Shim cutting techniques

Has anyone had any success cutting 25um to 100um shims? any advice if so?

Hello @AGardiner! Welcome to the WAZER Forum, and thank you for joining!

Unfortunately I do not have any first hand experience with cutting shims at 25um to 100 um. This is essentially 0.025mm to 0.1mm. I have not experimented with any materials at this thin of a thickness. What I do know, is that when working with materials approximately 1mm or less, our concern when using a water jet becomes making sure the material does not move/shift in any direction.

In order to make sure the 25um to 100um material cuts properly, I recommend using a scrap material (can be 1mm or thicker) and sandwiching the shim between the two scrap material pieces. Instead of sandwiching, you can also try placing just the scrap material on top of the shim without the scrap material under it at the same time. This will help guarantee that the shim is mounted to the cut bed - and will stay flat to the cut bed. That is the importance. Make sure the scrap material is not pliable. I recommend a sheet of polyethylene. It is decently cheap and easy to mount to a flat surface.

In the past I have used twin stick tape from 3M to hold thin steel down while surface grinding. The tape is somewhat waterproof so I think it would work for your shim cutting. I use a lot of PCB composite board on our wazer as it is cheap flat and easy to cut so this might be a good backing option.

Here is the rule of thumb when cutting thin stock sheet metal. If held out, can it stand on its own? Or does the metal bend over due to its own weight?

I have had success cutting 0.03" Blue spring steel on the WAZER. The issue with WAZER is if you go thinner (like aluminum foil or similar extremely thing metal sheet) then the water pressure alone causes blowout of the metal sheet. You want to see the water take .5 - 1 second of time or greater to pierce through the material to know it should provide a decent edge with defined lines.

If you are cutting anything thinner, chances are, you are very limited on the definition of lines, and also, that stuff is just a hassle to fasten to the bed.

All things considered, I would not reccomend the WAZER for cutting metals at that thickness.

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Hello @john.jolliffe ,
I intend to cut PCB board (with fiberglass substrate), about 1.3mm thick (0.05"). What speed parameter would you recommend to use for such material?
Thanks in advance for your feedback…

I use the settings for acrylic and it works well.
The only issue I have had was with layer blowing apart but I found using the settings for a thinner sheet prevents this for occurring. So for your 1.3mm I would start off using the settings for 1mm acrylic.

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I would like to watch a clip showing how to run a machine.Do you have any clip on U tube that might help me

I got delayed in my test on PCB board. I had a chance to do it today and experienced the same problem of layer blowing appart, even with settings for thiner material.
Almost acceptable results were obtained on PCB board with fiberglass substrate, worst results with plain resin substrate…
To my opinion, Wazer is not the appropriate way to manufacture openings in PCB board…