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Traditionally, electrodes have been measured in two different ways: either directly in the erosion machine or on a CMM. However, Zoller says its Smile EDM quickly and easily measures cutting tools and electrodes to micron-range precision. The machine can be used for both manufacturing processes. Parameters, such as offset angles, eccentricity, length and others, of the electrode can be measured as well as metalcutting tools such as drills, milling cutters and reamers.
Tool management functions, such as setting sheets for tools and electrodes, are standard features in the company’s pilot 3.0 software. Measuring values are output on a label printer or directly to the machine control to prevent machine crashes. Data transfer via RFID technology is also available. The smile EDM features a measuring range of 400 and 200 mm on the Z and X axes, respectively, and a diameter range of 400 mm. The machine is also equipped with a measuring system for the Y axis with a range of ±40 mm.
Can Additive Manufacturing Increase Milling Feed Rates?
With PCD tooling, yes it can. The diamond cutting edges demand a large number flutes to realize their full effectiveness. Traditional methods for making cutter bodies limit the number of flutes, but 3D printing is delivering tools with higher flute density and other enhancements as well.