Wire EDM is an often misunderstood capability. Customers perceive it as expensive, slow, and only necessary for applications requiring high levels of precision. However, in reality, wire EDM can yield high-quality parts quickly and more cost-effectively than CNC machining services under the right circumstances.
You might not think you could benefit from choosing a precision machine shop that offers wire EDM services, but we’re here to tell you to think again.
What Is Wire EDM?
Wire electric discharge machining (EDM) is an incredibly precise cutting method that leverages electricity generated from a copper or brass wire submerged in a tub of water. The electric discharges can only cut through conductive materials, meaning plastics are incompatible with wire EDM.
Benefits of Wire EDM Services
There’s plenty to love about wire EDM, but customers can benefit from wire EDM services when these factors are involved:
As long as a material is electrically conductive, we can cut it with wire EDM. Even exceptionally hard materials like Inconel, titanium, Hastelloy, and carbide present no problem for this manufacturing method.
Wire EDM can hold tolerances tighter than waterjet cutting or laser cutting. During wire EDM, the wire we use is constantly replenished, and each spark of electrical discharge comes from a fresh tool that hasn’t been worn down. As a result, wire EDM parts are extremely precise and consistent.
When CNC machining a part, we’re limited by the radius of our cutting tools, preventing us from achieving sharp angles. But with wire EDM machining, our wires can be as small as 0.006”, allowing us to cut intricate, detailed designs that would not be possible on a mill or a lathe.
Wire EDM may not be the fastest process, but we can program our machines to run 24/7 unattended to provide customers with high-quality parts in a short amount of time.
With wire EDM, we have the ability to prepare and stack multiple pieces of material so that we can cut numerous parts simultaneously. The combination of part stacking and unattended manufacturing maximizes efficiency and yields consistent parts quickly and cost-effectively.
Wire EDM Success Story
One of our customers requested parts made from a 10” x 8” x 5” piece of stainless steel. The parts’ profiles had tight tolerances requirements, and there were many design intricacies on the external surfaces.
We set up a wire EDM machine to run the parts overnight unattended for 10-12 hours, which shortened our customer’s lead time by about a third. The parts came out within tolerance despite the complexity of the design.
When you choose a precision machine shop that offers wire EDM services, you benefit from creative solutions to manufacturing challenges. With multiple capabilities at our disposal, Ricaurte Precision has the freedom to select the optimal process for your part. Request a quote today!