In my endless search for cool ways of getting things done I found a really cool one...and I mean "cool" when I say it.
Water-jet cutting is simply amazing from what I hear - there is no heat involved since these machines practically "cut with water", the parts can be cut from a great range of solid materials of various thicknesses. I hear the edge quality will vary with the speed of the cut, so we should keep that in mind, choosing the options very carefully when ordering parts to be made.
More info at >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_jet_cutter
I will be sending out my first parts blue print to see for myself what these machines can do...who's with me?
Yeah water jet cutters are pretty sweet. If I remeber correctly water jet cutters work great for stuff like aluminum and accrylics because they don't burn the edges. We were talking about this at work a few days ago and water jets were the prefered method for cutting out the aluminum pieces because the finish was better than a laser cutter.
Well, well well Ivo, what will you discover next? And I have only begun to explore an entry level milling machine after graduating from a hand drill and a wooden handled hacksaw. LOL
Yes those Flo-jet cutters, that often incorporate very fine abrasives with the intensified water, are incredible, and also capable of cutting very fine detail parts from a variety of materials. My friend has one that he uses to cut precious metal letters etc., for application to his trophy belt buckles. Such extreme high pressure water jet cutters are also very noisy and really demand a dedicated environment if used frequently too. Electro Discharge Machining (EDM) or Spark Errosion as it is called in the UK, is another way of cutting metal shapes. This process is sometimes slower but metal in the hardened or tempered state can be cut as well as normalized metals. The EDM Wire Machine is used for cutting profiles and this is where a very fine wire runs slowly through the material somewhat like a bandsaw blade only much slower with the X and Y movements of the part governed by CNC program. Minute sparks between the thin moving wire and the metal causes very fine errosion (hence the name) much like when we touch a cable to a battery and the battery post melts a bit, just as an example; only less dramatic. There is of course much more to all of this and I suggest you Google or otherwise search for the complete story. I have only tried to further whet your appetite for such info.
However any of these machines can be hugely expensive and if jobbing your crossbow parts out then you'd better have a readable CAD drawing available for the operator, in order to keep your input costs to a minimum.
Well you've succeeded. Spark-erosion sounds even more wicked than what I first thought of it - it can actually cut things!?!?! And the precision is...well... putting it lightly - "insane"
Here is a vid I found of the two systems working together, Water-jet for rough cuts and EDM for the precise finish cuts...all the part handling is done by a robot...
All such things interest me and I'm very glad you guys are sharing this fantastic info with the guys who "haven't" even graduated from wooden handles yet(yeh I'm talking about myself). I am however almost at the edge and will be grabbing a few MicroLux machines/accessories at the end of next month to add a little variety to my boring and brutally imprecise shop life...
With Water-jets... there is this place that was recommended on a knife making forum.
West Coast Waterjet 2426 West Commodore Way Seattle, WA 98199 Tel: (206) 459-2233 Fax: (206) 297-1708 firstname.lastname@example.org
From their site info and the reviews I hear...that place sounds very interesting. I was planning to give them a call last few days, but got caught up in work. On the other hand it's actually good I didn't call yet, since I didn't know they might charge extra for converting a blue print to CAD will definitely include that question in my conversation. Thanks for the "heads up", Pavise!
PS: While I'm looking into this matter and trying to get some parts made...is this video real? or fake?