The wire, also called the electrode, leads pulsing electrical charges through the workpiece. The electricity creates sparks that cut the material into desired shapes. Usually, it is possible to adapt the electrical sparks, high power means quick machining, while low power results in fine tolerances.
A dielectric fluid removes cut material and lower the negative heat effects. It is also common that the whole workpiece is submerged during wire erosion.
Wire erosion has some advantages compared to conventional machining. One is that the cutting tool pressure is low, allowing for small and fragile components to be machined. Another is that is possible to machine big pieces or hardened materials, which are difficult to machine.
Wire erosion is typically used when the geometry of the component is simple, for more complex pieces see spark erosion.