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  • Stands for Electric Discharge Machining.
  • It is simply a spark between an electrode/wire (Depending on which machine variant is used) and a workpiece that are separated by a dielectric fluid (Usually high purity water (Double Distilled or Deionized) or oil)
  • It does super precise cutting and small hole drilling in electrically-conductive materials.


  • Good explanation + Demo in this video at 13:26
  • Uses 0.25 mm brass wire for cutting, Mcmaster has 0.5 mm wire - $30/lb - [1]
  • Voltage is 50-300V. Current for 1" cut below is 35A.
  • 1 pound of wire used per hour to cut a 1/2" hole in a 3" piece of hard metal. - [2]. that is $5 in wire cost. About $1 per inch of metal.
  • 10x slower than waterjet - [3]
  • Waterjet appears to be much better for the speed and cost. But EDM advantage is 10x more precise - [4]

Examples of EDM Cut Objects

  • The following was cut using a high precision Wire-Cut EDM Device. The Cut is so precise that the shape can seem to disappear into the cube it was cut from when it is reinserted:
<a href="//imgur.com/DAs75ze">THE FINAL FORM</a>
<script async src="//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js" charset="utf-8"></script>


Existing Open Source Designs


YouTube #1

  • DIY, cuts 1" stainless at 2 mm/min - [5] (Dead Link) How to - [6] (Dead Link)

Book on DIY EDM machines

"Homebuilt EDM Machines"

Books and Starter Kits

MIT Design?

  • MIT Machines That Make - [9]

Basic Design


EDM wire

Internal Links

External Links