Streamline Manufacturing Processes with 3D Printing
In just over two years, Markforged has expanded their 3D printers into the manufacturing environment, helping businesses increase capabilities, decrease time, save money and streamline machining processes. In our most recent post, Determining the Value of 3D Printing, we broke down the concept of pricing comparison between 3D printing, CNC machining and injection molding to better exemplify the types of savings that can be achieved with 3D printing.
One company that works with Markforged 3D printers, decided to test the abilities of their Mark Two, by finding a complex CNC machined part that would require soft jaws to hold in vices. The piece they worked with is typically machined on a 5 axis CNC machine, has multiple abnormal faces, features and some rounded edges that make it difficult for vices to hold.
The part can only be machined on a 5 axis CNC machine, but they have a difficult time machining each side because the profiles, features and faces of the part prevent vices from getting a good grip. They decided to print soft jaws that would be able to hold the part correctly so the blank faces could be machined and they would need unique tolerances to fit and hold the part in place at odd angles.
With no CAD files or designs and no numbers to tolerance the fit of the jaws, their best option was to 3D scan the part then cut away the part’s profiles to achieve the soft jaws. Once completed, the design can be uploaded to Eiger to determine the best materials and reinforcements prior to printing.
Although they had no CAD files or design files, by using the 3D scanner they were able to print soft jaws that were an exceptional fit. The jaws hold the part perfectly flat for machining the blank sides. They were able to streamline machining processes by adding the capabilities of their Mark Two 3D printer.
Even Markforged decided to use their design files to print the soft jaws in onyx and the onyx jaws fit the part in the first try. These prints are not only precise, they are able to be repeated and cost less to produce. Learn how 3D printing can help streamline your business and manufacturing processes by request a demo or contacting us for details.