Big Blue Saw Blog

General Updates

3 New Signs

Here are 3 new signs ordered and installed by our customers.

First up is this sign from Finders Keepers Crafting, created for a trade show booth.

The word bubble and individual letters were waterjet cut from 1/8 inch thick clear polycarbonate polycarbontate plastic and painted and installed by Finders Keepers. Using a tough plastic like polycarbonate makes their sign lightweight and durable for portability. Here's their crew after the installation:

Next up are the plaques on an outdoor monument for SK Design Group

The plaques were waterjet cut with Basic Finish applied from 1/8 inch thick aluminum and installed by the customer. Aluminum has good corrosion resistance for an outdoor application. Note that the standoffs give the sign some depth for extra visual impact.

Finaly, we have this logo for the Urban Trends Collection retail store. We waterjet cut the from 1/4 inch thick aluminum 6061 and applied Basic Finish.

The customer installed the lettering in several places around the store, as well as outside the entrance.

Winter Sale Is Here. Save On Aluminum and Stainless Steel!

2018 is a brand new year, and now you have brand new chance to save on custom parts. Starting Monday, January 22, you can turn your designs into real stainless steel and aluminum parts for a fraction of the regular cost. We're discounting waterjet cut aluminum alloy 6061 in 0.05 inch thickness, as well as stainless steel 304 in 0.06 inch thickness through Tuesday, January 23. Designs uploaded to our online quoting system will automatically receive a quantity discount, the same price as if you were ordering 10 at a time.

These stock materials are a favorite of custom keyboard builders, and their uses also include signs, industrial automation components, gaskets, stencils, lighting fixtures, and whatever else you can imagine. Parts are made using waterjet cutting, a process in which a computer precisely controls a high pressure stream of water and garnet particles to cut out the shape of your parts.

A couple simple examples of how you can save during the sale:

21x21 Inch Robot Baseplate


Stock Material Quantity 1
Regular Price
Quantity 1
Sale Price
0.05 inch thick
aluminum 6061
$99.50 $36.60 63%
0.06 inch thick
stainless steel 304
$126.30 $70.90 44%


17 Inch Wide Keyboard Plate With Base


Stock Material Quantity 1
Regular Price
Quantity 1
Sale Price

0.05 inch thick 
aluminum 6061

$89.70 $45.60 49%
0.06 inch thick
stainless steel 304
$108.80 $73.50 32%


Remember, the sale ends Tuesday, January 23, 2018. Upload your designs now to save on custom parts.


Cozy Up To Your CAD Software: the Winter Sale is Coming on Aluminum and Stainless Steel

Big Blue Saw's loyal and true friends keep an eye out for our early sale announcements to prepare their designs before the discounts start. 

Big Blue Saw will be having a sale on waterjet cut parts Monday, January 22 and Tuesday, January 23. Stainless steel 304 in 0.06 inch thickness and aluminum 6061 in 0.05 inch thickness will both be available at a discount. During the sale, you will automatically receive the quantity 10 price, no matter how small your order.

When you've got your design ready, upload it to our online quoting system to eliminate any errors. And come back on Monday, January 22 to place your order!



Ghost-In-The-Spoke's Cruiser Bruiser, Made with Big Blue Saw

From Ghost-In-The-Spoke comes this combination bicycle spoke wrench and bottle opener. If you've broken a spoke in the wrong neighborhood, or you're just really thirsty, it's the best tool to have. It includes wrenches for most common bicycle spokes, a cord slot for easy carrying, and even a bottle opener. It's made from 6061 aluminum and waterjet cut by Big Blue Saw.


Pick up your own Cruiser Bruiser is at the Ghost-In-The-Spoke web store.


How Close Is Too Close? Waterjet Cutting Near the Edge


How close can a hole be to the edge of a waterjet cut part?

We know that there are limits to hole size and narrow areas are a bad idea but how close can you place the cutting line of a hole and another feature? In some cases placing the holes too close to the outer cutting line can cause problems. We can make some assumptions based on the known accuracy of the waterjet cutter, but it's best to test it out.

In this design for our test, the 6 holes are 0.12 inches in diameter, and are placed progressively closer to the edge as you go further to the right. The holes are situated 0.09", 0.06", 0.04", 0.025", 0.01", and 0.001" from the edge. To see how the stock thickness affects the resulting parts, we waterjet cut this part from aluminum 6061 in three  thicknesses: 0.063", 0.125", and 0.25".

First up is the 0.063 inch thick material. Here's the result:

Notice that the hole closest to the edge (0.001 inch) is starting to wear through to the outer cutting line. Keep in mind that holes are only guaranteed to be within 0.01 inches of the specified diameter due to nozzle wear and other factors. Also, the thin section between the hole and the outer cutting line can vibrate during cutting, again leading to this kind of blowout.

In the photos above, you can just barely see that the hole spaced 0.01 inches from the edge is starting to cut through to the edge as well.

The effect is more pronounced in the 0.125 inch thick material:

And it's even more visible on the 0.25 inch thick material shown in the two pictures below.

Remember that due to taper, the hole is wider on the top face, and narrower on the bottom face.  (Low-taper waterjet cutting wouldn't help in this case. The taper-compensation process needs a certain amount of space to work correctly, so you will still end up with taper on small holes even when cutting using the low-taper option.)

If this kind of defect doesn't matter for your design, we can still cut the holes close to the outer cut line. Just keep in mind that your holes might end up connecting to the outside if there's not 0.025 inches or more between the hole and the outside of the part.


Login Form

Big Blue Saw
4.9 stars - based on 32 reviews
Waterjet and Laser Cut Custom Parts.
Address for correspondence only:
3522 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE #145
Atlanta, GA 30319
Phone: (678) WAY-SAW4 (678) 929-7294