3D Printed Tools Boost Efficiency on the Factory Floor
Manufacturing aids, including jigs and fixtures, help hold and position parts for subsequent operations. While some general-purpose tooling is made for multiple uses on the factory floor, jigs and fixtures are often custom made for specific operations, and are especially useful for managing complex production and assembly operations. With HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) and advanced materials, 3D printed tools can be made faster and less expensive while further enhancing quality and productivity.
Endeavor 3D’s unique capabilities, including HP MJF 3D printing, allow manufacturing aids like jigs and fixtures to improve production and assembly line quality and productivity.
About Jigs and Fixtures
Choosing the Right Manufacturing Aid
Jigs are designed to guide cutting tools and ensure material is removed in the correct location and orientation. They are typically used for drilling, reaming, boring and tapping operations, and common types include:
- Template jig – a simple device with holes or bushings that guide a cutting tool
- Plate jig – incorporates drill bushings and hardened inserts to increase durability and precision
- Channel jig – utilizes a channel-shaped cross-section making it suitable for holding workpieces of various shapes and sizes
- Diameter jig – specifically designed for drilling radial holes on cylindrical or spherical workpieces
- Leaf jig – a two-plated jig that swings open on a hinge, allowing loading and unloading
- Ring jig – a circular jig used for holding and locating workpieces with a central hole
- Box jig – a complex jig that maximizes support and stability by completely enclosing workpieces
- Turning fixture – used on a lathe to hold workpieces during turning operations
- Milling fixture – holds workpieces during operations on a milling machine
- Grinding fixture – Used on a grinding machine to hold workpieces
- Boring fixture – holds workpieces on a boring machine
- Tapping fixture – helps create threaded holes by positioning workpieces during operations
- Duplex fixture – used in machining and assembly operations to hold two workpieces simultaneously
- Welding fixture – holds workpieces in precise alignment for welding operations
- Assembly fixture – used to hold components in correct position
Jigs and fixtures in automotive
Who Uses Jigs and Fixtures?
Conventional Jig and Fixture Manufacturing
Long CNC Lead Times
3D Printed Tools Offer Important Advantages
3D printed fixture
See how HP uses MJF to create tooling for its own manufacturing operations -Image via HP
MJF is a Force Multiplier
Materials Designed for the Rigors of Industrial Use
HP also offers different grades of Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). It is a flexible and durable material that offers an excellent alternative to rubber and other materials used to produce manufacturing aids. In addition, TPU offers good chemical resistance and abrasion resistance. It is also non-marking and a low-friction material, which prevents items from sliding. Further, TPU is inexpensive, making it a cost-effective choice for jigs and fixtures.
If the answer to any of these is yes or even maybe, contact us today.