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Print your gripper jaws in 3D with Markforged Metal X

Print your gripper jaws in 3D with Markforged Metal X

April 23, 2019 in Archive, Case study, Case study, Case study, Case study, News, News

Dixon Valve & Coupling Company and its history.

Dixon Valve & Coupling Company is a manufacturer and supplier of accessories for the fluid transfer industries. The company, often referred to as Dixon Valve, was founded in 1916 to meet the demand for accessories for the mining, oil, and infrastructure industries.

In this sense, the company wanted to save time and money by producing its tools. That’s why they turned to the world of 3D printing.

Why 3D printing?

To begin with, engineers Max de Arriz and J.R. Everett wanted to print a series of 3D gripper jaws. These clamps are mounted on a robotic arm that adds sealing rings to the steel couplings.
In addition, each of these tools is attached from the outside to the threaded inner surface of the coupling.

It is important to note that to resist abrasion by cutting threads, this part must be metal. And then 3D printing became the answer they were looking for.

3D printing with Markforged

Dixon Valve has long used Markforged composite 3D printers to manufacture End of Arm Tooling (EOAT) for their many robotic arms. However, they could not print grippers that held abrasive surfaces. The threads these grippers hold quickly wear out printed composite parts, which while strong have the same surface hardness as thermoplastics. By printing the grippers with the Metal X, Dixon Valve achieves the same advantages that 3D printing affords without sacrificing part durability

The advantages of 3D printing

Using 3D printing technology, Dixon Valve has achieved cost and time savings of 50x and 11x when printing these jaws.

These gripper jaws are tough enough to handle 1000 stainless steel pipe fittings without wear. In addition, the parts printed with METAL X allow the industrial company to significantly reduce its production costs, while obtaining the best production times.

In addition, 3D printing allows engineers to easily print the contact surface for optimum contact.

Dixon VALVE

The testimony of Dixon Valve

“Before additive manufacturing, we machined the tools with our own internal machines. Above all, we spent a lot of time machining each tool individually. Markforged and its 3D printing machines are the solution to save time and money. Whatever your need, you can satisfy it with 3D printing. Your imagination is your only limit.

3D printing is the future.

In a few words: 3D metal printing

In short: 3D printing on metal. The case of Dixon Valve.

CRITICAL TOOLING — These jaws mount on a robotic arm that adds sealing rings to steel couplings.

THREAD GRIPPER — Each jaw clamps outward on the threaded inner surface of the coupling.

SURFACE HARDNESS — To withstand the abrasion of sharp threads, this part must be made of metal.

MASSIVE SAVINGS — Dixon Valve achieved 30x cost savings and 10x time savings by printing these jaws.

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