Exterior Waterjet Sculpture at Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center Exceeds Expectations

exterior water jet sculpture at museumSplit Rock Studios specializes in creating cultural and natural history exhibits for museums, interpretive centers, aquariums, zoos, political institutions. . . you name it – they’ve done it. And they never stopped enjoying it.

Challenge: The projects at Split Rock Studios are usually one-of-a-kind displays that are artistically designed and need architectural engineering for the installation.  The Key West Eco-Discovery Center project had its quirks… It was an exterior installation on an existing building so it would be exposed to an outdoor, ocean environment. A canopy covered sidewalk ran alongside the building. The display elements would have to be installed without removing the canopy supports for the sidewalk.

The final design included native fish, animals and plants, waterjet cut out of ½” aluminum. Each design element would be welded and powder coated. The largest element, a school of fish, was 48 feet long by 12 feet tall. The project included a somewhat long quoting process. However, once the project got underway the turn around had to be quick; approximately three to four weeks.

Waterjet Job Shop Requirements

  • Powder Coating: Because of the powder coating we needed waterjet cutting so the paint would stick to the cut edge. The heat of a laser alters the chemical make up of the metal and paint will not permanently adhere to the edge.
  • Large Size: Because of the large size of the elements we needed a waterjet cutter that had a large cutting surface.
  • Artistic Element: Because of the artistic element we needed a waterjet company that could use their waterjet as an artistic tool to achieve the quality that our customer expected.

exterior water jet sculpture at museumSolution: JIT Companies was referred to us as a waterjet job shop that specialized in one-off, more artistically challenging jobs. Their six foot by twelve foot Dynamic Waterjet® could accommodate the twelve-foot dimension of the largest element and their experience could accommodate how to cut the balance of the design on the longer dimension. We sent them a CAD file and they cleaned up the artwork to ensure smooth edges and sharp corners. JIT has more technology for dealing with artwork than the average waterjet job shop. JIT also engineered where to splice the elements to accommodate the installation around the canopy structure and the shipping of these large pieces to Florida. The job took four weeks to complete.

exterior waterjet sculpture at museumResult: The wall sculpture went together just as we planned. We were amazed at how incredibly easy it was to work with JIT Companies. We were impressed with their quality of work and their ability to understand the overall scope of the project, even to the extent that they could offer value-added engineering. JIT Companies has gained our confidence and we plan on continuing our relationship with them in the future.

For more information about JIT Companies waterjet cutting services, or JIT Companies’ other capabilities, please call us at 507-326-5240 or fill out this simple form.

Got glass laminating? 

Let’s talk about sandwiches made with glass… We make them.

JIT Companies’ Glass Laminating Process

glass laminating sample project JIT CompaniesAt JIT Companies, we have the glass laminating process down to a T. Starting with your artwork, JIT Companies prints the image on a PET sheet, and the flexibility of what can be printed is pretty amazing. All colors, all opacities, fades, blends, faux materials, images, text. The printed art is positioned with an appropriate interlayer laminate and the piece is heated to fuse the materials. Laminated glass typically meets the safety code requirements for tempered glass but offers the option of graphics, patterns, colors, and select textures. Once we have your sandwich, complete with the fillings of your choice, JIT Companies gives you your desired edge with our state-of-the-art glass edging machines. We can polish, bevel, ease, pencil, or seam without damaging the laminated area. Start to finish and edge to edge, JIT Companies is your best partner for your laminated glass project.

Learn more about JIT Companies Laminated Glass:

UltraVue Laminated Glass
Architectural Laminated Glass

Contact JIT Companies at 507-326-5240 or fill out this simple form to get a quote on your next glass laminating project.

What is Abrasive Waterjet Cutting?

Abrasive waterjet cutting machineJIT Companies has capabilities to do two types of waterjet cutting to help you achieve the perfect finished product: Water-only water jet cutting and abrasive waterjet cutting. Today we are going explain how abrasive waterjet cutting works and how JIT Companies’ capabilities outweigh any limitations.

How Abrasive Waterjet Cutting Works

Abrasive waterjet cutting enables the processing of virtually any difficult-to-cut material and has far fewer limitations as opposed to other types of CNC cutting. Material types include metal of any alloy, glass, plastics, and ceramics, to name a few.  In the abrasive waterjet cutting process, a metered amount of garnet abrasive is introduced into the water stream at the aperture.  With the pressurized water traveling at 3000 feet per second, the garnet mineral is what actually does the cutting through the process of erosion, resulting in a smooth sandblasted edge finish on the piece. With JIT’s Ultra High-Pressure CNC controlled waterjets, material thickness is far less of a problem. Material as thick as 6” is easily processed.  When multiple parts of the same configuration are needed, material can often be stacked to facilitate volume cutting. The Dynamic cutting heads automatically adjust for edge taper when cutting multiple layers to ensure consistent part geometry.  Because of the small .040″ kerf, parts can be nested tightly together in order to maximize material yield.  With JIT Companies as your project partner for your abrasive waterjet cutting, you now have a single source for all of your cutting needs.

Check out the Abrasive Waterjet Cutting Machine in Action!

Other JIT Companies Services:

Water-Only Waterjet Cutting
Metal Finishing
Laminated Glass Services

Next time you have an abrasive waterjet cutting challenge, contact JIT Companies at 507-326-5240 to find a solution!