Waterjet - Basic Parts
Abrasive waterjet is an efficient way to make small quantities of basic 2D parts in metals, plastics, composites and other basic sheet and plate materials. On account of the slight taper inherent in waterjet-cut edges, basic tolerances range from +/- .003" per edge for the slowest/most expensive cut to +/- .010" for what we refer to as a fabrication quality cut.
See Waterjet 2nd Ops for examples of cost savings had in a broad class of CNC machined parts, by using waterjet to do most of the work, and following with conventional machining only where precision and/or alternate axis features are required.
Small parts in 14 gauge hot rolled steel. They're tabbed in place to prevent losing them in the catch tank as they cut free. In this case they're left tabbed for the customer to bulk finish prior to breaking out.
Burn Design Lab stove parts in stainless and mild steel sheet. Our sister organization BurnStoves.com has built and sold 500,000+ of their stoves. Parts are either stamped or laser cut; but waterjet is the perfect way to blank the identical shapes in prototype quantity to verify both the design and the production tooling.
Small parts are tabbed into the stock to avoid loss or damage if cut free while in the tank. It's often easier to deburr and finish parts while still tabbed in, and in some cases easier for the customer to receive small parts in this state.
1/4" 304 stainless plate. The holes in these parts have been chamfered and then power tapped using the Bridgeport.
This 48" tall church plaque was cut in 12 gauge hot rolled steel, then given a high-end architectural blackened finish.
The customer started with a print image, which he scanned at high resolution and converted to vector art, and sent to us as a DXF. We hand-edited the DXF to smooth sharp points and remove features too small to cut as intended.
Cliff's tap handle logo inserts are cut in .04" copper, rough polished, then inset into custom machined wood handles.
These structural brackets are waterjet cut in 1/4" steel, then brake formed.
These scale model links were cut in .032" 6061 T6 aluminum. The links are about 1/4" x 1/2" each; they are cut tabbed in strings for the customer to snip apart and finish.
This is about the lower limit of what it's practical to do, but we can still dial in the cut offset to consistently pass a particular size gage pin, but not one .002" larger.