A Baker Industries OEM customer was seeking a creative solution to reduce the weight of a traditionally machined aluminum mill fixture. This fixture is customarily used to hold parts in place during the trimming process, but can often lead to component damage/destruction if the fixture is too heavy.
By 3D printing the mill fixture using ABS thermoplastic material instead of machining it from aluminum, Baker was able to reduce the tool’s weight by 70 percent, which served to protect the parts being trimmed and provide a safer solution for employees handling the tool.
70% WEIGHT REDUCTION
In addition to providing significant weight reduction, 3D printing the tool enabled some time savings in production. The team was able to print the tool in approximately fifty hours; saving the customer a week of lead time that would have normally been required to traditionally machine this tool.
Due to the high precision tolerances and the complexity required for this application, the cost was not significantly changed, but rather comparable.
Overall, Baker Industries was able to offer the customer a lightweight solution that enhanced the mill fixture’s functionality and reduced lead time at a comparable cost.