RapidFit, a tool manufacturer and subsidiary of the 3D printing specialist Materialise, has launched a new innovation in its tried-and-tested modular system for automotive tooling. The innovative combination of carbon fiber beams and individual 3D-printed elements makes it possible to produce jigs and inspection fixtures that are up to 90% lighter than conventionally produced tools. The mounted forms and mounting points as well as the frame connectors are produced using Additive Manufacturing. The combination of 3D-printed parts and carbon fiber beams leads to a high-strength, low-weight result.
To construct a jig, RapidFit uses CAD data and an in-house developed parametric library of standardized solutions. This parametric library allows RapidFit engineers to efficiently customize a design starting from the closest applicable template, saving the customer crucial work-days. The parts of the system that need to be 3D-printed are then produced at Materialise’s state-of-the-art Certified Additive Manufacturing facility. After the parts are mounted onto the framework, they are calibrated with a high-end coordinate measuring machine (CMM), in RapidFit’s measurement lab.