Blog

General Updates

We've seen before how Jay Doscher built a custom 3D printer enclosure using parts from Big Blue Saw. Jay's back and he has a new enclosure design with many improvements, including:

  • Better fume filtering
  • Externally mounted electronics
  • More durable outer panels

Check out Jay's website for more details, and watch the video below to see how he created the new design in TinkerCAD. You can see his custom parts being waterjet cut by Big Blue Saw at about 26:35.

Having trouble choosing a metal for your custom parts? Try our material chart below to help you decide.

Mouse over each of the metals shown below to see more details.

 

AdobeStock 162356001

Do: Begin your design with waterjet in mind.

It’s best to take into consideration the flexibility and limitations of the waterjet right from the start. That way you don’t have to start over and potentially re-design an entire assembly to work with custom waterjet cut parts.

 

P1010913 color

Don’t: Place cutting lines too close together, especially on thin material stock.

Placing cutting lines too close together can cause vibration in the thin section, leading to the cutting stream breaking through across the face of the part. 1/16 inch (0.063” or about 1.5 mm) is a safe distance between features for even thin stock material.

image18

 

Do: Create a DXF file of the final outline.

Waterjets work best with 2D vector files showing exactly the outline of the part, scaled 1:1. DXF is the file format most used with waterjet cutting machines. Nearly all CAD software supports export to DXF.

Don’t: Put secondary operations or instructions in the final DXF file.

The DXF file for manufacturing with waterjet cutting should contain only the outline of the part to be waterjet cut, scaled 1:1. If you do need a CAD file with more operations or instructions, save that in a separate file.

 

AdobeStock 138608905

Do: Select a waterjet appropriate material.

While waterjet cutting can work with a huge variety of metals, plastics, woods, and composites, make sure your material won’t shatter or delaminate when being cut. Any material that can’t stand some exposure to water, like cardboard, won’t work with waterjet. On the other hand, most metals, including stainless steel and heat treated aluminum, are ideal for waterjet cutting.

1 crosslines bad

Don’t: Leave open or crossed lines in your CAD file.

When drawing your part in a 2D CAD program, make sure that all of the endpoints of your lines, arcs, and splines meet around the perimeter of the part. Without these entities making a closed loop, the waterjet cutting machine can’t determine the outline of the part.

 Selection 592

Do: Verify your dimensions

When working with DXF drawings, it’s easy to make a mistake with the scale and accidentally make a drawing that’s 2:1 or 4:1, or a drawing that’s in millimeters instead of inches (or vice-versa). That’s why it’s important to check the overall size of the part using Big Blue Saw’s online quoting system before ordering.

Don’t: Use raster (bitmap/PNG/GIF/JPEG) files for designs that need high precision.

Raster files can be very convenient if you’re used to editing in a program like Windows Paint or Photoshop. This works great for decorative pieces, signs, and artwork. However, when designing with a bitmap editor, you’re limited by the resolution of the pixels. When designing parts of a machine or mechanical assembly, it’s best to stick with a vector based editor or CAD program for maximum accuracy.

 

AdobeStock 138608412

Do: Design for waterjet kerf and cutting accuracy.

Keep in mind that the kerf (cutting diameter) of the waterjet is about 0.04 inches or 1 mm. This means that the waterjet can’t make holes or slots smaller than that size. Additionally, your design should take into consideration the cutting accuracy of the waterjet and the waterjet taper (and use low-taper waterjet cutting if appropriate).

bead blast 304ssresized1

Don’t: Forget to add a finishing operation to make the parts look and perform their best.

If your parts need to be touched by an operator or will be visible in the final assembly, make sure that you choose a finishing option like GlassBlast or PadPrep finish to make sure your parts look their best and are free of burrs.

Wrapping Up

With these tips in mind, you're ready to place your first order for custom waterjet cut parts from Big Blue Saw. Just upload your design to our online quoting and ordering system to get started. More questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions list. Still need help? Contact us.

stainlesssteel

Here it is: Big Blue Saw's sale on 0.12 inch stainless steel 304. Stainless steel's combination of strength and corrosion resistance makes this a sale not to be missed. Simply place your order online for waterjet cut parts Thursday, October 10, or Friday, October 11, and you will automatically receive a quantity discount.

If you've never used our service before, this is a great time to start turning your designs into custom parts.

Questions and Answers about Big Blue Saw's Sale On 0.12 Inch Stainless Steel

  • What is on sale?
    Custom parts from your designs made using waterjet stainless steel 304 alloy in 0.12 inch (0.12" or 11 gauge or about 3.048 mm) thickness. Low-taper is not on sale.
  • How much will I save?
    Orders as small as 1 part will automatically receive the quantity 10 discounted price. The dollar amount depends on the design and quantity ordered.
  • How can I order with the sale price?
    Just upload your design to our online quoting and ordering system, and check out through the website shopping cart. You will automatically receive the discount price when placing your order. No need to use coupon codes or other tricks.
  • I don't have a design. How can I make one?
    Use your favorite CAD or vector image software. If you don't have this kind of software, check out our list of free or low-cost alternatives. Or read about how to format PNG and GIF files for use with Big Blue Saw.
  • I didn't hear about your sale until just now and don't have time to get my design ready. When is your next sale?
    Sign up for our mailing list to get early notifications about the next sale.
  • I have special requirements for shipping, secondary machining, or rush processing my order. Can I still get the sale price?
    To get the sale price, orders must be placed through the website. So typically we cannot accommodate special requests for sale parts.

Remember, this sale ends 11:59 PM on Friday, October 11, so get started by uploading your designs now.

Bb2019Victory

This past Friday, Bite Force, featuring custom waterjet cut parts from Big Blue Saw, was once again crowned champion of BattleBots!

BiteForceVWitchDoctorLogo

Paul Ventimiglia and the APTYX Designs team defeated Witch Doctor to win the Giant Nut for the 3rd time! Congratulations to the team once again.

To celebrate, Big Blue Saw is offering 30% off on all orders placed online for waterjet cutting! Just place any waterjet cutting order online for $300 or more, and receive a 30% discount when using coupon code BB2019. Use code WIN3 to get 10% off any online waterjet cutting order of $150 or more. Upload your design now and be sure to tell your friends!

Hurry, the offer ends at 11:59 PM Wednesday, October 2.

BiteForceTeam Sponsors