Guide to Using Fixtures in Custom CNC Machining
Proper custom CNC machining heavily relies on the entire process. This is where fixtures and tools come into play. Custom CNC parts are often tasking to work with. This is since these parts come with special features. In some instances, the special features may result in a notable rise in price for machining the part. Luckily, our experts at Creatingway have come up with an awesome solution to this problem. It entails the proper use of fixtures and jigs in custom CNC machining.
What Are Fixtures and Jigs?
Fixtures and jigs refer to tools we use in production to accurately produce parts as per the set needs. In our case, this happens to apply to custom CNC machined parts. Fixtures and jigs may include the following parts:
- Location holders
- Part holding support
What is the Role of Fixtures and Jigs in Custom CNC Machining?
Several pros come with properly choosing jigs and fixtures. One key is namely cutting costs of the CNC machining process. It achieves this by enabling smooth operation, simplifying production, and hastening the transition. Fixtures and jigs also help cover the cons with CNC machining custom parts. Our experts at Creatingway, design them to offer secure mounting. This helps keep the part in place during the machining process. Here is further insight into the role fixtures and jigs play in custom CNC machining.
Fixtures and jigs primarily serve to secure the part in place during the machining process. We custom-design them to fit that unique part undergoing CNC machining. They thus hold the part in whatever unique angle regardless of the shape. A reliable custom jig is vital to preventing errors that may arise when the chatter and tool pull out. Examples of a few fixtures that offer part holding are namely: chuck, vises, centers, holding plates, and milling fixtures.
Fixtures and jigs also safeguard the part during custom CNC machining. They thus help keep the needed surface finish as well as keeping a proper runout. We design sleeves, masking, and bushing fixtures for custom parts that need a unique surface finish. They safeguard the part from swarf or metal chips that arise during the machining process. Besides, our custom machining center caters to parts that need tight callouts for the final runout.
Fool Proofing/Location Control
Fixture and jigs are vital for keeping location and dimensional accuracy. They hold the workpiece at the right angle as it undergoes machining. We can thus use fixtures in fool proofing as it lowers errors arising from the human factor. Fixtures ideally constrain the freedom of the workpiece. They achieve this by adding clamps, pins, fasteners, and planes when coming up with the needed fixtures. Each part plays a specific role. For instance, the plane offers support to the part. Meanwhile, the clamp allows for mobility while mounting as well as giving access when dismounting. Finally, the pins give accurate location control for unique features.
In custom CNC machining, we control features like slots and holes at specific sites. This may be tasked to the machine due to the constraints that come with mounting. For this reason, we design fixtures as a more reliable means of CNC machining complex part features.
Fixtures allow us to machine multiple custom parts while still keeping their top-notch quality. They ensure that every part maintains consistent quality. Few features need a high level of consistency. These are namely: flatness and keeping them parallel.
A Reduction in Set-Up
Fixtures are an awesome way of removing the tasking process of inspection when loading a part. By designing a fixture for a custom part, it makes the entire process plug and plays. Our operators simply have to load the workpiece. This is since the fixture already manages the part referencing and location control. This helps to greatly lower the setup time that we can use in other value-adding processes. One fixture that ideally helps us lower the setup time is the single minute exchange of die. Others include soft jaws, milling fixtures, and hex milling fixtures.
What Are the Types of Fixtures in CNC Milling and Turning?
There is a wide array of fixtures available for use in CNC machining custom parts. Here is further insight into a few of the general types of fixtures.
We also refer to it as the fixture block, pedestal type of tooling tower. It allows us to automate the machining process using one set up and loading. It has four parts where we mount or attach the workpiece.
Soft jaws play a critical role by offering custom work holding when CNC machining. We machine this fixture by creating an inverted version of the workpiece. It is thus able to achieve a unique level of efficiency. Also, it can clamp odd-shaped parts with relative ease to ensure a snug and secure fit while machining the part.
There exists an array of mandrels with one of them allowing us to grip a workpiece when machining. They may hold the part by either tapering or flanging. Tapered mandrels hold the part as we drive it into a hole and grip the part by friction. Meanwhile, flanged mandrels have a flange at their end as we thread it on the opposite side. We grip the workpiece between the nut on the thread and the flange. If you have any inquiries on how to effectively use fixtures in custom CNC machining, simply contact us.
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