Introduction: WaterJet Cutting at TechShop
TechShop is a community workshop, where regular folks like you and I can have access to great tools and helpful people. One of those tools is the WaterJet Cutting system, which uses a little bit of computer aided drawing, and a whole lotta water pressure to do it's job.
To get started, Join Techshop to get access to lots of great tools! They have safety and basic use classes for all the tools. For using the WaterJet Cutter, you'll take the "WaterJet SBU" class.
Staff in the workshop area are referred to as Dream Consultants or DeeCees. You can always approach them for help. Check out the photos below for some highlights from the Waterjet SBU class. Hover over each of the boxes to see details about each image.
Step 1: System Overview
These pictures cover the main components of the system. Notice that each main area has a way to turn off the machine through either the Emergency Machine Off (EMO) buttons, or main facility power. If you ever need the machine to stop, just hit one of the red EMO buttons and all action stops.
Cutting Bed: The system at Chandler Techshop is larger enough to hold a 4' x 8' sheet of material. It's huge!
Facility Power: This unit connects the system to facility power, and also monitors time usage.
Abrasive Hopper: Holds the cutting material, garnet in this case.
Computer station: Controls the action, and enables the adjustments of the machine.
Pressure Amplifier: Boosts water pressure up to 60K PSI for cutting.
Cutting Head: This is where the water and abrasive come together to cut. The nozzle is controled by the computer, which converts the drawing to motion.
Step 2: Preparations and Checks
There are a few things you need to check before each use of the system. Knowing how the different components work, is important to recognizing when something is wrong and correcting it before something expensive breaks!
Pressure system: There are several gauges that monitor different stages of the water pressure system. Check the pictures to become familiar with the different gauges and readings.
Abrasive Hopper: There are a few things to check here. Be aware of the abrasive level, and make sure the hopper pressurizes with air.
Cutting Head: Make sure the nozzle is clear, and that abrasive feed paths are open.
Step 3: Making the Cut!
So with everything back together and ready to go, there are only a couple of steps needed to make your cut. Check out the pics to see details of the remaining steps.
Load your material.
Weight it down so it does not move.
Load your cut plan into the computer.
Position the cut head height.
Make the cut and retrieve your part!
And then of course there is cleanup and paying your fees, but that wasn't as much fun so I didn't take pictures of that!
Step 4: Video: Start and Cut.
Here is a quick video that shows the initial start up spray and moment or two of the cutting action.