All industries are constantly working to improve their productivity & lower the costs.
To fulfill the high level of customization and complexity of designs, to increase the speed and accuracy for the parts to be manufactured; the ideal solution is to produce Jigs and Fixtures. Additive manufacturing / 3D Printing is one technology that reduces the production cost of Jigs and Fixtures up to several percent.
Previously, Jigs and Fixtures were designed and tooled for Traditional Production Method. Making mold of the same was the method followed prior. By adopting the new 3D Printing technology, Jigs and Fixtures can be printed overnight which eliminates the cost of molds from the production equation. This directly impacts and reduces the production time thereby accelerating product delivery. Designing for molds, tooling, and production of molds previously used to take days to week. But now, it can be 3D Printed in one day or less which helps the design engineer with greater flexibility. This led to rapid increase of jigs and fixtures within the entire production process. Cost and time and greatly reduced and the devices are utilized in different places and applciations which were not even considered previously. In other words, 3D Printing lowers the threshold for justifying a new tool, which allows to address the unmet needs throughout the production process.
Production quality depends on the reduction of defects which is reflective of Jigs and Fixtures. Poorly fabricated and assembled products are a direct result of poorly manufactured or lack of Jigs and Fixtures. Without the assisted devices (jigs and fixtures) more of end products are reworked; thus, increasing the cost of production. Quality is an attribute that is not only essential and but expected. Hence, poor quality will eventually run the manufacturer out of business.
The Automotive industry is currently seeing the highest level of 3D Printed Jigs and Fixtures adoptions.
The Automotive industry is currently seeing the highest level of 3D Printed Jigs and Fixtures adoptions. Companies like Audi, BMW, Porsche, Volvo use them mostly to fit, connect, and hold components together on the production lines. BMW Group has gone a step ahead and introduced customized 3D Printed assembly support tools for their employees. Made for each individual, the flexible finger coats make certain actions easier to perform efficiently while keeping people’s thumbs safe.
CMM – Coordinate Measuring Machine
Ideally it takes a long time to constantly affix new parts to the CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine) Pegboard for fixturing. The Coordinate measuring of parts ensures each part is created with correct specifications. The printed fixture allows the CMM to measure planes/lines to get a better reference, then it is moved to measuring fine details of the part. It makes a difference when there are hundreds of parts to be measured. Another benefit is that; one doesn’t have to be an expert for using a fixture CMM pegboard to do fixturing.
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