A Mold Maker’s dilemma: EDM or Mill?

Quick response and flexibility are required of tool and die makers today.  Mold makers must continually strive to reduce production time while still ensuring a high level of quality, and all while providing cost reductions.  With tight margins and high demand for quick turn-around, tool and die makers may be searching for the best manufacturing method to remain competitive.  

 

Using an EDM machine (electrical discharge machine) along with a high-speed milling machine may provide assistance with on-time delivery.   Certain manufacturing needs in a tool and die shop may require differing manufacturing methods.  The design engineer should be aware of all available manufacturing technologies.  

 

Mold Manufacturing Products Require Differing Technologies

 

Injection molds and diecast molds, forging dies, and deep drawing dies are the three main products of tool and die making.  Deep drawing dies mean that the metal blank is drawn into a forming die with a punch.  The drawing is considered to be deep drawing when the depth of the drawn part is greater than the part diameter.   They all possess their own constraints regarding applicable technologies for mold production.

 

Deep drawing dies have flat structures and materials that are best manufactured with milling.  When producing forging dies, EDM is widely used due to the strength of materials used in production.   Complete machining with milling is possible, however, with low depth and large concave radii.   

 

Milling diecast and injection molds is challenging due to ribs or webs, and small radii.  Developing the combination of EDM and milling is necessary for economical mold production meeting tight tolerances.  Utilizing the benefits of all production methods gives designers and mold manufactures options in mold manufacturing.  

 

Other considerations in deciding between EDM or HSM are high speed milling, the geometric constraints, and surface quality or subsurface damage of a tool.   Of the utmost importance is the effect on the surface from either EDM or HSM, as related to the part specifications.  Some parts may require a surface conducive to adhesion from certain coatings or lacquers, and the finish of the tool plays an important role in the surface finish of the molded part.  

 

Employing skilled design engineers and journeyman mold makers, we have the experience to utilize the latest technology with a full line up of modern EDM and high-speed milling centers.  This gives the most benefit to our customers in providing the most efficient, and cost effect mold manufacturing, with high quality tools and on time delivery.

 

Michiana Global Mold is an experienced mold designer and manufacturer, supplying high performing precision injection molds since 1952.  We are an ISO registered mold shop, adhering all processes to our strict quality policy, ensuring total customer satisfaction.  

 

Michiana Global Mold is experienced in all aspects of tool and die making, including injection molds and brass forging dies. Contact us today for a free design consultation, and learn how to save up to 40% on your next injection mold requirements.  

 

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