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Making Opportunities With 3D Printing in Soft Jaws - Blog by Stratasys.
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Making Opportunities With 3D Printing in Soft Jaws

Rob Levesque Senior Marketing Content Manager
Robert Levesque August 14, 2023
August 14, 2023

3D Printed Soft Jaws are a New Opportunity

Machining is typically the go-to method for making workholding fixtures. For example, a soft jaw is a fixture used for an oddly shaped part that can’t easily be held with standard clamp-up tools. That usually means the soft jaws have to be custom machined. But when all your CNC machines are backlogged with more pressing jobs, what do you do? Let’s take a look at how one innovative company solved the problem.


A rising demand for workholding fixture solutions in many manufacturing industries.

East/West Industries is a successful contractor in the competitive aerospace industry, supplying manufacturers like Boeing and Lockheed Martin with parts and subassemblies. But as Mike Vetter, East/West’s director of product development, highlights in this video, meeting production schedules amid ever-increasing customer demands is a real challenge. He points out how an increased need to make soft-jaw workholding fixtures fostered a cycle of trying to justify new machines for increased capacity. But that poses additional challenges with space constraints, cost, and a dwindling skilled labor base.

 

How companies relying on Stratasys as a key for their 3D printing (additive manuifacturing) solutions.

In this short video, Vetter identifies 3D printing as the solution. While that may be a paradigm shift for some, it clearly shows there’s a time and place when 3D printing is a better alternative to traditionally machined fixtures.

In an upcoming post, we’ll go deeper into the actual savings East/West Industries experienced using 3D printed soft jaws.

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Soft Jaws, 3D printed with FDM™

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