3D Printing is more than Prototyping for Modern Manufacturers

Making the most of additive manufacturing

Faster and More Effective Production

3D printing has always been a perfect fit for rapid prototyping and will continue to serve this application very well. But the real beauty of 3D printing is that it removes the constraints associated with traditional manufacturing, providing a blank canvas upon which creative minds can develop new applications.

3D printing can make dramatic improvements in both time and cost efficiency when compared with traditional production methods associated with modern manufacturing applications such as tooling, jigs and fixtures.

Watch the videos below to learn more about the latest applications for 3D printing:

How do modern manufacturers use their 3D printer?

Here are six manufacturing applications typically associated with traditional production techniques that are now carried out on a 3D printer to save time and money:

  • Jigs and fixtures
  • Composite tooling
  • Production parts
  • End-of-arm tooling (robotics)
  • Sand casting
  • Thermoforming

3D Printing Jigs & Fixtures

  • Learn how 3D printing increases return on investment by reducing the cost of a jig or fixture.
  • Typically, modern manufacturers realize savings of 70 to 90 percent when compared to outsourcing their fixtures to be machined or fabricated.
  • 3D printed jigs and fixtures can be lighter but just as strong as metal fabrication.
  • Because 3D printing builds from the bottom up, it’s not subject to the same design constraints as hand fabricating or machining.

Inspection Fixtures

  • Learn how 3D printing inspection fixtures can save time and money for shop floor production.
  • Also learn how Oreck, a leading vacuum manufacturer, uses Additive Manufacturing extensively to produce prototypes, specialized assembly tools and CNC milling fixtures.
  • Oreck’s quality-control team would painstakingly attach a variety of modular aluminum clamps to hold their parts in place for inspection. Oreck now uses 3D printing to make fixtures that are specifically designed to quickly and perfectly position each part for testing, eliminating the need for manual placement.

End of Arm Tooling

  • 3D printing provides an alternative method for producing End of Arm Tooling/EOATs that can provide dramatic time and cost savings while optimizing performance.
  • With 3D printing, EOATs can be customized and tailored to a specific application while often accelerating implementation on the production floor.
  • 3D printing can produce working end effectors in a very short amount of time and for much less cost.
  • Tool designs can be changed quickly and easily by revising the CAD model and printing a new tool.

Agile Manufacturing with 3D Printing

In this white paper learn how to optimize production with 3D printing

Agile manufacturing

How to Elevate Design and Prototyping with 3D Printing

  • To help expand your knowledge of the potential of 3D printing FDM technology, this white paper addresses six manufacturing applications typically associated with traditional production techniques.
    • Jigs and fixtures
    • Composite tooling
    • Production parts
    • End-of-arm tooling (robotics)
    • Sand casting
    • Thermoforming