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.
Next, I will finish the wiring and try to cut some metal.