In waterjet cutting, the material removal operation can be described as a supersonic erosion process. It is not pressure but steam velocity that tears away microscopic pieces or grains of material. To achieve high-stream velocity, the pressurized water passes through a tiny hole in a jewel that is affixed to the end of the plumbing tubing. Lasers are systems for the generation and amplification of light, where “light” can refer to any electromagnetic wavelength. In its simplest form, a laser consists of a gain medium, a method of pumping the gain medium and an optical cavity.

Weep Not, Waterjet Machine. Predictive Maintenance is Here.

The versatility of waterjet cutting is well known, but its reputation as a maintenance intensive technology holds it back. Predictive maintenance may change that. 

Laser & Waterjet: Essential Reading

Laser Versus Waterjet for 2D Metalcutting

When should you choose laser cutting over waterjet, and vice versa? A metal fabricator offers some guidelines.

Why Not Start With Waterjet?

In titanium, significant savings and process efficiency can result from the simple fact that abrasive waterjet cutting leaves the remaining stock intact.

The Promise of Waterjet Technology for Micromachining

The potential benefits of using waterjet technology to produce parts or part features smaller than 300 microns are compelling. Developers and researchers are getting close to breaking the barriers that stand in the way of micromachining in the 150- to 200-micron range and below.

How To Choose A Plasma Cutter

Contributed by Hypertherm (West Lebanon, New Hampshire). The company designs and manufactures plasma cutting systems for use in a variety of industries such as shipbuilding, manufacturing, and automotive repair. Its product line includes handheld and mechanized plasma systems and consumables, as well as CNC motion and height controls.

How To Machine Composites, Part 5 -- Waterjet Cutting

For trimming composite parts, this shop describes where it uses machining centers and where it uses waterjet.


FAQ: Laser & Waterjet

What is laser cutting?

Laser micromachining includes processes like laser ablation, where the laser energy penetrates the material and leads to some transformation. Laser ablation is the direct removal of material resulting from the interaction of the laser light with the sample. Most commonly, ablation relies on the laser light being absorbed in the material, leading to material interaction.

Source: Modern Machine Shop’s Handbook for the Metalworking Industries

What is waterjet cutting?

Waterjet cutting, at its simplest, is the process of a high-pressure jet of water cutting into a material. The technology often compliments other machining techniques such as milling, laser, EDM and plasma. No hazardous material or vapors form during the waterjet process, and neither do heat-affected zones or mechanical stresses. Waterjet can cut whisper-thin details in stone, glass and metals; quickly drill holes in titanium; cut food; and even kill pathogens in beverages and dips.

Source: Machining 101: What is Waterjet Cutting?

What are potential errors to watch for with waterjet cutting?

Potential errors affecting accuracy include cutter compensation error, programming error and machine motion. 

Cutter compensation is the value entered into the control system to take into account the width of cut from the jet — that is, the amount by which the cut path must be enlarged so the final part comes out the proper size. To avoid potential errors in high-precision work, the operator should conduct test cuts and know the frequency at which cutter compensation must be adjusted to match mixing tube wear.

Programming errors arise most often because some XY controls do not show dimensions on part programs, making lack of dimensional matching between the part program and the CAD drawing difficult to detect. Important aspects of machine motion that can introduce errors are backlash in the mechanical unit and repeatability.


Laser & Waterjet Suppliers

Laser Cutting Machine Offers Nano-Range Surface Finish

Rollomatic’s LaserSmart LS510 cutting and ablation machine is designed to produce sharp corner radii in hard materials like PCBN material.

Long-Life Intensifier Pump Maximizes Uptime

The MotoJet X from Flow International Corp. operates at 60,000 psi and comes with a full-service maintenance program.

When Laser Cutting Precision Begins with the Quote

A harmonious marriage of CNC machining and sheet-metal fabricating equipment depends on identifying the right process and the right price for every part.

Omax Waterjet Designed for Ease of Use

The OptiMax waterjet system from Omax is designed to be a versatile, easy-to-use system with optimized software, system monitoring and more.

What is Laser Cleaning? How Does it Work? EMAG Experts Explain

Lasers provide the flexibility to clean some areas of a CNC-machined workpiece while leaving others untouched.

TCI Precision Metals Adds Waterjet Machining Center

The new machine is the second waterjet TCI Precision Metals has added in the last twelve months to keep up with growing demand for precision Machine-Ready Blanks and other specialty parts.