Wire Cut EDM Machines - more than just tooling and mold-making equipment

Posted on Aug 19, 2020

Wire Cut EDM Machines - more than just tooling and mold-making equipment

Wire cut EDM is primarily used for machining various punching connections with a mixture of 2D and 3D surfaces or parts, plastic molds, powder metallurgy molds and so on. Yet it may also break different sample plates, electric steel sheets, silicon steel sheets, materials with semiconductors, or precious metals. Moreover, it can process tiny processing, abnormal shape grooves, or standard defects of sample parts, and is widely used in electrical, valuable machine tools, light industry, military industry, and other fields. A wire cut EDM machine is basically a non-contact fret saw in the 21st century.

Wire saws are used to cut complex shapes from woodblocks. The key to versatility is the blade, which is actually just an abrasive wire. Some people think that CNC wire cut machines are only useful for tool and mold manufacturers, but this is not the case. The wire cut EDM technology has advantages in a wide range of applications including small batch production. In this blog post, we will talk in-depth about the wide range of applications of a wire cut EDM machine.


Some Wire Cut EDM Machine Basics

Knowing where to use the EDM process helps to understand it. Just like the sinking and hole cutting of EDM, a CNC wire cut machine uses an electric arc to corrode materials. Place the conductive workpiece under running water and bring it close to the electrode. At the closest position, high pressure jumps across the gap, ejecting tiny pieces of material from the surface, and water takes them away. The arc occurs at a high frequency, gradually expanding the gap between the tool and the workpiece. If the gap is too large, no arc will be formed, so as the workpiece corrodes, the electrode will move closer. Modern machines use sophisticated gap management algorithms to optimize cutting speed while limiting touch with the workpiece by the cable. In sinking EDM, arc discharge occurs in a large area, so the electrode advances slowly. In contrast, the wire diameter used by a wire cut EDM machine is usually only 0.010 inches. The path can be cut without removing much material, so the wire can pass through the workpiece at a speed of a few inches per minute. In a typical CNC machine tool, the wire is vertical, and the workpiece moves relative to the wire in the X and Y directions. Since the metal wire will also corrode and will pass through the gap, it is technically a consumable. The inclined wire can cut the taper in the workpiece.

Read More: A Brief History Of Wire Cut EDM


Traditional Wire Cut EDM Machine Applications

Mechanical parts & mold machining

Wire cut EDM is widely used to process various molds, such as punching dies, extrusion dies, powder metallurgy dies, bending dies and plastic dies. Among these different types of molds, cutting molds occupy a large share. For precious mold processing, a CNC wire cut machine is an indispensable technology. By adjusting different compensation values ​​during the programming process, the Wire cut EDM can cut worktable molds, punching plates, demolding templates, etc., so that it can easily meet the requirements of the clamping gap and machining accuracy. Advanced molds have the characteristics of a complex structure, difficult production, high precision, long life, high efficiency, and low material consumption. A wire cut EDM tool is used in attempting to manufacture a new product to take the pieces out of the workpiece without creating a mold. The production time is significantly shortened and the cost is reduced. Besides, since it is easy to adjust the electrical parameters of wire cut EDM, thin plates can be overlapped and cut together to improve processing efficiency. Different from the processing technology of manufacturing chips, wire cut EDM has the potential to improve material utilization. Since the welding wire removes very little material, it usually leaves a large number of internal plugs. Milling or grinding will turn it into a pile of chips, but using a CNC wire cut EDM machine can save it and use it for other tasks.


Probably the most famous application is cutting contours in extrusion dies. For aluminum extrusion, these are usually made of H13 tool steel. First, drill a hole in the mold blank, and then pass the wire through. The CNC passes the blank through the welding wire to cut the required contour. On a modern wire cut EDM, the wire can be cut obliquely into shape with tapered sides. A CNC wire cut machine can also be used to make punch tools. A blank of tool steel is moved around the welding wire to cut the required profile. Similarly, the taper reduction function is very useful.


Other Applications of Wire Cut EDM

Any 2D contour can be cut from the conductive material through the CNC wire cut machine. In some cases, broaching and milling can be performed, but the wire cut EDM machine has the following advantages:

• No cutting force can process very small parts

• Produce sharp internal angles

• Ability to cut very hard materials at relatively high speeds

• Eliminates the limitation of conventional metal removal on design

• No special tools required

• Higher material utilization

• Suitable for unattended processing


One type of application for a CNC wire cut machine is the manufacture of precision machine parts, especially where they are needed in small batches. Sewing machine components will be a good example, gears and splines are other good examples. Other categories are medical equipment, surgical instruments, and small hand tools. For each method, complex paths can be cut on very hard materials making CNC wire cut EDMs highly cost-effective.

Read More: Let’s look at the Pros and Cons of a EDM Wire Cut Machine


CNC Wire Cut Machines on IMTS-Exhibition.com

MTS gathered worldwide wire cut EDM manufacturers into this online platform. Browse and search for your next supplier with us.

You can find many CNC wire cut machine manufacturers on our site that are suitable for gray cast iron processing. Just head to our product section or check out our search function to find hundreds of suppliers in our product database.  If you want to learn more about wire cut EDM machine related questions and applications make sure to check out our other blog entries.

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