Part Design & Engineering
Waterjet cutting technology is a very versatile tool for manufacturing parts. Variety of materials and minimal setup allow us to cut virtually any material in any shape. Below are some points to keep in mind when designing a part for waterjet cutting.
The cut quality chosen for a particular part has the most impact on the cut time of the part. The entire part doesn’t need to have the same cut quality. So choosing a lower cut quality for non critical areas will reduce cut time and cost.
REDUCTION or ELIMINATION of CLOSED PROFILES
Every closed profile such as a hole requires the jet to pierce the material. Piercing takes time and for brittle or laminate materials can cause deformation of the material. When possible, reduce the number of pierces by connecting features, creating notches from the edge instead of holes etc.
STRAIGHT LINES vs CURVED LINES
Our software constantly adjusts the speed of the cutting nozzle to optimize cut speed while maintaining cut quality. Straight line features allow the jet to reach its max speed and thus reduce the cut time of the part. Changing profile features from slightly curved to straight can improve the cut time and reduce the cost of the part. Sharp direction changes also increase the cut time so adding radius corners to parts allows the jet to travel faster.
The thicker the material, the slower the jet can cut a given distance. So deciding an appropriate thickness of material for the application can play a big part in the overall cost of a job. Material type is another factor driving cut speed. Not every part needs to be made of stainless steel. Choosing aluminum versus stainless can often reduce the cut time substantially.
RED uses advanced nesting technology to reduce the amount of waste created in the cutting process. When designing a part, keep in mind standard sheet materials come in whole foot increments. So a part that is 49” wide cannot fit on a 48” wide sheet. When possible, altering the design to fall under a standard sheet width or length can improve the yield of the sheet and reduce the cost of the part.