ABOUT RAPID CREEK CUTTERS, WATERJET & PLASMA TECHNOLOGY:


Water Jet Machine at work
Rapid Creek Cutters offers precision cutting of almost all materials (rock, metals, tile, glass, wood, etc.) plus high quality Stick, TIG, MIG, Flux-cored, & Oxy-Fuel welding of mild steel, stainless, brass, copper & aluminum for metal fabrication projects, CNC Plasma cutting, Painting, and small Powder Coating.
Left - Computerized Water Jet

Advantages of Waterjet Technology

  • No Flame, No Heat

    • cuts materials with low melting points

    • will not warp or distort

    • does not alter molecular structure

    • cuts hardened metals without weakening

    • cuts flammable materials

  • Smooth Satin-like finish

    • little or no secondary machining or sanding

    • no deburring

  • Non Electric

    • cuts non-conductive materials

    • no magnetic field

  • Cuts Without Lubricants

    • no oily residue

    • no noxious liquids

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 "The" Ultimate Waterjet Website:  www.waterjets.org 
 
Advantages of CNC Plasma Cutting Technology
  • Faster than waterjet cutting

  • More accurate than manual cutting

  • Can use standard AutoCAD files

  • Can import most sketches/hand drawn parts

  • More economical than waterjet cutting

Frequently Asked Questions
(Click on the question to find the answer!)


How does a  waterjet cut?
A water jet cuts with a thin stream of high pressure water.  An abrasive is added to the water to cut most materials.  The pressure of the water is precisely controlled (depending on the material being cut) between 15,000 PSI and 55,000 PSI.  The jet of water is moving  over twice the speed of sound - Mach 2!  The cutting head is computer controlled (CNC).    
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How precise is a waterjet?
A waterjet cuts with a precision of about 5 thousandths of an inch.    
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What kind of finish does a waterjet give?
A waterjet can leave an extremely smooth finish.  Most pieces need no further machining, sanding or other treatment.  The finish quality is selected before cutting and is controlled by the computer.  Basically, the slower the head travels, the better the finish.    
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How does a waterjet compare to a laser, EDM or plasma cutter?
A waterjet cuts with near laser quality.  However, a waterjet uses no heat - it is a "cold" cutting process.  It does not rely on electrical current to control it's cut as an EDM.  Most importantly, it is almost always less costly.    
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How thick of material can you cut?
We can cut steel with very close tolerances up to about 4 inches thick  Thicker steel can be cut with less tolerance.  Softer materials over 4 inches thick can be cut with close tolerances.    
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How large can the piece be?
By indexing the material, we've done parts 5' x 14' even though the bed size is 2' x 4'..     Top of page


What kinds of materials can you cut?
A waterjet can cut almost anything.  Because it uses no heat or flame it can cut materials with low melting points like plastics or lead.  When cutting small parts there is no problem with warping or distortion.  There is no risk of changing the composition or strength of hardened steels or other materials with heat.  Flammable materials like wood, paper and magnesium are easily cut with no burning or scalding.  Brittle materials like glass (except for tempered glass), mirror and tile can be cut with precision.  Because only purified water is used to cut (no lubricants, gasses, etc) waterjets are even used to cut cheeses and meats!  If you need something cut a waterjet can probably cut it.    
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How expensive is it?
Waterjet cutting is usually less expensive than laser and EDM cutting.  Pricing is very favorable compared to methods such as flame, plasma, sawing and shearing coupled with their respective finishing processes - sanding, grinding, etc.    Top of page


How do I get my design to you?
We can cut from just about any media.  Pictures, drawings, cad files, graphics files, scanned images or objects are all easily turned into finished pieces.  We can draw the items for you from just a verbal idea or you can send us the completed files.  Ultimately we need .dfx files to convert to our CNC programming language.  We have the capability to convert just about any type of source to our CNC language.  Emailing files is the best method of delivery.  Fax, email, snail mail or courier service for images.  Email or telephone for ideas or questions.  See the Contacts page for addresses.     Top of page


Do I need to furnish the material?
We can obtain most materials locally.  You may need to furnish specialty materials and color specific materials.     Top of page


Can a waterjet do anything but cut?
Yes.  It can scribe and etch.     Top of page


Does Rapid Creek Cutters do anything else but cut stuff up?
Sure.  Rapid Creek Cutters does light fabrication, welding, custom sand-blasted signs as well as in-house design and drafting.  All items shown on this web site are made in-house.     Top of page

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Rapid Creek Cutters ● 130 Garnet Drive ●  Stevensville, MT 59870