Testing a New Material and Creating a New Wam Entry


The following instructions will walk you through how to determine the cutting parameters for either a new material and/or thickness and enter that material and thickness into your personal database on Wam. Before going further let’s explain what cutting parameters are necessary to create a new material entry, what they mean, why they are important, and where they are located in Wam.

Below displays the new material entry menu on Wam and also shows where the cutting parameters are located.

Test Instructions

The test instructions outlined below will walk you through the process of running a test file, analyzing the results of the file, and entering those results into a new material/thickness entry in Wam. Below is an outline of these instructions.

  1. Identifying a Test Cut

  2. Running the Test Cut.

  3. Identifying and Analyzing Results.

  4. Creating a New Material/Thickness Entry in Wam.

1. Identifying a Test File

There are four test files built in to the firmware on the Wazer controller that can be accessed from the menu on the machine. These tests will help you to determine two of the cutting parameters, cut rate and pierce time. The substeps below will help you identify which file is right for your material and thickness.


I. Make sure your material and/or thickness is not already in the database. Only continue if you have a new material and/or thickness that is not in the database.

II. Reference the current database to determine if a material exists that is in the same material group (Metals, Plastics, Composites, Ceramics & Stone, Other) with similar material properties.

  1. For example, say the new material you have is 0.1” thick Titanium Grade 2. First identify the material group it’s in, which is metal in this case.

  2. Within metals look for a material with similar properties, in this case, look for other Titanium’s in the material database, Titanium Grade 5 is already in the material database.

  3. Within Titanium Grade 5 find a listed thickness which is closest to your thickness, in this case, .125” which is in the database.

  4. Titanium Grade 5 at a thickness of .125” has now become your reference material.

  5. If you were not able to reference any materials in the current database or are uncertain how this material will cut skip the following lines, you will need to download the General Cut file which is suitable for any material and thickness that the machine is capable of cutting.


III. Look up what the rough cut rate for the reference material is.

  1. To do this click the add/edit material button at the bottom of the material tab on the main Wam page.


2. Use the image below to help guide you to the rough cut rate for the reference material.


IV. You will use this cut rate to identify which file to run by matching it to one of the cut rate ranges for each file in the table below.


V. The above table also shows the time and abrasive needed to run each file.

VI. There are minimum dimensions of your new material and/or thickness required to run each file.

  • General, Medium, and Fast Cut Files require a 6” x 3” material test blank.

  • Slow Cut File requires a 6” x 1.5” material test blank.

VII. Select the file file you need by navigating Setup & Maintenance > Cut Rate Testing and then choose the relevant file.

2. Running the File

ATTN: Before reading the next steps you will need a stopwatch to measure pierce time.


I. Select the file you have identified and press ok

II. Follow the preparatory steps until you reach the step of loading the material test blank into the machine.

  • The center of the cutting head will be in the location where the top left corner of the material test blank should be. Below shows an image of the approximate location of the material test blank for each of the files.


General, Medium, and Fast Cut File material location


Slow Cut File material location

  • Ensure that the left edge of the material is lined up with the center of the cutting head, with an orientation looking into the machine from the front Ensure the top edge of the material is lined up with the center of the cutting head, with an orientation looking into the machine from the right side.

    • ATTN: Make sure that your material is not angled on the cutting bed, the edges should be mostly parallel with the grid-lines on the cutting bed.

  • Once the material is correctly located use fastening screws to anchor the material down in the bed.

  • Before starting the file, run the “check extents” option on the screen to ensure the material test blank meets the extents of the cut file. If it does not make corrections to the angle or location of the material so that it does meet the extents.


III. Have the stopwatch in your hand at this moment as you will need to measure pierce time at the start of the file.

  • Pierce time is measured from when the jet hits the material (water will be spraying up) until it has made it thru the entire thickness(water stops spraying up). The pierce operation is quite audible so it is also easy to tell by ear when the piercing is complete.

IV. Begin the file and start the stopwatch once the jet begins the piercing operation and stop it once the jet has pierced thru.

  • Record the pierce time on a sheet of paper.

  • During the cut expect there to be a lot of spraying up as there will be points in the cut which the jet cannot cut, which is what we are looking for.

  • Allow file to finish, reference the table from Step 1 to determine how long your file will take to complete

V. When complete unfasten the anchors, remove the material from the bed, and rinse material with water.

3. Identifying and Analyzing the Results


I. Each rectangle with semi-circle end represents a single cut rate with the certain value found in the table below.

II. Cut number starts at 1 from the top left and increases from left to right and top to bottom for every cut file. This numbering scheme is read with the front of the material oriented towards you. See image below for reference.


III. Flip over to the back of the material to identify the cut rate at which the material is fully separated, also called separation cut rate. Fully separated means that from one end of the semi-circle to the other the cut path is continuous and without “bridges”. An example of what a material bridge looks like is shown below.


IV. The first semi-circle without any bridges is considered the separation cut rate. Use the image below to help you find this semicircle on your material.

  • ATTN: For soft materials such as rubber, foam, etc be careful when determining the separation cut rate to not break any materials that might exist. If broken it could lead you to identify a separation cut rate that is faster than the real rate.


V. Having found the semi-circle pertaining to the separation cut rate determine the cut number. To do this keep a finger on the semi-circle and flip the material so that the front is facing you in the orientation that it was originally cut in. Count over from 1 until you reach the semi-circle that you identified as the separation cut rate.

VI. Reference the cut number in the table below to find the corresponding separation cut rate.

VII. Use this separation cut rate to determine rough, medium, and fine cut rates

  1. Rough Cut Rate = Separation cut rate *.9

  2. Medium Cut Rate =Separation cut rate *.8

  3. Fine Cut Rate = Separation cut rate *.7

These multipliers to determine rough, medium, and fine cut rates are approximations that will get you close to the three different cut qualities. However, there is still room for you to iterate with these values on your own to adjust the cut rate according to your satisfaction with the cut quality. The photo below shows an example of cut quality at rough, medium, and fine cut rates.

VIII. Record these cut rates in the same place as pierce time.

IX. Determining Tab Width and Lead In/Out.

4. Creating a New Material/Thickness Entry in Wam


I. Open Wam’s main page and open the material tab.

II. Click Add/Edit Material shown below.

III. The menu above will appear, to open the fields for data entry click on the blue “New” button.

IV. You can now begin filling out the “Your Material Info” by selecting a Material Category, naming your material, and entering its thickness in either inches or mm.

  • Selecting units for material thickness will drive the cutting parameters to also be in the same units.

V. You can now enter values for each of the cutting parameters that you determined above.

VI. When you have completely filled out the entry and are satisfied click save to store the material in your personal Wam database.

VII. If you made a mistake in your entry you can always go back and edit or delete any material that is in your personal database.

You have successfully tested your own material/thickness and are ready to cut!