Duet Wifi for wire EDM?

  • Okay, I guess this may be a little bit of an odd question but here goes…

    I've been wanting to build a wire EDM machine for a while now and have finally found plans for the power source and mechanics. The mechanics are quite simple, just X-Y motion is necessary.

    The question is can the Duet Wifi respond to a signal that would tell it to advance/stop/retract while following the path dictated by the g-code?

    Hope the question makes sense?

    Thanks, Scot

  • administrators

    Hi Scot

    I am not familiar with wire EDM so i held off answering your questions.

    As far as gcode is concerned when you say advance, stop, retract, do you mean a steady advance over the movement (like an extruder) or a fixed advance for the whole movement (like a z height setting)?

    It would help.if you could explain how this works in more detail.

  • Hi Tony,

    I'm slowly learning myself how it works but it's a machine that cuts metal via spark erosion. The wire is what is electrically charged and does the cutting. I suppose it's somewhat analogous to a 2-axis hot wire foam cutter. However, the electronics must sense when the spark starts as the wire moves close enough to the part being cut, when the spark is established, and when the wire shorts out. When it shorts out, the cutting action stops and the wire must be moved backwards in order to break the short, then move forward again to reestablish the arc.

    I'm assuming the power supply for the wire also has a means of sending a signal to the control electronics. There are a few DIY power supply plans and such available but the big challenge seems to be the motion control. I'm a complete newbie when it comes to this stuff. I can see how you could use the Duet to control the steppers and even stop the advance when the wire shorts out. What I have no idea how to do (and perhaps it's not possible today), is how to make the wire back out…basically in the exact opposite direction it moved forward.

    Does that make sense?


  • Now that I reread what I wrote, I suppose it's somewhat like an extruder. But the feed/stop/retract is not written in the gcode, but rather is from an external input signal. And the "retract" would be in 2-axis. Wow, this is actually more confusing that I initially thought!

  • administrators

    How does the external input manage the stop, feed,retract?

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