Waterjet

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We love making robots. And machines. And racecars, wind turbines, pollution measuring devices, drawing robots. The fablab has been great at providing us, all the students & everyone in Brussels the tools to make low-cost prototypes, such as the Jenga-robots. They are mostly built from plastic parts and thin MDF.

Now, if you are a Maker in Brussels, you most likely know what a lasercutter does. It cuts 2D-shapes out of plexiglass, cardboard and thin plywood. They are the most intensively used machines in the lab, both by the visitors and ourselves.

They are great. But they can only cut plastics and thin wood, not metal. Our robots are not waterproof, and they are not very strong.++
So we have been dreaming for a long time about the ultimate cutting machine, a waterjet.

Wouldn´t it be amazing if we had a waterjet and all the Makers in Brussels could use it?

A waterjet will cut anything. With a waterjet you can make robots in aluminium or in stainless steel. You can cut granite. You can cut carbon composites. You can disect a laptop and cut it in half.

You also need 150’000 euro for a good one.

Auch!

So we thought this wouldn´t happen for years and it was a bit of a pipe dream…

But then Jeroen came across a disused, disassembled, second-hand watercutter at an auction in Holland, and the auction would be ending in 2 days but it looked like really good machine and maybe we could get it cheaply so we went to the head of the industrial engineering department and said if we could buy it at a tenth of the price it was a steal and it was the right size to fit in our lab and we were quite sure we could get it running again and if he could borrow the money we could figure out later how to earn it back and he said yes…

…and we won the auction.

We now have a 1400mmx1400mm 38kW 4000 bar 4,5 ton waterjet in our Fablab



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