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Welding fixture by Hoedtke 3D Additive

Extending the lifetime of their machine fixtures with metal FFF parts

Based in Pinneberg and Kiel, Germany, Hoedtke is a supplier that’s specialized as an engineering office and production company in the treatment and processing of metallic materials. They’ve been operating for over 75 years.

The technologies offered by Hoedtke are used to manufacture parts, prototypes, assemblies, and systems for a variety of industries including automotive, computer and electrical industry, authorities and research institutes, aircraft and mechanical engineering, and medical technology.

Challenge

The injection-molded fixtures used on Hoedtke’s welding machines were suffering from a short lifetime. These parts were cracking and deforming due to the extensive mechanical loads and high temperatures they were regularly subjected to.

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This plastic welding machine fixture is injection molded but would often fail because of heavy loads and high temperatures

Solution

The decision was made to replace these injection molded components with metal parts printed on an Ultimaker printer. The metal material would be more durable and heat-resistant than the existing polymer-based material the fixtures were made from.

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The new fixtures created with MFFF are far more durable and easy to print on demand and swap out whenever necessary

Results

The new metal 3D printed fixtures had a considerably longer lifetime. Because the part could be designed to exact specifications, no modifications needed to be made to the welding machines themselves. Such changes would have been far more expensive. But with this MFFF technology, the fixture could be swapped out easily.

Metal 3D printing made accessible

Hoedtke is one of many companies realizing the difference metal 3D printing can make in their production.

Click below to explore more MFFF applications stories. Or discover how to buy the Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit for yourself.

Explore more metal applicationsMeet the Metal Expansion Kit