Punching competes with waterjet cutting

18.08.2021 11:34

More cutting methods exist today than ever before. While ratcheting used to be the primary alternative for cutting industrial materials, nearly a dozen viable prospects exist today.

To ensure the accuracy, effectiveness and cost efficiency of projects, any cutting method intended for a particular part should also play a fundamental role in the design phase.

Two of the most common cutting processes offered by Dr. Dietrich Mueller GmbH are punching and waterjet cutting. Both manufacturing processes have benefits that are compatible for special requirements.

Waterjet cutting

Waterjet cutting, as the name has long indicated, uses jets of water under high pressure to cut soft materials.  If harder materials such as metals or plastics are to be cut, an abrasive material can be added to the water so that the water jet can cut these materials as well.  This method offers quite a few advantages over punching and other cutting methods:

- clean cuts

- low heat

- tolerances

Advantage of waterjet cutting: Clean cuts

Among these advantages are primarily the clean cuts that the design produces.

Many companies consider waterjet cuts to be "finished cuts," that is, aesthetically acceptable cuts that do not require secondary finishing processes. This is essential for apps where financial or time constraints are a factor - post-production processes cost time and capital in your project.

Advantage of waterjet cutting: Low heat

The second fundamental benefit of waterjet cutting is that it generates little heat on its own and transfers even less to the material being cut. This is elementary for a series of reasons:

It allows the use of waterjet cutting on fusible and combustible materials - such as plastics, laminates, acrylics and more - that cannot be cut with laser or plasma. It avoids the release of heat-related toxins in the workplace. There are no heat-affected zones on the cut parts, eliminating a secondary finishing process that is often necessary inside laser- or plasma-cut parts.

Advantage of waterjet cutting: Tolerances

Waterjet cutters are able to meet tighter tolerances within their cuts because the cutters are operated by high-precision software. In addition, this process does not create mechanical stresses in the material being cut, avoiding the tolerance loss caused by warpage.

When manufacturing parts from electro-insulating materials, it must be accepted that it is often necessary to dry the manufactured modules. We make this possible in an oven under a light vacuum.


Punching is an extremely common method of cutting, during which material is punched with a tool to create the selected part.  Punching brings many benefits:

- Speed

- uniformity

- Cost

Punching advantage: Speed

The majority of die cutting processes, including rotary die cutting, steel rule die cutting and progressive die cutting, are continuous processes. In these processes, rolls of material are always fed into the system and punched parts are always output.

Pragmatic elements in particular can be produced at high speed. Effortless seals, as an example, can be completed in one second with a single stroke. More complicated elements can be produced quickly from the use of a progressive die.

Punching advantage: Uniformity

Particularly essential for immense quantities of identical components, die cutting produces elements with a high degree of uniformity. Punching out a part with a swift motion avoids variations that can occur during processes that cut a texture around the edges. Tool and die fatigue can occur, nevertheless a specialist in punching parts knows his machines and replaces affected components long before they can affect the quality of the elements.

Stamping advantage: cost

Because of its ability to create extremely significant quantities of parts with a high strength of uniformity, stamping is a fairly cost-effective method of manufacturing parts. The high output reduces time and therefore labor costs, and uniform product family reduces losses associated with quality assurance.

Dr. Dietrich Müller GmbH offers both manufacturing methods for the production of precision parts made of electrical insulating materials, heat conducting products, sealing materials and technical foils.

Pricing for waterjet parts and stamped parts

Prices for components made of differentiated materials can be calculated using our "Digital fabricator" tool.

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