With recent advances in control and motion technology, 5-axis CNC waterjet cutting (abrasive and pure water) has become a reality. Where the normal axis on a water jet are named X (back/forth), Y (left/right) and Z (up/down), a 5-axis system will add an additional A-axis (angle from perpendicular) and C-axis (rotation around the Z-axis).
5-axis cutting opens up a wide range of applications that can be done on waterjet. As it is still a relatively new technology, from a business standpoint, the profit margins from this type of work can be very attractive.
WARDJet’s Psy-Winder VS. Competition’s 5-Axis Claims
WARDJet’s unique design for 5 axis cutting allows for 500,000 encoder counts per revolution for the A and C motors respectively, ensuring the unit can conservatively achieve accuracies of ± 1 arc minute, backlash free motion, with a torque of 39Nm or 345 in-lbs, easily outstripping the competition.
WARDJet utilizes 2 harmonic drive actuators, commonly used in precision robotic applications, to ensure the Psy-Winder is a strong, highly accurate, extremely reliable 5-axis mechanism that meets WARDJet’s stringent requirements. Where some other manufacturers tend to control their tilting axis via a mechanical linkage (with its inherent backlash and mechanical play), WARDJet opted to directly couple their mechanism to the harmonic drive output flange and the rock-solid crossed roller bearing. The unparalleled backlash characteristics of the harmonic drive mechanism eliminate the slop and play inherent to other designs.
Below is a comparison chart of the WARDJet Psy-Winder 5 axis cutting head, verses claims and statements of our competition. All competitor's details and statements quoted are on the internet or available to the general public.
The WARDJet Psy-Winder is engineered to be a quality product that is substantially more accurate than other manufacturers' 5-axis cutting heads, despite their claims of having "the most accurate system available."
|Competitor A||"...provides for up to 60 degrees of motion giving you the ultimate in accuracy, speed, and flexibility."||Cut up to 90 degrees with the Infini Winder and Psy-Winder to give you full 3-dimensional capabilities.
Up to 50% more cutting envelope than the competitors!
|Competitor B||"...is capable of a positioning accuracy of ± 0.09 degrees (± 6 arc minutes), making the accessory the most accurate articulated cutting jet of its kind in the industry. "||(± 1 arc minute) Substantialy more accurate than the competitor!|
|Competitor C||No claims or advertised specifications other than cut speed up to 400ipm which does not pertain to 5-axis cutting.|
|Competitor D||"...is capable of positioning accuracy to 0.2 degrees (± 12 arc minutes) with rapid acceleration and positioning speeds, making it the fastest, most accurate 5 axis waterjet cutting head available in abrasive waterjet cutting."||(± 1 arc minute) Substantialy more accurate than the competitor!|
The Infini Winder and Psy-Winder are precision 5-axis waterjet cutting mechanisms where the angle to the material is defined by one axis and the clock angle to the profile is another. In this manner the programming for this design is very simple and the G-code to describe a beveled circle can be done in only 2 lines. Post processors are available for both 2D and 3D CAM software. Due to the nature of the Infini Winder and Psy-Winder mechanism it is considered a fixed mechanical tool tip cutter. This means that the motion of the additional rotary axis does not affect the spatial position of the cutting point. This is superior to a kinematically modeled mechanism which must offset its X, Y, and Z position based on the angles of the 4th and 5th axes and can accumulate additional error if the positions of the rotary axis are not perfect (i.e. deflected from the forces of a high pressure coil).
A 5-axis cutting head can be used to cut 4-axis parts, where the bottom surface geometries are shifted a certain amount to produce the appropriate angle and the Z-axis remains at one height. This can be useful for applications like weld preparation where a bevel angle needs to be cut on all sides of a part that will later be welded. Of course, a 5-axis head can cut parts where the Z-axis is also moving along with all the other axes. This full 5-axis cutting could be used for cutting contours on various surfaces of formed parts.
Because of the angles that can be cut, part programs may need to have additional cuts to free the part from the sheet. Attempting to slide a complex part at a severe angle from a plate can be difficult without appropriate relief cuts.
Safety of 5-axis cutting requires additional consideration. Safety guards should be in place to protect people around the machine should the cutting head move to an unexpected angle during cutting.
WARDJet offers 2 main controllers with their waterjets, the X-Classic, and the XL
WARDJet provides you with four different grating options; each one is specific to a different application.
WARDJet offers a full range of reliable and efficient waterjet intensifier pumps for every application.
Choose the options and accessories you need to get the job done.
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