Waterjet Cut and Laser Cut: What Sets them Apart?

Techniques for digital manufacturing cutting come in several options that could information from a 2D file so you can directly create the object you want. The techniques are best for production or rapid prototyping. The two-primary custom-manufacturing methods are waterjet cutting and laser cutting. At present, these two techniques are often compared to see which of them can be considered the best- a waterjet cut or a laser cut one?

Laser Cutting

This is a subtractive manufacturing method that makes use of a focused laser in order to engrave or cut a material. Its beam is guided by mirrors and this greatly relies on gas for energy. Laser cutters are machines that utilizes a laser cutting service. Any excess material could be expelled from the cutting table with the use of additional gas jet. As soon as the laser hits the material, heat burns are generated and cuts the material in a very precise manner.


Waterjet Cutting

This is also a subtractive manufacturing method, however, this one makes use of pressurized water that is focused in a very small point in order to cut a material. Its pressure could be as high as 60, 000 pounds in every square inch. The water could be mixed with some abrasive like garnet, which help increase the cutting possibilities.


The Operations

A laser cutting machine is capable of engraving and cutting a material. On the other hand, a waterjet is only for cutting. Laser engraving is a great advantage, especially if you want to directly add assembly marks, serial numbers, or even aesthetic designs.

Waterjet cut machines allow 3D material cutting and laser cutting does not. When it comes to material combinations, for laser cutting, there will be a risk of delamination. The two techniques are majorly used to cut objects in 2D and laser cutting could add engraving.


Materials and Material Thickness

Waterjet and laser cutting could both cut difficult materials. Laser cutting is capable of cutting different kinds of materials- woods, plastics, glass, and metals (excluding the highly reflective ones). Metal laser cutting is indeed doable and you could laser cut aluminum, stainless steel, or even mild steel. All types of materials could be cut using waterjet cutting.

A laser cutter can cut thick materials but a waterjet can cut thicker objects. The maximum thickness is 0.4’’ to 2.0’’ (10 to 50 mm). For laser cutting, it’s 0.12’’ to 0.4’’ (3 to 10 mm).

Knowing and comparing these two is very important so you would know which one you should be getting. Getting and using the right kind of machine is a must so you will achieve your desired results and so you can better make use of the machine that you have.