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3D Printed Jigs and Fixtures Saved a Leading Automotive Parts Manufacturer Approximately 30% in Time Costs

Sep 22, 2023

Musashi is a leading Japanese parts manufacturer established in 1938, specializing in the manufacture and sale of automotive and motorbike parts and accessories. Currently, Musashi employs around 15,000 people worldwide. In addition to Japan, Musashi has production sites, sales/purchasing offices and distribution centers in China, Thailand, India, Indonesia and Vietnam in Asia, as well as in major regions and countries in Europe, North America and South America, so as to meet the needs of different stakeholders. Musashi’s products have an outstanding track record of quality and reliability, making it an important partner for well-known global companies such as Honda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler, etc.


Difficulties left by traditional production processes:


Previously, Musashi’s production plant in Vietnam, Musashi Auto Part Viet Nam, encountered two major problems in its production and operation. Firstly, in terms of part production and machining, it always took a long time to set up the program when making small and relatively complex plastic parts. Additionally, the parts were susceptible to heat deformation after processing.

In traditional machining, it is difficult for general jigs and fixtures to meet all the machining conditions required given the physical characteristics of the different products. Therefore, the accuracy and finished product rate of the products obtained are naturally hard to guarantee. And the production lead time of jigs and fixtures produced in the traditional way is also relatively long. The problems encountered during production also affect overall production efficiency.

On the other hand, Musashi outsourced the manufacture of some parts to third-party companies. However, long and sometimes uncertain lead times have often put Musashi in a reactive situation regarding its production operations.


How Raise3D empowers Musashi:

The introduction of 3D printing provided Musashi with a fundamental solution to the problems encountered in the production of parts, resulting in increased productivity and cost savings. Nguyen Van Chuong, an engineer at Musashi Auto Part Viet Nam, said: The use of the Raise3D printer made setting up several different parts and components much easier to achieve, which helped them to reduce lead times.

The previously required lead time for parts outsourcing was 30 days. By using the Raise 3D printers, the time to make the jigs and fixtures was reduced to 7 days. Overall, Raise3D printers can help save about 30% in time costs depending on each type of jigs and fixtures.

In fact, the addition of 3D printers in the production chain has led to a significant reduction in the development and production cycle of jigs and fixtures that were previously made using traditional machining methods. The precise size also allows production needs to be met. As a result, productivity, product quality, flexibility and speed have been significantly upgraded. This provides further convenience while saving costs for producers.

For Musashi, the small size of the Raise3D printer allowed for easy set-up and operation for the operator. The operator did not need to devote extra time and effort to monitor the printing process or do anything all the time. In addition, since operators spent less time inspecting the process, they were able to dedicate their time and energy to other, more rewarding tasks. Taken together, Raise3D met Musashi’s need to save time and labor costs, improving production efficiency and completing complex part designs.

Engineer Nguyen Van Chuong also stated that Raise3D enabled Musashi to use better materials as raw materials for processing. In addition, he said it was more cost effective to use plastic for the in-house jigs instead of the more costly metal ones.

Apart from the cost advantages mentioned by engineer Nguyen Van Chuong, the availability of a wide range of printing materials makes it possible for developers to obtain parts with comprehensive performance more in line with the requirements of the working conditions. 3D-printed jigs and fixtures can therefore achieve excellent surface finishes and parts with better durability. Moreover, 3D printed jigs and fixtures are available for more customized production needs, increasing more production application scenarios.


As complementary software for Raise3D printers, RaiseCloud is a fully-integrated 3D printing management ecosystem. The RaiseCloud system allows the printer operator to remotely control and monitor overall printing conditions and status in real time, and enables continuous multi-tasking of products to be scheduled. This system proved to be of particular value to engineer Nguyen Van Chuong for his application. Apart from the advantages mentioned by the engineer, the flexible working interface and reliable data security are also advantages that RaiseCloud provides.

Finally, Nguyen Van Chuong stated that he would like to use Raise3D’s printers to create more in-house products.


Why choose the Raise3D Pro2 Plus?

After having a detailed look at the Raise3D product range, Nguyen Van Chuong and his team eventually chose the Raise3D Pro2 Plus and Raise3D N series of machines, as the best solution to the production problems they were currently encountering. They deployed these machines in the main production workplace. In terms of functional features, the Raise 3D Pro2 Plus features a high-resolution dual-jet extruder and supports a wide range of complex parts and different types of 3D printing materials, resulting in significant improvements in print speed and cost savings. Meanwhile, the Hyper Speed Upgrade (Raise3D Pro2 Series) achieves L1 print speed with a speed boost of over 200% and 100% of the quality of the original printer model.

In terms of the build volume that can be achieved during printing, the Raise3D Pro2 Plus can print up to 305 x 305 x 605 mm in a single extrusion and 280 x 305 x 605 mm in dual extrusion. The large print space also gives more plasticity to the manufactured part.

The Raise3D Pro2 Plus has been awarded the BEST LARGE FORMAT 30 PRINTER by ALL3DP four times, from 2019 to 2020, thanks to all the product features it offers. It is worth noting that Raise3D Pro 2 Series is recognized as a benchmark and gold standard for professional 3D printing applications with its 24/ 7 reliability. The reliable quality of the 3D printers and the consistent production quality is one of the main reasons why many companies, including Musashi Auto Part Viet Nam, appreciate the Raise3D Pro 2 series.


Application of 3D printing in the field of jigs and fixtures:

With the advantages of 3D printing technology, product developers now can create jigs and fixtures that meet the requirements of working conditions more quickly and efficiently. From the point of view of adaptability, 3D-printed jigs and fixtures can be used for different levels of applications in various industrial technologies, from high-end applications (machining soft jaws) to simple applications (alignment and assembly).


As an example, in aerospace, a recyclable rocket always goes through a life cycle from launch, recovery, and repair to upgrade and relaunch. Rocket launches imply varying degrees of component wear and tear. Rapid custom development of jigs and fixtures has also become one of the key challenges for rocket repair efforts. 3D-printed jigs and fixtures not only enable rapid development tasks and enhance the overall project process, but also save huge costs for the entire R&D engineering team.

Also, 3D printed jigs and fixtures have extremely broad application scenarios in manufacturing industries such as airplane manufacturing, ship engineering, automotive, and high-end medical, etc. As a flexible manufacturing solution provider, Raise3D is able to stimulate more creative potential in different production processes in various industries and provide customers with more possibilities to achieve efficient production.


Learn more about the advantages of 3D printed jigs and fixtures:



Learn more about the application of Raise3D in jigs and fixtures cases:



This case is shared by ELH, the Singapore distributor of Raise3D.

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