WAZER – The First Desktop Waterjet

A successful Kickstarter campaign is funding a low cost waterjet cutter.

Nisan Lerea and Matthew Nowicki met at Penn Engineering working on the Formula SAE design competition vehicle, and did undergraduate research in manufacturing. One research topic was low-cost waterjet prototyping, and Lerea and Nowicki quit their jobs in 2015 to develop and refine their waterjet cutter. Along with their team of manufacturing, industrial, mechanical and electrical engineers the pair is currently running a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. Their product is WAZER, the first desktop waterjet cutter.

WAZER uses a high pressure water stream and abrasive particles to cut through a workpiece using micro-erosion. Garnet is the abrasive that is used in the cutter, and is non-toxic and easily disposed. The water comes from any tap source and needs to be pumped down a drain after use in the machine.

WAZER takes up a 34” x 25” space on a desktop, with an additional pump box that has a 27” x 14” footprint. The weight of the cutter when filled with abrasive is 300 pounds and 110 pounds when empty, the pump box weighs 45 pounds. The system has a 12” x 18” cutting area and a cut width of 1/16”, with a maximum material thickness of 1”. Feed rate for the machine can reach up to 75 inches per minute depending on the material cut. The design tradeoff that had to be made for a low price point was a slower cutting speed. A standard 110 Volt outlet can power WAZER and its pump, and DXF and SVG files can be used as file types for cutting patterns.

Even after these early Kickstarter units are sold, this waterjet cutter will start at a price point of $6000. This is incredible compared to currently available units. The Kickstarter page looks polished and the design and prototyping work look to be well done. If we give WAZER the benefit of the doubt and assume they can deliver this low cost and high quality product on time this is going to be a huge leap for maker technology.