One of my earliest childhood memories is a small wood model boat my dad would work on every once and a while after work or on a rainy day. I believe he started working on it shortly after I was born. I’m twenty two years old now and the boat is still sitting on the living room floor unfinished. It is comprised of what seems like thousands of tiny little pieces, each need to be hand cut and formed perfectly. When finished it will be an amazing, complete model ship scaled down to three feet, but I most likely will never see it. The problem is the pieces are so small that it is difficult to cut. A piece of the wood could break and he has to start over, a piece could warp or curve wrong if the glue doesn’t hold perfect and it would have to be thrown out. For my dad, every piece must lay exactly as it is meant to, or else it wouldn’t be a real model.
If EDM cutting worked on wood, his life would be a lot simpler. However, this method is used on electrically conductive metals. It works on hard and soft metals, and is able to create intricate and complex parts and products. EDM cutting can work with materials ranging from a fraction of an inch thick to several inches. Unlike the traditional cutting methods, EDM uses electrical sparks to slowly shave away the unwanted material. When products are cut or sawed physically, they can often chip, cut on an angle, or other mistakes can occur. The mistakes may be minuscule, but depending on what it would be used for, even the smallest of mistakes could be extremely hazardous. By using EDM cutting the electric sparks allow the process to be more precise and have minimal flaws. The undesired metal is melted away, leaving it smooth, accurate, reliable and uniform.