WAZER: a tabletop water-jet cutter

October 5, 2016 | 01:31
WAZER sits on your desk and cuts just about anything
WAZER sits on your desk and cuts just about anything

Machines that you would once only have found in industrial settings are becoming neater, more compact. Small enough in fact, to fit on a desktop and plug into a standard domestic mains outlet. Just such a machine is the WAZER water-jet cutting machine that can cut through steel, stone, glass, ceramics, carbon fibre and other hard materials. It may be a bit pricey for the average maker’s workspace but for a small company or startup it would be an ideal tool for accurately cutting out prototype profiles.

Along with more compact and lower-cost 3D printers and multi-axis milling machines a water-jet cutter looks like the next must-have machine for the workshop. It cuts using a high pressure water jet loaded with an abrasive powder. In this case the jet is around 1.5 mm diameter, equating to the smallest feature which can be cut. Unlike a laser cutter, heat build up in the material is minimal. This reduces any distortion or structural changes to the material (e.g. hardened steel) and allows a highly accurate cut without ragged edges. You would normally expect to pay around 100,000 euros for a high-quality professional machine with this sort of specification.


WAZER is a startup hoping to raise the necessary capital via Crowdfunding on Kickstarter. Early bird backers have snapped up the first batch of machines for $3,600 and you can add around $1000 to that price when WAZER starts its regular production run with the second batch of machines. The last time I checked, with 37 days to go, they had over 900 backers pledging $1.25 million which is way over their target of $100,000!

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