Tool and fixture construction with 3D printing
Rapid tooling with the EVO-lizer
The production of special tools, fixtures and components is regarded as a key point in the manufacturing process in many industries. Conventional processes are often expensive, time-consuming and technically very demanding. With the EVO-lizer and special engineering plastics, EVO-tech offers you a future-oriented alternative, which already provides significant efficiency gains in numerous companies.
Experiences with the EVO-lizer 3D printer
The experience of our customers shows us that the EVO-lizer’s strengths are particularly apparent when components are complex or have to be entirely re-developed:
- rational production of individual parts or individualized small batches
- highest level of construction freedom
- longer tool life
- rapid amortization
- reduction of rejection rates and unit costs
- shortened production cycles
- and lots more.
- Vacuum gripper
- 3D contoured clamping jaws
- Measurement devices
EVO-tech aids your entry into additive manufacturing
However, EVO-tech’s service goes far beyond providing EVO-lizers. Customers in the tool and machine construction field benefit from our application-oriented know-how as well as from application-specific engineering plastics. It goes without saying that EVO-tech also assists your entry into additive manufacturing.
Christoph Gruber, head of tool manufacturing and apprenticeship training at Metusan, a leading manufacturer of rotary parts and components:
“For us, the EVO-lizer is a perfect add-on to the mechanical equipment. And in EVO-tech we’ve found a partner who provided competent and reliable assistance in this technology which is new to us.”
– Christoph Gruber, Head of Tool Manufacturing, Metusan GmbH
Devices and test gauges implemented quickly
Additive manufacturing has also found its way from pure prototyping to fixture construction. Companies use the technology to quickly and easily produce equipment and tool components for mass production. Metusan Metallwarenhandelsgesellschaft m.b.H. uses an EVO-lizer FDM machine from EVO-tech GmbH for this exact purpose.
Additive manufacturing as an alternative
For half a year, Metusan has also been using an EVO-lizer FDM device made by Upper Austrian company, EVO-tech GmbH. “I’ve personally been interested in the topic for a while. After a company vote we decided to look into whether 3D printing could benefit our company,” says Christoph Gruber, Head of Tool Manufacturing and Apprentice Training at Metusan, on the implementation of additive manufacturing.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for being such a professional company and of course for your excellent product – the 3D printer has worked flawlessly until now and we are extremely satisfied!”
– Sixten Ermert, SIXIO GmbH
From the outset it was clear that additive manufacturing was only possible for fixture construction and the production of equipment and tools. “The main starting point was a new machine for copper pipe machining. We needed bending inserts that are soft enough not to damage the copper pipes. We would have had to purchase additional tools in order to produce tool inserts using conventional procedures.
In addition, calibrating these additional tools would have led to further delays,” explains Gruber, adding: “As long as you are only replacing existing devices in the same way, or producing very simple clamping jaws, it’s usually faster with conventional milling. But as soon as the parts increase in complexity or a completely new product is required, additive manufacturing is definitely an advantage.”
Added benefit is often recognized later
It is often not clear where all the potential applications for additive manufacturing are in an entry-level project. “In Metusan’s case, a device for clamping bent copper tubes for cutting was a priority. A mold bottom shell in which a multiply bent tube can be inserted was required. Subsequently, a cylinder presses a counterpart from above. The tube held in this way can then be safely brought to a circular saw blade for cutting,” explains Markus Kaltenbrunner, Managing Director of EVO-tech GmbH, with regard to the entry-level project.
“This holder was able to be used much faster than usual. Making this in ABS plastic only took an hour. Even if we need new pipe geometries, we can now produce suitable mounts within a very short time,” says Gruber.
In addition, the EVO-lizer was used to make gauges to easily control three-dimensional pipe geometries during production. “We would not have been able to produce these gauges with our existing machines. We would have needed a 5-axis milling machine. This allowed us to have a finished test gauge in just 1.5 hours. For quality assurance as well, the new machine enables us to quickly produce the required equipment,” says the division manager.
Spare parts made using the “printer”
It is likely that half a year ago, when the EVO-lizer was purchased, no one at Metusan would have expected the FDM machine to also be producing spare parts for machines and plants, as well as many other tools. The range of applications for additive manufacturing is thus far greater than initially anticipated.
Gruber is obviously happy about this and adds: “We are excited to see how the technology will evolve and what we will do next with the device. For us, the EVO-lizer is definitely a worthwhile addition to our mechanical equipment, and in EVO-tech we’ve found a partner who has competently and reliably helped us to get to grips with this new technology.”
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Application examples from our customers
Additive manufacturing has also found its way from pure prototyping to fixture construction. Companies use the technology to quickly and easily produce equipment and tool components for mass production.
Excerpt from our list of customers in fixture construction
Need more information? We will be happy to advise you.