Their particular application focused on tooling applications for the end of robot arms. Otherwise known as ‘End of Arm Tooling’. They required from our 3D printing bureau service a quick turn-around of parts to demonstrate to their customer that the methods they had designed were suitable to hold the components that had to be moved or fitted to the ‘vehicle’ for example. Normally the prototype would have been machined from Aluminium taking time and money but our 3D printing service bureau provided strong robust parts in ABS plastic at a fraction of the cost by using our new Dimension SST1200es 3D printer on the ‘fast’ slice height using the interior honeycomb fill pattern.
Manufacturing generally relies on tools, jigs and fixtures, to maintain quality and production efficiency. These manufacturing tools are used to assemble, clamp and hold at all stages of the manufacturing process. These tools for years have been produced by using conventional techniques by the subtractive process – A big billet of material to start with and the material is machined creating waste to give you a final component. With 3D printing service bureaus now using professional Additive Manufacturing techniques the speed to produce the 3D printed parts plus the benefits of the cost savings significantly demonstrate that Additive Manufacturing is the way forward using a 3D printing service bureau to produce the parts for you.
Manufacturing tools are most commonly machined or fabricated from metal, wood or plastic. Like the items they help produce, these tools go through the design, documentation and production process. Elaborate or intricate tools may require several cycles of design, prototyping and evaluation to reach the required performance. On average, each iteration of manufacturing tooling takes between one and four weeks to design and build. With Additive Manufacturing using FDM and a 3D printing service bureau the parts are quickly produced again with virtually no downtime and costly expense when the assembly line in a car plant stops for example. We’ve begun to actively encourage our customers who use our 3D printing service bureau to hold stock of spares to limit down time to a minimum ensuring their customer can be productive again keeping ‘downtime’ costs to a minimum.