Jigs, fixtures, and grips are an important part of the manufacturing process as they ensure that the components of machinery can be mass-produced efficiently. The jig holds the workpiece together as it guides the machinery or cutting tool to carry out its task on the workpiece. Fixtures and grips provide additional support for each part.
Normally, jigs and fixtures are made of aluminum or steel, but with the development of 3-D printing technology, various materials are being used to make the components. Additive manufacturing or 3-D printing is now used by industries such as aerospace, automotive, and rail. 3-D printing has many benefits for jigs and fixtures. Here are some reasons why you should consider 3-D print for these parts.
It Is Cost-Effective and Quick
The time it takes to produce jigs and fixtures via additive manufacturing is much less than your traditional methods. Furthermore, you don’t need to outsource the manufacturing of these parts as you can 3D print these components in-house. This will save you a lot of money, as it may be expensive to outsource the manufacturing of jigs and fixtures.
A 3-D model is designed on a computer and sent to a printer electronically. The printer analyzes it and starts printing the components, requiring less labor and time. Furthermore, jigs and fixtures, produced through 3-D printing, can also be manufactured from cheaper materials such as thermoplastics which saves you additional money.
The Option of Extensive Customization
This probably is one of the significant advantages of 3-D printing that you can design the jigs and fixtures to fit your unique needs. Using complex geometrics and extensive designs, you can create tools that would have been impossible to create if you were using traditional manufacturing methods.
You can choose different colors from the palette and manufacture your products in a variety of surface finishes. With 3-D printing, you cam tailor your product according to the specifications of the task or operator of the machine.
Furthermore, you can also create products with special properties such as heat and water resistance and UV stabilization. Industries such as medical equipment manufacturing using 3-D printing to create complex products with innovative features.
3-D printing is based on CAD models and prints. You can create as many iterations as you like and that too quickly. Creating complex tools may require you to go back and forth to create the perfect design for manufacturing. 3-D printing enables you to create a variety of iterations to choose from. Once satisfied, all you need to do is upload it to the printer and see your product being printed.
If you don’t like what you see, you can go back to your computer, fix any flaws, and print it again. You can do it as many times as you like. Due to the quick nature of this process, designers have a lot of freedom and time to create the perfect prototype before it goes into manufacturing.
These are some reasons why it makes sense to use 3-D printing to manufacture jigs and fixtures. However, if you don’t have the technicians to design these products effectively, you can always get the help of expert industrial designers such as MD Design & Automation.
We have some of the best jig and fixture design capabilities in Wisconsin, and they include 2D & 3D modeling, jig grinding wisconsin, Short run machining, full service cnc machining, large assembly design, mold design, weldments, and much more. We use state-of-the-art CAD software for our designs, which ensures quality outputs and efficient production. Contact us now or request a quote for your project.