Wire electrical discharge machining (EDM) is widely used by injection mold builders to create intricately detailed workpieces. Wire EDM cutting is extremely precise and cuts through hardened metals with ease, making it an ideal method for producing geometries like inserts and tapered pockets. Small hole EDM drilling is also used for injection mold making to create exceedingly small holes in workpieces as well as for creating starting holes for wire EDM.
Injection mold builders faced with strict demands turn to XACT for proven, cost-effective wire EDM cutting and EDM hole drilling in any conductive material, including hardened tool steels. With over 50 EDM machines and 24/5 capability, we are able to offer our clients high precision with short lead times.
Because XACT exclusively provides EDM services, we are the ideal partner for companies in the injection mold industry, and often function as an extension of their own in-house EDM capabilities. Reach out to discuss your project – many RFQs are completed the same day:
Wire EDM Solutions for Injection Mold Building
Most precision mold components are machined to tolerances of +/- 0.001″ (0.025mm) or better. Wire EDM cutting is able to achieve tolerances of +/-0.0001” (.00254mm) and tighter in some cases.
Electrical discharge machining processes are used to quickly and accurately make mold components requiring complex shapes, contours or special features including:
- Cavities with complex shapes
- Deep cores
- Deep slots
- Narrow grooves or slits
- Small radii
- Sharp corners on contoured surfaces
- Sharp internal corners
- Tapered shapes
- Transitioning shapes
- Sprue bushings
- Gear teeth
- Crush ribs
- Piercing ribs
- Insert pockets
- Core inserts
- Core pin holes
- Ejector pin holes
- Dowel pin holes
- Parting lines
Wire EDM is ideal for working with the hardened and pre-hardened metals frequently used in mold making such as P-20, S-7, H-13, and 420 Stainless Steel. XACT can perform EDM cutting directly on the mold or by using wire EDM blanks to manufacture specific mold components or inserts.
Advantages of Wire EDM for Mold Making
Electrical discharge machining processes can create unique shapes and depths in mold components that are impossible for cutting tools to achieve. This is especially true for deep cavity applications with a high depth to diameter ratio.
Additional benefits include:
- Highly accurate small hole EDM drilling combined with wire EDM achieves a perfect fit with no need for lapping or honing
- Components can be machined after heat-treating, avoiding potential deformation
- EDM processes do not apply any mechanical force, so fragile features are easier to machine
- Molds manufactured using EDM have a higher quality surface finish compared to mechanical cutting
XACT Wire EDM manufactures components for both prototypes and production molds used in a variety of applications, from over-molds and insert molds to micro injection molding for surgical devices. Our contract wire EDM services can also be used for cavity and component rebuilding or repairs.
EDM & Mold Finish
The surface finish produced by EDM differs from other types of machining. Because electrical discharge machining cuts without mechanical force or contact with the workpiece, it results in a random (rather than directional) texture. Performing multiple EDM skimming passes after the initial rough cut leaves a fine, consistent finish.
Using EDM to create precision mold components eliminates (or greatly reduces) the need for secondary processes such as surface grinding and polishing.
Precision Machining for Reliable Injection Mold Making
XACT Wire EDM understands the burden mold makers are under to cut costs and decrease production time while maintaining high quality standards. When a mold requires complex geometries and part design can’t be compromised, outsourcing to a trusted EDM provider can be the deciding factor in meeting on-time delivery requirements.
XACT Wire EDM has a large pool of over 50 EDM machines at two facilities in Wisconsin and Illinois, offering our customers the greatest accuracy and highest throughput. We are dedicated to wire EDM and small-hole EDM technologies, and consistently invest in the latest programming and inspection equipment. Let us put our meticulous attention to detail and wire EDM focus to work on your next precision mold making project.
Contact XACT online for more information or to request a quote. Fast turnaround starts with our quoting process, and many are completed the same day: