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Waterjet pricing vs Laser pricing

Mtndew

Diamond
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Location
Michigan
Does a waterjet typically cost more than a laser to run?
We priced out some parts out of mild steel, 1/2" thick and just an average profile that kind of looks like an angled bracket.
The Waterjet came back 3-4x more expensive than the Laser quote.
 

Mtndew

Diamond
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Location
Michigan
Waterjet is typically more expensive but not 3x from what I've seen.
Thanks. I have no experience with either.
The WJ quote was from a place that normally likes to charge more for everything so it made me ask here.
 

Rstewart

Stainless
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Location
Huntsville Alabama
Place I retired from occasionally cut 8" thick 17-4 stainless with the waterjet. IIRC, it was about .3-.5 IPM for that thick. That machine had a 100HP pump. Most common waterjets use 30-60HP pumps.
And probably had the 90Ksi pump as well. Our 60Ksi intensifier would be trucking at about .1 IPM lol.
 

Nerdlinger

Stainless
Joined
Aug 10, 2013
Location
Chicago, IL
So what’s the benefit of a water jet? Is the initial cost less than a comparable laser? Maybe it can cut thicker material than the laser? Is the edge more desirable than a laser? 🤔
 

ManualEd

Stainless
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Location
Kelowna, Canada
Better edge finish in thicker material, no HAZ, cuts plastics (not very well IMO), pretty damn accurate, square cuts.
For lots of welding work it eliminates nearly all machining work.
#1 cut, and 20 sec with a flapper wheel gives you a +.005" bore good enough for nearly all pin fits.
 

Orange Vise

Stainless
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Location
California
So what’s the benefit of a water jet? Is the initial cost less than a comparable laser? Maybe it can cut thicker material than the laser? Is the edge more desirable than a laser? 🤔

Way thicker. Not all waterjet shops are created equal by a long shot, but a good shop will correct for taper and provide a nice surface finish while holding tight dimensions.

HAZ from laser can be an issue with hardenable alloys if it needs to be machined later.
 

Cmtb1250

Plastic
Joined
Jan 1, 2022
And machine maintenance. Nozzles and pumps wear out.
Yeah. It takes time, and very careful skilled hands to rebuild these pumps. Every time we have to rebuild ours. We always sort of dread it… We have 2 pumps, so we can keep the machine running! The water jet we have, is the most maintenance orientated machine I have ever used / been around. It is constantly tearing up and being fixed. It’s honesty a nightmare. When it runs good, it runs great… But it will only run good for so long, before things start falling apart.
 

memphisjed

Stainless
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Location
Memphis
So what’s the benefit of a water jet? Is the initial cost less than a comparable laser? Maybe it can cut thicker material than the laser? Is the edge more desirable than a laser? 🤔
better finish, no haz, thicker, more precise, straighter edges, bevels a lot better, does not care about composites or solid. Think one small step down from wire edm but can do composites.
kinda like plasma vs laser.. plasma is cheap to run and maintain, lasers are expensive relative to that.
 

Bigdawg

Plastic
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Location
Ohio, USA
It depends on what you are planning on cutting. Typically a waterjet is cheaper to purchase upfront, but the maintance and consumables will be more expensive. The laser is faster on thinner materials, where the waterjet will cut thicker material better. With the laser you might need assist gasses to cut some materials, so a lot depend on what you want to cut on it.
 

LOTT

Cast Iron
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
I think just the sheer speed advantage of the laser is what makes it so much faster.

Waterjet also has the advantage when cutting aluminum, it takes a monster laser to cut anything but the thinnest gage AL.
 








 
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