tube between the garnet hopper and nozzle is likely
    • Disconnect the feed tube from the garnet hopper and nozzle
    • Secure both ends of the feed tube and blow compressed air through the tube until the tube is cleared and dry
    • Reconnect the feed tube to the garnet hopper and nozzle
  • Another possible cause is a problem in the valve which controls garnet flow below the garnet hopper
    • Inform the waterjet master
Water is not flowing during job
  • Check screen on pump unit. Hit “Reset” if there is a fault.
  • Move nozzle back to path start position and restart cut.
  • Contact waterjet master if problem remains unresolved.


OMAX. (n.d.). MAXIEM 1515. Retrieved on July 8, 2018.


Author Information

Article was written by Miles Chan, and edited by Veronica Spencer.

Last Updated: August 12 2018.

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