Written By: Scott Buth, CEA, Alternative Machine Tool, LLC (MDNA Member Firm)
The answer is simple. . .because it’s easy. You may have been approached by a customer to add Wire EDM capabilities or you are currently sending out your Wire EDM work, but you no longer need to do so. You don’t know where to start? Here’s a guide to help you.
Wire EDM (Electrical Discharge Machine) is a CNC machine that cuts most conductive materials with high precision. The computer control guides a thin fine brass wire around a predetermined path. Sparks controlled by the machine jump from the wire to the conductive material thousands of times per second, eroding the material away with high accuracy. The cut speed is determined by material type, material thickness and cutting conditions. Uses for a Wire EDM can be as simple as shape cutting of production parts to extreme accuracy and surface finish requirements found in Aerospace and Medical.
The infancy of Wire EDM is over, and the machines have become common placed in many shops. It is no longer considered the “Black Magic” that is was in the Late 80’s. While the machines are still specialized in comparison to purchasing a CNC Machining Center or CNC Lathe, a dealer that specializes in EDM can help you to make your venture into Wire EDM simple and painless.
You should consider the following parameters when shopping for a Wire EDM
- What is the size of the part that I need to cut? (Both the overall block and the actual cut.)
- What is the thickness of my part? (This will determine the Z Axis Height required)
- Do I need to cut a Taper on my Part? (This will determine if you need at least a 4 Axis Machine)
- Is my part need to be flat on the Top and Bottom? (This will determine if you need a Submerged Tank)
- Will I be starting my cut inside a start hole or will I come in from an outside edge?
- Do I need an Automatic Wire Threader to be able to run the machine unattended?
- How will I program the machine? Will I use my existing CAM software?
- When I purchase the machine who will install it and train my operators?
- Is the machine I am considering still supported by the OEM?
- Where will I purchase my supplies such as Wire and Filters after I buy a machine?
Alternative Machine Tool and it sister companies (Midwest EDM and Desert EDM) are making it easy for manufacturing companies to add a Wire EDM to their capabilities, without braking the bank. We have the people and processes to get you started in or add to your capacity in Wire EDM.
You can visit Alternative Machine Tool, A member of MDNA at http://alternativemachinetool.com/
For more information on USED WIRE EDM’s or to buy, sell or trade them you can also contact any of MDNA’s machinery dealers, located around the world, by using the Find Members>Search tool on mdna.org