Service Overview

Waterjet Cutting Service

Waterjet cutting is a process that produces shapes by cutting sheet material using a thin, high pressure stream of water containing abrasive particles called garnet.

Whether you need a single part, batch of prototypes, or full production order, eMachineShop will turn your design into fully machined, end-use parts!

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Waterjet cutting

is an economical way to cut 2D shapes in a very wide range of materials with no tooling costs.

The unique process provides reasonably good edge quality, no burrs and usually eliminates the need for secondary finishing processes.

Creating custom part this way can cut single or multi-layer materials from as thin as .001″ (.025mm) to as thick as several inches. The process yields no poisonous gas when cutting plastics or rubber.

Waterjets also generate no heat so the material edge is unaffected and there is no distortion.


  • Can cut parts of almost any 2D shape
  • Cost-effective for prototyping and short runs
  • No set up or tooling costs
  • Cuts most types of sheet material except some types of glass and wood

Design Tips

  • Compensate for edges that are not as smooth and straight as milling or punching
  • Small parts should be tabbed so they are not lost in the water tank
  • Some cleanup may be needed to remove surface rust
  • Inside corners will be rounded to a .03″ (0.76mm) radius

Examples of parts that are often cut using Waterjet include:

Auto Parts
Robot Parts
Sheet Metal Boxes
Motorcycle Parts
Medical Devices
Front Panels

Waterjet Cutting Materials

Aluminum 6061

Has good mechanical properties and good weldability, and is one of the most common alloys for general purpose use – especially for machining.

Widely used for construction of aircraft structures, such as wings and fuselages, yacht construction, utility boats and bicycle frames and components.

Aluminum 5052

One of the most popular aluminum alloys used in sheet metal fabrication. It is readily bent, punched and sheared.

Known for its high corrosion resistance, especially in ocean water. Common applications include marine and aircraft equipment, fuel lines, street lights, household appliances, flooring panels, and railings.

Aluminum 2024

Used in applications requiring high strength to weight ratio, and has good fatigue resistance. It is not weldable and has average machinability.

Corrosion resistance is poor. Widely used in aircraft structures, especially wing and fuselage structures under tension.

Aluminum 6063

Has generally good mechanical properties, and is heat treatable. Highly weldable although strength near welds can be diminished by up to 30% if not subsequently heat treated.

Mostly used in extruded shapes for architecture, including window frames, door frames, roofs, piping, tubing and furniture.

Aluminum 7075

Strong, with good fatigue strength and average machinability, but is not weldable and has limited resistance to corrosion.

Cost is relatively high compared to other Aluminum alloys. Often used in aircraft including wings and fuselages, rock climbing equipment and bicycle components.

Applications and Advantages

  • Transportation: The combination of lightness, strength and malleability makes aluminum the ideal material for transportation applications. It is used in automobiles, airplanes, railways and marine applications and also for making fuel-efficient engines in cars and trucks. Its low weight reduces fuel consumption and emissions.
  • Construction: Aluminum facilitates the construction of corrosion-resistant and low maintenance cost buildings. All kinds of aluminum products are used for new construction as well as renovation and due to its strength and lightness, it is used in earthquake prone zones. It is also a good reflector of light,and is often used in lighting fixtures.
  • Vehicles: A high proportion of the shock inflicted by an automobile in a motor vehicle accident is absorbed primarily by its aluminum structure.
  • Air Travel: Strong aluminum alloys take the extreme pressures and stresses involved in high altitude flying. Wafer thin aluminum panels keep the cold out and the air in. Many internal fittings like the seating on airplanes are made from aluminum or aluminum composite in order to save weight and thus save fuel, reduce emissions and increase the aircraft’s payload.
  • Packaging and Food Processing: A thin stream of high pressure water without any garnet can be used to cut foods cleanly.
  • Electrical Transmission Lines: This very versatile metal can be drawn into thin wires which are often used in products such as light bulbs and telephone wires. Most of the high voltage overhead transmission and distribution lines over long distances are also made of aluminum.


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