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Big Blue Saw Blog

General Updates

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.


Updates to Aluminum, Stainless Steel & Cold Rolled Steel

As it's time to bid farewell to 2017 and ring in 2018, and it's time to say goodbye to some of our stock materials and say hello to a few new ones.

Certain sizes of stock material have getting harder to obtain from our suppliers. So we've dropped them from our online quoting system (they may be available as a special order, just contact us and we will see what we can do).

Other materials, like aluminum 5052 and cold rolled steel A366/1008, have been increasing in popularity. So we're adding new sizes of those for instant ordering.

Here are the materials which have newly updated thicknesses:

Material Available thickness in inches
Aluminum 5052 0.02, 0.025, 0.032, 0.04, 0.05, 0.063, 0.08, 0.09, 0.1, 0.125, 0.1875, 0.249, 0.375
Aluminum 6061 0.016, 0.02, 0.025, 0.032, 0.04, 0.05, 0.063, 0.08, 0.09, 0.1, 0.125, 0.16, 0.19, 0.25, 0.3125, 0.375, 0.5, 0.625, 0.75, 0.875, 1
Stainless Steel T-304 0.018, 0.024, 0.03, 0.036, 0.048, 0.06, 0.075, 0.105, 0.12, 0.1875, 0.25, 0.3125, 0.375, 0.5, 0.625, 0.75, 1
Stainless Steel 316 0.018, 0.024, 0.03, 0.036, 0.048, 0.06, 0.075, 0.105, 0.12, 0.135, 0.1875, 0.25, 0.3125, 0.375, 0.5, 0.625, 0.75, 1
Cold Rolled Steel A366/1008 0.0239, 0.0299, 0.0359, 0.048, 0.0598, 0.075, 0.0897, 0.105, 0.125
Remember, if you need a material that's not on the list, let us know, and we will do our best to get it for you.

Save On Custom Aluminum December 11 & 12


Our last sale of 2017 lets you save on our most popular material: aluminum 6061 in 0.25 inch (1/4" or 6.35 mm) thickness.

During the sale, parts using this stock material and ordered online will automatically receive a quantity discount, no matter the size of the order! If you've never ordered from us before, a sale is the best time to try our services. And aluminum 6061 can be used in a tremendous variety of applications. It's lightweight, strong, and weldable, with good thermal and electrical conductivity. We've had customers use aluminum 6061 in literally hundreds of applications including bearing blocks, baseplates, jigs, fixtures, extruder dies, and much more.

Read more about customers who love Big Blue Saw.

How much can you save with our quantity discounts? Check out these examples:


This 21x21 inch robot baseplate normally goes for $172.20 when waterjet cut from 0.25 inch thick aluminum 6061. During the sale, you can get the quantity 10 price even when ordering as little as 1 piece. That brings the price down to $125.20, or 27% off.


For smaller parts, the deal is even better. This gearbox plate at 4.7x4.4 inches would normally be $92.10 when ordering 1 waterjet cut from aluminum 6061 in 0.25 inch thickness. But during the sale, you can get it for $12.60, the same price as if you had ordered 10. That's 86% off the regular price.

This is Big Blue Saw's last sale of the year, so act now byuploading your design to our online quoting and ordering system. The sale starts Monday, December 11 and ends Tuesday, December 12, 2017.


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Big Blue Saw
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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