Manufacturing tooling

_Desktop Metal®

Manufacturing tooling

Custom tooling and reduced down time on the manufacturing floor


By quickly producing manufacturing tooling like jigs, fixtures and mold inserts, 3D printing helps shorten lead times and cost, allowing companies to move quickly from finished design to production.

Due to its complex geometry, tooling is typically CNC machined, which can lead to bottlenecks due to limited capacity in both machines and operators. Printing tooling can eliminate those obstacles, reducing down time across the manufacturing floor.

_Case Study [A]

Custom tooling, easier than ever

Using the Studio System, APG engineers are able to significantly reduce the lead time and cost to produce custom jigs, fixtures and tooling. The result is faster transitions from finished design to production and less down time for manufacturing lines.

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Custom tooling creation

_Industry partners

Using Desktop Metal products, the world’s top tool-makers are able to quickly produce custom tools - shortening the lead time and cost for end-use parts and reducing manufacturing down time.

  • UMC Logo
  • Wilson Tool Logo
    [Wilson Tool]
  • Milwaukee Tool Logo
    [Milwaukee Tool]
  • APG Logo
  • Egar Tool & Die Logo
    [Egar Tool & Die]
  • Medtronic Logo
  • Eaton Logo
  • Bazigos Logo
  • BAM GmbH
    [BAM GmbH]
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From prototyping to mass production

_3D printing solutions

Desktop Metal manufactures 3D printing solutions for all scales of production - from complex prototypes and on-demand tooling to rapid manufacture of thousands of parts. Explore our systems.

Part Gallery

_Tooling applications

3D printing is an ideal solution for a wide range of tooling applications - including custom jigs and fixtures, complex injection mold inserts, extrusion dies, stamping tools, and more.

  • Zipper Mold

    This part is an Injection mold insert for manufacturing zinc zippers.

    Zipper Mold

    • Size (mm) 46 x 27 x 18
      Cost to print ($) 16.00
    • 3D printing the mold inserts shortens production run lead time and allows rapid iteration and refinement of zipper designs. Using a high resolution printhead allows for smaller parts with finer features, requiring less post processing.

  • Machining Fixture

    PEEK + CF
    This fixture holds lock barrels in place during a secondary reaming operation.

    Machining Fixture

    • Size (mm) 212 x 72 x 26
      Cost ($) 62.31
      Weight (g) 145
      Print time (hr) 18
    • To achieve desired tolerances, metal injection molded (MIM) parts, such as lock barrels, often require secondary machining operations. The fixtures for these operations must be very stiff to hold lock barrels steady while experiencing the forces and vibration of the reamer.

      By printing the part on Fiber, the fixture can be manufactured overnight, with similar material properties to aluminum saving both time and money

  • APG Chuck Jaws

    This part is used to hold a workpiece in place during machining lathe operations.

    APG Chuck Jaws

    • Size (mm) 84 x 78 x 42
      Cost to print ($) 117.00
      Cost to machine ($) 426.36
      Cost reduction 72.56%
    • These chuck jaws closely match the geometry of the part being machined - making them complex to machine. Printing them using the Studio System eliminates CNC lead time and frees up the machine shop for more critical work.

  • Extrusion Die

    This die is used in the manufacture of extruded plastic framing.

    Extrusion Die

    • Size (mm) 74 x 74 x 56
      Cost to print ($) 156.00
      Cost to machine ($) 329.67
      Cost reduction 52.68%
    • Metal 3D printing reduces lead times and costs - allowing for rapid iteration and refinement of the die design. Furthermore, lower tooling costs and lead times makes low volume custom extrusion dies economically feasible.

  • UMC End Effectors

    17-4 PH
    These grippers are used to fixture and move aerospace forgings on a manufacturing line.

    UMC End Effectors

    • Size (mm) 55 x 32 x 16
      Cost to print ($) 23.00
      Cost to machine ($) 194.00
      Cost reduction 88.14%
    • The complex geometry of end effectors requires extensive CNC machining, resulting in long lead times that occupy valuable CNC capacity. Using metal 3D printing allows for on-demand manufacturing of custom end effectors while lowering part cost and lead time.

  • APG Coining Fixture

    This fixture is used to achieve critical tolerances on metal injection molded (MIM) parts.

    APG Coining Fixture

    • Size (mm) 110 x 57 x 31
      Cost to print ($) 92.00
      Cost to machine ($) 392.00
      Cost reduction 75.63%
    • Fixture like this require custom geometry for each application, as well as superior wear resistance. The faster these parts are manufactured, the quicker a company can get get manufacturing lines running.

      Printing these parts with the Studio System eliminates CNC lead time and frees up the machine shop for more critical work.

  • Sheet Metal Embosser

    This custom embosser is used in sheet metal fabrication.

    Sheet Metal Embosser

    • Size (mm) 47 x 28 x 15
      Cost to print ($) 14.00
    • Sheet metal tools are used for a broad range of fabrication operations, including stamping, bending, countersinking and embossing.

      3D printing with the Studio System reduces tool fabrication costs, shortens production run lead time, and enables rapid iteration and refinement of the sheet metal designs and associated tooling.

  • Assembly Fixture

    PA6 + CF
    This fixture is used to hold a sheet metal housing while fasteners and electronics are installed.

    Assembly Fixture

    • Size (mm) 80 x 61 x 14.3
      Cost ($) 2.24
      Weight (g) 15
      Print time (hr) 3
    • Assembly fixtures improve consistency and speed operator assembly by holding the work piece in the same location for each unit.

      By printing the part on Fiber, the fixture can be manufactured extremely quickly and affordably while still conforming to the exact dimensions of the housing being assembled.

  • APG Thread Checker Fixture

    17-4 PH
    This fixture pushes a thread checker into a part on a manufacturing line.

    APG Thread Checker Fixture

    • Size (mm) 47 x 28 x 15
      Cost to print ($) 14.00
    • This fixture pushes a thread checker into a part on a manufacturing line. As a wear item, it needs to stand up to repeated use, and must be easily produced to keep the manufacturing line up.

      The fixture must be regularly replaced as it wears out. Printing the part with the Studio System eliminates CNC lead time and frees up the machine shop for more critical work.

  • Press Brake Tooling

    PA6 + CF
    These press brake tools are used to bend aluminum sheet metal.

    Press Brake Tooling

    • Size (mm) 95 x 127 x 80, 91 x 64 x 51
      Cost ($) 162.6, 46.73
      Weight (g) 364, 105
      Print time (hr) 33, 11
    • Many sheet metal applications require custom press brake tooling, but machining this custom tooling out of metal for short runs can be prohibitively expensive.

      For low tonnage applications, printing on Fiber eliminates the need for machining costly metal tooling, greatly reducing manufacturing lead time and cost.

  • O-Ring End Effector

    17-4 PH
    This end effector is used to stretch and install O-rings on a hydraulic fitting.

    O-Ring End Effector

    • Size (mm) 42 x 13 x 17
      Cost to print ($) 7.00
      Cost to machine ($) 152.17
      Cost reduction 95.40%
    • Small, detailed parts like these end effectors typically require expensive CNC machining and have long lead times. Using the Studio System’s high resolution (250μm) printhead allows manufacturers to print small parts with fine features which would be difficult to machine

  • Shroud Holder

    PA6 + CF
    This fixture is used to hold metal injection molded shrouds for secondary machining operations.

    Shroud Holder

    • Size (mm) 143 x 30 x 22
      Cost ($) 6.71
      Weight (g) 45
      Print time (hr) 7
    • Designed to hold metal injection molded shrouds in place as an articulated robot picks them up and places them in a CNC fixture. This part features customized geometry that conforms to the shrouds’ shape.

      Due to their stiffness and wear resistance, composites are ideal for this part.

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