Ready to cut some 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick alluminum plates. Any ballpark numbers for pricing - in terms of $$$ per inch cut ? There will be many openings cut, so the waterjet will have to stop/go about 300 times. I would also like to pierce about same number of tiny holes, to guide for future drilling ( I need
2mm diameter holes, I recon doing it on waterjet is probably not a good idea ?).
Does any1 know a good shop with Omax 2626 with mini-nozzle ? While almost any Omax will do in terms of tolerance/repeatability, I am trying to get as tight of internal radius as possible (will file it off by hand to proper 90 degree angle).
Cuts range in lenght from 1/2 inch to 4 inch, widths from 1/8 to 1/4 inch, mostly rectangular-shaped.
If your tolerance will allow it, it is probably cheaper to do it in stacked cuts. This is one way to get water jet down into the range of laser cutting (they can rarely stack in laser cutting). However, the draft will eventually be a problem. In water jet the entry is small and the draft expands out from there. A good shop can control it pretty well.
Not sure about rates per inch so can't help you there.
--OBTW anyone got leads to AWJ cutting in the San Franciso, CA area? I've gotten one quote on a part (2" thick section; maybe 24 linear inches of cutting: $90 in quantity!!!) and it seemed pretty steep to me..
Sounds like a complicated job, not a straightforward project. I doubt if anyone could give you a decent price estimate without a drawing or a sample part. Take the drawing to a couple of waterjet shops and discuss the job with them, face to face. Maybe they will have suggestions on how to make the design more manufacturable, or even to suggest which shop has the machines best suited to what you want to do. They might even tell you that what you want to do is unfeasible for waterjet.
I would not suggest using the waterjet to pierce small holes for drilling, as the piercing is the least accurate part of the cut. The local shop designs their programs to pierce in the waste material, and then cut to the piece outline and start the real cut half on inch or so from the area where the piercing was done. The piercing area usually looks kind of ugly. I know, I take their scrap and have to fill in the pierced area to, for example, make a uniform circle without a notch where the piercing was done. (In other words, I weld to fill in the piercing area). The issue of inaccuracy at the pierce point may be an inherent difficulty in using a waterjet for your design, especially with a lot of stops and starts.
You may want to compare laser cut as an option, but I have no information on that.
I disclaim any knowledge other than that I know the owner of a waterjet shop, have learned a little about it from him, and occasionally get scrap from him.
Richard Ferguson wrote: : I would not suggest using the waterjet to pierce small holes for : drilling, as the piercing is the least accurate part of the cut. The --Hey I misread this and had a kewl idea: howzabout having the waterjet do the curves, then saw or mill the straight sections at home? If it's just a time-is-money thing this could really reduce labor time on some parts, yes?
For OMAX shops in your area, call OMAX at 1-800-838-0343 (or 253 872
2300), and ask.
Pricing would be based on how much time it takes to cut the part, and there may be an additional surcharge per hole if you have lots of them. The only way to know what it will cost is to get a quote, as the price will vary by regeon, and even more so by the shape of the part.
Almost always it is the case that if you can cut it on the waterjet, it is faster to do all the cutting on the waterjet, if you can. Doing part of it on the waterjet, and then finishing on a mill would probably be much slower and costly. Waterjets go quite fast on straight sections, so making it into two processes would most likely just add time and cost, and opportunity to loose tolerances or make mistakes.
Ugly spots at the lead in/out location are primarily a funciton of the part breaking free and tipping into the jet. If the part is held in place well, and the software running the machine is reasonably modern, then this is not a problem. Though in most cases people just let the part break free and drift, and live with the ugly goober it causes. Also, most older machines may not have good cutting models regarding the lead in/out locations, so they may also cause goobers there for that reason. (No matter what, though, there is usually some witness mark, but it can be reduced to be nearly invisible in many cases.)
Small holes can also be done, but if the hole diameter is close to the diameter of the jet itself (say, 0.01" or smaller) then there may be some roundness error introduced, especially when working with thicker materials (like 1/2" or thicker). (Small holes in thin materials are fairly easy - say 1/8" and thinner.). This is something to talk to your job shop about to see if it's ok or not for your particular job.