Water Jet Cutting

Custom Water Jet Cutting

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Advantages of Water Jet Cutting

Durability

Similar to CNC machining, Water Jet Cutting produce highly durable parts well-suited for both functional prototypes and end-use production.

Scalability

All water jet cutting 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.

Material Selection

Choose from a variety of sheet metals across a wide range of strength, conductivity, weight, and corrosion-resistance.

Custom Finishes

Select from a variety of finishes, including anodizing, plating, powder coating, and painting.

Rapid Turnaround

Combining the latest cutting, bending and punching with automated technologies, Xometry provides instant sheet quotes and completed parts in as little 12 business days.

Water Jet Cutting Materials

Metals

  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Stainless Steel
  • Steel

Water Jet Cutting Finishes

Standard

Minimal post-processing or treatment on parts is done.

Bead Blast

The part surface is left with a smooth, matte appearance.

Anodize (Type II or Type III)

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.

Powder Coat

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.

Chem Film (Chromate Conversion Coating)

Provides corrosion resistance and good conductivity properties. Can be used as a base for paint. Can leave surface yellow/gold.

Custom

Don’t see the finish you need? Submit an RFQ and we’ll look into a finishing process for you.

Applications for Water Jet Cutting

Enclosures

Water Jet cutting 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.

Chassis

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.

Brackets

Xometry builds custom brackets and miscellaneous laser cutting 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.

Overview: What is Water Jet Cutting?

The Basics of Waterjets

A water jet 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 water jet 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.

How Waterjets Work

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 water jet 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.

Types of Waterjets

There are many different types of waterjets besides pure/plain and abrasive, including percussive water jets, cavitation jets, and hybrid jets.

Benefits of Waterjets

Water jet 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 water jet 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.

Industries That Use Waterjets

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.

The Benefits of Working With Xometry For Waterjet Cutting

Our custom water jet 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.

Featured Water Jet Cutting Resources

Sheet Metal Mini-Guide

Sheet Metal Mini-Guide

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.

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