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  1. #1
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    Default Water jet or Laser

    Looking at getting some parts cut out of some steel plate, water jetted or laser cut. What machine would be more accurate and the average tolerance that can be held on each machine? Also the average hourly rate in the South East?
    Thanks!

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    This is like any machine tool. If the programmer/operator is real good ( like ours is fantastic) our water jet parts are very good. We do not have a laser but I would think if the guy running it knows their stuff parts will be good from it too.

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    Ask the Vendor !

    Duh

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    Waterjet is going to be a better finish and you can cut thicker stock. Laser is going to be faster and cheaper. Tolerances are dependent on stock thickness.

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    This is highly dependant on material, thickness, tolerance, part geometry, and the shop/operator of the machines.

    My experience with plain low carbon steel under 1/2" or so is its far cheaper and faster to use a laser. The surface finish is very good, and there is minimal processing after cutting needed to do much of anything to it. Once you get above that thickness, there are typically noticeable issues with the finish on the pierce, hole geometry and shape suffers.

    Waterjet is more expensive, but has outstanding cut quality on thicker metal. If they can tilt the stream to compensate for taper, even better. There is no HAZ, so that is superior for cutting things like air hardening tool steel and other thermally sensitive steels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AARONT View Post
    Waterjet is going to be a better finish and you can cut thicker stock. Laser is going to be faster and cheaper. Tolerances are dependent on stock thickness.
    He pretty much summed it all up. We cut a good bit of 1/4" steel on our laser and it comes off smooth on the sides.

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    Thanks to the ones with useful information. I did forget to add the material will be 1/4 thick. This gives me a direction.

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    why not plasma? 1/4" is right in the plasma range too. it's much cheaper.

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    I would like a decent finish and diameter tolerance of +- .01

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    Quote Originally Posted by edge22 View Post
    I would like a decent finish and diameter tolerance of +- .01
    a GOOD plasma shop might actually get you there on 1/4" I've been shocked how good plasma can be. also how bad, depending on machine and operator.

    Plasma, waterjet and laser cutting systems from Hypertherm

    ......High-tolerance plasma uses a small nozzle orifice and intense gas swirl to constrict the arc. The result is an energy-dense arc with a very narrow kerf that can cut intricate details and very small holes. Conventional plasma systems can cut within 0.76 mm (.030") accuracy and produce cuts with 3–5° of bevel, sometimes as little as 1°. High tolerance systems can cut with 0.25 mm (0.010") accuracy and 0–3° of bevel. They can accurately cut holes as small as 4.76 mm (3/16").

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    1/4" steel on laser all day long. If it needs welding (mainly tig) it will need to be dressed a little first. Most shops will probably have an hour or half hour minimum and maybe a setup fee. Will definitely be cheaper than a waterjet. Depending on parts, could probably do on a plasma as well.

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    1/4" steel cuts fast and nicely on a waterjet. Inexpensive too. 0.010 accuracy is not a problem.

    waterjet.jpg

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    When I post stuff like this, my post gets banished to the Fabrication forum, but it is fine for everybody else to post welding and laser questions to the main forum. That's what I get for being a nudge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jscpm View Post
    When I post stuff like this, my post gets banished to the Fabrication forum, but it is fine for everybody else to post welding and laser questions to the main forum. That's what I get for being a nudge.
    LOL - That's cause we don't like your avatar....


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