ESPRIT - Rotary Wire EDM

Rotary Wire EDM

Advances in multi-axis wire EDM (electrical discharge machining) present new opportunities for cutting complex shapes precisely, unattended and cost-effectively in a single setup.

Rotary Wire EDM

Submersible rotary tables for wire EDM allow programmers to index, or to cut using continuous variable high-speed rotation. Instead of clamping a part to the work table, it is held in a chuck mounted on a rotary table. The rotary table then allows for the rotation and cutting of the part without the need to unclamp and reposition the part between cutting operations.


Indexed wire EDM operations are commonly referred to as "Turn-and-Burn" or "Turn-then-Burn" operations. This process is simple because the EDM operations are created like any other EDM operation, but a positioning move is added between them.

There are several advantages to "Turn-and-Burn" including the reduction in set-up time. The stock is mounted on the rotary table with a built-in clamping device, then rotated into as many positions as required. There is no unclamping of the workpiece, so accuracy is maintained between cutting operations.


Synchronized rotary motion is commonly referred to as "Turn-while-Burn," during which rotation of the part occurs during the burn at the same time as the XY or other rotary movements.

With an integrated rotary axis, the efficiency of taper cutting is increased through the use of a rotary axis placed horizontally. With the workpiece positioned on its side instead of vertically, the part can be rotated to the wire instead of the wire being tilted into positions that are not optimal for flushing. Rotating the part not only improves flushing, but also allows for much higher taper angles.

An integrated rotary axis makes it possible to machine part geometries that were previously impossible to manufacture on wire EDM machines. In some cases, rotary EDMs can cut geometries impossible to produce using any other machining method.


EDM turning is similar to lathe turning, except that the wire does not exert mechanical pressure on the workpiece. The advantages of "Spin-and-Burn" are high accuracy and zero part stress. This allows for the production of symmetrical parts with minimal diameters and tiny details.

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