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How Accurate Is Waterjet Cutting?

Waterjet cutting is known to have a number of advantages as a cutting method – it can cut to great depths, is efficiency and also kinder on the environment than other technologies.

However, all that would count for little if it wasn’t also a highly accurate form of cutting.

In this post we look at precisely that question – just how accurate is waterjet cutting?

Waterjet cutting accuracy – Two Measures

There are two ways to approach the question of accuracy – there is the technical specification and also what water jet cutting can produce. How targeted is the jet of water and then, in real terms, what does this create?

Technical Specifications

At TMC Waterjet, as the leading UK water jet cutters, we have some of the highest spec water jet cutters available.

These machines can deliver a jet of water at 87,000 psi, this delivered through a cutting head with an orifice 0.75mm in diameter. This targeted pressure results in cutting that is accurate to a tolerance of 2mm and this is true of virtually any material.

Complex parts can also be cut to this incredible accuracy through XD Cutting technology. This form of water jet cutting, only available at a few select waterjet cutters, enables three dimensional parts to be cut in one fluid motion – more basic machines allow only for the cutting of a uniform, flat type shape.

We have used XD cutting to create some truly stunning pieces of work for artists and also to increase the accuracy of parts critical for industry.

Accuracy vs Other Technologies

Waterjet cutting is often compared to other cutting technologies, not least laser.

One issue here is that it is not a comparison of like for like. A laser cutting head can have a smaller diameter and so the assumption would be that it is more accurate when, in reality, the opposite is likely to be true.

Laser cutting, in common with other technologies, puts a strain on the part being cut, in this case extreme heat. This heat transfers out from the cut edge and so can lessen accuracy and also create structural imperfections and make the overall part weaker.

Waterjet cutting does not create heat, the cut is similar in form to erosion, the gentle (but accelerated) parting of material rather than a forced cut. A laser and other technologies might have a benefit on paper, in the list of specifications that in reality becomes meaningless – the supposed extra accuracy invisible to the human eye, the imperfections created all too noticeable.

Accuracy Shown In Results

We believe that one way to demonstrate accuracy is to show examples of projects completed through waterjet cutting.

At TMC we have worked with industry, individuals, artists, hobbyists and more to create the parts and end products they require, many of these requiring the highest degree of accuracy.

As shown in the images below, in recent times we have helped produce artwork for the Whitworth Art Gallery, miniature, highly accurate Star Wars helmets and beautiful tiles for a public art project.

Around the world, people have used waterjet cutting to create art projects of stunning detail, the technology not only suitable for this use but actually the best option – being both accurate and affordable.


Ghost Tree by Anya Gallacio at Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

Ghost Tree by Anya Gallacio at Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

Work with the UK’s leading Water Jet Cutters

At TMC, we are a water jet cutter who serve the whole of the UK and increasingly Europe too, with clients across the content trusting us to work on their projects.

Despite our success, we remain a company that focusses on every client and work on projects of all sizes.

If you think water jet cutting might be of use for your project, please do get in touch for an obligation-free chat.

Call us on 01625 610 441 or use our Contact Form.