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Reduce Assembly Cost with 3D Printed Jigs and Fixtures

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

High-volume assembly in the United States is more expensive than overseas.

Reduce your assembly labor with custom one-off jigs and fixtures.

According to Stratasys, more than 20% of the Additive Manufacturing space consists of jigs and fixtures.

So what are jigs and fixtures?

The terms are used interchangeably in some industries. In simple terms, jigs and fixturesare used to align, position, hold, fasten, or locate components during machining or assembly processes.

For example, an assembly operator might use a 3D printed jig to position a die cut adhesive tape for an LCD panel.

Or they might use a fixture to inspect a sub-assembly of components and ensure that the length is correct.

Here's a quote from an article from Stratasys to describe how 3D Printing (Additive Manufacturing) has changed the Jigs and Fixtures industry:

“Time is everything. With 3D printing, if a change notification comes through and a jig needs to be changed for the various production processes to work, it can be designed, printed, and ready within twenty-four hours vs. two to three weeks with our internal machine shop or six to eight weeks with an outside vendor at a significant savings.”

--Richard Booth Senior Design Engineer, Medtronic RTG Division

Go/No-Go gauges are another example of a quick inspection tool to ensure that plastic housing gaps are even. 3D printer manufacturer Markforged describes the value of using printed fixtures for conformal testing on complex curvature parts that are difficult to inspect by traditional measurement tools.

In this article 3D Printed fixtures hold cast-iron parts during secondary machining operations. The opportunities for additive Jigs and Fixtures are everywhere.

Additive Manufacturing is ideal for these types of challenges.

The turnaround time for assembly fixtures can be days, not weeks.

Give me a call if you want to discuss.

We're experts at designing fixtures for assembly.


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