Fixturing for making waterjet parts

This page contains information from before 2010. It is left here for archival reasons only.  Although in most cases, the information here should still be relevant and useful, please be aware that the information contained on this page may be out of date.  For the most up to date information please navigate back to the home page.

Because most parts are machined from flat plate, you simply need to weigh down the plate, to keep it from floating, and fixture it from the sides to prevent sideways motion. It is nice to have a little extra material to hold on to for this reason.

Waterjet cutting brass Waterjet cutting

Basic fixturing for cutting parts from a brass plate

In the above picture, you see a lot of weights on top of the brass sheet.You should always fixture in the X, Y, and Z directions with enough force that the part cannot wiggle. You can test this by trying to move the part by hand—if it can jiggle at all, then it needs more fixturing. The force from the jet itself is not very much, but thin parts will tend to float, and any vibrations from the cutting process may jiggle the part.

Waterjet fixturing

Another way to fixture thin materials

In the above picture, a square has been fitted to the edge of the machining table and mounted with screws. The plate can then be pushed flush against the square, while tabs mounted to the square hold the plate down.

In this video, note the fixturing used to hold the plate in place. There are several large weights placed on top of the sheet to keep it from floating away or being moved by the water pushing up. Two blocks on either side keep it from wiggling back and forth.