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Exploring the Precision of Electrical Discharge Machining


For the right application, electrical discharge machining (EDM) can transform how your intricate parts and components can be designed and crafted. 

At The Technology House (TTH), our team can use this process to create your precision parts, moving them from design to delivery in a matter of weeks, while prioritizing both cost-effectiveness and uncompromised quality. EDM can set a new benchmark for precision component manufacturing and give you a significant advantage in your industry.  

Understanding Electrical Discharge Machining

At its core, electrical discharge machining is a non-traditional, subtractive manufacturing process that employs electrical discharges to shape materials. The process involves two primary components: an electrode and the workpiece. These are submerged in a dielectric fluid, and an electrical current is applied. This results in a controlled and repetitive series of electrical discharges, removing material from the workpiece in a meticulously exact manner. Here at TTH, we use electrical discharge machining when conventional methods are unable to create your specific geometric features, or the type of material isn't conducive to traditional machining, due to hardness or composition.

The EDM process offers many benefits, including:

  • Cost savings due to more efficient run times   
  • Continual precision throughout with the elimination of tool wear, chipping, or breakage
  • Faster time to market due to a reduction in points of failure by eliminating the need for consumable tooling

Precision and Intricacy

Electrical discharge machining is renowned for its extreme level of precision, capable of achieving tolerances as tight as one micron, or 0.001 mm. This is primarily achieved by controlling the electrical discharges that assist in the removal of material from the workpiece, and is used in the following two types of EDM: 

  • Wire EDM: The wire EDM method uses a thin wire as an electrode that cuts a programmed path through a piece of metal. It can produce parts with extremely fine details and due to its precision, wire electrical discharge machining is often used for components requiring a high degree of accuracy and intricacy. It is typically capable of maintaining tolerances within +/- 0.005 mm. Wire EDM can machine delicate inside features due to its non-contact nature without inducing material stress. Wire electrical discharge machining can also cut inside corner shapes resulting in corner radii as small as 0.003”.

  • Sinker EDM: Also known as ram EDM, our sinker electrical discharge machining uses a graphite or metallic electrode in the shape of the desired cavity, which is then "sunk" into the workpiece to create the required shape. Similar to Wire EDM, it can create complex geometry but doesn’t require a start hole or through feature. Our Sinker EDM process is particularly effective for complex parts and components and can maintain exceptional tolerances within +/- 0.001 mm.

Material Versatility: Expanding Your Manufacturing Options 

With traditional methods such as CNC machining services, you are limited on the level of accuracy and types of materials that can be processed. With our Wire and Sinker EDM processes, workpiece material is virtually unlimited, allowing you to envision new possibilities for your projects. At TTH, we work with several feedstock materials, including:

  • Steel(s)
  • Titanium
  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Graphite

Other options, including exotics and precious metals, and nearly anything conductive can also be shaped with incredible precision, depending on your specific needs.

Cost Efficiency: Your Strategic Advantage With Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) 

We know how hard it can be to balance innovation with efficiency. Electrical discharge machining can offer you significant cost advantages, especially for intricate and hard-to-machine components. Because there's no degradable tooling involved, the often-challenging adjustment for wear is eliminated, saving both time and money in crafting unique parts and components. 

As an example, we were recently tasked with creating a 0.006” wide slot in stainless steel for a highly specialized manufacturer. We were able to use a 0.004” brass wire to cut the slot in a single pass. By stacking the workpiece materials into an in-house custom fixture, our team was able to cut multiple pieces at a time, increasing the efficiency of the entire process.  

Accelerating Your Production With Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM)

Our EDM technology significantly boosts the production process, allowing us to deliver quicker transitions from design to market. Because EDM requires fewer setup requirements compared to conventional machining, the manufacturing process can be sped up, so you can get your products to market more quickly.

Superior Surface Finish: Enhancing Your Products with Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) 

Known for its incredibly smooth surface finish, EDM not only improves the aesthetics of your components but also their functionality. This feature reduces the need for post-processing on our end, while offering you extended durability through reduced friction, potentially increasing the lifespan of your components.

Industries Transformed by Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) 

EDM’s precision and reliability are crucial in industries involving high-value parts and components. Examples include:

  • Aerospace Applications: Precision parts (airfoils) with tight tolerances 
  • Medical Manufacturing: Accurate and reliable surgical tools and implants
  • Defense and Aviation: High-stakes parts, where failure is not an option

We are ISO 9100 certified for aerospace and NADCAP approved, as well as ISO 9001 certified for quality management and ISO 13485 certified for medical devices. Other manufacturers, including those involved in the automotive, robotics, and transportation industries, continue to benefit from our extraordinary team of engineers here at TTH. 

Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) Expertise With The Technology House

At TTH, our team of experienced engineers can assist you in the development and production of your next innovative project. We can offer you several solutions with our custom EDM process, all with a focus on delivering superior results for your unique needs, on time and within budget. 

For over twenty years, we have helped companies like yours successfully navigate the complexities of precision manufacturing. We have an experienced team you can count on; one who can assist in the design, prototyping, and production process, so you can get your product to market faster and within budget. 

Our electrical discharge machining process continues to reshape precision manufacturing. With us by your side, you can have a trusted partner to help you manage costs and meet critical deadlines, all while delivering superior quality parts and components. 

Reach out today to discover how our EDM expertise can ensure success for your next project, or request a quote for your next high-precision project.

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