Fixtureless Manufacturing

For designers and engineers, there is nothing worse than being limited and boxed-in by manufacturing rigidity. All too often, designers are forced to design for manufacturing rather than designing for optimal outcomes.

This is how additive manufacturing is so beneficial to the design, manufacturing and production process. Companies need to remain competitive, and this comes with shortened lead times, the ability to differentiate in the industry, and a reduction in manufacturing waste.

Traditional manufacturing cannot deliver these competitive advantages. Additive manufacturing takes advantage of the latest in technology, software, hardware, design ethos, and materials and makes it possible for companies to overcome traditional barriers in product development and manufacturing. In fact, many believe that 3D printer access has stimulated the growth of new product innovation and raises the success factor across all industries.  

The Benefits of Fixtureless Manufacturing

Whether you specialize in custom medical orthotics or design heavy equipment, fixtureless manufacturing gives you distinct advantages and benefits.

1. Design complexity and freedom:

Create and effectively use intricate designs such as lattice structures and other complex geometries. 

2. Accelerate time to market:

With no tooling demands, the time it takes to go from design to local customer delivery is minimal. Get your products to market faster and in the hands of the consumers who want them more easily. 

3. Improved workflows:

Creating parts with additive manufacturing quickly gets products from design to production quicker by reducing the wait time that jigs, fixtures, and tooling require. With fixtureless manufacturing, once a design is approved, it can go straight into production.

4. Part Consolidation 

Designers can revolutionize product design by combining the number of individual parts from multiples to just one part. 

Additive manufacturing also allows designers to create more complex parts that eliminate possible failure points that come with assembly and managing multiple pieces. In one healthcare example, a cooling fan with 73 metal parts that required hand assembling was reduced to just one additive manufactured part. Now, the customer has gone from hand assembling three fans a week to manufacturing 150 fans in a 12-hour window. 

5. No Tooling 

With injection molding, the tooling can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for a complex design. This means that companies must manufacture at high production volumes to reduce the cost of production. In addition, the cost associated with maintaining and updating tooling can be limiting. 

The elimination of tooling means that companies can produce more complicated parts faster and greatly reduce manufacturing costs. As an extra bonus, it is now possible to realistically support low- and mid-volume production batches of customized parts and products. 

Design Freedom with Jabil Additive

The competitive advantages of fixtureless manufacturing give your design and engineering teams the support they need to truly push the boundaries of design and innovation. Realize the benefits that come with using the latest in technologies, materials, and 3D printing functionality to deliver the products and parts customers want and need.

Contact us to get an inside look at how fixtureless manufacturing is changing the world of product design and innovation.