Q: What is WaterJet cutting?

WaterJet cutting employs a narrow stream of water at extremely high pressure to cut through almost any material. Usually, an abrasive is added to the stream to facilitate the cutting. The computer controlled cutting nozzle moves in an XY plane, and can make very precise cuts with intricate designs.

Q: What is the maximum size part that Portland WaterJet can cut?

The OMAX WaterJet that we use can cut a sheet up to 25″ X 51″. Practically speaking, we can cut material up to about 2″ thick. On thicker material the precision of the cut is diminished, but still possible up to 6 inches!  We are limited to cutting flat stock material only, but we are often capable of finding a solution for your complex cutting challenges. Please call or email for more information.

Q: Who uses Portland Waterjet?.  

We keep it simple with 3-axis machines, meaning we only cut 2-D shapes.  And, because of the limited size of our tables, we tend to specialize in smaller parts.  We cut parts for a wide variety of customers, from artists to industry!  One of our machines is designed for superb low-pressure piercing (ideal for glass), and the other machine can compensate for the taper this is inherent in waterjet cutting.

Q: What type of file can I use to create my design?

When submitting designs, the preferred file format is DXF.  Although we can import other file types such as: AI, EPS, and DWG.  If you are submitting a hand drawn image, we will have to translate it into a CAD file before your parts can be cut.  There can be an additional charge for this service.

Q: Can I supply my own material?

We usually have a variety of most common materials in stock: Stainless, Mild Steel, Aluminum 6061 and 5052, Copper, Brass, and some plastics.  If you have a special material or some stock on hand, we are happy to use what you supply.

Make sure when you are supplying your own material to have the sheet larger than the part you need cut.  Ensure it is at least a 1/2″ larger in both height and width so we can secure the piece and keep it from moving while it is being cut.  For more precious material, we can often nest parts closer to the edge -- please call for details.

Q: How does Waterjetting compare to Laser Cutting?

Waterjetting does not heat the material – no warping / heat affected zone

Waterjetting produces a clean cut that usually requires little or no secondary work

Waterjetting is not affected by reflective surfaces

Waterjetting is safer– produces no toxic fumes

Waterjetting has the same or higher tolerances