FAQ

More Than Manufacturing... Complete Answers

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Why would I need Micro Waterjet?

In some cases, the parts that we produce cannot be cut any other way due to the combination of features and material type. Our customers are those who would have to post-process their parts after laser cutting or using wire EDM in order to remove slag or a recast layer.

What material size can the Micro Waterjet machine accommodate?

The largest piece of material that we can place on our machine table to cut is 1000mm x 600mm (39”x23.5”).

What is the thickest material that can be cut using Micro Waterjet?

Since our technology was created to produce 2 dimensional parts with fine features and / or high tolerances, the majority of materials produced is less than 3mm (0.125”) thick. However, depending on the material, features and tolerance levels, we are capable of cutting considerably thicker material.

Can Micro Waterjet cut any material?

Almost any material can be cut using our technology. Some types of glass and other extremely brittle materials cannot be cut. Many plastics and ceramics that are challenging to laser technology can be cut by Micro Waterjet. Where wire EDM is limited to conductive materials only, conductivity is not a requirement for Micro Waterjet technology.

Does the Micro Waterjet process use an abrasive?

Much like traditional abrasive water jet cutting, we also use an abrasive for almost every cutting job. In rare cases, we can cut using water only if the material is both soft and thin. No metallic materials can be cut without abrasive using our process.

Is Micro Waterjet capable of manufacturing 3-D parts?

Today’s Micro Waterjet equipment is designed strictly for 2-D work, producing parts out of flat material.

Is Micro Waterjet capable of cutting tubing or round bar material?

Tube and round bar applications are not ideal for a 2-D operation because of the variance in distance between the cutting nozzle and the work piece.

Can Micro Waterjet create channels or “etch” designs in material?

Abrasive water jet systems are designed to cut clear through substrates. There is no way to control how deep the cut would be if a channel is attempted.

How does Micro Waterjet cutting speed compare to conventional water jet cutting?

Micro Waterjet was developed for creating fine features with higher tolerances than conventional water jet. Since we use a finer cutting stream and finer abrasive, our cutting speed is somewhat slower than conventional speeds.

What is your typical order quantity?

We work closely with engineers who may be in the design phase of a component, requiring, in some cases, a single prototype part. We also have many customers who require production quantities of hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of pieces at a time.

Can I get a free sample of a production part?

We prefer to understand what you are looking for before sending samples that may not have any value to you. Once we decide along with the customer that we may be a good fit, we can arrange for the appropriate sample to be provided.

Should I send an RFQ to you if I am using a local water jet provider?

If you are happy with the results that your current supplier is providing you, please keep working with them. Their process is faster and less expensive. If they are having a hard time meeting your requirements, this may be a good fit for us.

Should I send an RFQ to you if I am using a local wire EDM or laser provider?

Depending on the type of material, feature size, quantities etc., we may want to look at your drawing with you and decide together if it makes sense to move to the quoting step.

If I have a sample part, but no drawing, can you help me?

Micro Waterjet now has the ability to create drawings based on a sample part. An intelligent optical measuring system is used for these applications. Capabilities depend on the part size and features. Please contact us for more information.

To what industries does Micro Waterjet provide service?

We are currently providing micro manufacturing to our customers in medical, aviation and aerospace, electronic and electrical, jewelry and motor sports.

Is Micro Waterjet a more expensive process?

Yes, when compared to conventional water jet cutting or laser cutting, the process is slower resulting in longer cutting time. The cost of your overall project may be marginally or considerably less by using Micro Waterjet if additional operations can be eliminated. No, when compared to wire EDM cutting. This depends on the features, material thickness and number of penetrations. Micro Waterjet is not a replacement for wire EDM technology.

How long has the Micro Waterjet LLC been in business?

We installed our first equipment in March 2009, within the Daetwyler USA facility, utilizing resources that have been in NC since 1990 and in the USA since 1975.

How many machines do you have in your North Carolina facility?

Currently we are running two Micro Waterjet machines. Once we become close to full capacity in a 24 hour operation, we will install additional equipment.

Does Micro Waterjet offer the cutting service or sell the equipment?

We provide micro machining services from our North Carolina facility to customers in North America as well as some customers in Europe. In some cases, after qualifying and developing a process for an OEM, the appropriate equipment can be installed at their own facility.

Can Micro Waterjet decrease tooling and lead times?

Our process does not require specific (and sometimes expensive) tooling that is typically used in other processes. This allows Micro Waterjet to offer shorter lead times.

How does Micro Waterjet improve the prototyping process?

Micro Waterjet can prototype parts that can’t be cut using laser or wire EDM. You can also eliminate the cost associated with manufacturing stamping dies during the prototyping process.