Delcam Electrode now supports multi-part and family electrodes

Delcam has increased the capabilities of its Delcam Electrode integrated solution for the design, machining and inspection of electrodes so that the system can now produce multi-part electrodes or family electrodes.  In addition, electrodes can now be displayed in the history tree of the tool on which they will be used, so simplifying the management of projects.  Also, all electrode drawings will update automatically if the design is changed.


Caption: Delcam Electrode can now be used to produce a family of electrodes from a single blank.

Family electrode


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Multi-part electrodes can reduce the time needed for both machining and EDM compared to using several individual electrodes.  In addition, machining multiple electrodes from a single blank can save materials and single holder can be used for the combined electrode.


The design of multi-part electrodes uses the same wizard-based process as is used for conventional electrodes.  The wizard helps users to define the region where the electrode will be used quickly and easily, extract the shape needed to produce the required feature in the part, and then edit the design to provide clearance from the main surface of the tool and to blend it into the blank size needed to fix the electrode into its holder.  Once the electrode for the first area has been defined, the user then re-runs the wizard for other burn areas to be included in the multi-part electrode.


The same process can be used if particularly hard materials are to be burnt or if the same electrode design is required in several areas of the tool.  In these cases, a single electrode might not be sufficient.  A second electrode can be created within the blank, again by re-running the wizard, so that, once the first electrode has worn out, the electrode assembly can be rotated to use the second one.


In family electrodes, the roughing and finishing electrodes for a single area are combined in the assembly.  Once again, the second part of the assembly is created by re-running the wizard.  However, in these cases, the different machining offsets required for the rougher and finisher are applied when creating the various parts of the assembly.


All of these compound electrodes require more complex movement around the tool as they are used in comparison to standard electrodes.  To ensure that collisions don’t occur, collision prevention technology from the PowerMILL CAM system has been added into the simulation algorithms used by Delcam Electrode.


Delcam Electrode combines the PowerSHAPE CAD software, the PowerMILL CAM system and the PowerINSPECT inspection software to give a completely integrated solution for the design, machining and inspection of electrodes.  At the heart of the Delcam solution is a novel file format – the .Trode file.  This contains all the information for each electrode project, including not only the electrode design but also the machining and inspection information, plus the set-up sheets for its manufacture and use.  Having all the required information in a single file simplifies data management as well as increasing overall efficiency.


Delcam Electrode can provide scripts for equipment from AgieCharmilles (Agievision and CT Millennium controls), Exeron, JDMA EPX, Makino EDM, Mitsubishi Electric, ONA EDM, OPS-Ingersoll, Sodick and Zimmer & Kreim.  Scripts are the EDM equivalent of CAM programs for machine tools.  They provide an automated process for the programming of the machine, instead of users having to program manually from a set-up sheet.  The automated process is much easier and quicker, especially when a large number of electrodes are being used on the same component.  Furthermore, the direct link removes the human error that could always be possible with manual programming.


For further information on Delcam Electrode, please contact: –

Peter Dickin, Marketing Manager

Direct phone: 0121 683 1081             e-mail:


Delcam plc

Small Heath Business Park,

Birmingham, B10 0HJ, UK