Rotary Head Enables Waterjet Cutting in Five Axes

Knuth offers a five-axis cutting head as an option for its Hydro-Jet waterjet cutting systems, suitable for 2D cutting in various industrial sectors.

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Knuth offers a five-axis cutting head as an option for its Hydro-Jet waterjet cutting systems, suitable for 2D cutting in various industrial sectors. The cutting head’s “endless” rotation capability is said to enable higher component accuracies and increased cutting speeds. It provides compensation of the downward tapered cutting kerf by an adapted angular setting. The head features rotary feed-through for electricity, compressed air and high-pressure water, as well as a specially designed rotary element that enables continuous transport of abrasive sand. Only one rotary element is installed in the high-pressure water supply, and components subject to wear are limited.

The cutting head offers movement in the X, Y and Z axes, as well as two rotational axes at an angle of 45 degrees to each other. The rotational axes include rotation around the Z axis and around an axis oriented under 45 degrees to the Z axis, forming a 45 nutation cone when the cutting head rotates around the Z axis. The tip of this cone is chosen as the tool center point and functions as the point of contact for the stream on the workpiece surface. According to the company, the rotational movements of the cutting head lead to no change in position, so that a change in the waterjet direction requires no compensatory movements of the linear axes. The maximum angle of inclination is ±51 degrees.

The waterjet cutting head can perform rapid angle changes which otherwise would not be possible due to the compensating movements of the other axes and their available acceleration capacity, the company says. Restoring movements of the cutting head are avoided, reducing nonproductive time. Contours that require rotations around the Z axis with a multiple of 360 degrees, such as spiral contours, can be created without interrupting the cutting process.

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