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Water Jet Cutting – Four Fascinating Projects

In recent months, we have been fortunate enough to work on some truly fascinating projects, projects where the parts we have cut have ended up on display to thousands of visitors and tourists.

That might come and as a surprise, you might think of water jet cutting as being purely functional, providing accurate parts for industry.

Of course, working with businesses is central to what we do but there are also projects which come a little more out of left field.

Here we look at examples of our water jet cutting services being put to creative uses.

May the (Water Jet) force be with you…

Wondering what water jet cutting has to do with Star Wars? You’d probably think not a lot, though maybe Luke Skywalker should have used a water jet lightsaber rather than a laser.

However, we have recently established a link, cutting parts to make authentic replica helmets from the famous movie franchise.

In a recent blog post, we wrote about how a customer in Portugal got in touch requiring parts cutting for the helmets – he sent us accurate drawings via PDF and we were then able to turn these into reality. Shipping to Portugal was not a problem, around 200 parts sent quickly to their final destination.

On receiving the parts, the client mentioned that they were of a higher quality than those he had received from other companies.

The project continues a trend of companies around Europe contacting TMC Waterjet, we are delighted to see that our reputation for being a leading water jet cutter is spreading across the continent.


Public Art in Switzerland

Speaking of European projects, we have also recently cut tiles for a European public art project, helping an innovative team of designers renovate a beautiful building in Switzerland.

The brief was for small ceramic tiles, expertly cut to then be used as an accent to the building’s natural features, adding to the overall aesthetic rather than competing with it.

To be honest, the design inspiration came from the artists and project lead Rachel Lumnsden in Switzerland, our job was simply to turn their vision into reality – delivering tiles of perfect quality and of course shipping them to Switzerland, all at a competitive price and witching the agreed timeframe.

As shown in the images (copyright of Rachel Lumsden), the tiles look wonderful – we hope to get to see them in the flesh one day.


A new display at the V and A

Why do people go to the Victoria and Albert Museum? Is it for fascinating displays and exhibitions or is it to see a fine example of water jet cutting?

OK, it’s probably the former, however the many thousands of visitors are also seeing some of our work, whether they realise it or not.

We were put in charge of the water jet cutting for the new entrance on Exhibition Road – spectacular grating was required that would be both practical enough to withstand the elements and footfall, yet also elegant enough to not look out of place next to exquisite porcelain tiles. Oh, it also had to be functional too, creating ventilation for the displays below.

The accuracy required and thickness of the steel to be cut left water jet cutting as the only option, lasers would have been unable to manage the job, and our reputation as the UK’s leading water jet cutters saw us entrusted with the project.

We believe the end product is stunning – it is testament to the quality that the grating fits in – this is a large area of stainless steel grating in one of the UK’s most famous galleries. It is an area where huge numbers of tourists walk through every day. However, it blends in, it looks entirely in keeping with the rest of the building.

Anya Gallacio’s Ghost Tree

A couple of hundred miles further north (and somewhat closer to our Macclesfield base), there is another example of TMC’s work – Anya Gallacio’s Ghost Tree at the Whitworth Art Gallery.

Anya’s vision was for a metal tree structure to replace a tree that had died outside the museum – it was always going to be a bit of a departure for us, but also for Anya, an artist famed for more transient pieces of work.

Once Anya had decided upon making a steel structyre, water jet became the only choice but still there was the question of practicality and cost. Museum’s do not have limitless budgets, would it be possible to produce the work for a price that fell within their budget?

At TMC Waterjet, our ability to use XD cutting was key, this is technology that can cut complex three dimensional parts in one motion. It saves on time and money and also increases accuracy.

Our ability to produce the highest standards of work at prices that other cannot match saw the project go ahead – which came as a shock even to Anya who told the BBC that she thought it would prove too expensive an idea to actually get commissioned.

We do not have favourite jobs we have worked on – they’re all special – but if we did have favourites, the Ghost Tree would be right up there.

Ghost Tree by Anya Gallacio at Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

Ghost Tree by Anya Gallacio at Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

Please read about it here. 

Get in touch

If you require parts cutting, whether that is for industry, an art installation or anything in between, please do get in touch so we can discuss your bespoke requirements.