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EDM Additive Manufactured Titanium.


Nov 16, 2017
Newport News Va
I trying to cut a slot in a part that was made by additive manufacturing. I have run into an area that will not cut. My guess is that its a non conductive flaw that is holding me up but i was wondering if anyone else has tried cutting this material.
* Random info and ideas.
*I have cut other AM parts with no issues but not Titanium.
*The wire machine had no issues cutting it.
*The electrode just erodes away at the section of the flaw. The machine (mondo 50) acts like all is well but its just killing the electrode.
*Graphite, Copper and Tungston all had the same results.
*All settings have the same result.
* I have tried to scrape the surface of the slot kinda like you would when you get a pit.
* Its an L shaped electrode .030" thick and a .400 " slot
* The powder that is used to make this is metal but im not sure how the printing works, what goes on in the AM process that would add a section that will not cut?


It sounds like you've encountered a non-conductive goober in the material that shouldn't be there! This could be the result of a poor raw powder material on the 3D Printer or the result of "over cooking" the powder during the printing process.

I don't know of a Silver Bullet trick that would work every time, but you could try a couple of different things to see if it helps you get past that goober...

- Try Inverting your machining Polarity (preferably to NEGATIVE, which will result in a more aggressive burn with higher Electrode Wear)

- You might have to use a different Electrode with a larger reduction amount, but try machining with a higher power level. The idea here is to try and blast past the non-conductive particle by machining the conductive material around it more aggressively in hopes that it can free the non-conductive goober.

Good luck!

- Brian
Hi wireman08:
Titanium has the reputation for being problematic to hole pop too, and I was told it was because it oxidizes so easily and the oxide is non conductive.

The sinker EDM work I've done on CP2 titanium has led to aggressive electrode wear regardless of polarity, so I've always just bought the bitter pill and done what Brian Pfluger suggests...run reverse polarity and accepted enthusiastic electrode wear.

That has helped for me, although I don't know if my stalled burns were due to non-conductive inclusions or non conductive titanium oxide formation.
I was working with billet so I'm assuming oxide formation instead of inclusions...maybe that is your problem too.

In any event try running reverse polarity per Brian's recommendation and see if it helps you.


From my experiemce a non-conductive flaw would cause your trode break. I do lots of EDM work in areas that have been welded and sometimes a bit of carbide gets in there from the Tig torch and I have issues as you describe.
Higher IP, low ON time and Negative polarity is my trick to usually fight thru issues like that. Definitely quick jump speeds
I've finish turned some printed titanium gear knobs and there was some funky shit in there. Hope you're charging by the hour.