Recent developments in Computer Aided Design (CAD) have drastically reduced overall design cycle time and cost. In this paper, wirePATH, a new method for rapid direct tooling, is presented. By using specialized interactive segmentation computer software and wire electrical discharge machining (wire EDM), wirePATH can reduce manufacturing time and cost for injection molds, casting patterns, and dies. Compared to other conventional-mold making methods, wirePATH can reduce fabrication time by as much as 40 to 70%. Wirepath can use a combination of wire EDM and other processes. Our method provides a new means to produce a greater variety in products by changing only portions of the tooling. Segments allow a part of a mold to be replaced to accommodate design changes and repair. WirePATH enables new applications of wire EDM to more complex shapes by bridging the gaps between CAD, our method, wire EDM and conventional manufacturing processes.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.