Of all the practical uses for water jet cutting, few can match the importance of using this technology in the field of medical care.
We wrote a few years back of how water jet cutting was increasingly being embraced by the medical profession and we are delighted that this trend has continued.
The technology is being used in a number of ways, some indirectly linked so, others where water jet cutting is absolutely to the fore.
Water jet cutting has for some time helped to cut parts for machinery. The cutting efficiency means it is the best option for cutting metal, plastic and more accurately while also being highly cost-efficient – of vital importance to our health service.
Water jet cutting is also used in the production of circuit boards. The cutting can make engine parts and more for ambulances, even portions of food arriving via the caterers might have been prepared via water jet cutting.
These are somewhat indirect though – water jet cutting making some parts for machinery as it does across a wide range of industries.
Consider, though, where advances are made wholly through water jet cutting.
Ever more advanced prosthetic limbs are being created and made possible through water jet cutting. Advanced XD cutting can make any three-dimensional part in a singular cut thanks to a cutting head that moves in multiple axes.
Cutting speed is also far higher than with other technologies – this could be of importance at times of trauma, for instance creating prosthetics to aid soldiers fighting in conflict.
It has been found that water jet cutting leads to more accurate cutting and detail that would otherwise have to be omitted can be factored in. The water jet does not create heat and so there is no damage to any part of the cut, however delicate or fine the edge.
At John Hopkins University they have developed the Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL) – this is the world’s most sophisticated upper-extremity prosthesis. Creation of this wonderful prosthetic, with a brain-controlled interface that allows 22 degrees of motion for each individual finger would not have been practical to prototype without water jet cutting.
This is a key point – products and breakthroughs do not arrive fully formed, there is the need to prototype and test – this is a hugely expensive process, but one that is increasingly manageable as water jet cutting reduces both the time taken to create a prototype and the cost of cutting.
In the space of just a few years, the advances have been incredible, it is now certain that water jet cutting will play a central role in medicine and the creation of all sorts of aids that can help those in need of additional support.
Water jet cutting truly is remarkable.