Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM)

At a Glance

Lifecycle

Lead Time

Materials

Tolerance

Prototyping (low qty)
As fast as 7 days
All available metal materials
ISO grade 7 to 12

About the Process

Fictiv offers two types of Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) processes, which are useful for cutting deep pockets and complex features such as gears and holes with a keyway. EDM is also a non-contact machining method and does not exert cutting forces on the part, therefore it works particularly well for delicate structures.

Wire EDM 
Wire EDM is performed by submerging a metal part in dielectric fluid where an electrically charged wire is then fed through the submerged metal component. The current passing through the wire creates sparks which cut through the material and form the desired shape of the component. Wire EDM is an ideal manufacturing process when you have clearance for the wire above and below the part feature.

Sinker EDM
The first step to performing Sinker EDM is to machine an electrode into the shape of the cutout you want to make. Sinker EDM is then performed by plunging your charged electrode into the metal component, which is submerged in dielectric fluid. The current passing through the electrode creates sparks which cut away the metal and form the desired shape of the internal feature.

Sinker EDM can be used to make bevel gears, internal gears, spiral gears, worm gears, however the process is very slow and costly so this may not be the best method for all applications. Sinker EDM can be used to create hard-to-reach, angular internal features such as blind keyholes which cannot be machined using other methods.

Machines

Fictiv's manufacturing network includes a range of EDM machines, including:

Wire EDM: GF Agie Charmilles - Cut 200, CUT E 600, CUT P 350

Sinker EDM: GF Agie Charmilles - Form 20

Minimum/Maximum Part Size

Part size
Min fillet radius
Max cutting depth
Wire EDM
Minimum: 8 x 8 mm
Maximum: 350 x 350 mm
0.5 mm
350 mm
Sinker EDM
Minimum: 0.3 x 0.3 mm
Maximum: 800 x 800 mm
0.5 mm
500 mm

Internal radius

We support features with internal radii down to 0.4 mm (0.016").

Hole diamter

We can drill holes as small as 0.5mm (0.020") in diameter.

Hole Depth

Our maximum drillable hole depth is 12x the drill bit diameter.

Feature Depth

We recommend a maximum depth of cut of 5x tool diameter in both metals and plastics. Chat with us if your project requires more.

Related Resources

Fictiv for Robotics Teams