Case Studies

By going “beyond the blueprint,” RS Precision manufactures a better, less-costly part.


A client asked if we could Sinker EDM an approximately 1” diameter by .5” deep pocket in a 1.5000” diameter precision, hardened stainless steel gage ball, while maintaining sphericity of .000050”! RS Precision was concerned about the ball retaining its accuracy with so much material being removed.

The Challenge:

A few prototype parts confirmed our suspicions, and the client was at a loss as to how to successfully produce the part. RS Precision asked the client what they were doing with the part after we completed the EDM operation. They indicated that they were installing a very precise mirror assembly into the cavity. They described the shape as a sort of pyramid with the point located at the bottom center of the cavity.

The Solution:

RS Precision recommended a redesign of the cavity to add material back strategically to minimize the metal removal required, and to strengthen and reinforce the remaining material surrounding the cavity. The change also decreased the amount of material that had to be removed by EDM, therefore also reducing the cost of the EDM operation compared to the original design. RS Precision then maximized the structural integrity of the material that remained to minimize distortion, and was also easy to manufacture.

After running a few test pieces with the newly redesigned pocket, the distortion was drastically reduced and acceptable. So, by asking about the functional requirements of the part, combined with our knowledge of materials, EDM and manufacturing, RS Precision was able to successfully help our customer redesign the part so that it could be produced satisfactorily, while reducing the cost at the same time. At RS Precision we call that going “Beyond the Blueprint!”