3D-Printed fixtures

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  • 3D-Printed fixtures

    I'm looking into easy fixture solutions and was thinking about 3D printed fixtures. Would that be possible. I'm wondering if I could make some fixture arms, or even some standoffs, or if needed some complex fixtures. That being said, what filament would work well for both precision and accuracy as well as durability. PLA and ABS look like good candidates. Or am I wasting my time?

  • #2
    Subbed - I would also like to know more. Been scouring the net for info, but most of them are directly connected to a sale... Anyone in here that uses 3D-printing for creating custom fixtures etc, please speak up!
    PC-DMIS CAD++ 2o19 R1 SP3

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    • #3
      I did some contract work for a company 4 years ago, that would make 3D printed fixtures for the CMM. The fixtures work surprisingly well on a Global 5.7.5 with analog scanning using a SP25. The fixtures where for injection molded plastic parts.

      Comment


      • vpt.se
        vpt.se commented
        Editing a comment
        Print material/filament?

      • davehocum
        davehocum commented
        Editing a comment
        I did ask what type of material/filament was being used. They never did give me that info.

    • #4
      All of my fixturing is custom 3D printed!

      Here are some photos...


      My goal is for the operators to not have any chances to make mistakes through fixturing and programming.

      My current printing setup is a Formlabs Form2 SLA printer. I'm currently in the process of putting together a case for a Raise3D Pro2 FDM printer. Different technologies but bigger build volume.

      I also do all the designing and CAD work. This is hugely beneficial because i can design the fixtures with CMM programming in mind and not "engineering" in mind, if that makes any sense.
      Attached Files
      Ex-Hex

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      • davehocum
        davehocum commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for the info anthony.alfaro.
        Last edited by davehocum; 05-16-2019, 08:48 AM.

      • ChairsWithWheels
        ChairsWithWheels commented
        Editing a comment
        Do you know what filaments would work well? Also, what kind of filament does the Form2 use? I'm a CMM programmer for a small job shop so we don't have chances to spend large amounts of money. I just wanna have a good pitch for my boss.

      • vpt.se
        vpt.se commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks Anthony!

    • #5
      Originally posted by anthony.alfaro View Post
      All of my fixturing is custom 3D printed!

      Here are some photos...


      My goal is for the operators to not have any chances to make mistakes through fixturing and programming.

      My current printing setup is a Formlabs Form2 SLA printer. I'm currently in the process of putting together a case for a Raise3D Pro2 FDM printer. Different technologies but bigger build volume.

      I also do all the designing and CAD work. This is hugely beneficial because i can design the fixtures with CMM programming in mind and not "engineering" in mind, if that makes any sense.
      Thanks! This could be useful for us. Can you 3D print threads into a mold to add standoffs or clamps?

      Comment


      • anthony.alfaro
        anthony.alfaro commented
        Editing a comment
        simple answer: yes.

        difficult answer: printing threads is actually kind of tricky. Especially if they are smaller threads. All of my stuff is vision so my fixturing is all M4. The issue that i've run into in the past in printing threads is shrinkage. While 3D printing is great you can't expect absolute dimensional accuracy. What i plan on trying next is to print the threads as they are modeled and then running a tap through them before i try to put some fixturing in there. Last time i tried to put a standoff into some printed threads they stripped.

        so, take that for what you will. Maybe if the threads were bigger they would print a little better but i've only tried to print M4. Also, i think it depends on your printing technology. SLA printers have an incredible surface finish while the FDM type printers don't have so great of surface finish.

        Another idea for threads will be to just model the hole as a through hole and tap it manually. << this may be the best idea and will likely what i do next.

      • mckenzie
        mckenzie commented
        Editing a comment
        another option would be threaded inserts.

      • anthony.alfaro
        anthony.alfaro commented
        Editing a comment
        another viable option. and one of the better options but for some reason my company doesn't have a contract with the big suppliers (MSC, etc.) so those are harder to come by. I suppose i could order them from amazon but either way, my company makes things real difficult for me.

    • #6
      IMG_0322.JPG

      bfire85 here's the one successful thread i've printed.
      Ex-Hex

      Comment


      • #7
        for your normal FDM printers: ABS or PLA would work just fine. whichever is cheapest, really. You have to make sure that everyone understands that these fixtures are NOT guages! I had someone try to bring up the point that these need to be qualified in order to use them. And of course, they were wrong because no measurements are being taken from the fixtures. they are there simply to hold the part in place so the CMM can do it's job a little better.

        The Form2 is an SLA printer so it uses a liquid photoreactive resin. (Similar to DLP printers but the Form2 uses a laser.) It's not really a hard sell. Right now Formlabs just came out with the Form3 so they're trying to shift the rest of their Form2s. Current price on the Formlabs website is $2850 for the Form2. Then it's around $150/L of resin which i can get a good 5-7 prints out of depending on if i make them solid or hollow them out. There will be on-going costs as the resin tanks and the resin itself are consumables. I was lucky and i was able to acquire the printer from another department but since december i've spend somewhere in the realm of $5000 in consumables through test prints, prototypes, development prints, etc. It takes a while to get the workflow down and understand the shrinkage and all that mess. I've got a bucket full of prints that i can't use because the fixture ended up too small or too big or i messed up in the modeling or any other reason.

        BUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTT

        if you use R&R fixturing or the Hex brand fixturing you can compare the costs there. In my case it's completely necessary to have single fixtures for each part number because the operators here have no idea what a CMM is or what it does so i have to "idiot-proof" it as much as i can through clever fixturing and programming. So if i were to buy enough R&R fixturing to have individual fixtures i would have spent close to $300,000 IN FIXTURING ALONE! So, yes, having a 3D printer allowing me to custom make my fixtures for under $10k was a no-brainer to my bosses. That case may not work for everyone but it did for me.

        Keep asking away at any questions ya'll have and i'll do my best to keep answering.

        i also made a new post rather than commenting back on the other one. Just for clarification sake. vpt.se ChairsWithWheels
        Ex-Hex

        Comment


        • #8
          I have a side business doing 3d printing. I print mainly motorcycle accessories for the racers (I race myself, see my avitar pic). I use PLA for prototyping then PETG for the actual parts because of the heat.

          In this situation, I think PLA would be the best. PETG is stronger but also more flexible. PLA would be more rigid which would be perfect for an inspection room. Just don't drop a heavy part on it cause it will break.

          Also, you can get some very cool colors too.
          MAXIMUM EFFORT!!!

          Comment


          • #9
            Originally posted by anthony.alfaro View Post
            for your normal FDM printers: ABS or PLA would work just fine. whichever is cheapest, really. You have to make sure that everyone understands that these fixtures are NOT guages! I had someone try to bring up the point that these need to be qualified in order to use them. And of course, they were wrong because no measurements are being taken from the fixtures. they are there simply to hold the part in place so the CMM can do it's job a little better.

            The Form2 is an SLA printer so it uses a liquid photoreactive resin. (Similar to DLP printers but the Form2 uses a laser.) It's not really a hard sell. Right now Formlabs just came out with the Form3 so they're trying to shift the rest of their Form2s. Current price on the Formlabs website is $2850 for the Form2. Then it's around $150/L of resin which i can get a good 5-7 prints out of depending on if i make them solid or hollow them out. There will be on-going costs as the resin tanks and the resin itself are consumables. I was lucky and i was able to acquire the printer from another department but since december i've spend somewhere in the realm of $5000 in consumables through test prints, prototypes, development prints, etc. It takes a while to get the workflow down and understand the shrinkage and all that mess. I've got a bucket full of prints that i can't use because the fixture ended up too small or too big or i messed up in the modeling or any other reason.

            BUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTT

            if you use R&R fixturing or the Hex brand fixturing you can compare the costs there. In my case it's completely necessary to have single fixtures for each part number because the operators here have no idea what a CMM is or what it does so i have to "idiot-proof" it as much as i can through clever fixturing and programming. So if i were to buy enough R&R fixturing to have individual fixtures i would have spent close to $300,000 IN FIXTURING ALONE! So, yes, having a 3D printer allowing me to custom make my fixtures for under $10k was a no-brainer to my bosses. That case may not work for everyone but it did for me.

            Keep asking away at any questions ya'll have and i'll do my best to keep answering.

            i also made a new post rather than commenting back on the other one. Just for clarification sake. vpt.se ChairsWithWheels
            What is the largest you can build with your printer? I have an Optiv as well and could potentially build fixtures then.

            Comment


            • #10
              this particular printer has a relatively small build volume: 5.7 x 5.7x 6.9 (in)

              https://formlabs.com/3d-printers/form-3/tech-specs/

              the Raise 3D Pro2 has a bigger volume at: 12 x 12 x 11.8 (in)

              https://www.raise3d.com/collections/...ro2-3d-printer

              some of my fixtures i have to cut into pieces to print and then re-assemble them using either magnets or dovetails. That's all additional CAD work.
              Ex-Hex

              Comment


              • #11
                I 3d print almost all my fixtures the key i have found is print orientation as well understanding the limits of the technology remember over hangs are no good over about 45 deg i try to always make one side flat to place down and if threads are needed use captive nuts . i use the dremel 3D45 and pretty much only use the eco abs ( high temp pla) another nice part is i print the part number right in to the fixture

                sample clamp fixture2.pngsample clamp fixture.pngsample clamp fixture3.png
                Last edited by thomas pilc; 05-20-2019, 09:45 AM.

                Comment


                • #12
                  Any good bolt fixture ideas? I need to have the shank laying horizontally with access to both ends.
                  MAXIMUM EFFORT!!!

                  Comment


                  • mckenzie
                    mckenzie commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I have limited fixturing options, id use a v-block and spring clamp to hold the bolt and use a 1-2-3 block to index the head assuming its a hex or square.

                  • A-machine-insp
                    A-machine-insp commented
                    Editing a comment
                    We use v-blocks bow but it limits how much of the shank we can access. I'm trying to find a way to hold it and get more access.

                • #13
                  Subscribed for future
                  Automettech - Automated Metrology Technology

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    A-machine-insp i had the same issues w/ vbolcks so i had the shop make me a v-fitting that gets bolted to the top of a standoff. smaller than a v-block and i can orient them in any direction.
                    STANDOFF V.jpg
                    Last edited by mckenzie; 05-22-2019, 08:37 AM.
                    sigpic

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                    • A-machine-insp
                      A-machine-insp commented
                      Editing a comment
                      So how do you secure the part in the block?

                    • mckenzie
                      mckenzie commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I use a spring clamp to hold it down into the v or if its heavy enough just let it sit there

                  • #15
                    if i needed even more access i could have them mill off the ends as well. STANDOFF V NARROW.jpg
                    sigpic

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