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Using 3D printers for manufacturing support is becoming mainstream in several industries because the technology is both versatile and fast. The cost of creating tooling to support manufacturing has the added benefit of being less expensive than traditional methods.
Here are some ways 3D printing can help with the main three manufacturing support areas:
Fast Customization: Manufacturing floors often run into unique issues that need specific solutions. 3D printing lets you quickly design and make custom jigs and fixtures to handle those needs and
Complex Shapes: Traditional manufacturing can struggle or cost too much when making jigs or fixtures with complicated designs. 3D printing has no issue handling the complexity.
On-demand: As things change on the manufacturing floor new jigs and fixtures can be printed right there, so you don’t wait as long.
Cost: Without needing specialized tools or large minimum orders, 3D printing can make jigs and fixtures cheaper.
3D printing Technology can be used to create injection molds. As the materials that the different 3D printing technologies use improve, the more often printing your own injection molds becomes practical.
Rapid Prototyping: Before investing in expensive, long-lasting steel molds companies can 3D print molds to test designs or do short production runs. This really helps for low volume or prototypes.
Design Flexibility: Molds can quickly change based on testing or new ideas. Material Limits: 3D printed molds might break sooner than traditional ones, but work for short runs.
Cooling Channels: 3D printing lets you make complex cooling paths, speeding up cycles and improving quality.
Every new robot job needs custom tools. 3D printing makes these tasks much easier. Two main reasons to 3D printing EOAT are rapid Replacement and Weights
Rapid Replacement: If a part wears out or breaks, the on-site 3D printer can be replaced fast. No downtime.
Weight Reduction: Normal tools are heavy, slowing down robots. 3D-printed ones use light strong stuff to help.