Over the last few days, I built a new "waterproof" Wire ECM setup to reach the goals that I could not reach with my wire EDM setup.
I haven't finished the wiring, yet, but I'm already able to cut 5mm aluminum and 3mm steel with it by moving the axes by hand.
The advantages of ECM over EDM are:
- There is no electrode wear $
- No need for a DI filter $
- Electrolyte can be mixed by using just tap water, salt and citric acid $
- Less risk of a wire break because if everything works as it should there is no wear on the wire.
- It's quiter than EDM.
The speed of both machine setups is around the same.
A disadvantage of ECM (for now) is that it's less precise, so that a small electrode is cutting a large cutting path.
I hope I can improve this in the future with more precise control of the gap between electrode and workpiece and by optimizing the water jet inline with the wire.
Here is the new project: