What Are The Types Of EDM Machines And How Do They Work

what are the types of edm machines and how do they work

There are several types of EDM machines used throughout the industry and for various purposes. Metal is formed, cut, and joined using several methods during metal fabrication, just as it is during precision machining. Despite the excellent results of traditional machining methods, Electric Discharge Machining (EDM) offered a breakthrough. Due to their efficiency and reliability, EDM machines allow for extreme accuracies to be achieved. However, while all of this may sound appealing to you and your metalworking business, you might be wondering what the various types of EDM machines are available. In this post, you will learn what options you have and why you need one.

What Is An Electric Discharge Machining (EDM) Machine?

EDM machines are used to machine, or cut, components from flat metal stock. The most common use of EDM machines is for surface grinding and turning operations such as cutting down apart from a larger, heavier piece of metal into a smaller, thinner one. EDM is also used in precision machining applications where accuracy and part quality are critical to the production cycle. Essentially, these machines are a type of machine that uses an electrical discharge to quickly cut material, usually metal, to shape.

Furthermore, many industries are transitioning to these machines or incorporating them into their editing workflow. The term “electric discharge machining” refers to how an electrical current feeds the cutting tool. This method means that the cutting speed can be controlled in much finer detail than standard machining tools. This means that in practice, an edm cutter provides exceptionally accurate cuts allowing for rapid prototyping and mass production of parts or components. However, it isn’t quite as simple as flipping through a catalog and choosing one you like the look of because there are several options of EDM machines and each with its own purpose.

Types Of EDM Machines

Even though all EDM machines use electricity to cut materials, they are available in various configurations. Your choice will depend mainly on the type of cutting you plan to perform.

Wire EDM

In wire electrode machining, a wire electrode is used with CNC machine movement to achieve a desired shape or contour. A spark erosion technique is used to remove the conductive material, which is what the EDM process is all about. Precision wire guides are controlled in motion by the CNC as the wire travels from the spool. Wire EDMs are used as very precise and accurate bandsaws because they use deionized water to cool the thin wire and remove eroded particles. Although a wire EDM creates an exact cut, it has traditionally come at the cost of speed. While this may not be an issue for some industries, others will need something faster. Luckily, modern technology has sped up the wire EDM process significantly. Nevertheless, it remains slower than some of the other methods.

The wire EDM machine is designed specifically for the production of intricate parts with varying cross-sections. It can cut, form, or even weld parts in one single step. With the application of the wire EDM machine, it becomes easier to produce high-quality parts with high efficiency and low cost. Wire EDM machines are also highly accurate and reliable, making them ideal for almost any market sector.

Hole Popper EDM

As the name would suggest, small holes can be made with this EDM machine on metal pieces of varying thickness. It uses a continuous flow of dialectic fluid around the electrode to stop overheating and flush out the vaporized metal. Even when drilling hard and exotic materials, the machine’s accuracy, and precision remain among the top features of this particular type of EDM.

The benefits of this machine include higher production speeds and lower costs when compared to traditional methods. It also can reuse the same parts by cutting and reusing them rather than disposing of them. This makes it highly cost-effective for companies that produce a lot of these products.


Using a specialized electrode that is plunged into workpieces to cut intricate patterns and blind shapes, RAM EDM is considered one of the oldest EDM machining methods still in use. In RAM EDM machines, the electrodes and the workpiece are dipped in dielectric fluid for optimal results. This EDM method is being phased out in favor of the newer models, such as hole popper EDM machines, which produce similar results more efficiently. The primary advantage of RAM EDMs over other types is that they are tried and tested devices. In this respect, it has some pros.

How To Choose The Right EDM Machine

When choosing an Electric Discharge Machining Machine, there are a few things to consider. One of these is the type of material the machine is designed to work with. Some devices can work with different materials, such as metals, and most can work on any conductive material. Therefore, these types of machines should be chosen carefully based on the material that needs to be cut. The device’s size is also vital as some machines come in small sizes to fit into tight spaces while others are large and would take up a lot more space. It’s also essential to ensure that the machine’s power supply is sufficient for its intended use before purchasing one. EDM machines have the advantage of being capable of working on any conductive material. Other methods do not allow for the creation of shapes and depths that are possible with this technique. To select the best EDM machine, however, there are several factors to consider:

  • If it will bring higher efficiencies than your existing machinery.
  • What shapes and thicknesses you will be cutting.
  • Whether you have the physical space available in your factory to accommodate a new machine.
  • What materials you will work with.
  • If you can integrate it into your existing workflow.

EDM machines are sophisticated industrial tools that allow for highly accurate and efficient cutting and shaping of almost any kind of conductive material. Whatever type you need for your business depends on what you want to accomplish, but all have advantages.

About Brian: Brian Jackson is the founder of Shoestring Branding - a marketing and branding blog for entrepreneurs, with an emphasis on internet-based tools and strategies.