New Co-Lab Tool Slices Through Metal with Water

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Excerpt from Duke Today

New Co-Lab Tool Slices Through Metal with Water

The Co-Lab Studio features tools such as 3-D printers and laser cutters, and allows Duke’s students, staff and faculty to follow their creativity.

And now, there’s another tool that brings a little more muscle to the lab’s array of machines in the lab on West Campus.

The lab, which is run by Duke’s Office of Information Technology (OIT), has added an Omax Protomax Water Jet Cutter. The machine uses a .008 inch wide, high-pressure stream of water mixed with sand-sized bits of garnet to cut through anything in front of it.

“Steel is kind of a brutal thing,” said Chip Bobbert, digital media and emerging technologies engineer for OIT. “If you were to try to cut it with any other thing in here, it doesn’t matter. It’s not even going to scar it. What makes the water jet special is that it doesn’t care.”

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