EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) is a non-contact machining process that uses electrical discharges between the electrode and the workpiece to remove material. It is particularly suitable for machining difficult materials (e.g. very tough or brittle materials) as long as these are sufficiently electrically conductive. This quality is enhanced in the ‘micro’ version of the process, improving both machining precision and surface finish by allowing micrometric (<50 µm) and high form ratio geometries to be produced.

The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for high-precision micro EDM, capable of 3- or 5-axis machining, both drilling and milling, with wire and die-sinking EDM. The laboratory also has optical instruments for dimensional characterisation and analysis of the surface quality of manufactured components.

  • Sarix SX 200 HPM micro EDM machining system (positioning accuracy ±2 μm, axis resolution 0.1 μm)
  • Sarix SX-Arianne wire machining system (WDEG – wire diameter 0.2 mm, electrode diameter reduction up to 10 μm) with Mitutoyo laser profiler
  • PHI-DRIVE high-precision piezoelectric A and B rotary axes, resolution 0.001 deg, positioning accuracy less than 0.01 deg
  • acquisition and monitoring system consisting of a Tektronix mixed-domain oscilloscope (maximum bandwidth and signal acquisition: 500 MHz, 8 bits, 16 digital and 4 analogue channels, 20 Mpoints/channel) equipped with voltage probes and current probes with relative amplifier
  • aluminium tank for the study of dielectrics with filtering and recirculation system (designed and built by STIIMA-CNR)
  • Zeiss Axio CSM 700 confocal microscope, with motorized table and photo stitching system, able to acquire with minimum steps of 20 nm in Z, equipped with 3 lenses 10x, 50x long distance and 100x long distance, 3 Mpixel digital camera
  • study and optimisation of the micro EDM process for various electro-conductive metal, alloy and ceramic composite materials (precision and accuracy, machining times, surface quality)
  • process monitoring, in particular of current/voltage pulses
  • verification of machinability of complex geometries requiring more than 3 machine axes
  • development of methods for compensating electrode wear
  • study of dielectric fluids with low environmental impact
  • combined machining with other processes, hybrid processes
  • support for research by producing components, prototypes and moulds