CASE STUDY: AUTOMOTIVE
Using a bureau saves time for automotive jigs and fixtures
Roaring Forties specialise in manufacturing Ford GT40 replicas & have been using FDM parts sourced through a bureau service for years. Roaring Forties buy FDM jigs & fixtures as it decreases lead times & saves on expensive machining time.
Ford built the GT40 from 1966 to 1969 it won the prestigious Le Mans 24 hour race four times in a row. Original cars are extremely rare so there is strong demand for accurate replicas.
Roaring Forties require a lot of different jig, fixture & assembly tools for their manufacturing processes. The usual route for jig & fixture components was CNC machining but design changes are expensive & lead times can be up to two to four weeks. By comparison FDM Thermoplastic jigs can be manufactured in days rather than weeks.
Jig & fixture components are extensively used for work holding, calibration & alignment applications. Using FDM technology allows quick design iterations providing a fast route compared with CNC machining. Thermoplastic jigs are also both durable & accurate providing a high quality solution.
Sourcing jig & fixture components from a FDM service bureau shortens the long lead times for metal, wood & common materials. Jigs can be replaced when they’re worn in days rather than weeks helping to improve productivity. As FDM technology uses engineering grade thermoplastics prototype fixtures can be produced in the same material as the final component & by building in layers complex geometries can be manufactured in one piece rather than assemblies.