EDM Basics - 5: Two EDM Processes
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WARNING: Machine tools present a safety hazard. Improper operation can result in severe injury. These topics are for non-laboratory study only and are not to be used in conjunction with the operation of any tool or machine described herein. Never use a machine tool without the supervision of a qualified instructor.
There are two different EDM processes: die-sinking EDM and wire-cut EDM. Die sinking is the most common as it is used for mold cavities. A die sinker simply pushes its way into the mold cavity with slow process of vaporization.
For wire EDM process, the required shape is generated by using a wire electrode. The wire is passed through the part much like a cheese cutter through cheese. The wire is almost always copper and since copper wears rapidly the wire is fed on reels. This gives the part being machined a fresh electrode at all times.
The movement of the wire is computer controlled in two axis (and sometimes more). This is exactly like any other CNC controlled process but in CNC EDM the shape is generated independently by guiding the wire

In the case of complicated shapes requiring cuts or angled, conical, or other unusual surfaces, the upper and lower wire guide systems carry out differing movements accordingly.

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label: edm, electircal discharge machining, electodes, voltage, dielectic fluids, graphite, wire edm, die-sinking, injection molding