Jigs and fixtures are common tools when manufacturing a part. They are also used when a part undergoes secondary processes, such as finishing, and may be known better as masking fixtures. The second module of the FDM Fixture Generator lets users 3D print these fixtures. The module came about as a result of a collaboration between Stratasys and nTopology. Users can generate and 3D print custom fixtures with a few clicks.
The Masking Fixture Module of the FDM Fixture Generator automates 90% of the design work required to create protective plugs, masks, and enclosing fixtures. These fixtures protect various part aspects such as critical faces, gaskets, holes, or mating surfaces with tight tolerances when they undergo painting, coating, or other production steps.
3D printed masking fixtures eliminate the need for manual masking techniques, regardless of model complexity.
Jigs and fixtures account for approximately 10% of all end-use parts 3D printed today. Yet, less than 1% of all fixtures used in factories around the world are 3D printed. Simplifying the development of these tools should make them more accessible to the factory floor.
The Masking Fixture Module is the second output of the ongoing Stratasys and nTopology collaboration. The design automation tool saves time and labor costs, and is now available for all to download.