At Big Blue Saw, all of our parts are made using waterjet cutting or laser cutting. Those kinds of parts don't limit your designs to just 2 dimensions. Over the years, we've worked with our customers to find the best techniques to assemble and modify waterjet and laser cut parts to create 3 dimensional finished products. Here are a few things to use on your next project.
Bending or "braking" your part is an obvious way to get an extra dimension, but beware: doing it accurately is not as easy as you might think. Adding a relief slot along the bend line can make things go much more smoothly.
More about bending your parts.
Tab and Slot/T-Nut
Tab and Slot construction is often combined with the T-nut technique because it uses common hardware and is quite strong.
Creating a corner brace with T-nut construction.
More about tab and slot/T-nut construction.
Stacking allows you to create boss features, pockets, and bevels. Since the cut edge does not directly touch any flat parts, there's no need to worry about taper compensation on thicker pieces.
Simulating a bevel using stacking.
More about stacking.
Originally developed for fighting robots, nutstrip is off the shelf hardware that makes it easy to join 2 plates at 90 degrees.
Read about how I use nutstrip.
Long Bolts and Tensioned Plate
You can use fully threaded bolts to space flat plates at a distance from each other. Read about the long bolt technique on our website. A variation on this is tensioned plate construction, which adds a custom part between the two flat plates. One of our customers used this technique to create load holding fixtures.
If you've got access to welding equipment and the skill to use it, you can join flat metal parts at any angle. BattleBots champion Bite Force had a welded chassis made of parts from Big Blue Saw.
You can clamp larger parts like poles together using waterjet cut custom clamps.
Read about how I was able to create the wavy shaped part shown above using only waterjet cut parts with off the shelf hardware.
Big Blue Saw Blog
- Parent Category: Big Blue Saw Blog
- Written by Simon Arthur