Call Us : +49 (241) 9978 3350     Email us :

JetCut3D: Optimized CAM system for an novel water jet (cutting) concept

Funded Project

This research and development project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the KMU-innovativ: Research for Manufacturing (funding number 02P18K071) and implemented by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA). The author is responsible for the content of this publication.



CAx tools have become an integral part of a production environment providing the necessary degree of flexibility and efficiency to realize high quality products while keep manufacturing times and costs low. Meanwhile current products and parts increase in complexity, their requirements to quality and form accuracy as well as an in increase in the usage of conventionally hard-to-machine materials. Established manufacturing technologies like milling reach their technological and economical limits. Alternative manufacturing technologies with integrated manufacturing solutions can provide the necessary efficiency to cope with these challenges.

An alternative manufacturing technology for the machining of hard-to-machine materials is jet cutting. Jet cutting provides a highly flexible tool with a high cutting rate, which can be used to almost machine every material. Especially when it comes to machining of conventionally hard-to-machine materials or material combinations the technology abrasive jet cutting great advantages: The mechanical forces applied to the part are relatively small and no thermally induced changes occur in the material composition. In comparison to other alternative manufacturing technologies jet cutting has an increased flexibility realizing a multitude of different manufacturing tasks (e.g. cutting, milling or for cleaning of surfaces). Current water jet machines provide 5-axis capabilities and water pressures around 6000 bar. This development greatly broadens the scope of applicability of the water jet technology. However, software solutions for this technology, especially with the option to integrate them into existing process chains are not available on the market and currently state-of-the-art milling algorithms are being used for implementing water jet cutting process.


  • Optimized waterjet cutting process
  • Calculation of waterjet deformation
  • PLM system integrated CAM module


  • Reduction of non-productive times by 70%
  • Reduction of costs for hard-to-machine materials by up to 50%
  • Increased efficiency by providing a flexible manufacturing solution
  • Reduction of used resources by efficient process with reduced reject rate

This approach provides not the desired precision, as the shape of the water jet is not taken into consideration. Providing the correct tool path program depends heavily on the experience of the involved personnel.

This project aims at providing a sophisticated software solution allowing the user to increase the efficiency of their water jet process while reducing costs and time. The targeted CAM module will be capable of representing

This model-based approach will allow are more efficient process planning the increase the quality of produced parts by calculating water jet deformation for each tool path position. AixPath provides in this project a wholistic software solution integrated into a PLM system, with the necessary interfaces to affect process execution as well as a post processor to conduct trials on demonstrator machines at the Fraunhofer IPT. For this purpose, AixPath is enhancing the algorithms for toolpath planning provided by ModuleWorks GmbH by extending the part programming capabilities so that the advanced water jet cutting process can be controlled and programmed.

The resulting solution consisting of a prototype machine for water jet cutting as well as an integrated CAM module for optimized process planning will provide the following benefits:

  • Reduction of non-productive times by 70% by utilizing a continues integrated process chain
  • Reduction of costs for hard-to-machine materials by up to 50%
  • Increased efficiency by providing a flexible manufacturing solution
  • Reduction of used resources by efficient process with reduced reject rate

Project Timeline

Project Start - January 2019

Project End - September 2021


The project is being conducted together with the following partners:

Fraunhofer IPT is providing their technological expertise in the area of waterjet cutting to further optimize the efficiency and precision of this process.

farynhofer IPT

H.G. Ridder Automatisierung GmbH is providing the necessary hardware and system engineering capabilities to adjust relevant process parameters and allow the precise control of the water jet cutting process.


Dipl.-Ing. Thorsten Schreiner

AixPath GmbH Henricistra├če 50 52072 Aachen

+49 241 9978 3349

Call Us : +49 (241) 9978 3350