Frequently Asked Questions


System and Operating

How does it work?

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

What are the power/water requirements for the ProtoMAX?

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. 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: 7 – 21°C
  • 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
What can the ProtoMAX cut?

The ProtoMAX can cut virtually anything: Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Mild Steel, Granite, Marble White, Acrylic, Glass, Carbon Fiber, Foam.
There are some plastics and laminates that cut poorly and we don’t recommend cutting tempered glass.

How fast and how well can the ProtoMAX cut?

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.

How much water does the ProtoMAX use?

The ProtoMAX uses 1.6 liter per minute while cutting, which is a combination of high pressure and cooling water.

Can the used water and garnet from the catcher tank be routed to a sewer drain?

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.

What is the cost of abrasive (garnet)?

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.

What can I do with used garnet?

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.

How often is maintenance required?

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


What safety features are included in the ProtoMAX?

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.

How loud is the ProtoMAX?

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



What is the cost to operate?

Water, electricity, garnet, machine consumables and periodic maintenance are all factors to consider when calculating the cutting costs of the ProtoMAX. We can’t estimate the water and power utilization rates for all customers but we can provide an hourly estimate for garnet and other costs:

Consumables and maintenance: – €6.00 / hr
Low volume garnet (bag): – €5.00 / hr; Total Cost: €11.00
High volume garnet (metric ton): – €4.00 / hr; Total Cost: €10.00/hr

For a specific estimate of component cost and hours of service – click here.


Purchasing and Shipping

What is included with the ProtoMAX system?

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
  • 25 kg of garnet

Everything you need to begin operation after install.

Where can I buy garnet and other consumable parts?

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

How does the ProtoMAX ship?

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.

How much does it weigh and how do I offload it from the delivery truck?

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.

Can the ProtoMAX be moved around?

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.



How easy is the 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.

Can I import my drawing files and also design my parts using ProtoMAX software?

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:
And many more.

Can I run the ProtoMAX from my own computer?

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.

Are software updates and extra seats free?

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