How does waterjet cutting compare to laser cutting?
When comparing with lasers:
Abrasive waterjets machine materials that lasers cannot. (In particular reflective materials such as Aluminium and Copper.)
Abrasive jets do not heat your part, thus there is no thermal distortion or hardening of the material.
Precision abrasive jet machines can obtain the same or higher tolerances than lasers, especially as thickness increases.
Abrasive jets can machine thicker materials. How thick you can cut is a function of how long you are willing to wait. 2" steel and 3" aluminium are quite normal, whereas lasers are limited to 20mm (high powered laser).
Material can be stacked in order to cut multiple thin parts simultaneously.
Abrasivejets don't create "scaley" edges, which makes it easier to produce a high quality weld.