FASTER PROTOTYPE MOLDING WITH F.I.T.S.
3D PRINTED INSERTS + STANDARDIZED FRAMES = WINNING FORMULA
ENABLING RAPID PROTOTYPING WITH F.I.T.S. AND 3D PRINTED TOOLS
COLLABORATION DRIVES INNOVATION
Fortify provides rapid tooling solutions for injection molders, with its industry leading FLUX ONE 3D printers. Fortify core and cavity inserts are 3D printed at a fraction of the cost and time of aluminum or steel, and are essential to quickly validate designs before launching full scale production.
The Fortify value proposition: Instead of waiting six weeks and spending $6,000 on a machined tool, molders can have 3D printed tools ready to run in six days or less at around $600. Utilizing 3D printed tools frees up time and money for designers to prototype and validate designs early on in the product lifecycle, bridging prototype to production.
Fortify’s success in this challenging application is driven by their use of reinforcing fiber in their proprietary 3D printing process. Fortify’s FLUX ONE printer leverages two pieces of hardware (CKM and Fluxprint), that allow the printers to incorporate ceramic fibers and then align those fibers for an optimal orientation. This results in 3D printed tools have strength, stiffness and stability at temperature that far exceed other 3D printed materials.
To successfully implement this solution, molders need a streamlined way to get tools from the printer to the mold press as quickly as possible - ensuring the value of time savings is met.
Fortify also has the need to quickly fitup tools, as they support multiple projects simultaneously at their headquarters and molding center in downtown Boston. Fortify turned to the PCS F.I.T.S. system to set up their press for fast, easy job turnovers.
PCS Company, located in the Detroit, MI area, offers molders a quick-change molding solution that uses a standard frame with replaceable inserts. This Fast Interchangeable Tooling System (F.I.T.S.) is a great solution to maximize production changeovers and reduce machine downtime with a more cost effective approach to injection molding.
F.I.T.S. replaces the need for standard mold bases by utilizing a frame and interchangeable inserts for short production runs, sampling, and prototyping. The standard F.I.T.S. U-Frame houses standard F.I.T.S. Inserts and allows flexibility to use various insert styles and sizes for various part design and production.
F.I.T.S. Insert styles and sizes are available depending on molder needs. Fortify chose the T-Style Insert as it best accommodates larger area parts and is great for blind pockets.
In addition to F.I.T.S. Frame and Insert product offerings, F.I.T.S. Components and F.I.T.S. Replacement Plates are also available to support F.I.T.S. Systems. All products are standard items that are in-stock and readily available for shipment.
The F.I.T.S. approach allowed sourcing all components from one supplier and can easily be modified and expanded if needed in the future. The F.I.T.S. frame allowed Fortify to implement a customized solution with side clamping rails to minimize insert prep time and a sprue bushing design to allow maximum flexibility for different sized inserts. Accommodating different size inserts is an important consideration when using 3D printed tools. The design also includes a flexible ejection pin plate to minimize custom machining.
Fortify’s unique design is available at no cost to customers to replicate or modify for their needs. Fortify can also source a fully outfitted F.I.T.S quick change system for your application.
Molding with F.I.T.S
F.I.T.S. components are Fortify’s standard configuration for running tools on the company's in-house molding press to support R&D and customer projects.
Additional PCS components that are integral to the workflow at Fortify include: