Wazer, The “Laser” To Water

A group of engineers from the University of Pennsylvania created the first “table” water jet cutting machine. A kind of “laser” to cut any material simply by a jet of water. That’s why the machine is called Wazer, a middle way between water (water) and laser.

Water jet cutting machines are not new: they have been in existence for years, they are very powerful, expensive (50 thousand euros) and need maintenance. They are obviously used in industry and are very effective.

Wazer costs much less ($5,999), can only cut small items, but it is within reach of many people: DIY lovers, makers, craftsmen, schools, small businesses etc.

How can water cut hard materials like steel, ceramic tiles, titanium blades etc? For objects of small thickness and low hardness, the water jet is sufficient, fired at very high pressure (up to 7,000 bar). For harder and thicker materials (or to cut faster) a abrasive sand is added to the water.

The water cut is not instantaneous as the video above suggests: it is a time-lapse image that accelerates the cutting times that obviously depend on the thickness and material you want to cut.

Wazer connects to a simple water tap, uses a fairly common abrasive sand (it is called Garnet and comes from India and Australia) which collects before emptying the water used directly into the tap.

The jet follows the cutting profile that can be drawn with any design software like Solidworks, Adobe Illustrator or Google SketchUp and loaded through a USB stick into the machine.

Wazer’s limits to industrial cutting machines are felt on the sizes (must be small) and thicknesses of the materials to be cut ranging from 4.7 mm of steel to 12 mm of plastic. But it can also cut meat (without the use of abrasive sand) for truly creative dishes.

Wazer launched his Kickstarter campaign and raised nearly 1.5 million dollars. It will start shipping the first machines in August 2017.

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