The Student Innovation Center Laboratory of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE) features a Flow Mach 2 abrasive waterjet capable of cutting a wide variety of materials. ABE’s waterjet is primarily used to cut parts used in ABE undergraduate and graduate coursework and for ABE-led research projects. The waterjet is operated by ABE staff, and is also available for reasonably-sized cutting projects to other Iowa State University (ISU) Engineering departments, ISU non-engineering departments, and various ISU-sanctioned groups. Part Design Guidelines
  • Parts are cut based on two-dimensional drawings submitted in DXF format
    • AutoCAD, Solidworks, Autodesk Inventor, and other CAD software are all capable of exporting parts in a DXF format
  • Ensure that the DXF is submitted in 1:1 scale
  • DXF part file naming should be descriptive and must include your name, part name, material thickness, and quantity. Example: waterjetuser_samplepart_250in_8pcs.dxf
  • Maximum part dimension size is 120.0″ L x 78.0″ W
Allowable Materials:
  • Aluminum
  • Steel
  • Plexiglass
  • Glass
  • Wood (plywood, OSB, pressboard, solid wood)
  • Rubber
  • Foam
  • Fiberglass
  • Composites
Non-Allowable Materials:
  • Tempered Glass
  • Advanced Ceramics
  FAQ’s [su_spoiler title=”How do I submit a cutting request?” style=”fancy” icon=”arrow”] Go to the ABE website, under the research tab, click on Research Facilities and Laboratories. It will bring you to ABE Research Facilities and Laboratory page. Look for the Student Innovation Center Laboratory-Water Jet Cutting Service link. Click on the link that will get you to the Water Jet webpage.
  1. Fill out the request form
  2. Send it to
[/su_spoiler] [su_spoiler title=”What is the preferred design format for submission?” style=”fancy” icon=”arrow”]
  • We prefer DXF format.
[/su_spoiler] [su_spoiler title=”What can be cut with the water jet?” style=”fancy” icon=”arrow”]
  • Almost anything! Send us an email or call the number below if you have something unique.
[/su_spoiler] [su_spoiler title=”What is the upper limit on thickness?” style=”fancy” icon=”arrow”]
  • Depending on the type of material, we can go up to 2’’ thick on steel.
[/su_spoiler] [su_spoiler title=”How do you charge for a service?” style=”fancy” icon=”arrow”]
  • We charge $34.17 per hour of cutting time.
[/su_spoiler] [su_spoiler title=”Is there a minimum base charge?” style=”fancy” icon=”arrow”]
  • Yes, there is a $10 minimum base charge.
  • Base charge justification:
    • You pay $10 for any job that requires 1-20 minutes of the machine time. Anything above 20 minutes will be based on the $34.17/hr rate.
[/su_spoiler] [su_spoiler title=”What type of payment do you accept?” style=”fancy” icon=”arrow”]
  1. Program worktage (PGxxxxxx) with department detail (DDyyyyy), intramural, or Ubill.
  2. Ubill (ISU students working on their own projects). Just provide you ISU ID.
  3. Intramural (ISU Student Clubs etc..).
[/su_spoiler] [su_spoiler title=”Where do I get cutting materials?” style=”fancy” icon=”arrow”] Consult with us first, we may have what you needed and can give it to you for free. If we don’t, you can get them from these vendors: Sargent Metal Fabricating 650 Arrasmith Trail, Ames, IA 50010 515-232-1535   Howe’s Welding & Metal Fabrication 811 S Duff Ave, Ames, IA 50010 515-232-4234   ISU Student Innovation Center 606 Bissell Rd, Ames, IA 50011 515-294-2649 [/su_spoiler] [su_spoiler title=”Who do I contact if I have a question regarding the Water Jet?” style=”fancy” icon=”arrow”]
  1. Send your questions to
  2. Call 515-294-2985
[/su_spoiler]   Please submit the following request form to to request waterjet cutting. Request form