3D Printed Welding Fixtures for use with prototype or low volume manufacturing applications have become a reality in recent years. This is due to advances in the types of materials that are printable along with the machines that run them coming down in cost and increasing in speed. The reason we are seeing metal fabrication shops starting to use 3D printed details on there weld fixtures are the following:
The best process / materials we have found for these 3D printed details is the HP MJF printer coupled with either Nylon 12 or Nylon 12 with 40% glass in it. This was the machine used to produce the parts you see in the example below:
Thank you to Ludlow Manufacturing for helping out with this video.
It is important to note that these 3D printed details will not hold up as long as traditional steel details so they should not be considered for use on long running production fixtures. Instead, they are very well suited for things like prototype, low volume production, and service part production.
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