waterjet cuttingSpecial projects require special equipment. In most cases, laser cutter and waterjet cutters are two of the most popular methods for customizing materials. Whether it’s prototypes for industrial manufacturing or embellished home décor, both technologies could help make your designs a reality in Edmonton.

But there are differences between laser cutting and waterjet cutting in Edmonton, which, depending on your material, could make or break the outcome of your project.

Material

Laser cutters and waterjet cutters can cut through virtually any type of material. For laser cutters, however, reflective metal is an exception. The technology is also not suitable for different materials with different melting points. Waterjet cutters, meanwhile, can easily cut both reflective and combination materials without incurring damage. Waterjet technology can cut materials like aluminum, ceramics, granite, titanium, stainless steel, and tool steel.

Precision and Safety

Laser cutting has a minimum cut size slit of 0.0006 while waterjet cutting has .02. When it comes to safety, waterjet cutter operators need to wear protective equipment like goggles and gloves because of the high level of force. Debris could fly off from the sandblasted surface. On the other hand, laser cutting technology relies on a gas laser for energy so thermal stress could be a problem, leading to burring during the process. Thermal stress becomes particularly problematic when you need your fabrication project requires several materials with varying melting points.

Operation

Waterjet cutter can cut through any material with any thickness. The technology doesn’t just perform cutting but also structuring and ablation. Mechanical engineers and researchers are also looking into using waterjet technology for medical application. Meanwhile, laser cutting technology can perform drilling, engraving, welding, ablation, and structuring.

The right cutting process will determine the outcome of your project, from customized components to engraved wood. Knowing the difference between laser cutting and waterjet cutting technologies can help you decide which one is suitable for your requirements.