Manufacturing and tooling
Save time, cut costs, and improve tooling performance with nTop’s advanced design automation capabilities for additive manufacturing (AM).
What is manufacturing and tooling?
Today, smart factories and production lines are making use of 3D-printed jigs, fixtures, tooling, molds, and dies to increase throughput, improve worker productivity, and save costs. AM is also increasingly used in maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO). Design software with automation capabilities enables manufacturers to scale fully utilize their machine capacity, extend the life of equipment, and minimize the need for specialized personnel.
Objectives of manufacturing and tooling
Manufacturing and tooling with AM creates opportunities for engineers to increase throughput, reduce design time, and save costs.
Maximizing throughput improves process efficiency, reduces costs, and can give companies an advantage over competitors.
Reduce manufacturing costs
3D printing is revealing new opportunities to reduce manufacturing costs with lightweighting and other advanced design strategies.
Minimize design time
A quicker design process enables engineers to improve efficiency and quality and bring parts to market faster.
Improve tooling efficiency
Companies are creating custom 3D-printed tooling that makes production and assembly faster and easier.
Applications of manufacturing and tooling
Additive manufacturing enables engineers to create advanced tooling across various applications.
Molds and dies
Additive manufacturing allows engineers to create more efficient parts, molds, and dies with new functionalities, like internal channels and conformal perforations. With AM, engineers can save time and money by rapidly iterating to optimize tool design and consolidating tooling assemblies.
With additive manufacturing, engineers can improve the efficiency of end effectors — the devices at the end of a robotic arm that interacts with the environment — by reducing size and mass.
Jigs and fixtures
Additive manufacturing enables engineers to create custom jigs, fixtures, drill guides, masks, stilts, and setters to minimize manufacturing time and cost.
nTop’s critical tools for manufacturing and tooling with additive manufacturing
Set up reusable workflows that allow you to design jigs and fixtures in minutes.
Rapidly add perforation patterns to complex surfaces and easily control the spacing, size, geometry, and direction of the holes.
Speed up, control, and fine-tune the design of conformal cooling channels using a field-driven approach.
AM build preparation
Auto-generate support structures, and slice and export machine data directly from an implicit body to bypass STL file size restrictions.
Creating 3D-printed robot grippers in just four days with topology optimization and reusable workflows
Preziosa Francesco and Add-it created custom 3D-printed metal robot grippers to bypass long CNC lead times. In the process, they created a topology-optimized fixture that enables lights-out manufacturing while reducing weight and saving cost.
Software built on transformative technology
Design technology that will not break.
Remove design limitations and overcome fundamental challenges with our unique modeling engine.
Your data goes in; optimized designs come out.
Feed your design workflows with real-world data, physics, and logic to harness the power of implicit modeling.
Build processes, not just parts.
Create reusable workflows and algorithmic processes that save you time and empower your team to scale.
Manufacturing and tooling resources for engineers and designers
Easy tooling design for 3D printing: Overcome the CAD hurdle
Stratasys and nTop design competition: Best 3D printed fixture or tool design
Design brief: 3D printed casting of 3-foot long robot arm
Designing 3D printed molds for industrial injection molding
Automated design of hole drilling patterns for complex molds
See how you can improve tooling performance.
nTop helps you maximize the benefits of AM.