3D Printing with ABS Reduces Part Weight and Production Time
By 3D printing the mill fixture using ABS thermoplastic material instead of machining it from aluminum, Baker Industries was able to reduce the weight of a customer’s tool by 70 percent, which served to protect the parts that were being trimmed and provide a safer solution for employees handling the tool.
Recently, a Baker Industries original equipment manufacturer customer was seeking a creative solution to reduce the weight of a traditionally machined aluminum mill fixture. Customarily, this fixture is used to hold parts in place during the trimming process. However, fixtures that are too heavy can result in component damage or destruction.
By 3D printing the mill fixture using ABS thermoplastic material instead of machining it from aluminum, Baker Industries was able to reduce the tool’s weight by 70 percent, which served to protect the parts that were being trimmed and provide a safer solution for employees handling the tool. In addition to reducing the weight, 3D printing the tool enabled the customer to save time on production. The team was able to print the tool in approximately fifty hours, which saved the customer a week of lead time that the customer normally would have needed to machine the tool.
Because of the high-precision tolerances and the complexity required for this application, the change in approach did not significantly lower the cost, but instead was rather comparable. Overall, Baker Industries was able to offer the customer a lightweight solution that enhanced the mill fixture’s functionality and reduce the customer’s lead time at a comparable cost.
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