Unlike CNC machining and related processes, 3D printing does not get more expensive and time consuming to set-up just because your design is more complex. The flexibility of 3D printing frees you to optimize jigs, fixtures and other manufacturing aids for specific tasks, components or complete assemblies.
A key advantage of 3D printing is that it removes constraints found with traditional manufacturing, reducing cycle time and production costs. Many manufacturing companies, in various industries, use FFF Technology and realize benefits such as
- Significant reductions in cycle time to produce tooling and parts
- Lightweight, ergonomic manufacturing aids in various designs
- Lower production costs resulting in higher profits
3D printing brings new production on-line faster and avoids costly errors. 3D printing work facilitates the design of holding devices, tooling trays, kits, guides and templates to greatly support flexible manufacturing and improve product quality.
3D printing reduces wear and tear on robotic arms, motors and bearings by aiding in the design of end-effectors and thereby allowing the design to reduce end-effector weight. Using 3D printing with lightweight plastics, you can control material density, consolidate gripper or fixture components, embed fittings and sensors, or create hollow channels for cables or vacuum lines.
3D printing is used to customize protective guards and covers for valuable equipment. Tough, impact resistant 3D printing materials like Bigrep PETG can withstand punishing conditions on the shop floor.
Health and Safety
Usage of 3D printing aids to improve worker safety and comfort. Switching from traditional metal tools to lightweight thermoplastics can help operators move freely and comfortably to reduce strain and enhance productivity. Work-holding devices, jigs and fixtures can be customized to each individual and task for better ergonomics.
3D printing provides support for your quality-control processes with part-specific tools, cradles, test-fixture components and measurement aids. You can even 3D print with non-slip or static-dissipative materials that won’t scuff finished surfaces or damage sensitive components.
Packaging and Logistics
Usage of 3D printing allows the streamline of the movement of parts within your facility or during shipment. You can customize tooling trays, kits and boxes for greater portability and quickly revise your designs as parts or the overall process change.