Water Jet Cutting
- It’s a fast way of cutting out large, complicated shapes. It’s a clean process with no chemicals or hazardous wastes, and has many other useful characteristics too.
- Pierce straight through so there’s no need to cut in from the outside. Essential for creating contiguous shapes with hollow centers (as you’d need for a pocket.)
- Cuts very square, even on materials like thick reticulated polyurethane foam, and leaves smooth edges needing little to no finishing.
- Very narrow cut width or “kerf” thanks to the thin beam. This allows cutting of very intricate shapes and lets us nest shapes to use a sheet efficiently.
- No sideways forces, so there’s no material distortion. This also lets us cut very thin wall sections.
- No heat, unlike laser cutting, so there’s no unsightly edge melting or heat affected zone.
- There’s no tooling or fixturing. All that’s needed is a program for the waterjet’s computer, and that comes from the CAD of the shape needed.
A vertical contour cutting machine is the best way of producing smooth, straight-sided shapes in soft materials like foam. Merryweather’s machine handles large blocks of material quickly and efficiently with minimal waste. As no tooling is needed this process is ideal for both small and large quantity orders.
- Straight, smooth sides produced on thick foam blocks.
- Cuts complex 2D shapes.
- Programmed directly from CAD files.
- “Nesting” function in software maximizes material utilization.
- No tooling, so no tooling costs or delays for tool manufacture.
- Ideal for small quantity orders
- Small “kerf” (cut width) means minimal waste and dust.
Digital Knife Cutting
Many people know flatbed die cutting as the way to produce complex shapes from sheet material. It’s a very fast and repeatable method, but needs a crucial piece of tooling; the steel rule die. Making these dies adds a step between designing the part or shape and having it come off the machine. It also means a little set up time on the machine.
- Cut complex shapes from sheet material.
- Tight radii, smooth radii, and even sharp corners are possible.
- Smooth edges with no steps or jagged edges in curved surfaces.
- Good accuracy and repeatability (little piece-to-piece variation.)
- No tooling, so no up-front costs or extended lead times.