The batch mode electrical discharge machining (EDM) method has been developed to improve the throughput and accuracy in fabricating array structures, but the process suffers from insufficient debris removal caused by the complex electrode geometry. Tool vibration has been used to improve flushing conditions, but to date the underlying mechanism of the tool vibration on the micro EDM of array structures remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the effect of tool vibration on the machining process by direct observation of the discharge phenomena in the discharge gap by using a high-speed camera. Micro EDM experiments using 9 and 25 array electrodes were performed, and the effect of tool vibration on the discharge uniformity and tool wear was evaluated. It was found that tool vibration improved the uniformity of the discharge distribution, increased the machining efficiency, and suppressed the tool wear. The discharges occurred in periodic intervals, and the intensity increased with the amplitude of tool vibration. The results of this study indicate that the vibration parameters determine the discharge period duration and intensity to achieve optimum stability and efficiency of the machining process.
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