The Basics of Bending Sheet Metal
An overview of minimum bend radii and bend orientation
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Waterjet, also known as water jet or abrasive jet cutting, is one of Xometry's machining processes that directs a high-pressure jet of water and an abrasive substance to cut materials for industrial applications such as machine part manufacturing. Modern water jet cutters are controlled by CNC (Computer Numerical Control) systems running G-code to position the water jet nozzle and increase accuracy. Important benefits of water jet cutting with an abrasive substance include the ability to cut metals without increasing the material surface temperature and compromising internal structure of the material (no Heat Affected one, or HAZ); the ability to cut sharp corners, holes, and complex shapes with small inner radii; fast turnaround rates; and minimal material waste thanks to the precise cutting and the narrowness of the nozzle.
Our custom waterjet cutting services offer a cost-effective and on-demand solution for your manufacturing needs. Sheet metal fabrication services range from low-volume prototype to high-volume production runs.
Similar to CNC machining, sheet metal processes produce highly durable parts well-suited for both functional prototypes and end-use production.
All sheet metal parts are built on-demand and with lower setup costs compared to CNC Machining. Depending on your needs, order as little as a single prototype up to 10,000 production parts.
Choose from a variety of sheet metals across a wide range of strength, conductivity, weight, and corrosion-resistance.
Select from a variety of finishes, including anodizing, plating, powder coating, and painting.
Combining the latest cutting, bending and punching with automated technologies, Xometry provides instant sheet quotes and completed parts in as little 12 business days.
Minimal post-processing or treatment on parts is done.
The part surface is left with a smooth, matte appearance.
Type II creates a corrosion-resistant finish. Parts can be anodized in different colors—clear, black, red, and gold are most common—and is usually associated with aluminum. Type III is thicker and creates a wear-resistant layer in addition to the corrosion resistance seen with Type II.
This is a process where powdered paint is sprayed onto a part which is then baked in an oven. This creates a strong, wear- and corrosion-resistant layer that is more durable than standard painting methods. A wide variety of colors are available to create the desired aesthetic.
Provides corrosion resistance and good conductivity properties. Can be used as a base for paint. Can leave surface yellow/gold.
Don’t see the finish you need? Submit an RFQ and we’ll look into a finishing process for you.
Sheet metal offers a cost-effective way to fabricate product device panels, boxes and cases for a variety of applications. We build enclosures of all styles, including rackmounts, “U” and “L” shapes, as well as consoles and consolets.
The chassis we fabricate are typically used to house electromechanical controls, from small handheld devices to large industrial testing equipment. All chassis are built to critical dimensions to ensure hole pattern alignment between different parts.
Xometry builds custom brackets and miscellaneous sheet metal components, well-suited for either lightweight applications or when a high degree of corrosion-resistance is needed. All hardware and fasteners that are needed can be fully built in.
A waterjet cutter, also called a waterjet, is an industrial cutting device used for the fabrication of flat-cut parts. Using a nozzle to focus water into a high-pressure stream, a waterjet can be used to cut semi-soft materials like rubber, foam, or wood. Abrasive granular substances can be added to the jet in order to cut harder materials like aluminum and sheet metal.
A waterjet is connected to a high-pressure pump, which pushes water through specialized tubing and then expels it from the nozzle at a focused volume and a velocity of up to 900 m/sec. The perfect ratio of velocity and volume is what allows the waterjet to maintain it’s unique high-pressure cutting stream.
In the case of abrasive water cutting, the abrasive substance (often garnet or aluminum oxide) is combined with the water in a chamber near the nozzle, and the mixture is then ejected in a thin water stream.
A waterjet is given great accuracy and repeatability by CNC technology, which is able to reliably manage the movement of the nozzle and water.
There are many different types of waterjets besides pure/plain and abrasive, including percussive waterjets, cavitation jets, and hybrid jets.
Waterjet cutting does not warp or alter the structure of the material being cut, as a laser or more traditional cutting tool sometimes does. It is also is capable of very fine and complicated shapes. Additionally, a waterjet’s precision cuts do not require sanding or grinding, and it produces no byproducts that might harm human operators or the environment — unlike laser cutting and plasma cutting. The water can also be recycled, reducing waste and cost while increasing energy efficiency.
CNC waterjet cutters can be used on almost any material, and are easily adjusted from pure water cutting to abrasive water cutting. This makes them an adaptable tool for many industries.
Our custom, quick turn waterjet cutting services offer a cost-effective and on-demand solution for your manufacturing needs. Our partner network offers the latest in waterjet technology, including a diverse range of waterjet platforms that can meet a wide variety of unique requirements. We can always find the ideal shop for your part at the best price and lead time possible.
Mining and aerospace are two industries that commonly use waterjet CNC machines. Other industries include automotive, defense manufacturers, electronics, food processing equipment, and industrial automation.
Aerospace and Defense
Waterjet Cutting is one of Xometry's Sheet Metal profiling processes that directs a high-power waterjet nozzle using CNC systems using g code for directions to cut materials for industrial applications. It can be a very cost-effective way to make straightforward metal parts. Check out our design for tips on how to optimize your files for laser cutting!
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An overview of minimum bend radii and bend orientation
Sheet metal fabrication is a process by which metal parts are cut and bent from a roll of stock material that is typically less than 0.25” thick.
These 5 tips will help you optimize your next Sheet Metal project to reduce costs and maximize your efficiency.
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