A precision ultrafine w-EDM (wire electrical discharge machining) technique specifically for machining intricate parts and structures is developed in this paper. A thumb-sized and versatile w-EDM device equipped with a complete control system for wire tension (ultrafine tungsten wire of 13 νm diameter) is designed and employed for the study of ultrafine w-EDM. The tension of the wire electrode is controlled by magnetic repulsive force to steady the wire during machining. Ultrafine wire cutting can be conducted in vertical-, horizontal- or slantwise-wire arrangements. Via some experiments, optimal machining conditions including discharge capacitance, feed rate, wire tension and the appropriate design for the w-EDM device are obtained. Two miniature samples including a micro of Taipei's landmark 101 building and a micro relay are fabricated and the feasibility of the proposed approach is verified. It is confirmed that the ultrafine w-EDM technique using an ultrafine tungsten wire of 13 νm was realized successfully.
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