Benefits of AM for Jigs and Fixtures

Jigs and fixtures are an often overlooked, but critical, component to manufacturing quality products. Commonly fabricated from metal, wood, or plastics, these elaborate tools may require several cycles of design, prototyping, and evaluation to attain the required performance – each taking precious time to design, verify, and build.

Additive manufacturing provides a substantially simplified and cost effective fabrication process that enables improvements in productivity, efficiency, and quality at not only the prototyping phase, but production as well.

How Additive Manufacturing Can Help

Complexity – 3D printing manufacturing aids rather than machining or molding allows you to design for optimal performance as additive manufacturing places fewer constraints on tool configuration. The addition of complexity typically does not increase build time or cost as compared to traditional manufacturing methods.

Consolidation – Eliminate or reduce assembly by consolidating several parts of the tool. Depending on the functionality and complexity, some multi-component jigs and fixtures can be merged into one contiguous component.

Ergonomics – Redesign your jigs and fixtures to improve handling, ease of use, and worker comfort. Additive manufacturing can produce certain features, such as contours or other organic shapes, with ease and no added cost that increases both safety and comfort of employees.

Weight Reduction – High-strength plastics offer a superior solution to conventional metal-cutting processes. Specialized light-weighting techniques can also be used to produce a strong component without all the heft.

Customization – Easily and cost-effectively produce tools customized for individual users, giving them greater control over their tasks and providing ultimate ergonomic support.

On-Demand Production – Reduce or even eliminate inventory requirements by producing fixtures and jigs as needed. This digital inventory also allows for painless design revisions and updates to ensure your tools are always performing optimally.

Printing Larger Parts Fast

Stratasys Direct Manufacturing is taking on-demand printing to the next level, combining a new .020” resolution with Fused Deposition Modeling and ASA thermoplastic resin to print large parts and tools faster than ever before. With print speeds 40-60% faster than our .013” resolution, we can economically manufacture parts and assemblies with production times unmatched in the industry – a perfect fit for your tooling, fixtures, and jigs.

Print Speed Comparison
XD13 / T20 / .03" 160 hours
XD20 / T40 / .020" 63 hours
Timing savings 97 hours

Stratasys Direct Manufacturing now offers a full turn-key jigs and fixtures solution including services for creation and design, machining and assembly, even metrology and inspection of your fixtures. Click here to contact a Project Engineer today and see how Stratasys Direct Manufacturing can save you time and money on your jigs and fixtures.

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