Electrical discharge machining – WIRE CUTTING EDM PROCESSING TECHNOLOGY IN ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING
Electrical discharge machining, what it consists of
EDM is a machining technology that exploits the erosive capabilities of electrical discharges. It can be used on conductive materials, metals.
Wire EDM is a widespread technology in Additive Manufacturing post processing because it allows the detachment of the component from the 3D printing platform in a flexible and safe way. It can also operate on small parts or any other component producing waste, leaving the profiles flawless. This process has complete processing autonomy and reduces production costs.
In mechanical machining, erosion is the process that removes and eliminates material from a metal component to give the desired shape.
Wire EDM uses a conductive wire that functions as an electrode, which cuts the profile of each individual component. Wire EDM is extremely more precise with greater feed rates, versatility and reliability.
The machining process consists of advancing the cutting tool to the material to be machined. This phase takes place inside a dielectric in the form of a liquid.
The cutting tool advances continuously as erosion proceeds while maintaining a certain distance from the material being processed so as to benefit the suspension of the material being removed. It is essential to maintain the distance between the two materials to avoid unwanted welds, rather than EDM.
EDM does not produce a chip but produces a powder as scrap which disperses into the dielectric fluid.
What can be done with wire EDM
EDM machining is not possible if electronic devices are missing. This is because the voltage being applied is intermittent. Intermittent breaks must occur to ensure proper passage of the waste powder.
With this process it is possible:
- obtain complex shapes with inclined cuts and surfaces;
- high precision cuts;
- machining of heat-treated components.