CNC waterjet cutting is a lot of fun and now CNCROi.com can offer you a whole host of services across material that our CNC router or CNC laser can’t do cost effectively or efficiently.
The simplest way to think about CNC waterjet cutting is that it’s water + sand shooting out a very narrow nozzle with enough pressure that it cuts just about anything and although it’s similar to our Austrian CNC laser in that the head never touches the material, there is abrasion and water which indirectly can affect the material similar to how our CNC router works.
It may look like muddy water but it’s just the results of cutting metal (mostly) using water and sand being ground-up during the cutting process so I’m still working out the best way to film this to show you, our potential and current customers, how we go about producing metal work using CNC waterjet cutting.
Unlike our CNC router, waterjets produce steam caused by the friction of he sand under high pressure against the metal, the material will become wet (by default) and it does shoot water all over the shop as well so instead of wood chips made by our CNC router, CNCROi.com is making metallic mud.
Unlike our CNC laser though, there is the potential for stuff to move as the water can push the metal sheet, especially at this thin a gauge, upwards, hence using the heavy metal pieces around the work to keep it down and prevent the metal sheet from floating upwards from the water hitting the bottom of the tank and shooting back up around the nozzle.
I often tell customers that each machine has a plus and minus, regarding material selection and application it will be used for, CNC waterjet cutting is no better or worse than CNC laser or CNC router, it’s just a different beast and like the other CNCs, has different quirks to contend with, design through production.
Now that this shop sign is finished, you can see how wet it is and rather quickly, flash rust starts to develop over the surface as the sand, metallic water it’s held into to keep fumes and sound down, and oxygen from our environment interacts with the surface.
It isn’t a big deal because CNCROi.com has a large industrial sand blaster that I haven’t shown too often but is a MUST HAVE for this type of work.
This is probably the video I showcased our sand blaster the most, it doesn’t make many appearances on the CNCROi.com website!
But we use our industrial sand blaster for a lot of applications, from cleaning parts from our various machines to creating interesting surface abrasion for CNCROi.com‘s customers.
Alright, that was fun, back to CNC waterjet cutting, this time, a CNCROi.com sign that we’ll stick somewhere in the shop that will stand out for future videos showcasing our capabilities.
I tried a lot of different methods for this first bunch of CNC waterjet cutting videos and photography, I’ve got our CNC laser and CNC router down when it comes to optimal angles and focus but what I did find out is that throwing clean water onto the surface of muddy water makes things worse than better visually speaking.
The CNCROi.com metal sign made out of cold-rolled steel came out great, you can see in the above video how much material is removed and becomes particularized during the CNC waterjet cutting process.
And here’s the hole left from the metal after it was CNC waterjet cut, perfect cut through all around and on the inside, it’s quite fun to be able to work across various CNC machine types to create unique projects to showcase to our clients for demonstrative purposes but also for the commissions they send our way too.
Here’s an idea of what can be produced with a CNC waterjet application wise, custom coasters of any size, shape or design.
CNC waterjet cutter to the sand blaster to remove the surface rust and totally clean the surface with a very nice matte finish that enamel paint just LOVES to adhere to!
Before and after shots regarding sand blasting rust and surface contaminants are dramatic aren’t they!
Time to do the same with the metal shop sign, you can see a lot more rust on this guy than the previous CNCROi.com sign but no matter, it will be removed and gain a wonderful grey matte finish as well!
It almost looks like it was painted grey but it wasn’t, that’s just high pressure AIR with sand, unlike the CNC waterjet that uses high pressure WATER with sand to produce a really nice smooth surface.
Next step is enamel paint, it’s pretty boring so I didn’t take any shots of that, but you can see how vibrant the orange enamel comes out after a good coating.
Unlike the CNCROi.com orange metallic sign above, the bottom shop sign was only covered with a protective layer, this prevents rusting as even after metal is sand blasted, if it becomes wet again, it will rust.
The coating CNCROi.com applied on the above shop sign and the back of the orange metallic sign is the same we applied to the 316 stainless steel plaque in the video below.
Of course, we could sand it and even polish the metal to a highly reflective shine which I’ll showcase in a future CNCROi.com video.
If you have a project you want done out of metal, contact CNCROi.com and we’ll make and ship it to you, either raw so you can sand blast it, sand blasted so you can paint it, or all done in enamel paint so you can enjoy it right out of the box!