Just about every manufacturing facility uses jigs and fixtures in its operation. They can range from range from organizational bins and tool holders for 5S (a workplace organizational methodology) to templates, guides and gauges. And they can be as sophisticated as robotic end-effectors (grippers) or as simple as rudimentary sorters.
Producing these essential tools can often be a costly and time consuming process. And if one fails and needs to be replaced immediately, a whole production process can grind to a halt while a replacement is located or built from scratch.
Here’s where Additive Manufacturing comes to the rescue. By 3D printing the jigs, fixtures and grippers using FDM or PolyJet technology, you can not only produce them MUCH faster than with conventional techniques like CNC tooling but also customize their design for better fit and performance. In fact, many manufacturers are experiencing lead time reduction from 40% to 90% with financial savings ranging from 70% to 90% when compared to outsourced fixtures that are machined or fabricated.
This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)