Tooling is an incredibly common application for 3D printing, be it for manufacturing, assembly, or inspection. Tooling components are most often produced in low volumes, making them a great candidate for 3D printing. Purple Porcupine’s typical lead time is 3-5 business days, meaning your custom part can be designed, printed, and put to use in under a week.
Why Inspection Tooling?
3D printed inspection tooling can improve average inspection time per part with minimal changes to current operations. This leads to less bottlenecks in the overall production workflow, allowing for departments to operate more efficiently.
The manufacturing costs for a part can be broken down into three general categories: material cost, labor cost, and skill premium. You can learn more about this in our blog post on 3D Printed Tooling: Hardware Assembly Templates.
Inspections are vital to any manufacturing process; however, are often an expensive component. If the inspection process is not refined, it can easily become backed up. When inspection is backed up, so is production, causing a ripple effect through your manufacturing center.
3D printing custom inspection tools often result in time savings. With a streamlined inspection, your entire manufacturing process is expedited. We’ve seen the largest time savings impact with medium-to-high volume production parts, but most manufacturing workflows can benefit from additive.
For an example of how Lidner is utilizing 3D printing for inspection tooling applications, check out the following case study.
Why Go/No-Go Gauges?
Go/No-Go gauges are used to measure the maximum and minimum acceptable dimensions for a manufactured part. These are particularly useful when performing sample testing on medium-to-high volume products.
Custom Go/No-Go gauges allow for a quick check of critical dimensions to quickly determine PASS or FAIL. For a Go gauge (maximum acceptable dimensions), if the part fits then it gets a PASS. For a No-Go gauge (minimum acceptable dimensions), if the part does not fit then it gets a PASS.
With custom Go/No-Go gauges you can very quickly identify parts that are not going to pass inspection and have them sent back for reworking without having to go through an extensive measuring process.
Understanding Your Material Options
Inspection tooling is not typically under intensive stresses or at high risk for damage like manufacturing tooling which allows for more common plastics like, ASA and ABS to be utilized. Sparse infill is often utilized as well to reduce the overall tooling cost and time for production.
Create A 3D Printed Inspection Tool Today
Our team of experts at Purple Porcupine can help you create the right inspection tool for your manufacturing process. Whether you have a CAD file or are just getting started, we’re here. Contact our team by phone at 949.474.9222 or by email at [email protected] to print your part today!
As a Sales Engineer for Purple Porcupine, Alex focuses on bringing value to customers through his knowledge of additive manufacturing, engineering, and 3D printing technology. Out of the office, Alex enjoys reading investment articles and analyzing stock trends. If you haven’t had a chance to meet Alex yet, stop by our office and say hi or connect with him on LinkedIn!