Production Series 3D Printers like PFI’s Fortus 400mc build manufacturing tooling in production-grade thermoplastics,including high-performance engineering thermoplastics like ULTEM™ 9085.
With Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology, PFI can produce jigs, fixtures, tool masters and even low-volume production tooling in-house in hours or days instead of weeks and months.
For production parts, direct digital manufacturing (DDM), one of the rewards of the 3D printing revolution, means production without the tooling. Because Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology uses production-grade thermoplastics, PFI can 3D print end-use parts straight from 3D CAD data.
DDM also means revenue without inventory. With PFI’s in-house, on-demand production, inventory becomes a digital file at the company’s fingertips.
Production Series 3D Printers build the most durable, stable, repeatable parts in the industry. With accuracy that rivals injection molding and an array of real thermoplastic materials, we can handle the customer’s low-volume production (usually under 500 parts) customized end-use parts.
This will allow designers and manufacturing engineers to optimize parts with organic shapes and complex geometries, including hollow interiors and negative draft. Traditional tooling constraints don’t apply in the world of DDM.
FDM Technology provides fast and accurate methods to produce and manufacture tools. 3D printing jigs and fixtures with FDM can help reduce the backlog for an in-house machine shop and be used as a bridge–to–tooling solution.
In some instances, especially during the design cycle, manufacturing tools are required to make a component for an alpha or beta phase of a product. During this interim, 3D printing can help prove designs without long lead times and complicated machined tools.
Building tools with 3D printing frees designers from conventional manufacturing constraints, resulting in better function and ergonomics.
Typically the benefits of using 3D printing to create jigs and fixtures are:
- Reduces lead time by 40-80%
- Reduces cost by as much as 70-95%
- Integrated design (part consolidation), eliminating assembly and improving performance and accuracy
- Design freedom for improved function and ergonomics
- Streamlined process
PFI’s use of the Stratasys 3D printing materials combine strength, durability and surface quality, so users can create a large spectrum of tools including (but not limited to) almost any tool traditionally made from plastic. Now fixtures can be built overnight, allowing for next–day use. Materials are available that can bear large forces and high temperatures and are chemically resistant.