Unique waterjet cutter helps engineering students

As the only university in Denmark, The University of Southern Denmark has installed a waterjet cutter at the Mads Clausen Institute in Sønderborg. The machine is employed to produce everything from lab equipment to student projects.

In the workshop at the Mads Clausen Institute, SDU Campus Sønderborg, there is an OMAX 2652 waterjet cutter. It’s worth € 240,000 and is the only of its kind among Danish universities. The machine cuts all types of material that tolerates water, such as granite, metals and glass. Normally, university workshops employ milling cutters but with a tolerance of 0.01 mm and a 1.2 mm high pressure water stream, the waterjet cutter is far more effective and precise. Furthermore, the machine is simply just faster.

-The waterjet cutter has been used incredibly much since we acquired it, says Workshop Manager Reiner Hübel. For instance, researchers from MCI have used the machine to make sample holders for organic solar cells, which are produced at the institute, and the engineering students can construct all imaginable parts for their semester projects, says Reiner Hübel.

A group of students from the 4th semester of the engineering study program Mechatronics have worked on constructing an energy-saving exercise bike. They needed to produce special cog wheels for the bike and used the waterjet cutter for the purpose.

In order to produce parts on the waterjet cutter, researchers or students make working drawings that are sent to the machine. Upon approval by the workshop, the parts are made by means of the thin water stream cutting away excess material from the part until the desired shape is reached. Sand is added to the water stream as an abrasive.

Photo: Workshop Manager Reiner Hübel with the waterjet cutter OMAX 2652.