Wazer: The Waterjet For Your Garage

Most hobbyists don’t have waterjets in their garage, but they would if they could! A Waterjet (or Water Jet Cutter) is a marvelous tool. Simply mount a high-pressure stream of grit and water on an x-y gantry, and the pressure generates enough erosion to cut through just about any thin material. Unfortunately, claiming your own waterjet will erode away a nice big hole in your pocketbook too. Machines up to this point start at about $75K, not to mention that they’d claim the better part of your workspace in a two-car garage.

Most of us everyday hackers that want to play with the benefits of this tool send their parts out to a professional shop. Consequently, we don’t often hear about everyday hackers using waterjets, or waterjet-cut parts all that often, with one exception. Back in 2014, a crew of students from UPENN built a functional waterjet with a parts-list that could make it affordable for about $5000. Now that same team is back. This time, they’ve spun together not just a one-off, but a fully-featured product called Wazer, which just launched its Kickstarter campaign minutes ago and has already nearly quadrupled the $100k goal. How could it do that? The full package starts at modest $3599-$4499. This is crowd-funding, after all, but a 20x undercutting of price is a powerful motivator.

First Look; First Thoughts

This past week, I caught up with the crew at Wazer to get a live demo, so I thought I’d give a quick rundown of my thoughts. First, let’s get some of the up-front technical details:

  • fully-enclosed cutting bed
  • workarea: 12 in. x 18 in.
  • precision of 0.003 in. Accuracy is material-specific.
  • Cutting speeds vary, but typical values look like:
    • 1/8 in. Aluminum: 1.8 inches per min
    • 1/8 in. Stainless steel: 0.7 inches per min
    • 1/8 in. Glass: 11.8 inches per minute
  • Max material thicknesses varies. Here’s a quick breakdown:
    • mild steel: 3/16 in.
    • aluminum 1/4 in.
    • glass 3/8 in.

Right off the bat, it’s worth mentioning that Wazer is limited in size, thickness, and cutting speed, when compared to a conventional waterjet. It’s not, however, limited in its broad spectrum of materials. That said, we’re not expecting that the folks looking to pick up one of these for their garages will see this tool as a drop-in replacement for the $100K model. Instead, it’s a new way to get in touch with cutting a variety of thin, flat materials with tolerances good enough to build functional prototypes that respect the machine limits.

Minimum System Requirements

As we might expect, the Wazer won’t just start cutting parts out of the box before some mild setup. First, the Wazer requires one water main’s inlet source and one water outlet source. In case you were thinking about mounting this beast right next to the livingroom printer, well forget it, unless, of course, your house is plumbed accordingly. Apart from that, the waterjet is actually both small enough and sufficiently self-contained to be able to run indoors… that is: if you’re willing to brandish some sandy parts around your house before they get cleaned up. All-in-all, this tool is aimed for landing in either the garage or workshop, and both the water requirements and wet parts that it produces will probably keep it there.

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Overall, the device is nicely self-contained. The abrasive garnet is an off-the-shelf commodity that gets loaded from the side drawer. The water stream and the abrasive garnet are both mixed at the nozzle, and the enclosure keeps the mess inside the machine. Finally, the high pressure system is provided by a small external box that tucks under the machine in their promotional video.

Besides your water bill, there are two other consumables that need to be kept in mind. The first is the garnet, which needs to be tossed after use; the second is the polyethylene bed that will eventually wear out from repeated cuts.

Maintenance and Operation:

Going from design to cuts draws many parallels to a laser cutter interface. Simply import a vector graphic and position the cutting location over an x-y grid “laser-cutter style” to select the cut location. There’s an additional option to choose which side of the line (or dead-center) to trace along.

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The garnet gets filtered out into discrete “catch containers” at the front (an effort to avoid clogged drains). Keeping the quantity of used garnet in check is just a matter of pulling out the containers, which drain their water when removed, and tossing the sand out. Wazer actually solves the maintenance problem quite nicely. Where one trained professional might be scooping out the sand from the machine for several minutes on a conventional Waterjet, this system lets the user make a couple quick trips to the trash with a few cartons of sand.

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Fixturing the workpiece is also fairly straightforward. The Wazer crew has had some pretty solid success by simply screwing directly into the corrugated polyethylene for support. Forces on the part are (1) fairly mild compared to a milling machine and (2) mostly downwards, so the parts don’t need a fancy rigging system to hold them in place. A few screws like the one shown to the right are all that’s needed for keeping a plate from squirming around whilst cutting.

A First Class Showcase

It’s easy to forget that most of the folks building tools for the after-hours engineer aren’t actually cold-hearted salespeople. They’re engineers too–and they’re no exception from the crew of folks who love a good side project. Over at the Hax Accelerator office, I got a preview of some of the side-projects they’ve built using the very tool they’re offering us now.

Compared to a laser cutter, the waterjet is far less limited in what materials it can accommodate. The knife stock above was cut from D2 tool steel and then finished by a professional knife maker. In the middle, the quadcopter frames are cut from FR4 and carbon fiber (Upcycled PCB-copter, we’re going to will you into existence right here!).

Given that the effective tool diameter is only about 1.5 mils (0.0015 inches), the level of detail achievable easily exceeds the finesse of any craftsperson working by hand. The other advantage is the consistent repeatability of parts produced with this tool. It’s not too difficult to imagine tiling an entire wall with the same pattern cut on the same machine.

Getting a Grip on the New Possibilities

With the arrival of any new machine in the shop, it’s easy to start drooling over the possibilities. How could this new beast add to the vocabulary of techniques of cutting and squirting that we already know so well? First, off, it’s worth mentioning that there’s no free lunch here. Cutting parts on this machine is slow when compared to a professional machine that can cut far thicker materials. That said, if you’re buying one of these, odds are good that the cutting speed isn’t a limiting factor in being able to have parts on hand immediately. Taking a look at their accuracy, the Wazer also can’t do the same precision work of a respectable CNC mill. Nevertheless–in most cases, it doesn’t need to! For the everyday crafty folk who’s not worried about their press fits and slip fits, 0.003 mils is plenty.

For the serious machinist, 0.003 mils isn’t great, but that’s no dealbreaker. Folks in the machining and fabrication industry often cast the rough shape of some complex parts and then finish off the actual dimensions that matter on a milling machine. Likewise, for the parts that need tighter tolerances, the Wazer can become the “first pass” machine, taking rough cuts out of many thin materials–even some that would otherwise intimidate the everyday hobby machinist like FR4 or tool steel. For the dimensions that matter, folks can drop their parts onto another machine to finish off the important dimensions. Perhaps the hole dimensions need to get widened to their final size with the right reamer, or perhaps the surface finishes of some edges needs to get polished off with a finishing end mill. All-in-all, the Wazer should have no problem making the big cuts in otherwise hard-to-cut materials.

Typically, serious hobbyists who want to waterjet their parts will send their designs out to professional waterjet houses. Unfortunately, if time’s against us, both the shipping and the lineup of other folks’ projects can strike a delay. If there’s a mistake in that design, or if we find that Rev-1.0 has some design issues once we start assembling it at home, we’re delayed by the one avoidable issue: parts just take time to come back.

Wazer isn’t a tool for the impatient. It’s a new way to refine our understanding of how to work with waterjet parts. Post design, it’s a mere half hour or so before we’re back at the desk assembling parts. Sure, mistakes cost us materials, but no mechanism for learning quite surpasses the combined benefit of both speed-in-iteration and immediate feedback.

Moreover, a nearby waterjet can transform parts that were doomed to the trash to land back into your shelf of raw materials. If you’ve been building quadcopters with G10 or carbon fiber, why not take that scrappy motherboard out of the e-waste pile and cut your next frame out from there? Remember all those fiberglass sheets that you quickly realized you couldn’t machine without a respirator? Get them out of the trash immediately. Finally, take a look around you at the trash that gets tossed out or sold at the local thrift shop. That cookie sheet? Yup. Glass window panes? Absolutely. Ceramic plates? Why not? Welcome to a whole new world of upcycling.

From a crew that land on these pages with their proof-of-concept just a few years ago, we’re thrilled that a one-off has begun to mature into a Kickstarted commercial product that can enable thousands of eager students, homebrew machinists, and crafters alike. Keep in mind that no first rev of any Kickstarter machine is without its kinks, and a $4K waterjet will never be able to accomplish the same job as it’s $100K older sibling. Nevertheless, we’re excited for the community to get a taste of fabrication outside of the land of 3D printers, and we eagerly await their response.

72 thoughts on “Wazer: The Waterjet For Your Garage

  1. Kerf width isn’t 1.5mils, it’s 1.5mm. Mils and mm are not the same.

    It’s a standard .060 kerf width.

    And it uses .33lb/min of media. For that sprocket which took 168min, that’s 55lbs of garnet.

    I’ve seen waterjets cut stuff for me, 55lbs for a sprocket with 2.4hrs of cut time is just insane to me. The Omax I they used to cut some Ti for me had something like a 10l hopper and didn’t use very much media to cut my stuff.

    I’ll stick to plasma, subtractive machining, and the local Waterjet place, if need be.

      1. I’m talking about what tool I’d use for the job. For stuff that doesn’t need a super clean edge, I’d use plasma. For stuff that needs a clean edge, I’d just use a CNC mill to cut it. At the time to cut, materials cost, and potential cut quality, I’d rather stick with traditional processes. If I was making that sprocket, I’d just machine it from a solid piece of plate, probably no more than 25 minutes as a one-off on a CNC mill.

        1. Then you’d have to harden it somehow and probably warp it in the process.

          The advantage here is the ability to cut extremely hard materials without heating them up and ruining the temper or introducing distortion with the high cutting forces of a conventional milling op.

          At least that’s the story, but I’m extremely skeptical too. Video is almost the same format as the one for the glowforge laser cutter from 6mo ago. I smell a racket. Find somebody with a good idea, make a glossy video, sell it to a bunch of starry eyed maker nerds, profit! Who cares if the machine works for long, or even works in the first place.

          Pass, thanks.

          1. Agreed. Because of the high consumable use rate and slow cut rate, I’m not sure it’s competitive with hiring out the water jet cutting. I design parts for laser cutting and water jet cutting and I don’t see how this fits my needs. It’s another machine to maintain, take shop space for the machine, garnet and materials, and likely costs to run more than just paying someone else to do the work for you. It seems this only fits certain niches.

    1. I agree with you. They (Hackaday) also forgot to mention the cost of manteinance for the hydraulics, i. e. replacing valves, lines, seals, nozzle and the need for water treatment equipment. I think this machine is too limited for machine shop use, and for a home shop, I’d spend my money on a used CNC mill instead.

    2. How are they getting that much garnet to even pass through 1.5 mils (0.0015 inches) mixing tubes?

      “The effective tool diameter is only about 1.5 mils (0.0015 inches)” seems to, like many other things here, to be flat out wrong. They are using 80 mesh garnet here. That is roughly 0.0070″ size. Even if they were putting the abrasive through single file, that would not fit (nor really be possible). Pretty sure they are actually using something closer to 0.03″ or 0.04″ “industry standard” mixing tubes. Somebody needs to actually fact check this article, rather than making the comments section do it. They didn’t even seem to mix up orifice sizes here either, so I have no idea how the author even arrived at thinking 1.5 mils is the effective tool diameter.

    1. Please.

      HAD is run by Americans. We have not ever, do not currently, nor will we ever care what units the ‘outside world’ uses. We use what we’re familiar with.

      Thanks.

          1. True.

            They just dropped a fridge sized bot, on a piece of rock smaller than Paris, after a journey of ten years and billions of kilometers (convert it yourself) thru the solar system, using three planets as gravity assist.
            But indeed, nothing landed on Mars.

    2. Let me help you:

      workarea: 30 cm x 45 cm
      precision of 8 µm
      3 mm aluminum: 4.6 cm per min (0.8 mm/s)
      3 mm stainless steel: 1.8 cm per min (0.3 mm/s)
      3 mm glass: 30 cm per min (5 mm/s)
      mild steel: 4.8 mm max thickness
      aluminum: 6.4 mm max thickness
      glass: 9.5 mm max thickness

      But Wazer is not for the international audience. It requires a 110~120V power supply.

    3. First rebuttal: We do use metric units. The yard is defined as 0.9144 meters, and the inch is exactly 25.4 mm. The US gallon is defined as 231 cubic inches, or 3.785 liters. The imperial gallon is defined as exactly 4.54609 liters. Inches, feet, and gallons are merely an abstraction layer on top of SI confusingly based on a base ten number system. A base 20, base 60, or base 720 number system would be far superior.

      Please, hackaday commenters, show me how you’re counting 9192631770 periods between the hyperfine levels of the ground state of a Cs133 atom. I would like to measure a kilogram. Can I borrow the prototype kilogram for a weekend? Alternatively, how may I count 6/022×10^24 atoms of carbon in a weekend?

      All units of measurement are arbitrary, and they’re all layers of abstraction of the physical universe. save for one. I propose a new unit of measurement, based on the length of time it takes someone to complain about the use of imperial units in a Hackaday post. One ‘hack’ could be that length of time, and the ‘hacker’ could be the length light travels in a vacuum during that time. From there we could derive the hackogram, the unit of mass, the hackere, the unit of current, and the hackelea, the unit of luminous intensity.

      Second rebuttal: Take that complaint to literally any other tech website and complain about ‘nits’. It’s candelas per meter squared.

      1. Complains about metric vs imperial argument. Doesn’t even bother to update multiple references in the article that directly state that “0.003 mils is plenty”, even when pointed out by multiple commenters. They should have written 3 mils. Not 0.003 mils. The author seemingly doesn’t understand what mils even are and you as the editor did not catch it either nor make any attempt to update it in light of the changes. It’s still wrong many hours later. That’s the bigger issue than a POV type problem with preferred units and the legacy of the imperial system.

  2. I have mostly stopped posting anything in the dredge of the comments section even though I continue to facepalm at a number of issues in some articles but I own waterjets and “0.003 mils” just wrong. Flat out, the author does not even understand basic units or even cared to research this article. The cynic in me thinks that the authors do this on purpose just to have people post comments to correct them. Or they just want to shoot out as many articles as possible for the lowest cost? No idea.

    I also sincerely hope they are not using sand as their abrasive material. The FAQ says they use garnet. The author of this article didn’t even read their FAQ, as usual.

    We buy half truck loads and truck loads of garnet at a time. If we were paying $0.60-$1.10/lb, that would be a huge cost increase. Delivered price is in the low $0.20 / lb range. Freight costs can be a good chuck of the costs though when you are not buying by the pallet.

    “We are currently not divulging the exact pressure until patents are granted.”
    Bullshit. You need to tell the customer what the pressure is. That’s like selling a car without telling people how many people it seats or what gas mileage it gets. From the looks of things, it probably maxes out at 20k at the high end. If that.

    Who is responsible for seals and maintenance? We have a whole clean space setup to do pump maintenance and it is an ongoing operation as machines are constantly eating themselves up while they run.

    Does it do any kind of taper compensation? Waterjet cut parts introduce a taper, especially if being cut at low pressures. This needs to be offset for by software and extra tilting articulation at the time of cutting or you will get cut parts with several degrees of taper. This machine does not seem to have any of that.

    “Spent abrasive can be repurposed in other creative ways such as using it as an additive in concrete mixing, using it as fill in construction, or making sand castles.”

    Sand castles? Really? Get out of here.

    “WAZER operates by primarily consuming three main ingredients: water, abrasive, and electricity.”

    Bullshit. It consumes every part of the machine. A huge cost is abrasive and it also uses parts and labor to replace those parts and rebuild everything. What about the sapphire or diamond orifices? Tungsten carbide mixing tubes? HP stainless hose? Just about every part is or should be stainless and the desire to cut costs is huge with this machine but you can only cut so much before you start to cut into things that in my opinion should not be cut into. Don’t forget the cutting slats also need to be replaced as well as any kind of water filtration and filters. The very next FAQ question talks about other consumables needing to be replaced and fairly frequently no less.

    Basic inspection and a bit of lubrication is all the maintenance needed? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA right. I guarantee you that if you only lubricated the machine but did nothing else to it for a few hundred hours over and over again, you would have a very, very unhappy machine.

    Look, I like the idea of making this type of tool more accessible. I just don’t think it is fair to glaze over all of the things you actually have to address to operate them either. Disappointed at both the Kickstarter authors and the author of this article. So much glossing over going on here. I don’t know the creators of these machines or have any stake in what they are doing but I urge a healthy amount of skepticism as to exactly what they are claiming vs the actual realities of operating waterjets for years because what I am reading doesn’t exactly match up to the realities of actually operating these machines. They are NOT plug and play but are basically being touted as such. I anticipate a good number of very disappointed buyers but will reserve judgement until I have had a chance to more fully evaluate this machine.

      1. Technically true but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal settings is silica (silicon dioxide, or SiO2), usually in the form of quartz. The author should say garnet or abrasive, not sand because most people think of sand as ocean or beach sand. You should not use quartz based sand in a waterjet. You certainly *could* as quartz is still reasonably hard (still not as hard as garnet) but I would strongly suggest not doing it near people.

    1. Their garnet projected price of $0.30-$1.10/lb is a huge window. It means at best, the chainwheel sprocket they cut out would cost $16.50 in media, and $60.50 at worst. If ANYONE quoted you that price range, you’d laugh them out of the room. I agree that it must be a very low pressure pump, taking as long as it does to cut. Furthermore, a 0.060 orifice seems large, I recall the Omax I saw was 0.020 to 0.030. A larger orifice will produce more bevel, remove more parent material, and use more garnet, I would think. Perhaps because they cannot achieve reasonable pressures in a “box”, they are using commodity pressure washer pumps at low pressure and high flow in order to cut?

      The pump is rated at 1500 watts, or about 2HP. I’m gonna wager they are using an off-the shelf pressure washer with 3500-5000psi.

      They claim “WAZER uses less than 10-20% of the water used in a conventional shower head” which would be .25-.5 gallons per minute.

      Based on the middle figure of .35 gal/min and a 1500w power input, a quick calculation puts the pressure at somewhere around 5600psi.

      1. “I’m gonna wager they are using an off-the shelf pressure washer with 3500-5000psi.”

        I would agree with that assessment. How have they managed to sell $400,000+ of machines without even disclosing this basic fact is beyond me.

          1. I like the thought process but no, not really. If you put them together in parallel, they would generate more (double) flow rate but still be the same pressure and even then they would require some actually rated check valves. In this case, it would not help you because you are not generally limited by flow rate, you are limited by the intensity of the output pressure, all else equal. Even 87,000 PSI units only use around 1.2 gallons of water per minute, depending on the orifice size and number of heads. You can actually attach quite a few small orifice water only heads on a larger machine pump and run them all at the same time because their individual head flow rates are so low, despite the pressures still being 60,000 or 87,000 PSI.

            Putting the pumps together in a series configuration and you would probably risk literally damaging or possibly even exploding the machine(s). Off the shelf pumps are expecting 40 – 100 PSI of input pressure. Not 5000 PSI. They do not add together like that. You need to design and build a proper machine to generate these pressures. There is no quick, free lunch here and there is a reason most waterjet pumps are not rotary units unless you really enjoy servicing them regularly (looking at you Omax).

        1. That I can tell, they didn’t say anything about the nozzle being consumable yet either, or their replacement time or cost.

          They and Tinijet both seem to claim Hydro as their first prototype, so they split ways? Only one Hydro team member is on the Wazer team, everyone else seems new.

      2. In their prototype they use an air powered intensifier, basically an air cylinder connected to a small bore reciprocating pump. It was running about 6-8000 PSI but the pressure was all over the place because of the pulsing nature of the intensifier design.

  3. PSI ranges for commercial waterjets are 60,000 to 86,000 PSI. You can run some calculations based on industry calcs.

    https://wardjet.com/downloads

    They claim 0.4 IPM of cut speed on mild steel at 3/16″ thick. The calculator model starts to break down because we are so far outside of normal waterjet parameters but I get 0.44 IPM of separation cutting in 3/16″ mild steel at 5000 PSI and 0.2 lbs / minute of cutting at 0.009/0.030 orifice / nozzle.

    Maybe this machine literally uses off the shelf, 5000 PSI parts and that’s why it is so cheap. This isn’t really a waterjet at all then. It’s a pressure washer hooked up to an XY system that has manual height adjustment. That would also explain their bullshit “patent” reasoning / excuses about revealing their operating pressures.

    I bet that’s why this is so cheap and why the thickness ranges are so limited. This is a tiny CNC table hooked up to a pressure washer disguised as a waterjet.

    Not saying that the concept has no merit or that it could not be helpful for some makers but they are touting this in a way that makes it look like they threw everything out the window and suddenly reinvented everything. Is this even an intensifier based system or is this an off the shelf rotary type unit? There are no details about the pump that I could find.

    1. That’s what their beta design was based on in the previous article. As you suggest they probably got in touch with the OEM & wrote up a contract. Getting the mixing nozzle together and able to last a respectable amount of time is still quite a feat for a small team IMO.

      1. Not if they buy off the shelf, 86,000 PSI mixing tubes. They are about $100 at retail and would last much longer if only being used at 5,000 PSI. Orifice life would be longer too. They are taking normal waterjet technology and dialing it way, way back and still calling it a waterjet. Not sure that still fits anymore but it seems like they are targeting the occasional user here who focuses on cost above most other things. Would be curious to see a break down of actual costs given how slow this erosion process is due to the incredibly reduced pressures. It scales non linearly as you increase pressures, so going from 1,000 to 5,000 and 5,000 to 10,000 is not the same jump. The water pressure does the work, the abrasive just provides a medium to sand with. Sort of like sanding with a file versus an electric orbital sander. The plug in unit is going to be much, much faster.

        If I recall correctly, this team looked into buying off the shelf 10,000+ PSI units but could not find much of anything that was not custom(ish) or reasonably priced in that valley between 5,000 and 60,000. Unsurprisingly.

        Is the mixing tube even a custom engineered part? I doubt they went to ROCTEC and had custom mixing tubes made. Why bother? Use COTS parts. This whole thing has to be to hit this price point.

    2. Haha, yes, the old “no true waterjet” fallacy.

      Just because it uses some mickey mouse pump setup doesn’t mean it’s not a waterjet.

      It uses a stream of water and abrasive on 2d gantry to cut shapes out of stuff. It’s a waterjet.

  4. “WAZER is an incredibly complex machine, combining hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical and electrical systems.”
    “It’s a lot of components that need to work together seamlessly.”

    Translation: It is super complicated so you should buy it! But wait. Doesn’t incredibly complex also mean more stuff can break?

    “OPERATION: What maintenance does WAZER require?”

    “As with all machines, maintenance schedules are a requirement to ensure long lasting performance. We have spent an incredible amount of effort in designing a machine that minimizes this for our customers but are still counting on you to perform the following maintenance:”

    “General visible machine inspection. Look for damaged components and ensure that the inside of the machines is clear of excess abrasive and debris.”

    “Change the oil in the pump.”

    “Lubricate the motion control system.”

    So glance it over and lube stuff up now and again and that’s it? Highly, highly skeptical of this. How can it be both highly complex and yet so easy to maintain?

    “GENERAL: Will WAZER offer a warranty or support?”

    “We can guarantee that you will receive a working waterjet, and will provide the full details of the warranty before the units ship.”

    Still astounded at the number of people who are fine throwing money at this without even a mention of what the warranty entails or even an actual break down of the actual operational costs or even what the machine can actually output!

    1. That’s exactly what they are using. Corrugated plastic (PP) sheets, of which Coroplast is a brand name. We use these and several vendors sell them specifically for waterjet use. They are more for water only cutting without abrasive because they get eaten up pretty quickly if you use them with abrasives as plastic doesn’t resist abrasive cutting for long, especially if the cuts on the machine are as slow as this machine is. A full set of mild steel slats on a single machine runs in excess of $2000 so it makes sense why they would use something like this. This machine is chock full of compromises to hit the price point it is selling at.

  5. I think its a good idea and I don’t care if its babys first water jet cutter, I’m concerned that there is NO mention of waste disposal, and there is going to be a ton of it.

    As others have pointed out, that sprocket example claims 98 minutes of cut time, so 31lbs (14kg) of abrasive. Lets not even talk about the fact that the machine only stores 30 pounds of use abrasive at once because who knows, you might be able to swap it out while running or just pause it.

    But if someone water jet cut 2 sprockets per day for a week, they now have 443lbs (~200kg) of unusable garnet. What on earth is the average person going to be able to do with that? Not only will they have to get garnet delivered in a crate and forklift for anything other than rare use, they are going to need a truck to remove the waste that builds up by the barrel. This thing is an environmental hazard, the waste is obscene.

    1. Assuming they are cutting a non hazardous material I fail to see how Garnet mixed with metal powder would be an environmental hazard since we have already decided the material cut per lb of garnet is pretty low in this case anyway. The waste from cutting that sprocket would be 31lb of garnet and ~4-8oz of iron plus some carbon, trace nickel, etc. It certainly is a lot of bulk, but probably makes good concrete if you don’t care about staining from metal oxides.

    2. The open cycle bit with water needing to just be thrown away seems wasteful as well.

      They do cover the garnet disposal bit. It’s in the Q&A section of the KS. Garnet is basically a specific kind of specially crushed rock. Might even make a good landscaping material. It’s a nice color.

      Running through the numbers, I find I’m better off hiring out the water jet parts than I am buying this machine and using it. I need to ask my guy that does waterjet cutting, but I suspect that they’re using garnet at a rate that’s higher than bigger waterjets. I also suspect that the garnet can probably just be reused once or twice because of the low pressures. Far higher pressure waterjets beat on the garnet badly, and yet a good portion of the garnet can be recovered, albeit with a $60,000 separator.

      I am more concerned about the lack of information on nozzle life and cost.

  6. So, I have read all the possible problems and wear and tear issues about his machine. Thank you for the insight and pre-warnings as to its function (I am sincere about that!). My main gripe is against the industrial waterjet providers themselves (thus what is driving me to this machine to begin with). Not returning simple emails or phone calls, not providing any quotes, or blowing me off all together. I simply got sick and tired of being treated with the “not big enough to bother about” mentality even though I am a profitable small artisan in galleries and museum stores across North America with money in hand. Yes, I understand parts and maintenance will be required, but quite honestly, I rather put my time and energy into a machine in my own workshop than chasing after the “big guys” who don’t seem to give a rat’s patootie about my patronage. Ughh!!

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