Common questions we receive about Waterjet Cutting.
We receive phone calls about abrasive waterjet machining from people with and without experience about the waterjet machining process. Here are a few questions and the answers:
What CAD file format is best?
Our preferred format is DXF. However, we can easily convert DWG and AI files. We can convert PDF files too, but sometimes the file does not convert cleanly, or some features like circles or radii are very “pixelated”. We highly recommend providing a PDF drawing with dimensions along with the CAD file so that we can check dimensions when creating the waterjet model and for inspection purposes.
Can we cut parts by tracing or looking at an existing part?
The waterjet is a CNC machine. Therefore, a computer model must be created.
- Flanges can be reproduced fairly easily with our machine software.
- If a part is small enough, it can be placed on a scanner, converted to a PDF and the outline traced by our machine software.
- We have been provided with hand traced drawings which we scan and then use the machine software to create a model.
- Large pieces are difficult to reverse engineer a model from.
Modelling this way can take a significant amount of time and will result in an engineering/design/modelling fee.
What materials can the waterjet cut?
The waterjet can cut through virtually any material. We are a metal distributor so that is what we primarily cut. However, we have cut wood, UHMW Polyethylene, Polycarbonate, Neoprene, Ceramic Tile. Brittle materials such as Acrylic, Glass or laminates such as G10 Phenolic have some limitations because of cracking, spalling or delamination.
What thickness can we cut?
We can cut through 7-inch thick material without modifying the cutting head or table.