3D PRINTED JIGS & FIXTURES
ON THE FACTORY FLOOR
Save time and money with lightweight, 3D printed factory tooling produced on-demand
REDUCE LEAD TIME BY 90%
Minimize logistics by manufacturing jigs and fixtures in-house.
UP TO 94% CHEAPER TOOLING
Cut tooling costs with digitized production and reduced assembly.
DIGITAL INVENTORY ON DEMAND
Print tools on demand from a digital inventory to save time and storage space.
Production aids and inspection tools are expensive and slow to manufacture, typically outsourced and requiring many design iterations prototyped over 8 to 10 weeks. Handheld jigs can be heavy and cumbersome to use, while complex fixtures may require extensive assembly and costly components.
BigRep 3D printers are a game-changer for virtually any factory tooling aid from production and assembly to quality assurance. Produced in-house and on-demand, 3D printed tooling drastically simplifies logistics and lead times, while significantly cutting costs up to 94%. Lightweight, strong, and ergonomic 3D printed factory aids are customizable and multi-functional.
PROBLEMS OF TRADITIONAL FACTORY TOOLING
Expensive material and labor costs
Slow to iterate and produce
Large, costly inventory storage
Heavy and non-ergonomic
Outsourced to third party supplier
NDA required for external providers
SOLUTIONS WITH 3D PRINTED FACTORY TOOLING
Minimal material and labor cost
Agile production easy to iterate and customize
Digitized with no physical inventory
Lighter and topology optimized
Produced in-house on demand
Design knowledge is protected in-house
3D Printed Production and Assembly Aids
Ford embraced additive manufacturing 30 years ago and now relies on BigRep for large-format 3D printing to produce full-scale jigs and quality assurance tools in one single piece. For Ford, the cost savings are huge, as their BigRep machine paid for itself after just the first few prints.
HANDHELD ALIGNMENT JIG
Ford uses lightweight 3D printed alignment jigs to correctly place logos and decals on their cars.
END-OF-ARM ROBOTIC GRIPPER
The Adaptive Robotic Gripper is capable of gently gripping any geometry, even small and delicate parts.
TUBE BENDER COLLET
Kawasaki uses customized 3D printed bender collets to grip and guide tubes during CNC bending.
WAT minimizes human error by mistake-proofing work flows with 3D printed placement jigs.
Fast and easy to customize, 3D printed assembly jigs ensure correct alignment, attachment, and securing of workpieces.
WELDING AND MILLING FIXTURES
Produced in a fraction of the time, 3D printed fixtures can greatly improve the quality of welding and milling jobs.
3D printed soft jaws perfectly hold workpieces too complex for standard vice jaws and can be produced faster and cheaper than standard methods.
TOOL HOLDERS AND SHADOW BOARDS
Among their many 3D printing use cases, WAT also produces custom tool holders to streamline workspaces.
Quality Assurance with 3D Printed Tooling
Walther Automobiltechnik (WAT) makes the most of their BigRep 3D printer by producing all kinds of factory tooling and production aids. From inspection fixtures and tool holders to mistake-proofing, WAT had thoroughly embedded additive manufacturing into their production processes and has seen massive benefits thanks to BigRep.
Ford uses 3D printed inspection fixtures to check that the fit between the car body and door achieves acceptable tolerances.
CMM (COORDINATE MEASURING MACHINE) FIXTURES
This 3D printed multifunctional CMM fixture allows Nikola to simultaneously assemble and inspect electronic components.
WAT is using smart go/no-go fixtures to check gap tolerances on car frames after galvanization.
With large-scale 3D printed fixtures, Vestas can run inspections on wind turbine towers.
A Simple Workflow for 3D Printed Jigs & Fixtures
- Design the 3D model (export an STL or OBJ file)
- Prepare the 3D file for printing with BigRep Blade (slice and export a gCode file)
- 3D Print the part