WaterJet Cutting

Waterjet Cutting That Is
Efficient & Precise

Waterjet Cutting is ideal for short-run part production, just-in-time manufacturing, tooling, prototype part development, and machine repair parts.

  • Delivers fast, clean, smooth cuts reducing secondary operations
  • Does not create heat that will adversely impact sensitive materials or cause mechanical stress
  • Eliminates the need for expensive tooling or complex fixture costs
  • Capable of cutting virtually any type of flat material; including metal, plastic, stone & wood
  • Can cut up to a 100″ x 55″ (2540 mm x 1397 mm) sheet of material, up to 9” thick
  • Tilt-A-Jet delivers virtually zero taper with most materials
  • Environmentally “green” system with quiet and clean operation

What is it and how does it work?

Water Jet cutting uses an ultra-high pressure stream of water to carry an abrasive grit. The abrasive—usually garnet or sand—then cuts through the chosen material, leaving a precise cut and a smooth surface. It is essentially an accelerated erosion process—the same power that sculpted the grand canyon concentrated and mechanized.

As highly pressurized water is fired through the nozzle into a mixing chamber, pressure creates a vacuum driving the abrasive into the stream to be fired. Despite the term “waterjet,” it is this abrasive that does the work, which is really erosion done at such a high power and speed that it is deemed “cutting.”

The process is extremely versatile, able to cut almost any material including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, stone, wood, plastic, glass, rubber, leather, cloth, paper, cardboard, insulation, foam, and more. It is also very precise, with a narrow kerf width that allows fine contours to be cut and highly detailed shapes and parts to be formed.

RWD’s state-of-the-art OMAX waterjet cutting technology features the Tilt-A-Jet head that can position the nozzle at an angle calculated by the software to exactly offset the natural taper from the abrasivejet. The head features a programmable tilt up to +/- 9 degrees for the maximum tilt angle, and can cut thick material while holding tight tolerances (0.005 tolerance from 0-1” and 0.1 tolerance from 1”-4”).

Waterjet Cutting
Speed, Savings and Efficiencies

Nesting Parts

with computer programming that will decrease wasted material and maximize your cost.

Minimal Tooling

Rapid Waterjet Design can cut a wide variety of parts with no tooling, thus decreasing time and increasing savings on tooling costs.

Material

Rapid Waterjet Design will nest and cut your parts with minimal waste. Also, the water jet minimizes material waste compared to CNC milling processes that require working to the critical dimensions.

Pros

Waterjet cutting can be used on almost any material, does not cause heat damage, is extremely accurate in cutting intricate and 3D shapes, and is more environmentally friendly than traditional cutters.

Cons

Water jets can do very simple cuts of thin material. This is an area where lasers are also strong.

When comparing quotes, there may be very little to choose between laser and water jet, so other factors might be a key differentiator, such as lead time and also whether environmental factors are of importance to you, as water jets have the advantage of being environmentally friendly.

For simple cuts of thin material or also small pieces with fine detail, there is a choice to be made and this choice might require getting quotes from different types of cutters and also getting a feel for which one can better deliver to your specifications.

As jobs become more complex, that is larger parts, deeper cuts and complex three-dimensional cutting, the dial shifts heavily in favor of water jet cutting.

Materials ideal for
Waterjet Cutting

Technological
Comparisons

EDM LASER CNC WATERJET
Materials Range
Only metallic
Mostly metallic (not reflective)
Any Material
Any Material
Material thickness
0 to10"
0 to 3/4"
0 to 10" with additional set-ups
0 to 10"
Accuracy (dependent on thickness)
0.00005
.003" - .006"
.0002
.005" - .010"
Cutting speed (based on 1"-8" thick steel)
Slow, very accurate
1" max. thick, fast on thin metals
Best for finishing to size
Excellent, tilt head option to maintain vertical edge cuts
Thermal Alteration
Yes
Yes
Possible
No
Edge Cutting quality
High
Low
Medium
Medium
Pre-processing
- Pre-drill each hole - Re-thread wire
No
Squaring Of Block
No

Waterjet
Quality Index

Abrasive waterjet cuts at various speed allowing us to control quality, speed and cost.  Below illistrates the 5 different settings we cut material at and the finish cutting edge it will leave.  The finish does change depending on material that is being cut.

 

Q1

Quality 1 is the fastest cutting speed for our abrasive waterjet. Q1 is used for rough cutting when edge finish, taper or tolerances are not important.

 

Q2

Quality 2 is the second fastest cutting speed for our abrasive waterjet. Q2 is used for cutting when finish is not important and secondary machining is used.

 

Q3

Quality 3 is the most commonly used setting. It offers good to very good cutting finish, depending on material being cut. Cutting speed is good and able to hold standard tolerances with taper control.

 

Q4

Quality 4 delivers a very good to excellent cutting finish. Secondary finishing is usually not necessary. Holds tight tolerances with taper control.

 

Q5

Quality 5 delivers the best cutting finish available with an abrasive waterjet. No secondary finishing is required and holds tight tolerances with taper control. Cutting is very slow and more expensive.

 

Applications

01

Automotive

02

Signage

03

Motorsport

Our office

5415 Business Pkwy
Ringwood, IL 60072

Drop Us A Line

Contact us today to
get your project started