Our director of fabrication, Michael Tennyson, working with our OMAX Maxiem 1530 waterjet.

CNC Machinery 101: What Is a Waterjet?

Since it’s almost been a year since we expanded our fabrication department by purchasing our OMAX Maxiem 1530 waterjet, we figured it was about time for a formal introduction.

So, without further ado…


OMAX Maxiem 1530 waterjet.


What Is a Waterjet?

A waterjet machine utilizes a high-pressure stream of water to pierce and/or cut materials. The water, which is sometimes mixed with fine garnet abrasives to amplify the cutting power, is directed through a nozzle at speeds up to 900 miles per hour.

Our OMAX Maxiem 1530 waterjet is composed of three primary parts:

  1. Table. The table features an X-Y traverse system, waterjet nozzle with garner hopper attachment, and a 60” x 120” catcher tank or “bed.”
  2. Pump. The high-pressure pump is designed to provide a sufficient and consistent flow of water to the waterjet nozzle.
  3. Controller. The advanced motion controller is PC-based and uses software for system operation, motion control, and nozzle positioning.

Thanks to the PC-based controller, the waterjet is classified as a computer numerical control (CNC) machine. Its digital linear encoders provide micron-level cutting head position feedback and assure accurate part production (i.e. using a waterjet allows us to achieve close tolerances and produce parts that meet our clients’ exact measurements).


OMAX Maxiem 1530 waterjet.


Accuracy Isn’t the Only Advantage of Waterjet Cutting

Here are just a few of our favorite waterjet perks:

  • Cuts virtually any material up to 12” thick
  • Capable of cutting complex shapes
  • High precision (0.002” tolerances)
  • Minimal edge finishing
  • No tooling changes
  • Minimal scrap

Perhaps most importantly, waterjets offer a cold cutting quality and provide several advantages over heat-based processes. Unlike flame, laser, and plasma cutting, the cold nature of waterjet cutting eliminates thermal distortion, hardening, and reduces the risk of material fatigue failure. This means you’re able to cut various materials (including plastics and aluminum) without melting, distorting, or warping them.

When you add all of these advantages up, you end up with better results through a process that is more efficient and more cost-effective. It’s a win-win-win!



What Can We Cut for You?

Whether you need help producing a single prototype or 100 of the same part, we can make it happen with the help of our waterjet!

To learn more about the benefits of waterjet cutting or our fabrication department’s capabilities, visit www.JKSMfgSolutions.com.