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  • Make your own water jet cutter?

    Applied Science guy on youtube used a cheap 150$ pressure washer to make a water jet that can cut aluminum. I am thinking a used gas powered 5000 psi pressure washer would be better, and would be compatible with the parts he listed.
    Just add a CNC X,Y,Z gantry setup...
    One thing I have noticed, the cost of abrasive used to cut stuff adds up quickly!
    https://youtu.be/Lg__B6Ca3jc
    Last edited by RB211; 05-31-2017, 10:41 PM.

  • #2
    I saw the video, It was intreauging, however the actual head which was a commercial unit looked expensive, I suppose it could be made, I gather the nozzle and orrifice are available.
    Not sure if you would get anything like a commercial one but worth tinkering if the time was available.
    I can see it would be handy for thin sheet and such, never had much to do with them but I do like new toys!
    No idea how much media costs but like all things I suppose it's costly.
    I watched a few of his videos, the home made electron microscope was good, a lot of the electronics was completely beyond me I'm afraid, but hey somthing to learn is good, most if not all the electronics I learned has been forgotten.
    Clever guy
    Mark

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    • #3
      If you look in the description for the video he gives a link to the place he got the cutter head from. At a glace I think it was about a $300 head, so not really super cheap but not out of the reach of lots of people interested in such stuff. Interesting proof of concept effort anyhow. I suppose not in principle too much unlike that $3500 one that was going around a while back on Kickstarter. Did that project ever happen?

      Still probably not really cheap to run when you factor in the garnet abrasive, but if it lets you do stuff not easily done otherwise it may be worth it. And then of course there is the cool-factor which has some value as well to us home shop types.

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      • #4
        Really clever setup ! and good video.

        Imho, a higher pressure pump would make something like this work well.
        I have no idea where such pumps might be found.

        Does anyone know ?

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        • #5
          I saw that video. You would cut faster with a bandsaw. If you want a cnc cutter, I would rather use plasma, or just convert a mill.

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          • #6
            I'm sitting here wondering if a common rail diesel pump could be rigged up. Those pressures would get you into commercial water jet cutting area. The pumps should at least be somewhat available. Not sure on the price or the durability running straight water but if you could get a pump cheap enough ...
            www.thecogwheel.net

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            • #7
              He was running 2500 psi? A gas powered one should be able to do 4200psi. Cnc plasma probably is the better way to go.

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              • #8
                That is very interesting! I already have a cnc plasma table and have been putting together parts to mount a router and engraver on my table. A water jet attachment is tempting! Like mentioned with the lower pressures cutting any real metal probably wouldn't be feasible but for softer materials especially non-metallic materials it might be worth the effort.

                Watching the video it seems one of the first things to change or upgrade would be the motor driving the pump. Like mentioned finding a gas powered unit with a bad or nonrunning motor might be the best option and then convert it to electrical powered.

                The head also like mentioned is a nifty part. Like the guy in the video mentions there isn't a real lot to the body itself (a guy might be able to machine one) and then just buy the cheap orifice and the not as cheap tungsten nozzle. That nozzle I can see being a pain as it comes in many different sizes and dialing it in could be expensive.

                I think one of you should build one so we can all watch! If I had more time I would be super tempted to get started on it as we have a few power washers laying around already and I have the cnc table.
                Andy

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by vpt View Post
                  That is very interesting! I already have a cnc plasma table and have been putting together parts to mount a router and engraver on my table. A water jet attachment is tempting! Like mentioned with the lower pressures cutting any real metal probably wouldn't be feasible but for softer materials especially non-metallic materials it might be worth the effort.

                  Watching the video it seems one of the first things to change or upgrade would be the motor driving the pump. Like mentioned finding a gas powered unit with a bad or nonrunning motor might be the best option and then convert it to electrical powered.

                  The head also like mentioned is a nifty part. Like the guy in the video mentions there isn't a real lot to the body itself (a guy might be able to machine one) and then just buy the cheap orifice and the not as cheap tungsten nozzle. That nozzle I can see being a pain as it comes in many different sizes and dialing it in could be expensive.

                  I think one of you should build one so we can all watch! If I had more time I would be super tempted to get started on it as we have a few power washers laying around already and I have the cnc table.
                  Here is one you can watch: https://plantech.com/waterjet-cut-urethane-parts/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by enginuity View Post
                    I'm sitting here wondering if a common rail diesel pump could be rigged up. Those pressures would get you into commercial water jet cutting area. The pumps should at least be somewhat available. Not sure on the price or the durability running straight water but if you could get a pump cheap enough ...
                    Common rail diesel pump would have a life expectancy ranging in minutes if you ran water through it. There were massive issues when they removed sulfur from diesel on older diesel pump that ran much lower pressures. The newer high pressure stuff would weld itself shut if you ran that high of a pressure.
                    12x16" Delta 3d printer (Built from scratch)
                    Logan 825 - work in progress
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RB211 View Post
                      He was running 2500 psi? A gas powered one should be able to do 4200psi. Cnc plasma probably is the better way to go.

                      You should be able to get over 5000psi gasoline powered pump relatively cheaply. I got my gasser 3200psi pressure washer for $40 because the carb was gummed up. New oil and carb rebuild made it nice again. You should be able to run that pump from a 3450rpm 1-2hp motor.
                      12x16" Delta 3d printer (Built from scratch)
                      Logan 825 - work in progress
                      My Blog - http://engineerd3d.ddns.net/
                      Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVY...view_as=public
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                      • #12
                        People saying that a plasma cutter or a bandsaw is faster are completely missing the point of water jet cutters and not realising the pros/cons of each cutting method.
                        Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jaakko Fagerlund View Post
                          People saying that a plasma cutter or a bandsaw is faster are completely missing the point of water jet cutters and not realising the pros/cons of each cutting method.
                          True,the "cut anything" capability is one aspect.The other being the cut edges are left machinable and unaffected by heat.
                          I just need one more tool,just one!

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                          • #14
                            I couldn't think of a better way to give myself a hydraulic injection injury. Video made me cringe.

                            Waterjetting is super cool and super useful. 1/8" aluminium at 1IPM is not, I could do faster with a jewelers saw.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RB211 View Post
                              He was running 2500 psi? A gas powered one should be able to do 4200psi. Cnc plasma probably is the better way to go.
                              Cat pumps can be had that will handle 5,000 psi easily,some go as high as 10,000,but those get expensive very quickly.Another option is to build a pressure intensifier,it's the heart of a commercial waterjet.I wouldn't go to commercial pressures,but 10-15,000 psi would be doable.

                              https://youtu.be/Dtnbb7IcydM
                              I just need one more tool,just one!

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