3D Printing Bespoke Fixtures for Laser Drilling Machine

Brown & Holmes is a UK-based specialist in work-holding solutions, machining and related products, supplying major companies worldwide with bespoke parts and fixtures. The company’s design team works in conjunction with its customers to enact initial concepts and ideas and turn them into reality. At one of the company’s sites in Tamworth, such concepts are realized using its Fortus 450mc and Stratasys F170 3D Printers.

Manufacturing Challenge

A new laser drilling machine purchased by one of Brown & Holmes’ major power generation customers needed a bespoke fixture made of a durable, stable material in very short time. While conventional manufacturing methods, such as welding or milling, have been used in the past by Brown & Holmes to create such fixtures, these processes are associated with lengthy lead times and often expensive outsourcing for specialized parts from subcontractors.

Stratasys 3D Printing Solution

Brown & Holmes has fully embedded additive manufacturing into its design and production operations. For the laser drilling machine fixture, the part was 3D printed using Stratasys ULTEM™ 1010 resin, as well as FDM Nylon 12CF – two high-strength thermoplastic materials that can meet the rigorous requirements of production.

Fixture requirements

Design of fixture holding component for laser ablation

Business Impact

Additive Manufacturing with the Fortus 450mc and F170 3D printers enabled Brown & Holmes to produce the laser drilling fixture in 4-5 weeks. Traditional manufacturing would have taken up to 12 weeks. Additionally, Brown & Holmes was able to cut production cost by half compared to its conventional manufacturing methods.

Stratasys F170 machine

The Stratasys F170 is used to print elastomers, while the Fortus 450mc produces high performance materials that can withstand very high temperatures


Fortus 450mc 3D printer

Workhorse 3D printers for engineers that require demanding flexibility to print larger-sized or many parts in an array of engineering-grade materials with high speed and unfailing throughput.

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