EDM for Design

Designing on a computer gives you far more accuracy than designing on paper. The lines you draw on a computer screen will always be perfectly straight and of an even thickness. There is a mathematical precision to designing on a computer that cannot be achieved by even the greatest artists. This is perhaps the main advantage of computer aided design (CAD). The fact that computer design in 2D and 3D can now be transferred to the ’real world’ has led to numerous break throughs in several key industries.

There would be no aersopace industry, for example, unless computer designs could be replicated down to a pixel of accuracy onto the hardest metals and alloys. This is thanks to electrical discharge machining or EDM. This is a process whereby an electrode fires electrical discharges across a surface. This process is often called sink erosion or wire erosion. Each electrical discharge removes a few particles of metal or alloy. The movement of the electrode can be linked to a robot and computer that precisely cuts a shape either 2D or 3D into the material. The issue of human error is removed from the equation. EDM tooling of piston rings, turbines, carbon vanes, radial bearings, mechanical seals and a host of other pieces that have led to cars, satellites etc. can all be manufactured to exact measurements. This improves performance, safety, fuel efficiency and unleashes the possibility of ever more complex innovations being realized.

Without EDM the power of digital design would be severely limited. It is the missing link to producing a synergistic approach to design that can move freely between the digital format and actual engineering. EDM is in many ways an unhailed hero in bringing perfection to the process of design.

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