Big  Blue Saw


General Updates

If you haven't heard, Big Blue Saw is giving away $450 in FREE waterjet and laser cutting services in our Spring Design Contest.

I'm proud and humbled today to announce our lineup of talented, accomplished, and good looking judges for the contest.

Valerie Hill

Valerie Hill is the current Director of the Dragon*Con Robotics and Maker Track. She has judged and helped organize many of the combat robotics competitions in the Southeast. Valerie is a graphic designer involved in the print industry, specializing in freestanding displays.

Shane Matthews

Shane is listed as inventor or co-inventor on more than a dozen patents with others pending. Best known for his work on the Nerf AirJet brand, Shane also has helped to develop manufacturing processes for lithium ion batteries. He is a mentor and coach to inventors through the My Inventor Club, which he established here in Atlanta. See more at

Marc DeVidts

Marc is the CTO and co-founder of Double Robotics. Launched in 2012, Double has sold thousands of telepresence robots and has been featured in dozens of TV shows, including NCIS Los Angeles, The Good Wife, The Colbert Report. Marc has also been an avid BattleBots builder since the age of 17, taking 2nd place at his first event, the 2002 inaugural BattleBots IQ high school tournament. Since then, he has continued to build robots and interesting gadgets, including the LED suits for the Black Eyed Peas and the LED Mau5head for Deadmau5.

Charles Guan

Charles is the mastermind behind the assortment of megalomechanical creations on, including robots, vans, and silly electric vehicles. He is an instructor and mentor for undergraduates in Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the co-founder of Equals Zero Designs, manufacturers of innovative products for hobbyists, students, and amateurs in mechanical and mechatronic design, including the highly anticipated, soon to be released RageBridge 2.

Megan Kober

Megan works with smart, interesting people at Alii Healthcare, where her title is Manager of Everything. Alii has created Bond, an app to instantly connect patients to ER physicians via video connection. She is also a registered dietitian and blogs at

If you haven't entered our Spring Design Contest yet, it's not too late. Just click on over to before March 13 to enter. And be sure to remind all your friends to vote for you!

Spring Design Contest

Big Blue Saw is giving you the opportunity to show off your finest plans for creations to be made with waterjet cutting. The best design will receive a $300 gift certificate from Big Blue Saw for waterjet or laser cutting. Second place gets a $150 gift certificate. The theme for this challenge is "SPRING".

Read more about the Spring Design Contest and enter to win FREE waterjet cutting services from Big Blue Saw.

motorcycle oil tank

Congratulations to DJ Kasch, winner of Big Blue Saw's first photo contest. His photo of a motorcycle oil tank emerged victorious with 78 votes to 64 for the 2nd place entry. (We'll have more on the runner up soon.)

DJ is in the middle of a custom motorcycle build in collaboration with Handmade Industries of Salt Lake City, Utah. The frame is a chopped Harley Sportster, and DJ models all of his custom parts in SolidWorks before fabrication.

I'm also quite pleased that the waterjet cut parts in the photo were created by Big Blue Saw. When I talked to him on the phone, DJ told me they're "right to spec" from the SolidWorks drawing.

Future contestants take note: he won the contest by using the contest Share button and asking all of his friends to vote for him on Facebook. It spread so that DJ's friends were asking THEIR friends to vote for him.

You can catch some glimpses of the bike in progress on DJ's Instagram feed, as well as the Handmade Industries feed.

We've been hearing from our customers a lot recently about DraftSight, a 2D CAD design tool that is available for free from Dassault Systèmes. It has all the features you need to get started with creating CAD drawings for Big Blue Saw. It's available to download and use for free from the Dassault website for use with Windows, Linux, and Macintosh.

Here is a very brief, very basic tutorial on using DraftSight to create drawings for Big Blue Saw.

Step 1: Start DraftSight

Start DraftSight from the Start Menu, desktop icon, or however it works on your system. You'll see the main DraftSight window as shown below.

DraftSight window

Step 2: Choose the rectangle tool

The left hand toolbar shows a variety of drawing tools. In this tutorial, we'll be creating a simple rectangle. Click on the rectangle tool.

DraftSight rectangle tool

Step 3: Draw a rectangle

Click in the drawing area to define one corner of the rectangle.

DraftSight rectangle start

Then move the mouse and click on the diagonally opposite corner to define the other corner of the rectangle.

DraftSight rectangle end

You now have a CAD drawing of a rectangle.

Step 4: Save the file

Choose "File | Save As" from the menu.

Enter the file name in the appropriate box. Next, choose the file type from the drop down list. Here we're choosing "R2013 ASCII Drawing (*.dxf)". You want to pick one of the "ASCII DXF" file types for use with Big Blue Saw. enter the file name, choose file type

Click the "Save" button to complete saving the file. Congratulations! You now have your first DraftSight CAD drawing ready to use with Big Blue Saw's online quoting system.

Once you use Big Blue Saw to turn your rectangle design into a real part made out of metal or plastic, you could use it as a spacer, shim, bookmark, backing plate, or divider. It's not much to look at, but now that you've gotten started, you can play around with DraftSight and see its tools for making other shapes.

Want to know more? Let us know in the comments!

Carbon Fiber Parts

Announcing a brand new material: carbon fiber.

Many of our customers have been asking for this strong, lightweight material, and, after much experimentation, we now have a waterjet cutting process capable of creating great looking carbon fiber parts.

Our carbon fiber is stiff and has a shiny finish with a plain weave. In addition to the outstanding mechnical properties of the carbon fiber sheet, it looks gorgeous as well. The picture above doesn't really do it justice, as the appearance changes as the light catches it from different angles. So you can use carbon fiber to give your control panels and signs an ultra-modern, high-tech look.

I also expect we will see many orders for this material for small flying machines like drone copters, fighting robots, RC cars, handheld gadgets, and anywhere light weight and high strength are a must.

Keep in mind that due to the unusual nature of this material, there are a few small quirk relating to part geometry. First, we're offering parts up to 11.75 inches square in the online quoting system. Contact us by e-mail at if you need something bigger. Next, round holes down to 0.063 inches (about 1.5 mm) are OK; we'll be drilling those out instead of waterjet cutting them. Finally, internal holes that are NOT round must have a section at least 0.25 inches wide somewhere in them so we can drill a pilot hole for the waterjet. The online quoting system doesn't check for the last condition, so if you order a design that has a tiny internal slot, let's say, we'll contact you for possibilities on how the design must be changed, like adding a larger attached hole.

Upload your design for a carbon fiber part today.