Drilling Jig an Example of How 3D Printing Assists Machining

A machine shop benefits from 3D printing as a means of efficiently making custom hardware to aid both the process and the machines.


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Karma Machining & Manufacturing, a small machine shop in Alberta, Canada, has not yet found much application for 3D printing as a means of making end-use parts. For the type of parts this shop sees, the speed and accuracy of machining are hard to beat. However, the desktop 3D printer in this shop is transforming machining anyway, because it serves as an invaluable aid to that machining work. Company leaders David deJong and Darryl Short described this in a talk at the recent Additive Manufacturing Conference in which they detailed the many uses they’ve found for 3D printing. They have applied it to make 5S racks, custom assembly tools, inspection jigs, a coolant fitting for the shop’s grinding machine, and the drilling jig seen here. The guide pieces in this jig that were quickly created on the 3D printer made it easy to achieve precise hole location tolerances on the machined part’s separate flanges.