Waterjet cutting is a highly precise and versatile cutting process used in various industries, including manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, architecture, electronics, and fabrication. It utilizes a high-pressure stream of water mixed with abrasives to cut through a wide range of materials.

The process involves directing water through a narrow nozzle at pressures ranging from 30,000 to 90,000 psi. For cutting softer materials, the water stream alone may suffice. However, when dealing with harder materials like metals, stone, glass, or composites, abrasive particles like garnet (sand) are added to enhance the cutting power.

By combining high-pressure water with abrasives, waterjet cutting generates a force capable of slicing through materials with exceptional precision. Computer numerical control (CNC) technology is often employed to precisely control the waterjet, allowing for the effortless cutting of intricate and complex shapes. Notably, the cutting process is non-thermal, meaning it doesn’t generate heat, making it ideal for heat-sensitive materials.

Waterjet cutting boasts several advantages over alternative cutting methods. It is an eco-friendly process that doesn’t produce harmful fumes, gases, or dust. Its versatility enables the cutting of diverse materials, including metals, plastics, stone, ceramics, and composites, while maintaining high precision and minimizing material wastage. Moreover, it doesn’t create a heat-affected zone (HAZ) along the cut edge, ensuring the preservation of material properties.

In manufacturing for example, waterjet cutting finds application in precision cutting, prototyping, inlay and assembly, gasket manufacturing, decorative cutting, automotive part production, aerospace component fabrication, electronics manufacturing, and more. Its ability to deliver precise cuts and intricate designs with remarkable accuracy makes it an invaluable tool across various industries.

Microstep WaterCutting Precision Cutting

Precision Cutting

Precision cutting is one of the primary applications of waterjet cutting in manufacturing processes. Waterjet cutting systems can achieve exceptional accuracy and repeatability, making them ideal for cutting materials into specific shapes and dimensions with tight tolerances.

In the realm of metal fabrication, waterjet cutting is extensively employed to cut metal sheets of various thicknesses and types. Materials such as stainless steel, aluminium, and titanium, which are commonly used in industries like automotive, aerospace, and architecture, can be precisely cut using waterjet technology. The ability to accurately shape these metals allows manufacturers to create intricate parts, components, or structural elements with high precision.

Waterjet cutting is not limited to metals alone. It is also extensively used to cut a wide range of other materials, including plastics, rubber, composites, and ceramics. Plastics, for instance, can be precisely cut into specific shapes for various applications, such as manufacturing components for electronic devices, medical equipment, or consumer goods. Rubber materials can be cut with precision for gaskets or seals, ensuring a proper fit and functionality. Composites, known for their layered structure, can be accurately cut without delaminating, or damaging the material. Additionally, ceramics, which are notoriously hard and brittle, can be cut using waterjet technology to create intricate designs or custom shapes.

Microstep WaterCutting Prototyping 2


Waterjet cutting plays a crucial role in the prototyping phase of product development, offering manufacturers a rapid and accurate method for producing prototypes of parts or components before moving on to mass production. This capability allows for testing, refinement, and validation of designs, ultimately leading to improved final products.

During the prototyping phase it’s essential to create physical representations of the desired parts or components to assess their form, fit, and functionality. Waterjet cutting offers several advantages in this context. Its precision cutting capabilities ensure that the prototypes closely resemble the intended final products, allowing designers, engineers, and stakeholders to evaluate their viability and performance.

By employing waterjet cutting for prototyping, manufacturers are able to rapidly transform digital design files into physical prototypes with minimal lead time. This efficiency is particularly valuable in industries characterized by short product development cycles, such as consumer electronics or automotive manufacturing. The ability to quickly generate prototypes enables manufacturers to iterate designs and make necessary adjustments promptly, reducing time to market and accelerating the overall development process.

Waterjet cutting’s versatility extends to a wide range of materials, enabling the creation of prototypes from various substrates such as metals, plastics, composites, and more. This flexibility ensures that prototypes accurately mimic the desired properties and behaviour of the final products, facilitating comprehensive testing and evaluation. Whether it is a metal component for structural integrity assessment or a plastic part for ergonomic evaluation, waterjet-cut prototypes provide a reliable representation of the intended product.

The non-thermal nature of waterjet cutting ensures that the prototypes maintain the material properties and integrity without introducing heat-induced distortions or structural changes. This aspect is particularly important when prototyping heat-sensitive materials or components that require specific mechanical characteristics.

Microstep WaterCutting In industries 2

Waterjet Cutting in the automation, aerospace, and electronics industries.

The automotive industry relies heavily on waterjet cutting for various applications. It is commonly used to cut parts for interior trim, such as door panels, dashboards, and other components. Waterjet cutting ensures precise and accurate cuts, enabling manufacturers to create high-quality parts that fit seamlessly into the vehicle’s interior. Additionally, waterjet cutting is also employed for precision cutting of automotive glass, ensuring clean and accurate edges for windshields, windows, and mirrors.

In the aerospace industry, waterjet cutting plays a vital role in manufacturing processes. It is utilized for cutting parts like aircraft panels, engine components, and interior elements. The aerospace industry demands high precision and the ability to cut through diverse materials, and waterjet cutting meets these requirements effectively. Whether it’s cutting metal panels or composite materials, waterjet technology enables manufacturers to achieve the necessary accuracy while maintaining structural integrity and meeting aerospace specifications.

The electronics industry benefits from waterjet cutting for its precise cutting capabilities. Circuit boards, electronic enclosures, and various components require accurate shaping and cutting to ensure proper functionality. Waterjet cutting provides the necessary precision without subjecting sensitive electronic parts to heat damage. This makes it an ideal choice for manufacturing electronic devices and components, where accuracy and integrity are crucial.

Microstep WaterCutting AquaCut Series 2

The MicroStep Aquacut

The MicroStep AquaCut system incorporates advanced technology and features to deliver exceptional cutting performance. It utilizes a high-pressure waterjet stream combined with an abrasive substance, such as garnet, to achieve superior cutting power and accuracy.

One of the key features of the AquaCut system is its robust and rigid construction, ensuring stability and precision during the cutting process. This stability allows for high-quality cuts even when dealing with complex shapes or thick materials. The system is equipped with a high precision cutting head that precisely controls the waterjet stream, enabling intricate cuts and sharp edges.

Offering various customisation options to meet specific customer requirements. It comes in different sizes and power configurations, allowing for flexibility in handling different material thicknesses and sizes. The cutting table is designed with a durable construction and can accommodate large workpieces, ensuring efficient cutting of both small and large-scale projects. Equipped with advanced CNC control technology, enabling precise programming and control of the cutting process. This ensures accurate replication of complex designs and minimizes material waste. The intuitive user interface simplifies operation and provides operators with convenient control over the cutting parameters, speed, and other settings.

The AquaCut can be fitted with other technologies such as plasma cutting and various options such as milling, drilling and marking can be added onto the machine. Highly renowned brands such as KMT supply the pumps for waterjet cutting and Allfi supply the abrasive dosing systems for the garnet. Robots have also become an integral part of the manufacturing process and are a great asset, when combing with waterjet cutting, as can be seen in the video below.

In terms of applications, the MicroStep AquaCut system is suitable for cutting of a wide range of materials, including metals, plastics, composites, stone, glass, and more. It finds applications in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, architecture, manufacturing, and others that require high-precision cutting for different components, parts, or finished products.

Microstep WaterCutting Watercut Series 2

The MicroStep Waterjet Series

Are you in search of a CNC guiding machine that can deliver precise and compact cutting capabilities in both 2D and 3D? Your search ends with the remarkable WaterCut series. This machine features a robust and exceptionally accurate gantry construction, specifically designed for continuous usage in waterjet cutting applications, whether with or without abrasive materials.

The latest iteration of the WaterCut cutting system goes above and beyond by offering a waterjet rotator for 3D processing of flat materials. This innovative feature enables efficient weld seam preparation up to 45°, making it a valuable tool in various applications. To ensure optimal performance, the machine incorporates a low-set gantry that effectively transfers high dynamics, digital AC servo motors with backlash-free gears, and precise stainless steel linear guides in all three axes.

When equipped with a high-pressure pump, the WaterCut becomes capable of processing nearly any material without causing thermal damage during the cutting process. From metals to hard stone, marble, bullet-proof glass, ceramics, plastics, corrugated cardboard, foams, and composite materials, this machine can handle them all. The dual-sided driven and guided gantry of the WaterCut guarantees outstanding cutting quality, sharp angles, precise corners, and an exceptionally high level of contour accuracy.

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Additional Information

Main Office: Unit B2B cnr Hulley and Gewel, Isando Business Park
Office: 011 397 6356
Ludwig Oellermann: +27 (0) 83 463 0999
Email: info@microstepsa.co.za