A waterjet utilizes a high pressure stream of water to erode a narrow line in the stock material. To cut a wider range of materials from tool steel to titanium to foam, a granular (typically garnet) abrasive is added to the waterjet, increasing the cutting power. Because the abrasive is added at the nozzle, it is simple to switch between water only and abrasive waterjet cutting. This flexibility greatly enhances the versatility of a waterjet machine, as it can easily switch from cutting ½" (1.27cm) foam gaskets to 4" (10.16cm) titanium brackets.
As the nozzle moves along the material being cut, the waterjet stream will bend in the direction of travel. This means that a waterjet tends to undercut corners and swing wide on curves. Understanding the dynamics of the waterjet stream and accounting for the bend of the jet is essential for cutting quickly while maintaining accuracy. OMAX has developed extensive and accurate computer models of this flexible cutting jet in order to highly optimize the patented control software, resulting in fast, accurate cutting for all types of shapes, enabling an inexperienced operator to make accurate part without trial-and-error programming.