i-Groove Wire Electrode Rotation

A unique
(Sodick patent) rotates the wire electrode in finishing passes.

You pay
35% less
for wire,
benefiting both in cost and near-perfect straightness, contour accuracy and surface quality.

And let’s not forget about the environment!

The Newest
from Sodick





Incredible BREAKTHROUGH in EDM Wire-Cutting

Steel: t=100 mm
3 cuts (2 skim)
Brass wire ∅0.25 mm
Точность = ±1,5 µ (микрон)
Wire consumption: 35% less at skim cuts

ideal straightness

Conventional skim cut machining: only one narrow side (surface) of the wire works (“sparks”), and only by one narrow strip, thinning downward as it wears out from electroerosion.

i-Groove = Sodick Wire Electrode Rotation

i-Groove wire-electrode rotation. This newly developed technology, patented by Sodick, rotates the wire electrode during the skim cut operation, so that workpieces are machined from top to bottom with the “unconsumed” surface of the wire.

i-Groove skim cut machining: the entire surface of the wire works, the thinning down as it wears out from electroerosion is vanishingly negligible.

Conventionally, wire electrodes are controlled solely by tension and running speed, while being constrained by upper and lower dies. Sodick’s i-Groove rotation mechanism provides additional control over the wire, resulting in increased surface quality and improved geometric accuracy, whilst at the same time minimising wire consumption. ALC i-Groove Wire-Cut EDMs consume 35% less wire at skim cuts – combining the best ecological solution with the highest quality of EDM machining. 

With the conventional machining method, wire electrode wears as it runs which creates “taper” on the surface of the wire,  especially when cutting a thick work-piece. Actually only one side of the wire works (“sparks”), and only by one narrow strip.

To prevent this “cone” from appearing on the part, taper compensation is required by engaging the UV taper mechanism. Another solution could be to increase the wire feed speed. But at the same time, the consumption of expensive wire increases exorbitantly and breaks can occur.

i-Groove wire-electrode rotation.
If the wire rotates, the entire surface of the wire is continuously engaged in the process of the electric spark cutting. Including that larger part of the surface that does not work in conventional wire-cut EDMs. As a result we get better geometric accuracy, surface quality, and wire savings. And all this without taper compensation and increased wire feed speed and consumption.

Rough / Approach  Cut: no i-Groove wire rotation is applied. (At this stage it is almost meaningless).

Skim Cuts (2nd cut onward) with i-Groove: for skim cuts, CNC automatically defines the rotation direction of wire (clockwise or counter-clock wise) depending on offset side, by analysing the cutting program. 

How i-Groove works 

What i-Groove does 

The pulley shifts to either right or left-hand side and let the wire run on the tilted surface of pulley, which applies rotation to the wire.

Sodick ALC Wire-Cut EDM i-Groove mechanism principle

Pulley – left
Wire-rotation: clock-wise

Pulley – centre
Wire-rotation: none

Pulley – right
Rotation: counter clock-wise

i-Groove wire-electrode rotation
Improves Surface

Convetional EDWs – without wire rotation

With i-Groove wire-electrode rotation

Workpiece: steel t=80mm
Brass wire ∅0.2mm
10 x 10 mm punch, 4-cut




Sodick Wire EDMs equipped with i-Groove wire-electrode rotation mechanism

As of September 2022, only the ALC400G and ALC600G EDWs are equipped with the i-Groove wire-electrode rotation mechanism.
The larger EDW models ALC800G and ALC800GH are likely to obtain i-Groove wire-electrode rotation in future.