PMT Shielding Solutions is a leading provider of physical vapor deposition (PVD) services for aerospace, medical, and defense applications. Client jobs may involve, tens, hundreds, or thousands of fixtures for molded plastic parts. At first, PMT machined or 3D printed fixtures like those shown in green with machine shops or external service bureaus. These solutions met production timelines, but could take weeks when including design changes after the initial quote. Plural approached PMT and asked how much they were spending on external prototyping. When PMT reviewed, the external budget expense paid for a machine in less than 9 months because parts were 50 – 70% lower than alternatives. In addition, an in-house machine meant more process control, faster product realization, and lower cost per part. Best of all, it fit into a spare room in the office with no problems. Stepping into additive manufacturing of fixtures was not cost prohibitive as PMT had thought.
If considering a 3D printer, PMT recommends the following:
1. Review the budget already spent with a service bureau and/or machine shop. Include change requests.
2. Think about the lowest cost per part especially when parts are complex, can be combined, or have volumes less than 1000 units.
3. The low cost of iteration means that parts can be improved quickly and easily without tooling change fees.
Want to know more? Join PMT and Plural March 8th for the webinar Solving the High Cost of Low Volume Plastic Parts.