Today we talk about wire cutting, which is also called Wire Electrical Discharge Machining. In mold making process, wire cutting is widely used for making tool inserts, pockets, mold bases, ejector and core pin holes, Contoured parting lines, and Reduced polishing. It is common for Wire cutting machine to run for days on end, all unattended and highly accurate.
What is it like to run the wire cutting? A thin single-strand metal wire comes off a spool and is fed through the work piece, and then discarded after it is used, typically occurring while submerged in a tank of dielectric fluid. The wire is controlled by a CNC control which allows you to program a path for the wire to travel.
This process requires the ability to multi-task and typically run several machines at the same time, to cut plates and to make components of tools and dies from hard metals. Normally, it is used when low residual stresses are desired. Wire EDM has no added residual stress because it has no cutting forces.
Wire EDM is versatile in the hardness of the conductive metals that it can cut with relative ease, ranging from copper to the hardest materials including molybdenum and tungsten.
About The advantage of wire cutting. It is a very precise method for the right applications, such as for cutting small parts with tight tolerances at high volumes. Therefore, for those metal parts that are under 0.50 mm and needed in high volumes, wire cutting can deliver highly repeatable lengths without end-deformation, distortion, or delamination — and it can do so more economically than other regular method such CNC machining or laser cutting. While laser cutting can be versatile and precise, it is also a very slow and expensive method; for 2-axis cutting, the cost of laser in time and money is often more than can be justified, especially where other methods can produce excellent results at a better price.
Of course, there’s also some disadvantages for wire cutting, 1.Due to the wire electrode micro easily broken, affect the processing efficiency; 2.In the course of machining deformation, affect the size accuracy; 3.Because of the high speed wire cutting parts appear on the surface of light and dark stripes, the surface quality of the parts affected.
So wire cutting has very positive impact on mold-making. It is hard to imagine a modern shop without a wire cutting. Accuracy, speed, superior fit and finish are all the direct result of wire cutting. Besides, it is also very useful for rapid prototype making as a compensatory process of other solution such as CNC machining.