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Article

May 7, 2013
Etching 3-D images with an abrasive waterjet
Abrasive waterjet (AWJ) cutting is performed with a stream of very fast-moving abrasive particles that are not easily deflected or stopped. As a result, AWJ cutting generally is considered a through-cutting technology that is not well-suited... Read more...

Article

January 7, 2013
2-D + 3-D = 5-axis waterjet cutting
While five-axis operations such as bevel cutting and other weld prep operations have been possible on abrasive waterjet machines for some time, the capability to process 3-D parts such as tubes and pipes on the same waterjet is relatively new.... Read more...

Article

January 24, 2011
Tube, pipe cutting equipment - Part I
Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in a two-part series. Part I covers developments in saws and waterjet machines. Part II deals with lasers and plasma cutting machines. For metal fabricators that work with sheet... Read more...

Article

January 17, 2011
A primer on waterjet accessories
Over the past several years, significant changes have taken place in the realm of waterjets. Machines have become more accurate; more features have broadened their applicability; and most important for many manufacturers, the... Read more...

Article

March 1, 2010
Going 3-D: A matter of control
The abrasive waterjet has attributes unique among cutting technologies. The jet spreads ever so slightly, which creates a tapered cut that becomes especially pronounced on thick material. The slower the jet, the more it diverges to create a... Read more...

Article

March 1, 2010
Waterjet bevel cutting made easy
The abrasive waterjet (AWJ) industry continues to add features and capabilities that make abrasive waterjet cutting a more useful technology for fabricating shops. Among the latest enhancements is an easy-to-program system and tilting head for... Read more...

Article

December 15, 2009
Newer linear-drive technology improves waterjet accuracy, reduces costs
Previous articles I've written about waterjet cutting have covered the extremely wide range of parts modern abrasive waterjet cutting systems can produce. They also have explained how part accuracy has been dramatically improved by a better... Read more...

Article

May 12, 2009
Making waterjet-cut parts more fatigue-resistant
Parts that are highly stressed with cycling loads are subject to failure by metal fatigue. The surface produced by waterjet cutting often has striations that contribute to early failure by fatigue. This article describes the factors that... Read more...

Article

October 14, 2008
Green cutting with waterjets
Are you being green when operating your abrasive jet? Can you feel righteous—like someone getting 40+ MPG in his car—or should you feel a bit guilty about enjoying your high productivity? What are the environmental impacts of... Read more...

Article

July 15, 2008
Safety in jet cutting
All cutting equipment has cutting tools that can cut or otherwise harm humans. The cutting jet itself is the most conspicuous hazard in jet cutting, but there are other hazards to watch for as well. Some of these are unique to jet cutting, and... Read more...

Article

February 12, 2008
Waterjet makes it into the mainstream
Abrasive waterjet cutting could be on the cusp of something big. For years metal fabricators viewed it as a niche machine, something to buy only when a part couldn't be cut any other way. But in many cases today it stands shoulder-to-shoulder... Read more...

Article

August 8, 2007
Jet cutting accessories
Many shops today, from R&D companies that make a few parts per week to production shops that run 24/7 making hundreds of parts per day, use waterjet cutting. Part sizes range from a fraction of an inch to many feet. These shops have... Read more...

Article

June 12, 2007
Recent developments in abrasive jet software
Software serves two functions in abrasive waterjet machining. First, software generally referred to as CAD/CAM is used to transform the design intent into a tool path. This type of software has improved rapidly, and multiple vendors serve this... Read more...

Article

February 13, 2007
Economic considerations when purchasing a jet cutting machine
The purpose in buying machinery is to make money with it. Buying nothing costs nothing, but makes no money. A premium jet cutting machine costs more than a standard machine, but the better machine usually is designed to enhance productivity.... Read more...

Article

October 10, 2006
Machine components you can fabricate with an abrasive jet
Figure 1 Lathe Screw Cutting Drive Train An article published previously on thefabricator.com, How one shop benefited from abrasive waterjet technology , presented novel construction techniques that can be implemented effectively... Read more...

Article

May 9, 2006
What you need to know about high-pressure equipment
Abrasive and waterjet cutting equipment operates at pressures up to 60,000 pounds per square inch (PSI). Most shops have no other equipment operating at such high pressures and little experience working with high pressure. This article explains... Read more...

Article

January 10, 2006
Fixturing for abrasive jet machining
Abrasive jets are used for machining many materials and parts. Workpieces that can be abrasive jet-machined range from glass artwork to high-precision stamping dies. No known fixture serves all applications. Like most other machine tools,... Read more...

Article

July 12, 2005
How one shop benefited from abrasive waterjet technology
Figure 1 Triplex Systems manufacturers this casting cleaning cabinet for the investment casting industry. Editor's Note: Dr. Olsen has authored several articles for thefabricator.com about abrasive wate jet cutting technology. These... Read more...

Article

April 11, 2005
Rising to great heights in Great Falls
Some fabrication projects come around only once in a blue moon. If a project is commemorative of the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition, it comes around only once in 200 years. Such was the case with a large and lofty... Read more...

Article

March 8, 2005
Abrasive Jet Mechanics
Figure 1 Abrasive jet users need in-depth knowledge of nozzle mechanics, either for practical reasons, or simply to have the satisfaction of knowing what their machines really are doing. Two types of information fabricators need are... Read more...

Article

May 4, 2004
Designing for abrasive waterjet fabrication
Designers need to be familiar with some abrasive waterjet machining features to minimize overall cost. Some of these concepts also may apply to laser, plasma and oxyfuel cutting. Drafting Practices All projects begin with a design, which... Read more...

Article

January 13, 2004
Improving waterjet cutting precision by eliminating taper
The balance between waterjet cutting production rate and part precision always has been difficult to achieve because of the jet's complex behavior. Because its shape at any point along the tool path is a result of multiple independent variables... Read more...

Article

September 10, 2003
Pumps for abrasive jet cutting
This is the last of four articles intended to help a prospective buyer evaluate the wide range of abrasive jet machinery on the market. The first article covers the abrasive jet process itself in comparison with other cutting processes to help... Read more...

Article

June 26, 2003
Selecting a table for abrasive jet machining
Editor's Note: This article is the third in a series intended to help a prospective user evaluate abrasive jet machinery. The first article, Buying an abrasive jet machine , compared the abrasive jet process with other cutting processes. The... Read more...

Article

March 13, 2003
Software for abrasive water jet machines
Editor's note: This is the second of four articles intended to help a prospective buyer evaluate the wide range of abrasive jet machinery on the market. The first article, H2Olsen: Buying an abrasive jet machine: Is the process right for you?... Read more...

Article

April 15, 2002
H2Olsen: Buying an abrasive jet machine. Is the process right for you?
"If you need a machine and don't buy it, then you will ultimately find you have paid for it but don't have it" — Henry Ford A variety of machines are available on the market, so choosing the right machine for your particular... Read more...

Article

July 12, 2001
Not your father's abrasive jet
Fifteen or 20 years ago abrasive jet was the technology of last resort for severing difficult materials that could be cut no other way. These units were crude, noisy, and dirty. A nozzle was hung on an X-Y burning table and the resulting... Read more...