Wire EDM

Wire EDM Basic Operations:

By John Stokes (john@metalproducts.com)

Wire EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) is a computer numerical controlled (CNC) machine that uses an electrical current to cut metal. These machines use a .010 of an inch diameter wire, that can be made of copper or brass, to conduct the necessary electrical current used to eviscerate dust sized pieces of the metal block it is cutting. Along with the brass or copper wire, wire EDM machines also require a constant flushing of dielectric water to help control the sparking coming from the brass wire, control the temperature of the electrical current, and flush out the cut material. Most EDM jobs require the cut to start on the outside edge of the part, or within an existing hole in the part.

Tolerances and Best Uses:

Wire EDM machines use either a copper or brass based wire to conduct the electrical current that actually cuts the metal part. By using an electrical current to cut material, the tolerances that these machines can keep are incredibly precise. Most wire EDM machines can hold up to .0005 of an inch tolerance. Because of the tight tolerances they can keep, these machines are the best option for cutting hardened tool steel for tooling and die components, and other tight tolerance custom manufacturing projects.

EDM wire fed into the lower head.

Wire for our wire EDM machine feeding into the lower head.

Metal Products Company Capabilities:

Here at Metal Products Company, we currently house four different wire EDM machines. We use our wire EDM machines for multiple purposes, including: cutting in-house die components, outside die components, and a bevy of other custom manufacturing projects. We use a copper alloy based wire that allows for faster cutting due to its strength, which reduces wire breakage, and in turn reduces the need to stop the cut. Our wire EDM machines can hold up to .0005 of an inch tolerances. We also have an EDM hole popper, which allows us to create a starting hole in blocks to begin the wire as close to the programmed cut as possible. All of our wire EDM machines are Charmilles brand EDM machines. Our wire EDM machines include:

Metal Products EDM Machinery List:
  • Charmilles Robofil 290
  • Charmilles Robofil 300
  • Two Charmilles Robofil 310
  • EDM Hole Popper

For more information, you can visit our wire EDM page. For direct contact, you can find our phone and email contact information here.

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