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Jigs and Fixtures with 3D Printer Filaments: The Modern Evolution

3d-printed-filament-05032020

Jigs and Fixtures with 3D Printer Filaments: The Modern Evolution

The world of manufacturing has successfully graduated from the classic conceptual designing & prototyping to an essential product production resource. The time and cost savings that were once ideated at the desk of the design engineer has now entered the production section.

One such example where the 3D printer filament and the printing technology are being used are the 3D Fixtures & printed jigs. In order to fully contemplate this rapid development, one needs to keep in mind that fixtures and jigs are an important part of product fabrication.

Let us know more about the Fixtures and jigs.

What defines jigs & fixtures?

In common terms, the fixtures and jigs can be used in an interchangeable manner. Basically, these manufacturing components are designed to hold & guide stuff. For the ones that are closer to the manufacturing protocol, they serve as a critical component. A jig can be defined as a custom-tool used for controlling the location or guiding the motion of different parts and tools.

In simple words, a jig can hold the work while allowing the proper movement of the tools in function. On the other hand, a fixture tends to hold the work or product in a given location while allowing for certain modifications that need to be carried out in the piece. At times, the jigs can easily be used in different stations or locations in the workplace. However, the fixtures are designed to operate in a pre-set location.

So, this allows for proper maneuvering and changes during the manufacturing process. Keeping in mind how important they are, it is critical that they should be crafted with top-quality 3d printed filament adding strength and longevity to the make.

Read: The Ultimate Guide to Best 3D Printer Filament

Why use 3D printed fixtures and jigs?

As we decoded earlier, jigs & fixtures are quite important in the manufacturing world. This is due to the fact that they bring in several benefits to the entire process, such as:

  • Production cost reduction
  • Accelerated delivery of products
  • Enhanced quality

The cost reduction in the manufacturing process comes directly from the use of top-quality 3D printer filaments. Before the introduction of 3D technology, fixtures and jigs were being designed & tooled for the traditional variant of injection molding. Today though, they are no more in need. Fixtures and jigs can now be printed within a fraction of time & the overall pricing is drastically reduced.

Benefits of 3D Printed Filament for Jigs and Fixtures

  • Cost:

The prime benefit of using 3D Printed filament for jigs and fixtures is the obvious cost reduction. A good chunk of these savings comes from a reduction in the high costs related to machining. Typically, a fixture or grip can be sent out for machining by someone skilled in operating the CNC machine. This work can take several days in a row for the fixture or jig creation to be completed.

However, with 3D printing technology, after the designing process has been completed, the file can be sent in an electronic form to the nearest printer. The printing process takes a couple of hours and viola; the component for manufacturing is ready to use.

  • Speed:

Another benefit that comes with the use of 3D printed fixtures and jigs is the fact that 3D printer filament makesprinting easier and faster. Machining of the complex form of metal geometries tends to take a significant amount of planning along with help from skilled designers for CAM. This takes up a lot of time and hence delays the manufacturing process.

With 3D printed filament, you can assemble the tools within hours. The 3D printing technology cuts down the overall time by a whopping 92 percent. So, isn’t the use of 3D printer filament a great idea for jigs and fixtures?

  • Materials:

3D printing brings in a range of durable and feature-packed materials that can be expanded over a line of technologies. Properties like flame retardancy, chemical resistance, UV stability, and heat resistance are some of the elements you get with the 3D printed filament for fixtures and jigs.

The parts can easily be produced & finished with the use of different colors& surface finishes. With 3D printer filament for parts manufacturing, you essentially limit the damage that comes during the handling or assembly part.

  • Design Iterations:

The speed at which 3D printing of jigs and fixtures can be done allows the designers’ scope of freedom for design optimizations and multiple iterations. With the use of the 3D printed filament, one can aim for ergonomic and complex designs that can be produced easily and comfortably.

  • Weight:

Fixtures and jigs are manipulated by the workers on a regular basis. A good chunk of the materials that are used by the 3D printer filament tends to be lighter than compounds such as aluminum. This helps with the load reduction on the workers while improving the safety components.

  • Better Accuracy:

With 3D printer filament, you get access to better accuracy as opposed to any other manufacturing method for fixtures and jigs. With 3D printing technology, designers can easily incorporate the use of intricate and fine details to the make that fit well with interlocking features.

  • Customization:

The freedom to design intricate details opens up a world of possibilities for the designs in terms of customization. It allows better control over the tasks while further enabling ergonomic support for the workers. This eventually results in better accuracy during task performances. Instead of going for designs that aim towards manufacturability, the engineers can now tailor the manufacturing aids for employees to utilize the same.

  • Digital Inventory:

Most of the traditional service providers for fixtures or jigs creation work for bulk orders. This is good if you need a huge quantity of the same. However, if one or more of your fixtures is destroyed or isn’t the correct shape, what could you do? You surely cannot order 1 or 2 jigs for your needs from the local maker. So, what could actually be done in this case?

The key is to opt for services that are open for any type of 3D printing needs. With 3D printer filament, you can print as per need. This particular digital inventory can be used whenever needed. It allows you a scope to redesign or update your tools in an effective and quick fashion.

Read: Everything you Need to Know About PLA 3D Printer Filament

Conclusion

Even though the jigs and fixtures might seem like a small section of the entire manufacturing process, we need to understand that they matter regardless. Each small component, when put together, makes up for a seamless manufacturing process. This is why having a high-quality jig or fixture created with the 3D printer filament is critical to the business.

Looking for the best collection of 3D printer filament for your jigs or fixture manufacturing needs? At MakeShaper, we house some of the best filaments for 3D printing. Ranging from ABS filaments to PETG filaments, we have it all and more. Our filaments are tested for quality and durability to provide the best print output. To get some quick discounts on your purchase, visit the website today!

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