About this project
The First Desktop Waterjet Cutter
WAZER is the first waterjet cutter that can fit in every workshop. It cuts through any material and is compact and contained, making it, clean, safe and quiet to operate. WAZER's digital control achieves detail and accuracy impossible by hand, while freeing you up to complete other tasks.
Traditional waterjets cost upwards of $100,000, but with WAZER, we’re changing that, bringing this advanced technology to every workshop.
What You Can Cut
What You Can Make
WAZER can cut through any material, which allows you to make things with professional-grade quality.
Belt Drive Bicycle:
What People Are Saying
“Wazer is making available to everyone high-end fabrication tech that has hitherto been reserved for heavy industrial users with deep pockets.” - TechCrunch
“It puts a precision-cutting technology previously only available to a few in the hands of the many.” - Digital Trends
“The material options are almost limitless.” - MAKE
“Now you can cut steel, stone, glass, ceramics, carbon fiber and other hard materials with something that fits on a workbench.” - Core77
Waterjet technology has significant advantages over conventional cutting methods:
- Cuts any material
- Achieves intricate detail
- Requires no ventilation
- Results in a smooth surface finish
- No heat-induced material warping
Waterjets, however, are known for being large and expensive machines that require significant infrastructure and high maintenance. For these reasons most individual makers and small businesses don't have access to a waterjet, so we decided to make one that could be used with a limited budget and minimal space.
WAZER works by combining sand-like abrasive particles with a high-pressure water stream. The mixture exits the nozzle and cuts through the workpiece, removing material through a micro-erosion process. The abrasive used, referred to as "garnet", consists of rock that is ground to very small and consistent particle sizes. Garnet is a commodity, it is non-toxic and is easily disposable.
How WAZER Works
Hardware: WAZER has unique features that make it appropriate for a small workshop environment:
Watch Dan go through the process of operating WAZER step-by-step.
Software: With WAZER, going from design to cutting is fast. Design your part in whichever software you’re used to, like Solidworks, Adobe Illustrator or Google SketchUp (or if you aren't familiar with any we'll suggest a basic, easy-to-learn, software for you). Load that drawing file (DXF and SVG) into WAZER software and let the easy to use software guide you through setting up your cut.
WAZER T-shirt Reward
Materials and Cutting Speeds
The list below shows cutting speeds for popular materials that we have actually tested on our final prototype. Email us at email@example.com if a material you are curious about is not included. In order to bring you waterjet technology at this price point we had to reinvent waterjet cutting at a lower pressure. This results in slower cutting speeds compared to traditional industrial waterjets but still maintains the versatility of being able to cut anything.
The materials listed above were cut with WAZER using abrasive particles (garnet) at a rate of 0.33 pounds per minute. WAZER uses garnet made specifically for waterjets that must be continually purchased in order to operate the machine. Abrasive will be available on our website, but WAZER will also work with approved third party suppliers.
Work Experience: We are a team of mechanical, electrical and manufacturing engineers. Collectively we have led the designs of multiple products both at startup and large companies, with hundreds of thousands of units shipped. We have experience managing overseas manufacturers, local suppliers and in-house production. Previous experiences also include working at a local makerspace and operating an industrial waterjet at a custom fabrication shop.
Past Projects: The four of us met at Penn Engineering where we built custom racecars each year for the FSAE international competition. We all like to make things, whether it's a giant fan-assisted fire-pit, beer, or a trebuchet.
How We Got Here
WAZER began as undergraduate research in 2012, where Nisan led a team of students developing low-cost waterjet technology. In early 2015, Nisan and Matt quit their jobs to continue developing the waterjet, working in the basement and testing in the backyard.
In January 2016 Dan and Christian came on-board, and we temporarily moved to Shenzhen, China to join Hax Accelerator, the world’s first and largest hardware accelerator.
We have worked tirelessly for the last 18 months developing WAZER. We have:
- Assembled a team of engineers
- Listened and incorporated various market needs
- Built 5 generations of prototypes
- Designed the final prototype with production processes in mind
- Established relationships with key manufacturing suppliers
- Tested the cutting performance on a wide variety of materials
We raised a small seed round to develop WAZER up until this point, but we need support from you, our backers, so that we can place a large enough order to produce the machines cost-effectively. In return, you will be the first to receive a desktop waterjet.
More importantly, you are supporting the democratization of manufacturing, where individuals can make finished goods themselves, and you are helping turn that vision into a reality.
We have created a great tool, but what really matters is what you will make with it!
Industrial Design and Product Photography by Office for Product Design
Video by Josh Itzkowitz
Additional Photography by Jesus Salazar
Penny Necklace by Stacey Lee Webber
Custom Knife by Mikey St. Clair
Glass Bird by David Friedman
Risks and challenges
WAZER is an incredibly complex machine, combining hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical and electrical systems. It’s a lot of components that need to work together seamlessly. That’s why we are a team of four engineers, with experience building machines and consumer products.
To manufacture such a complex product we inherently will have to work with many suppliers, which will be a challenge to manage and ensure that components are made properly. In order to be close to our suppliers, we have spent the last eight months in Shenzhen, China, arguably the largest manufacturing ecosystem for hardware in the world. While developing WAZER we have amassed a network of suppliers and even designed components to match the capabilities of factories we have visited in person. We will return to Shenzhen to complete the mass-manufacturable design of WAZER, select our final suppliers and oversee the initial production.
Assembling each waterjet will be a challenge to ensure that everything works properly. We are committed to assembling every waterjet in our own US-based facility, so that we have full oversight of the process and can guarantee you receive a quality machine.
WAZER's user-centric software still needs development - currently we run WAZER using modified off-the-shelf CAM software and motion controller. Going from design drawing to CNC control is well documented, so the main challenge will be around implementing the intuitive waterjet-specific workflow that you see in our mock up. The software development will begin after Kickstarter and will run in parallel with our manufacturing efforts.
We are also going to need to grow our team, which is where a portion of the funding we raise will go towards. We’re always open to people joining our team, especially out-of-the-box thinkers with a passion for making things. Please see our website for specific openings we have available.
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