I would like to research the suitability of either EDM or CAM for
mass production of (small) parts. In particular, the costs of design
and creation of models, production costs for the parts and the
parameters of 3-D design with respect to interior surfaces of a very
short tube. Are there other viable production means beyond casting?
Please reply off-list.
EDM is not at all suitable for mass production. It is very slow and
requires added finishing steps because of the rough surface it leaves
it also requires a highly paid skilled operator to run the equipment.
It is an one way to make dies that can then be used in various presses
to mass produce parts by stamping but not as a mass production tool
itself. If by CAM you mean using a computer controlled milling
machine or lathe to produce parts then it can be used for limited
production but with a very few exceptions it is again not suitable for
mass production because it is slow and requires a highly paid skilled
operator to run the equipment.
There are two main techniques for mass production casting and
stamping any other type of process is way too slow and labor
intensive. So I would look into having your product cast or stamped
if you need mass production.
James Binnion Metal Arts
4701 San Leandro St #18
Oakland, CA 94601
Pam, I missed your original email about these processes listed;
however, I would suggest waterjet cutting. The finish is like a sand
blasted texture and with this process, you can cut sterling. The cuts
run off a CAD drawing. I would suggest contacting Waterjetconnection.com to get quotes from companies working with your
minimums. The more detailed the cuts, the more expensive the piece.
If your work is detailed, you might want to consider the stamping
process for production. Good luck and let me know if you have more
The active site for this company is now richel.com. They can
hopefully lead you to a company that will provide you with the
waterjet service. To get multiple quotes from the companies Richel
will refer you to, it is advantageous for you to have the CAD drawings
so you can attach them to an email. You can also have 1:1 drafted
drawings, yet you will get the most accurate costs to cut your pieces
with CAD. Good luck!