Threading A Horizontal Wire EDM
A wire EDM machine designed for micromachining uses negative air pressure to thread the fine wire.
Makino’s UPJ-2 wire EDM machine orients the wire horizontally. This facilitates micromachining operations requiring fine wire, because the slug falls easily out of the way. One user of this machine is Hummingbird Precision Machine in Lacey, Washington. This video taken at Hummingbird shows how the machine threads the wire. Negative air pressure allows the machine to reliably thread wire as small as 20 microns in diameter.
Excessive wire consumption on a wire electrical discharge machine is costly. Technology that allows slower unspooling speeds without compromising results appears to be the answer.
Originally, wire EDM had two things going against it. It was slow, and often it left an undesirable surface finish. In the last few years, wire EDM builders have fixed the speed problem. Now they're well on their way to fixing the surface finish problem.
By systemizing die making into repeatable steps, Dies Plus, a division of Otto Engineering, is using its machinists to effectively make dies. This solution relies on a paperless color-coding system to convey the tolerances machinists need to hit in order for tool and die makers to do the final fitting.