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As sharp as water

As sharp as water: the advantages of waterjet cutting

A tool for cutting an astonishing wide variety of materials, whose popularity is steadily growing. The waterjet cut was born in the Thirties for cutting paper, but its development didn't simply stop there. Thanks to the flair of Billie Schwacha, North American Aviation, in 1958 hydrojet cutting becomes high-pressured and starts working on hard materials, too. Murano glass included.

The benefits of hydrojet cutting

This is - approximately - how a waterjet cutter works, that is the tool for waterjet-cutting. This has already opened up new horizons in the fields of plastic, metal, stone, leather and countless other materials, which lasers cannot cut or would seriously damage, since they heat and change the properties of the material.

One of the greatest advantages of waterjet cutting, though, is represented by its precision, because it can attain an accuracy down to a tenth of a millimetre. Cutting so accurately so many materials and thicknesses up to 25 cm, at a relatively low cost and in a safe and environment-friendly way means starting a revolution in the world of Venetian-glass designs, as well.

Technology renews the Murano-glass tradition

Waterjet can indeed boost original alternatives for designers, who have the chance of sketching forms and volumes which could not be realised prior to this tool. What does it mean, in simpe terms?

If you take a look at any Venetian-glass lamp or object, both old and modern, you will notice that none of them shows wide cuts through its surface. The mystery is easily explained: glass is a rigid, and therefore fragile, material. Cutting a wide part of its surface is thus out of the question: it would shatter into pieces.

Well, waterjet is the solution to this thorny problem. This tool has moreover made the project of Vistosi's first lamp with such a cut come true: Ferea. And it has given the designer, Emmanuel Babled, the chance of exploiting all the lighting power of glass. Another example is Dos, designed by Roberto Maci.

This innovation can therefore be counted among Vistosi's attempts at taking a step beyond the Murano-glass tradition. Not in order to abandon it, no, but rather in order to further enhance the beauty and properties of glass, combining traditional tools and the latest discoveries in the field of engineering. In order, then, to merge the classic and the technologic in a creation which, just as dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, sees further.

TAGS: murano-glass

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