Zone: EDM Equipment

OVERVIEW: 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.

Featured Zone Content

Room To Grow

This wire EDM job shop in Wisconsin acquired a submerged cutting wire machine that lets it handle larger, taller workpieces than just about any other job shop in the country. The new machine has a “column-up” option that adds a riser block between the X-axis saddle and the Z-axis column casting to give it exceptionally tall cutting capacity. The machine was installed in November 2007....MORE

More Accurate Taper Cutting with Wire EDM

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. ...MORE

Sodick SL400G

EDM Stabilizes Wire Tension

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. ...MORE

Sodick SL-G wire EDM

Wire EDMs Reduce Number of Cuts

Sodick offers two models of its SL-G wire EDMs, the SL400G and the SL600G, both driven by linear motors. ...MORE

Accutex DS-550CMAX die-sinker EDM

Die-Sinker EDM Features Synchronized Pulse Generator

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

Accutex AL56SA wire EDM

EDM Driven by Linear Shaft Motor

Available from Absolute Machine Tools, the Accutex AL56SA wire EDM features a high-speed linear shaft motor designed for precise linear and circular interpolation. ...MORE

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