Manufacturing aids are the perfect first applications to 3D print. We see companies typically saving +50% in cost, shavings days if not weeks off turnaround, and lightening their parts by moving off of metal or solid plastic to fiber reinforced composite parts.
Due to low volume and the need for speed it is uncommon to see companies fully redesigning their jigs and fixtures to take advantage of 3d printing. Below are our 3 recommendations to consider. Each one will save you money, time, and improve your user experience.
1 - Mass reduction
The easiest way to save money and time on your part is to reduce its mass. FDM printers benefit from shorter total tool paths. Powder-bed printers can pack more parts into the build when mass is reduced. When starting out, you don't have to be fancy. Simple hollowing of parts is often used. Later, you can experiment with honeycomb structure or generative design. Many customers have saved 25% on their parts with their first quick pass on mass reduction. It is rare 30 minutes in design won't save hours in printing.
2 - Part unification
Another simple alteration is part unification. Any time two parts become one you are saving in assembly time and in some cases benefit from a continuous part. We commonly see parts meant for fluid control benefitting most from this strategy.
3 - Part Identification
Due to the durability of our HP and Markforged parts, manufacturing aids last a very long time. As you begin to accumulate parts why not label them with the printer? Adding text is simple in CAD, most design guides will have font recommendations (size and depth) and if the team using the parts is not the team manufacturing them this will greatly improve communication between departments normally saving time and making sure part are not duplicated.
Tip: Markforged Onyx parts are black. A white or silver oil based sharpie can dramatically improve text visibility.
The next time you print a part please consider these three design alterations. If you are struggling with these edits or are interesting in more advanced strategies are team is available to help.
Designfusion is the largest dedicated solution provider of Siemens PLM software in North America. With an expert support team and a decade of history in the industry designfusion is the #1 choice for companies looking to best enhance their software acquisition.
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