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SolidWorks Workshop Waterjet 10/4 /14. Michael Lynch. Goals. Understand the Waterjet What it is How the team uses it Advantages and Limitations Understand DXF Files. MechSE Waterjet. How It Works. Mechse Waterjet. Advantages Tolerances of up to 0.005” Can cut up to 3” thick steel

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Solidworks workshop waterjet 10 4 14

SolidWorks WorkshopWaterjet10/4/14

Michael Lynch


  • Understand the Waterjet

    • What it is

    • How the team uses it

    • Advantages and Limitations

  • Understand DXF Files

Mechse waterjet

Mechse waterjet1


  • Tolerances of up to 0.005”

  • Can cut up to 3” thick steel

  • Does not burn material like a laser cutter would

  • Highly automated process

  • Free for us to use!


  • Very noisy

  • Does not work well with water soluble materials

  • Brittle materials (acrylic) don’t cut well

  • Increased taper due to waterjet diffusion

  • Large kerf, roughly 0.4mm for metals, 0.1mm for plastics and other non-metals

Start up sw
Start up SW

Something comes up about a license, just hit “Accept”

Start menu >> All Programs >> SolidWorks 2014 >> SolidWorks 2014 x64 Edition

Project chassis tab
Project – Chassis Tab

  • Units in IPS

  • Create a new part

  • Extruded Boss/Base

    • Select Top Plane

Project chassis tab1
Project – Chassis Tab

  • Sketch Center Rectangle

    • 1.5” x 0.5”

  • Extrude to 0.06”

  • Extruded Cut

    • 0.25” hole

    • 0.25” from each side

  • Cut should be through all

Project chassis tab2
Project – Chassis Tab

  • Fillet

    • Select top 2 edges and choose 0.25” radius

  • Note: We could have made this by just sketching it initially, but then we would not easily be able to change the radius of the filets

Project chassis tab3
Project – Chassis Tab

  • Extruded Cut

    • Center circle and snap to edges

    • Through All

Convert to dxf
Convert to DXF

  • We have a completed part, but the waterjet can’t use it

  • Need to convert to DXF

    • DXF files are a standard file format created by Autodesk for 2D (and sometimes 3D) files

    • Can easily be used by non-Autodesk software

  • Important Notes:

    • DXF files are NOT parametric.; they approximate geometry using lines

    • DXF files are NOT unit specific; they just include numerical values

    • We will see why this is important!

Convert to dxf1
Convert to DXF

  • File -> Save As -> DXF

  • Change orientation to TOP

  • Make sure to save!

Open dxf
Open DXF

  • Choose your favorite DXF viewer

    • DWGTrueView works nicely (and is free), but can only view, not edit

    • DraftSight is also an Option (installed on EWS machines)

  • Remove Text

  • Feel free to examine file, measure dimensions, etc.


  • We now have a DXF file that can be used by the waterjet!

  • Problems:

    • Waterjet operator has no idea what dimensions the part is, must use best guess

    • The circled red areas will give the waterjet problems since lines are inexact, and there are likely gaps


  • When you email your part to waterjet operator/subsystem leader, make sure you specify units (preferably inches)!

  • Waterjet Software can edit files and close gaps in DXF File

    • Sometimes things still don’t work when you have these tangent lines

    • Waterjet gets very confused and doesn’t know which side of the line to cut on

Solutions redesign part
Solutions – Redesign Part!

  • Fillet

    • Select edges, radius of 1/32”

  • Tradeoffs:

    • Disadvantage: Loss of material, less area to weld tab

    • Advantage: That material didn’t add much strength to the part and would likely get destroyed in welding process

    • Advantage: Waterjet user won’t hate you