Precision machining is the process of removing material from a piece by cutting components to exact specifications. This typically means shaping large chunks of material into smaller, complicated parts so it can fit exactly where needed, and work smoothly to carry out the specified task.
Machinists use different types of cutting techniques and tools. While older processes of machining used tools such as blades, saws, hacks, hammers, and drills to create shapes primarily out of wood and metal pieces, the technology has advanced dramatically beyond that.
A precision machine today is generally controlled using a Computer Numerical Controls (CNC). In order to check precision machining is done correctly, computer aided design (CAD) programs are used to create precise, three-dimensional blueprints. The blueprints must be strictly followed to design a quality product with integrity.
The precision machine has many types of processes, including milling, turning and electrical discharge machining (EDM). Advanced precision machining is performed by EDM on hard metals that are electrically conductive. These metals are impossible to machine with traditional methods such as a grinder or end mill, so the EDM Machine is used to cut contours and cavities into the metal.
Typical metals machined using EDM include hardened tool-steel, titanium, hastalloy and carbide.
An EDM Machine uses an electrode to create electrical discharges to remove metal and make cuts. Cuts are made into the metal as the electrical charge passes between the electrode and the metal being machined. A continuously flowing fluid is used to flush these pieces of material away.