The Art of Waterjet Cutting

The IQ Center recently collaborated with Studio Art professor Sandy de Lissovoy on a sculpture project for his ARTS 232, Intermediate Sculpture, class.

Students in the class are learning metal sculpture techniques and the new waterjet cutter in the IQ Center provides interesting options for creating metal work. The waterjet cutter uses a computer controlled, high pressure stream of water mixed with abrasive powder to cut almost any material, including steel.

In this “Digital Shapes and Metal Work Sculpture” assignment, students were instructed to create a portion of their sculpture using the waterjet cutter. This portion of the project gave them the opportunity to learn Adobe Illustrator, which is used to create the intricate vector shapes to be cut.

The IQ Center provided training and troubleshooting for the students during the project making it easy to incorporate this element into a larger project.


Want to incorporate technology like this into your Winter term course? Contact Dave Pfaff at 540.458.8044 or just stop by the IQ Center!

Meet ProtoMAX, the latest addition to the IQ Center!

The laser cutter in the IQ Center has the capability to cut materials like plastic and thin wood, but we haven’t had the ability to create parts from more durable materials, such as metal … until now!

The new ProtoMAX waterjet cutter in the IQ Center
Introducing the ProtoMAX waterjet cutting table!
See the waterjet cutter in action!

The addition of a new water jet cutter makes it possible to cut intricate parts from a variety of materials not previously possible.

The process is similar to that of the laser cutter. Parts are created in either CAD or vector drawing software like Illustrator. Those drawings are converted into paths that the high pressure water jet follows to cut your part.

The fine abrasives used in the process make a smooth, almost polished edge on the parts.

The IQ Center logo being cut from steel using the new ProtoMAX waterjet cutter

Stop into the IQ Center to take a look at some of the sample parts we have created. We’d love to talk about how you and your students can utilize ProtoMAX in your class.

The finished IQ Center logo cut from steel using the new ProtoMAX waterjet cutter