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Proceedings of CAD'15, 2015, 269-274
A Comparative Study between NURBS Surfaces and Voxels to Simulate the Wear Phenomenon in Micro-EDM

Anthony Surleraux, Samuel Bigot, Cardiff University, UK
Jean-Philippe Pernot, Arts et Métiers ParisTech, France

Abstract. Micro Electrical Discharge Machining (micro-EDM) is a micro-manufacturing process that involves the removal of material through electrical discharges. Its main strength resides in the fact that it is able to machine any electrically conductive material independently of its hardness. The process involves two electrodes (one being referred to as the tool while the other is the workpiece) that are submitted to an electrical current and immerged in a dielectric fluid. As the distance separating both electrodes decreases, there is a point (known as the machining gap) where the dielectric fluid isn’t able to insulate both electrodes from each other anymore and breaks down leading to the apparition of a plasma channel between both electrodes. The resulting thermal energy leads to melting and vaporization of the material on both electrodes and the removal of material as craters.The main issue is that material is also removed from the tool (tool wear) and therefore influences the final shape obtained on the workpiece. The influence of tool wear is significantly greater when tackling with micro-scale features. Most previous efforts have been focused on the modelling of single-spark discharges through the solving of thermal equations and specific boundary conditions.

Keywords. Shape modeling and optimization, Continuous vs. discrete representations, Surface warping, Haussdorf metric

DOI: 10.14733/cadconfP.2015.269-274