It might not be up there with searches for celeb gossip, but a fair few people do use Google to ask what sort of cutting technology they need for their job.
As one of the UK’s leading cutters we can hopefully at least give some advice. We should, though, offer a full disclosure type notice, we are water jet cutters and so might tend to talk upo the advantages of this particular technology.
It is the leading cutting technology – demonstrably so – but you should know where any bias lies!
If it is a simple, thin part then you might have a range of options.
What do we mean by a simple part? In this case, we are thinking of thin parts, typically where the cutting head only has to get through at most 2.5 centimetres.
In these cases, most cutting technologies can handle the job and the choice really comes down to laser or water jet.
Either can handle the job – although the closer to 2.5 cm the thickness of cut, the more difficult it becomes for laser cutting. By way of a comparison, water jet cutting can typically get through 25 centimetres of most materials.
For simple parts, why not get quotes from both types of technology and then see how favourably they compare.
Any more difficult cut is going to tip the dial in the favour of water jet cutting.
We couldn’t think of a more eloquent subhead for this point, however it is key.
Does the part being cut require complete structural integrity?
With water jet cutting, there is no heat generated and no damage to the cut edge – the best way to describe the process is as accelerated erosion.
With other technologies, notably laser, heat is generated and this can potentially create microabrasions. These abrasions tend to only be along the edge itself and whether these small imperfections matter or not will depend on the purpose of the part being cut.
Traditionally, complex three-dimensional cuts required cutting in stages; cutting in one dimension then re-cutting.
Some water jet cutting companies can now offer three-dimensional cutting where the whole process is undertaken in one fluid motion.
The cutting head is able to pivot along multiple-axis, following a path predetermined by the software controlling the hardware.
All cutting companies are doing their bit to cut waste and be as environmentally friendly as possible, but there are some technologies it comes more naturally to.
It won’t surprise you to learn that water jet cutting also leads the way here. The bi-product of water jet cutting is water (obviously) and a soluble, non-toxic cutting agent. It is a technology that is kind on the environment.
Clearly we would recommend water jet cutting.
For any complex cut, there is no sensible reason to use other technologies – in fact often water jet cutting will be the only technology that can handle the cut in one motion.
For simple parts, there is a choice to be made, the cost and turnaround time might vary little so it is essential to get a range of quotes.
If you are interested in a quote from water jet cutting experts, please get in touch. We have experience in delivering jobs of all sizes – from big industry down to individual jobs for small companies.