Waterjet Cutting More Than Flat Blanks
Advanced control technology has made it possible for abrasive waterjet cutting systems to make accurate complex 2-dimensional parts directly from a CAD drawing file input by a machine operator. Now even more advanced control systems have been developed to permit rapid creation of 3-dimensional parts from 3-D CAD files. As dimensions are added, the motion control required for accurate cutting with a flexible abrasive waterjet stream have become much more complex. However, that complexity is handled entirely by the control computer software. To the user, the process has actually become more simple. Now it is possible to make 3-D parts with features such as beveled edges and even complex cylindrical tube intersections with relative ease. Standard CAD programs can be used to describe the geometry desired and the advanced control software converts that geometry into a motion control program that automatically adjusts for the jet lag and taper inherent in the abrasive waterjet cutting process. The result is an accurate part that was deceptively simple to program.