Metal Cutting

EDM Equipment

In EDM, or electrical discharge machining, the equivalent of tiny lightning bolts perform the material removal. Though slow in terms of metal removal rate, EDM is capable of machining complex shapes in hard materials. Mold and die makers, as well as makers of jet engine components, rely on EDM routinely. The process includes an electrode and a workpiece, both submerged in dielectric fluid. Current flows between the workpiece and electrode, repeatedly creating tiny plasma zones with temperatures around 10,000 degrees C. The high temperatures produce localized, instantaneous melting of the material. Though the process may seem violent, it occurs on such a tiny scale that the resulting metal removal can be precisely controlled. The electrode in EDM takes different forms. Wire EDM machines use a thin wire to cut with electricity, with the wire advancing into the hard metal part as if it was a slow-motion saw blade. By contrast, ram EDM machines, which are also called “die sinkers,” use electrodes that are custom machined into 3D shapes. The EDM process then 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. Often these machines are used simply to provide starter holes for wire EDM, but the technology may also be used to machine finished holes in materials that are too difficult to drill.

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A Big-Picture View of Micromachining


 Matrix Tooling makes injection molds for components that have features you cannot see.

Wire EDM with a Twist


Wire EDM units that swivel a horizontally guided electrode wire in a CNC-controlled E axis give this shop the workpiece clearance and flexibility to produce complex, high-precision PCD-tipped cutting tools.



More Accurate Taper Cutting with Wire EDM

By: Mark Albert
Cutting tall, steeply tapered surfaces with wire EDM often creates an overburn situation if the slope of the wire path changes from the top to the bottom of the cut. A feature called Volumetric Taper Compensation with four-axis overburn control compensates for this effect on FANUC wire EDM models from Methods Machine Tools Inc.

Sodick SL400G

EDM Stabilizes Wire Tension

By: Edited by Jedd Cole
Sodick's SL400G rigid, linear-motor-driven wire EDM incorporates a Fixed Jet (FJ) automatic wire threader, said to offer accurate and reliable threading rate for both submerged and non-submerged threading.

Sodick SL-G wire EDM

Wire EDMs Reduce Number of Cuts

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
Sodick offers two models of its SL-G wire EDMs, the SL400G and the SL600G, both driven by linear motors.

Accutex DS-550CMAX die-sinker EDM

Die-Sinker EDM Features Synchronized Pulse Generator

By:
Absolute Machine Tools will exhibit the Accutex DS-550CMAX die-sinker EDM featuring a dual, digital synchronized pulse generator to achieve optimal cutting conditions.

Accutex AL56SA wire EDM

EDM Driven by Linear Shaft Motor

By: Edited by Stephanie Monsanty
Available from Absolute Machine Tools, the Accutex AL56SA wire EDM features a high-speed linear shaft motor designed for precise linear and circular interpolation.


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