wazer_on_tabletop_with_pumpA group of engineers from the University of Pennsylvania recently developed WAZER, a small, desk-sized waterjet cutter capable of through extremely tough materials. Similar to industrial waterjet cutters, the WAZER is powerful enough to blast through materials such as steel, ceramic tile, and titanium, however costs a fraction of the price.

Waterjet cutters have been used in manufacturing processes for many years, a method that enables cutting through almost any material with precision and ease. Though practical to use, these machines are not as practical to own as they usually take up a large area and cost over $50,000. Due to it’s small size and cost-efficient price point, WAZER is an efficient tool available to any designer for use in their home or workshop.

Similar to traditional waterjet cutters, WAZER uses a combination of pressurized tap water and sand to effortlessly cut through a variety of strong materials. The system works by mixing water and garnet sand together to create a thick mixture. This mixture is squeezed into a narrow stream, 1.5 millimeters wide. The system then shoots the mixture out of the jet using extremely high pressure, allowing it to cleanly and accurately cut through anything in its path.

To ensure the perfect cut is performed each time, the WAZER follows a pre-program path created in programs such as SolidWorks and Adobe Illustrator. The jet traces over the desired design, moving at speeds up to a foot per minute as it sprays. As the system works used water is emptied into a drainage system, while excess sand and waste are filtered into built-in canisters.

Complex custom structures can be difficult to manufacture accurately and efficiently when working with large or rugged materials. Eclipse Automation offers a variety of custom manufacturing solutions, including design, machining, welding, fabrication, assembly, sandblasting and painting, ensuring client needs are met throughout the entire project.

Source: PopSci