What is Waterjet Cutting?

Posted on Jan 27, 2021 by Cullen Hikene

Waterjet cutting is the CNC cutting process of jetting a mixture of water and highly pressured abrasive material through workpieces, including those made of metal or granite. Generally suited for 2D cutting, waterjet cutting does not require special tooling or—generally—post-processing. Non-abrasive water jetting can achieve widths as small as 0.003″.

3Diligent illustrated processes: waterjet cutting

What are the Different Types of Waterjet Cutting?

  1. Waterjet Cutting

What are the Advantages of Waterjet Cutting?

  • Highly Accurate. Tolerances as low at 0.005″.
  • Green Technology. Little water and power consumption.
  • Material Variety. Cuts almost any material.

What are the Limitations of Waterjet Cutting?

  • Asymmetrical Parts Difficult. Difficult to program, especially if they are three dimensional.
  • Less Accuracy with Greater Thickness. The thicker the material, the harder to control tolerances.
  • Orifice Failure. Low quality water jets have the tendency to break down.

Key Metrics

Standard Tolerance

Stock Surface Finish
Surface Finish is Stock. Cuts leave surface roughness of ~6.3 µm Ra

Maximum Sheet Thickness

Minimum Feature Size
Cuts as thin as .03″


Waterjet Cutting is an established technology in the CNC cutting space utilized for its speed and extremely low tolerances. Consider submitting an RFQ through manufacturing services such as ProdEX to get started today.

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