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Taper Free Abrasive Waterjet Cutting with a Tilting Head

A tilting head angles an abrasive waterjet’s nozzle as it moves along the cutting path, resulting in a taper-free cut. This paper offers insight into the product development process of this innovative
concept — a mechanism that allows the nozzle to tilt about the jet entry point with minimal compensation motions in the X, Y and Z direction. Tilting and compensation motions are computed with a mathematical model of the 5-axis motion system and interpolated into motor steps along the cutting path. Use of servomotors and harmonic drives, as well as other precision components, ensure high motion accuracy. Error mapping on each individual tilting-head assembly further enhances precision. In each cutting application, a built-in taper model considersmaterial type and thickness, radius of curve and other process parameters to accurately predict the corresponding taper angle, which is then removed by the tilting head. A taper offset feature is also available to offset any remaining taper. Cutting tests prove that tilting head produces virtually taper-free parts.

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