Waterjet cutting at home

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FritzW

Well-Known Member
Log Member
The world of home/small business waterjet is closer than I thought.

One of the local high schools (the one building the Baby Ace that so many HBA members donated parts and supplies for) got a *grant from the state to purchase a Wazer waterjet cutter. I can see this machine saving the students a semester or two of build time on the Baby Ace and really open up possibilities for all of their other projects.

*hopefully all this covid nonsense hasn't cost them the grant. The state budget, like just about every other budget on earth, is in complete shambles.

...pretty cool

FritzW

Well-Known Member
Log Member
3D printers used to be ridiculously expensive
Yeah. I'm waiting for the price to come down ...a bunch

pwood66889

Well-Known Member
Rate of 3D printers and water jet cutters will come down as the market developes. Enough persons at home in fear of COVID and...

ScaleBirdsScott

Well-Known Member
I can see the prices on some of this stuff coming down some, but we haven't seen the prices for CNC routers drop in the way that 3D printers have, except for the tiny desktop class routers that are the size of 3D printers. But routers have gotten cheaper than they used to, by some amount. Certainly the awareness of how to make them has expanded exponentially in the last decade.

We'll probably never see waterjet as popular as 3D printing, but, we'll still see prices come down to maybe a 2-5k level for a machine of some utility. As the secrets of how to make them cheaply get out in the world people will find ways to optimize the designs and get it down to reasonable levels.

Hope the school does still get one. There's programs here in CT that seem to have survived and are buying equipment.

Hot Wings

Grumpy Cynic
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Yeah. I'm waiting for the price to come down ...a bunch
I think we will be waiting for quite a while.
50KPSI pumps, either simple gear or intensifier, are not cheap to make or maintain. Water is hard on moving parts. I was surprised to see that plain tap water was considered acceptable.

FritzW

Well-Known Member
Log Member
I suspect when the home/hobby level cutters really get going they'll be more like 5k psi. The DIY setup in the video is only 3,200 psi and the gas version is 3,100

I'll jump in in two or three years when a kit cost \$1,000 (one can always hope)

Hot Wings

Grumpy Cynic
HBA Supporter
Log Member
I suspect when the home/hobby level cutters really get going they'll be more like 5k psi. The DIY setup in the video is only 3,200 psi and the gas version is 3,100
Depends on where the cost/benefit ratio sorts it's self out in the hobby market. A half decade or more ago I was very interested in getting one. There was no way I could afford to buy one and looked at the DIY side. From my research the pressure not only determines the cut rate/quality, but there is a non linear curve that relates pressure and abrasive use.
If someone is really interested in this type of DIY look at the used industrial market. I came R E A L L Y close to buying a used, but rebuild-able, 20 Hp intensifier unit for about a fifth of the asking price for the Wazer.
If I had 3 phase at my shop...........

Flexible plumbing for 50KPSI is also expensive. I'd expect to see the hobby jets develop along the lines of fixed head and movable work piece. That takes up more floor space but might turn out to be the best compromise?

FritzW

Well-Known Member
Log Member
The pressure washer WJ cutter idea appeals to me just because it's fun messing with stuff like that. But in reality I can do almost any homebuilt related cutting on my CNC that the WJ can do (you don't need to cut much glass or ceramic for my type of homebuilts).

Also, I'll be helping the school setup and operate the Wazer. I imagine I'll have to cut test samples every once in a while to verify the calibration and operation of the machine. ...if those test samples look like a set VP 4130 parts that's okay

Tiger Tim

Well-Known Member
the cost per hour (abrasive cost) was pretty high
I don’t know a lot about water jets but do they not filter and recycle the abrasive?

Hephaestus

Well-Known Member
I don’t know a lot about water jets but do they not filter and recycle the abrasive?
Best practice is drain to waste.

The abrasive wears down and gets contaminated with pieces that it's already cut...

cluttonfred

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
The used abrasive is contaminated with little bits of what you just cut plus many of the garnet particles are broken in the jet and therefore no longer uniform in size. From what I have read, abrasive recycling only makes sense at large scales.

Tiger Tim

Well-Known Member
Fair enough. Thanks guys.