Rapid Water Jet Design
Electrical Discharge Machining
What is it and how does it work?
Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) is a subtractive manufacturing process in which metal is removed from a source material by what is called “electric spark erosion.” An electric spark is used as a cutting tool, and pulsed at a high frequency through the electrode into the workpiece to produce the desired shape of the finished product.
For EDM to work, both the workpiece material and the electrode must be conductors of electricity. It works much the same way as an electrical short that burns a small hole in the piece of metal it touches, but in a highly controlled and directed way.
The process can be performed in 2 different ways:
- The first involves an electrode (tool) constructed like a mold in the desired shape of your final product that is then lowered onto your chosen material to burn away the excess metal.
- The second uses a thin electrode approximately the diameter of a needle which is controlled by advanced computer programming to cut the desired shape.