Use advanced materials to test concepts, communicate requirements, and validate designs for manufacturability. Create small-batch runs or one-off custom solutions for comprehensive field and in-house testing before investing in expensive tooling for production.
Physical models can better communicate intricacies from 2D drawings, and reduce the likelihood of errors and miscommunication. Use 3D prints to clearly communicate design for manufacturability (DFM) considerations like tool access, minimum radii, and the number of operations required to customers or other team members.
Use 3D printed stand-ins, or surrogate parts, to quickly configure assembly lines, evaluate ergonomics of jigs and fixtures, and calibrate automation processes. Surrogate parts are also useful for high value parts or subassemblies that are delicate or are consumed in a process like overmolding. Workers can be trained with the low-cost surrogate parts, and dial in machine settings without using the real product.
3D printing has become a priceless tool in our toolbox. It’s kind of a cliché, but it’s really allowing all of us to think completely outside the box.
By outsourcing to traditional machining service providers, we would have had to wait six more weeks before we could start production. With 3D printing, you can simply take the same design, send it to the printer, and then have the finished part ready by the next morning.
Jigs and Fixtures
Reduce costs and increase agility by bringing jig and fixture production in-house with no minimum order quantities, no toolpath programming, wide material selection, and low capital equipment costs. Continuously improve products and respond quickly and effectively to issues on your manufacturing line with jigs and fixtures that improve assembly or QA processes.
Build custom tooling that stands up to the rigors of the factory floor, and can help solve your toughest manufacturing challenges. Validate manufacturing processes, solve DFM issues, and increase flexibility by direct printing of tooling for applications ranging from injection molding to CNC tube bending.
High precision, polymer-based 3D prints are well-suited for casting workflows to produce metal parts at a lower cost, with greater design freedom, and in less time than traditional methods. Foundries around the world use 3D printing for directly investable printed patterns, molds for wax injection, and sand casting patterns.