Metal Cutting

EDM Equipment

EDM, or electrical discharge machining, is capable of machining complex shapes in hard materials. The process includes an electrode and a workpiece, both submerged in dielectric fluid. Electrical current flows between the workpiece and electrode, repeatedly creating tiny plasma zones that instantaneously melt and remove the material. The electrode in EDM takes different forms. Wire EDM machines use a thin wire to cut. Ram EDM machines, or “die sinkers,” use electrodes that are custom machined into 3D shapes. The EDM process produces a cavity in the part that is the opposite or female version of the “male” electrode form. Similar to the ram EDM machine is the small-hole EDM machine, or “hole popper.” On this machine, the electrode is a cylinder used to machine a hole. These  machines can simply provide starter holes for wire EDM, but can also cut holes in materials that are too difficult to drill.

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Featured Zone Content

What it Takes to Do Unattended Wire EDM


The promise of running a wire EDM for long stretches without much operator attention is enticing, but many shops never manage to pull this off. Here are tips to make it happen, as offered by Mark Cicchetti, EDM technical director for Absolute Machine Tool’s Accutex EDM product line.

Hole Making as a Core Competency


This manufacturer leverages various nonconventional machining processes to create accurate holes in a range of tough materials. In fact, precision hole-making has become one of its specialties.

Scratching the Surface


Although this shop has yet to fully explore the capabilities of a new wire EDM’s unique motion system and other precision-boosting features, more incremental improvements have already spurred management to order a second, identical model.



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