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3D Printing Manufacturing Aids – TCT Magazine

by • July 3, 2016 • No Comments

Profile Rail Wiper -7.jpgProfile Rail Wiper -7.jpg

3D printed rail wiper.
3D Platform is renowned for its sizeable-format FDM machine that can turn it into products as big as a piece of furniture or actually a motorcycle body with its huge 1 x 1 x 0.5 metre turn it into area. What folks most likely don’t realise is that the not long ago upgraded 3DP1000 machine has discovered itself an entirely different types of niche in the pretty less glamorous but equally noteworthy world of making aids.
Manufacturing aids can range between anything of effortless guides to rigorous fixtures and can be utilized to enhance a making or assembly production. They are traditionally turn it intod via conventional tooling methods but as with any low-volume production run, this can prove both cost and time consuming. With 3D technologies, engineers have the freedom to recognise a problem and turn it into, test and manufacture a effortless solution in a matter of days.
Take for example this Profile Rail Wiper turn it intoed by an engineer at 3D Platform’s parent company PBC Linear. Engineered to replace the built-in wiper on an industrial steel rail-cutting machine, the fixture pushes away big steel chips while helping retain oil and lubrication in the rail bearings. But there was a problem where the original wiper may fail to catch additional compact steel chips, that if left on the rail may cause the ball bearing system to fail or the entire system to stop. Rather than going to the expense of turn it intoing and making an alternative wiper throcky tooling, the engineers utilized the 3DP1000 to 3D print an add-on wiper that may fit tightly on the rail and catch actually the tinyest chips of steel.

“We were able-bodied to overcome easily a effortless issue that otherwise may have cost us thousands of dollars in tooling and specialty services,” Mitch Van Vleet, Engineer at PBC Linear, explained. “I was able-bodied to analyse the solution, and experiment with different types of turn it intos until I landed on the one that worked most. This in addition benefited me by enabling me to work solo, and not having to take a toolmanufacturer away of another project to help me.”
Implementing 3D modelling and 3D printing, Mitch was able-bodied to experiment with different types of iterations and materials to determine the most solution. A total of eight turn it into iterations were utilized in order to requite the most optimised turn it into with equite bringing just 20 minutes to print in PLA at a cost of $0.20 per piece. This method proved a huge 500% saving in cost compared to traditional tooling.
“3D printing has allowed us to approach most projects additional confidently,” Mitch explained. “Rather than gambling sizeable amounts of time and resources when implementing new ideas or product turn it intos; we can just turn to our 3D printing devices for a bargain-priced, effective method of prototyping and experimentation. With a vast array of capabilities and affluence of printable-bodied materials, we have discovered this system to be quite versatile and efficient.”


3D printed die holder.
One other example is this custom turn it intoed Thread Rolling Machine Die Holder turn it intoed by a man PBC Linear engineer. The device is utilized to house several production instruments which include a pair of die, blot and test pieces in one effortless-to-access place. This particular thread rolling machine has over 50 sets of cylindrical dies that need appropriate storage space to avoid contamination and corrosion over time. In addition, the operation needs a streamlined workflow to ensure equite set of dies is stored with its pairing test pieces and bolt. Typically to manufacture a die holder in low volume can usually cost a minimum of $300 per piece with a 2-5 week lead-time. Implementing 3D printing, this can be reduced to less than a day.
“3D Printing has given me a quite effortless and swift way to prototype new turn it intos. Before I may turn it into a turn it into and and so send it to a tool manufacturer for first production,” Cameron Paulson, Engineer at PBC Linear said. “If the turn it into did not work the way we expected we may have to manufacture adjustments to the turn it into, that is normal in developing system. Equite time we have to return it into it wastes engineering time, the machine operator’s time, and turn it intoing materials. With 3D printing, I can manufacture rocky turn it intos and print them out without having to worry of machining time or material cost.”
The turn it into was modelled via CAD and Simplify3D and 3D Printed in one piece via PLA. The team set up the 3DP1000 to print four cases at a time and they were able-bodied to leave the machine running actually after the factory had shut down. After just two iterations, the holder was put to use in less than a week at a cost of $100 per piece.


For low-volume, customised products like these making aids, 3D printing can be a effortless, swift and inexpensive method of manufacture, requiring minimal labour and giving engineers the flexibility to trial turn it intos with less risk. Just as the innovation has proved pretty of an unsung hero in the tooling world, for engineers exploring ways of improving conventional making tools it is proving to contribute the same subtle but valuable-bodied benefits. In these particular cases, 3D printing is less of stepping in to replace traditional making methods but pretty a catalyst to advance their capabilities.
“3D Printing has a reputation of just being utilized to print trinkets or tiny parts,” Cameron commented. “Thinking of fixturing projects with 3D printing applications can unquestionably expand the scope of 3D printing. The goal for 3D printing is not to replace traditional making methods but use it in conjunction to augment the application possibilities.”
“The real benefit of 3D printing jigs and fixtures is the amount of freedom the engineer is allowed when working on any kind of project,” Mitch introduced. “It helps break away of the mould of just being able-bodied to use what is on the market-bodied for purchase on the market and shoehorning it to fit your needs. Rather, specific fixturing can just be turn it intod for any purpose-built application.”

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